Allotment Aristocrats

Fri, Mar 20, 2009

Allotments

Have just found this wonderful web-site which gives you the planting times for every sort of vegetable.

Its a brilliant way to keep an eye on what needs going into the ground now that spring appears to be emerging . http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/fruit_veg_diary/veg_planner.asp.

You can even load up when the first and last frost might happen in your own area – it lists American and Australian cities which good news for many visitors to this blog.

I have just printed the chart and have it on my office wall  – I can only dream about planting veg at the moment whilst I wait to hear if I am going to be offered a tiny little bit of land on a very unusual local allotment located in the Meads, just back from the sea front in sunny Eastbourne.

THE VILLAGE

It’s situated in a very special place called ‘The Village’ which is a collection of beautiful Victorian houses built around a communal green with individual plots . The Duke of Devonshire built the houses for his estate workers in the late 1800’s and gave them all a plot of land to grow their own produce. The houses have changed hands many times since but the plots have always been sold with the house .Some of the residents are too old or too busy to garden which means they  have been letting other local gardeners use them for veg growing.

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With 100,000 on the waiting lists for UK allotments, I would be over the moon to be offered one of these for the summer. Its such a great way to learn about veg growing and it would be brilliant to swap plants and seeds with other gardeners. I have been told there are some particularly experienced veg growers in The Village!

The current economic climate is really encouraging more people to start growing their own produce – just like after the Second World War. There were an amazing 1.4million allotments in the 1940s but just 300,000 exist today – although this number is set to rise as more and more people want to grow their own.

Even the National Trust are planning to create 1,000 new allotments on trust owned land over the next 3 years.They estimate that this new land could produce up to 2.6 million lettuces every year, 50,000 sacks of potatoes or mixed fruit and veg worth £1.5million.

The average size of a plot is 300 square yards and with a bit of hard work it is possible to grow 75% of a family’s fruit and vegjust on this space – sounds a bargain to me – expecially when you consider that could add up to £1,100 in value

Hopefully,  I might boost my own pocket and pick up some useful veg growing tips in this magical place.

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I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and is keen to "manage" the effects of the weather on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and I hope that it will continue to grow, allowing global gardeners to communicate about the effects of climate change on our plants and the future of our gardens.

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