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Anyone got an allotment?

(9 Posts)
pixel Fri 11-Mar-05 00:02:58

We had one when I was a kid and I used to spend hours helping out. Now that ds will soon be at school full time and I will have more time on my hands I am thinking about putting my name on the waiting list. In fact I saw our old allotment and it looks empty so I could even end up with the same one!

I would like to have lots of fresh fruit and veg with no pesticides etc, I could certainly do with the exercise, it would save money on our food bill and I think it's important that my kids know what their food looks like in it's raw state and how it grows. I want them to be able to eat peas straight from the pod like I used to.

Can you tell I'm keen?! Someone tell me the drawbacks as well in case I'm looking through rose-coloured specs!

HUNKERMUNKER Fri 11-Mar-05 00:11:24

It sounds fantastic to me too - had been wondering about it myself! May make do with a veg patch and greenhouse in the garden (but got to make the garden suitable - atm it's a patch of grass with rocks in!).

Cristina7 Fri 11-Mar-05 00:51:59

Drawbacks: money and some disappointment. We had to buy new tools as it was a totally new enterprise for us and it got quite expensive. Disappointment and anger when the tools got stolen and the allotment vandalised. Some disappointment when some of the crops didn't grow at all or turned out a bit twisted and puny. We moved to another area after one year and the situation is so much better, no vandalism, toilets on the premises, old people around to ask for advice, little seed shop open for a couple of hours every Sunday morning etc. The soil isn't as good as in the bad area, though. We share our allotment with another couple. We are very good friends and have never had any quarrels or ill-feelings about who does more of the work or how to share out any produce. They now live a little bit further away from this allotment than before (when we lived further) but we work on it in roughly equal amounts. You know all the positives so I won't repeat them. Go for it!

pixel Fri 11-Mar-05 08:31:14

The place we are looking at is very well fenced and they have a hut with their own horticultural society where they sell seed potatoes etc. Also bad soil is no problem as I have my own pony. He produces enough fertilizer for the whole place I should think! I was only thinking about a 5 rod plot like we had before but I've also been wondering about sharing with someone. My mum has recently semi-retired so she might be interested.(plus it's cheaper for pensioners but don't tell her that!)

bensmum3 Fri 11-Mar-05 21:01:52

We took on a large garden a couple of years ago, it was hard work as it had been left and the grass/dandelions etc had taken over, but were gradually clearing it. It is very satisfying to feed the children your own fruit and vegtables, we havent bought a single potato since august last year, and still have a couple of sacks left yet,broadbeans,blackcurrants and rhubarb still in the freezer.
The children have their own little plots, it can be dissapointing for them when seeds don't germinate or a mouse eats the peas, but they still enjoy it.
Yes, it can be very hard work,I have nightmares about weeds and slugs in strawberries, but definately worth it !

treacletart Fri 11-Mar-05 21:25:13

Can't give much advice because DH does it all - we've just swapped ours for a plot nearer our home and we've doen zilch to it yet this year. On our previous allotment last year we had an amazing crop of great veg from surprisingly little work. We grew most from seedlings through a fabric called "Mipex" (sp?) It lets the rain through but keeps the weeds down. Our plot didn't look half so pretty or well kept as others, but it did us proud.
The downside is the guilt DH feels with every weekend he spends away from the allotment...

bettys Fri 11-Mar-05 21:50:35

There is nothing like watching children pick & eat sweetcorn straight from the plant.
I can't think of any drawbacks to having an allotment other than you always spend more than you think as it's so tempting to buy seeds, and fruit canes, and bits and bobs.

pixel Fri 11-Mar-05 23:31:49

Okay thanks, definately more advantages than disadvantages then! Time to find out about waiting lists I think.

Matonic Fri 11-Mar-05 23:52:18

Ds and I spent this afternoon at the lottie sowing lettuces and parsnips ... he has his own little watering can and his own trowel for digging and he takes the whole business very seriously.
It can be very hard work if you take on an overgrown plot, but enormously satisfying when you get the results. The benefits of growing your own veg - and even if you don't stay strictly organic, at least you know exactly what's gone in and on the veg you grow - are multifold: tastier, potentially cheaper (Bettys is right though!), good exercise, good socially - everyone on our site is really friendly and helpful, etc, etc.
It also gets very time-consuming, especially around this time of year - March and April are prime times for sowing and planting - and if you always like to have two weeks or more away in the summer you might want to think about what to do with all the veg that will ripen in your absence .
On balance - go for it. The rewards are so worth the effort.

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