Having an allotment is good for you. Whether you dig gardening or not, the exercise you get from all that planting, weeding and watering is a benefit in itself – and that’s before you get to sample all the delicious and nutrient-packed fresh fruit and veg you’ve grown.
Getting an allotment is not easy. In some areas of the country there are still long waiting lists. But, for the determined, it can be well worth the wait. As well as getting you out in the fresh air and exercising, gardening can save you money and improve your diet. There is nothing quite like tasting something you have grown yourself.
Home grown food is very much back on the menu across the country as healthy eating initiatives and a move away from fast foods and ping cuisine kick in. Families are growing their own to save money and parents are heeding healthy living advice and are trying to ensure their children get the recommended Five-A-Day. However an allotment is not for everyone.
You may wish to avoid the temptation if:
- You haven’t got the time to look after an allotment.
- You suffer from a serious back problem or other illness which limits mobility.
- You can’t afford an allotment.
If you have got the time, are keen to explore new ways of growing food and can afford an allotment, go for it! If you can’t afford an allotment, some charities run allotment schemes so those on limited incomes don’t miss out.
The inclusive nature of allotment gardening has inspired the theme for this year’s National Allotments Week, which is being organised by the National Allotment Society and takes place between August 8th and 14th. ‘Growing Together’ aims to draw attention to the fact that people from all walks of life can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of access to an allotment. From school children to people with learning difficulties to refugees to the bereaved, there are projects being run to encourage people to enjoy allotment gardening.
If allotment gardening is not for you then why not plant up some window boxes with flowers and herbs, perhaps even a few cherry tomato or strawberry plants. As well as providing you with some produce they will brighten up the outside of you home and decorate your double glazed windows beautifully.