National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities. The campaign week is still thriving 18 years later and interest in growing your own fruit and vegetables has never been stronger since the WW2 Grow for Victory campaign.
As secretary & treasurer at our own site at Bradmore Gardens Allotment Association in Burton, I’m very aware how Important it is to have a thriving allotment. We have 27 plots at our site and it’s always great to see folk making the most of their own plots. All are different too, as folk grow various varieties of fruit & veg. My wife and I have three allotments and grow all types of things, much we freeze for winter and store for the colder months. Never have allotments been so valuable, as food prices rise so much and home grown always tastes much better. Together with working outdoors in the fresh air, its good exercise and a great way for families to spend time together too!
The National Allotments Week theme for 2022 is “Bugs, Bees and Broccoli” and acknowledges the importance of gardening with nature in mind. There is a survey called “Big Bug Survey” that you can download on the “National Allotment Society” website to monitor which bugs you are getting on your allotment site. They are working alongside “Buglife”, to see exactly which species of bugs and other beneficial insects you get. The link is below.
An allotment plot is a very complex web of plants, micro-organisms, fungi, insects and animals that not only produces food but also supports eco-system services such as pollination and offers a refuge for wildlife in urban areas. Without all these an allotment would not function correctly. We need to attract animals like hedgehogs to eat the slugs and stop using insecticides and slug pellets. We are seeing the harm done by chemicals in our environment, so time to let nature itself work it’s magic.