Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Allotment



DS and I have just come back from our allotment, I don't know if you have them in the USA but here in the UK they are very sought after and I think they also have them in mainland Europe. They are plots of land which are split up into small allotments (about 1/8 of an acre each) which are rented out either by the local council or the allotment society so that people who live in cities and towns can grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables. They are really, really cheap to rent - about £12 a year which is the equivalent of about $24. I think the idea started during the second world war, when growing enough food was so important. They are now really popular here with families and young people as well as older retired people who have more time to spend on them. Most allotments have big waiting lists, I have had mine for about 3 years but have to confess I haven't worked very hard on it this year for a variety of reasons. Luckily my Dad has helped out so it doesn't look too overgrown.

I have seen allotments in Austria and they are way different from our British ones - very, very neat with new sheds and fences all around them. The culture of allotments in the UK is a bit like quilting - making something out of scraps - and very utilitarian so most sheds are an odd assortment of planks and spare windows and we are not allowed to have fences around each plot. Hence the old planks you see in one of the pictures will have a purpose (probably to hold compost).

Growing at the moment in ours (top photo) we have strawberries, leeks, peas, runner beans, raspberries, potatoes and carrots (not doing much good at the moment though). I've also got a row of gladioli because I like to have flowers too.

7 comments:

anne bebbington said...

themild weather and lots of rain has certainly made things comeon leaps and bounds here in Taunton - hope it has for you too

Judy said...

Over here in the states we have them, in different way. In the city they sometimes have "community gardens" which are big plots of land that a certain community takes over and shares.

Around my neighborhood some of the local churches that have large land will rent out plots of gardens for people who want one, but they are very hard to find. I don't know if they do that in other areas, but here they are scarce..of course it could be because I don't live in the city so most people have a back yard. I live in a condo and I do terribly miss my back yard and flowers but not enough to haul over the a garden and work LOL!

I love all the old doors! Are they seperating someones plot or are they used to shield a crop?

Finn said...

What fun to have a space to grow something for yourself. I really miss that part of home ownership. I had several flower beds around the property, all blooming flowers most of the time til it froze in Oct.
With these rentals, we aren't even allowed to put bulbs in the ground. So all we can have is what grows in pots...very much NOT the same...*VBS* Enjoy the season!!!

Nines said...

Thank you for the little window into your world! I know that it is difficult to stay on top of the work in a garden when you live on the same plot- much less when you have to get into a car and drive to it! But still, how nice to get your hands muddy and to know that you are eating something from your own little piece of land! And frugal, too. I love flowers in the garden, too. On another note, I really really enjoyed your quilt photos. Your quilts were all cheerful and bright. Maybe like you, eh?

Ali Honey said...

I'm really enjoying your blog.The taste of things you grow yourself is way better isn't it.Good for you. Best Wishes from NZ where the rain has returned! Cheers Alison.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

In the city where I live there are quite a few places where you can rent a small garden spot for a very small fee...We are a college town and they have the extra land to rent out. It's wonderful for the people who don't have a spot of your own.

Tina said...

Hi I am new to your blog, I found it very interesting about how you are able to rent a plot of land to grow food and flowers for such an economical fee. I live in the midwest in the USA and I really haven't heard of anyone doing that around where we live. Now we have a small garden in our back yard...I do love to garden but patchwork is my passion....Nice to meet you...Hugs Tina