If you’re not blessed with an abundance of space in your back yard, you could be missing out on the opportunity to grow your own fruit and veg. Nothing tastes sweeter than the produce you have grown yourself, so if you don’t have ample garden space an allotment might be something to consider.
However, there’s no denying that looking after an allotment takes a considerable amount of work. Here’s a look at allotment gardens and whether you should get one yourself.
Buying fresh fruit and veg isn’t always the cheapest and if you want to eat healthily it can put a strain on your pocket. Opting to grow your own means that you can enjoy as much fruit and veg as you want for a tiny fraction of the price.
The National Allotment Society estimate that with good planning, and a freezer to lend a hand, it’s possible to grow enough produce to feed a whole family for a year from just a single plot.
Your reasons for having an allotment may be purely selfish, but even without realising it you’ll be helping the environment.
The National Allotment Society say that just a tiny 1 square metre of space can support several hundred different species. By cultivating an allotment you are providing a piece of land which will contribute to the ecosystem, providing essential habitat for insects and bees. You may not be the biggest fan of winged creatures or creepy crawlies but they are vital for the health of crops and plants alike.
Any kind of exercise has been proven to provide a boost to emotional well-being, but when this is combined with fresh air, the results are even greater. Tending an allotment can help lift your mood or beat the blues if you’re feeling a bit down.
There’s benefits for your physical health too, as gardening is hard work! Rather than pounding away on a sweaty treadmill, pick up your spade and get digging: half an hour of gardening could burn up to 150 calories.
The fresh, sweet taste of fruit and veg is impossible to beat but nothing comes close to eating immediately after it’s been picked.
Sweetcorn, strawberries, peas and carrots are all so much sweeter, having a delicate taste that is lost when it’s mass produced. Even the humble potato has an earthier, more wholesome flavour that is instantly recognisable.
And of course, the knowledge that you grew everything with your own two hands brings an extra little zing to what you put on your plate!
Although allotments take a lot of work, they are a great place to socialise and meet like-minded people too. Many gardeners opt to keep a small shed at their allotment and with a few pantry provisions stashed inside, you can enjoy a brew and a chat with some new friends while you take a break.