National Allotments Week - It's time to get 'growing'!
What is National Allotments Week?
National Allotments Week is an annual awareness event run by The National Allotment Society to help protect allotments and encourage individuals and communities alike to start their own allotments.
This year’s event, which runs from the 13th to the 19th August, has the theme of ‘Living and Growing’ and highlights the importance of growing your own food and the positive impact it can have.
How to get started…
Growing your own food doesn’t have to be large scale or complicated, you can begin with a just a plant pot on your windowsill!
The idea of ‘pot to plate’ is being used more and more. It is helping to encourage people to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs and showing just how simple it can be to do.
If you don’t have much space or want to start small then why not look at growing your own herbs in your kitchen?
Getting started is easy with a few pots, water, some soil, seeds and sunlight and you are ready to start growing your favourite herbs in the comfort of your own home.
Looking to make use of your garden space?
A fruit and veg patch is a great way to do this!
There is plenty of choice out there for what you can grow yourself so you can pick based on your favourite recipes, the size and space available or even the flowers they grow. You may even want to choose based on your gardening expertise, so if you are a beginner there are plenty of hardier choices to make the process a little easier.
Growing your own fruit and veg doesn’t require too much more resource than what is needed for the herbs. You just need a nice patch of garden, some good compost, a few gardening tools, water, seeds and sunlight and you will be ready to go.
If you want to take the next step, why not try starting your own allotment?
If you have enough space you can put one in your own garden, if not, local and shared allotments are becoming a regular feature in communities all around the country.
By starting an allotment, you can have the chance to grow a variety of fruit and veg and all year round too!
Where to get started…
To get an allotment in your local community, you will likely have to apply for one. This can be done through your local authority website where you can search and find your nearest allotment.
You may have a communal allotment closer to home than you think with allotments located on housing developments around the country.
Redrow have installed allotments onto a number of developments including Ebbsfleet Green, Castle Fields, River View and Cherhill View.
Wherever you decide to start your allotment, there is plenty to be gained for you, the community and the environment too.
Why it’s good to grow your own…
Growing your own is a growing trend because more and more people understand the benefits that come with it.
It gives you the control and knowledge of where your food is coming from and what is being used to help grow it.
This can bring economic benefits too, especially if you prefer buying organic fruit and vegetables. Fresh produce can be expensive so growing your own at home can work out cheaper.
It has also been shown to bring both physical and mental benefits. Eating fresh and seasonal fruit and veg can provide a wider variety of nutrients and, by getting outside, can increase your physical activity.
Gardening can also be called "mind food". That is, it's a gentle, rewarding physical activity which helps keep our minds and body happy while helping us reconnect with nature and socialise too.
It’s not just people that can benefit either, but nature itself!
By growing flowers and crops and growing organically, you can help your local pollinators including bumblebees.
Whether you have a window box, allotment or garden, planting bee-friendly flowers can help boost your local bumblebee population. In return, they will dutifully pollinate your flowers, crops, fruits and vegetables.
To read more about gardening for bumblebees and pollinators you can head over to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust Website here:
So whether you are just setting out on a ‘grow your own journey’ or you have a wealth of gardening experience, take the time this National Allotments Week to try your hand at growing your own food, whether it be a pot in your kitchen, a local allotment or even your own backyard!