Grow Your Own – It’s National Allotment week!

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Have you got an allotment, or do you know anyone who has one? Well you’re very lucky if you do, because allotments are hard to get hold of these days. If you do have one, you’ll know that this week is National Allotment Week – a week celebrating our national love of growing our own fruit and veg.

This year the theme for the week is “Growing the Movement” a celebration of the hard work that volunteers do in order to keep allotments going, whether that’s managing, creating, developing or just keeping an eye on them.

Allotments aren’t just for growing potatoes – did you know that Roeshot Hill Allotment Association, in Dorset, have recently been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award –which designates their allotments a ‘quality park or green space’. The amount of hard work that’s gone into creating and maintaining the spaces is phenomenal – the award shows that these particular allotments have measured up to some pretty strict environmental standards, as well as being looked after well and offering visitor facilities.

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What is an allotment?

An allotment is just any area of land which is leased either from a private or local authority landlord, for the use of growing fruit and vegetables.

Some allotments are also used for keeping chickens, bees and rabbits and growing ornamental plants too. The plots are around 250 square metres – about the size of a doubles tennis court.

Events during National Allotment Week

To mark the National Allotment Week, allotment groups across the UK will be opening their gates and holding barbecues, plant and produce sales, allotment tours, competitions and exhibitions, coffee mornings and afternoon teas – many of them raising funds to support local charities.

Find out what’s going on near you – and speak to allotment owners about their experiences if you fancy giving it a go. Just imagine all the lovely fresh vegetables you could grow!

Find out more about getting an allotment

Have you ever fancied the idea of your own allotment? There’s a lot of helpful information available on the National Allotment Society website if you want advice on finding and planning your allotment space, how to get an allotment and even how to attract wildlife – especially bees to your plot. The link to the resources page is here.

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Why get an allotment?

There are lots of benefits to having your own little green space and somewhere to grow food.

  • It’s great for teaching kids about where their food comes from, encourages them to eat more veg themselves (as they’ve invested in growing it) and gets them outside and active!
  • Did you know – it only takes 30 minutes of gardening to burn around 150 calories, the same you would burn in a low impact aerobics session?
  • An allotment can produce enough fresh fruit and veg to help reduce your weekly shopping bill. It can take effort, hard work and dedication but the feeling you get from growing your own is just fantastic.
  • Just 15 minutes a day outside in the summer sunshine can build up vitamin D levels in fair skinned adults and children, and for dark skinned people up to 90 minutes of sun exposure will help. This means you get extra protection from some illnesses and you also get to increase your serotonin levels, making you happier and healthier! Obviously, you need to wear sunscreen on sunnier days but get outside and top up your vitamins whenever you can.

We’d love to know what you grow in your allotment – or what you’d grow if you HAD one…

 

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