“Whatever you do, just stick something in the ground!”
This is advice to everyone from my friend and gardening inspiration, Hillary, who gave me a tour of her Lincoln allotment last week.
“Don’t worry about making mistakes,” she told me, “that’s what we all do with gardening!”
Think about getting an allotment
The abundance of young plants resulting from the explosion of seed-sowing at the start of lockdown perhaps ask for a bit more space than a garden, and the time is ripe for getting an allotment and growing on…
Thinking about how to #buildbackbetter – spending time in my garden, with my child, is one of the things I want more of in the future. (I was filled with pride when he recently went outside, got out some plant pots, and announced that he was going to “do sowing”!)
Build back better
Allotments represent much of what it means to me to build back better: reconnection with nature, the fresh air and the healthy soil; building food resilience by increasing urban growing; enjoying fresh, nourishing food that has travelled minimal distance; a positive, local response to the climate crisis; building community… something that was abundantly and warmly evident at the site – a friendly and peaceful place, where many greetings were exchanged during the brief hour that I spent there. I came home with a bag of lettuces from a stranger!
Hillary showed me around their well established rotation system, a plot for self-seeded flowers, a highly productive but carefully tamed bank of brambles, a composting system, a “lasagne” vegetable bed in progress, fruit trees and a cage of fruit bushes.
Geoff was planting out young sweetcorn plants and doing some weeding. Neighbouring plots housed chickens, and others were growing predominantly flowers or fruit trees.
Allotments in Lincoln
Here in Lincoln, the waiting lists for an allotment are short, and on many sites there are vacant plots available immediately, including (at the time of writing) Burton Ridge, Hykeham Road, Long Leys Road and Simons Hill sites. You can apply for an allotment online via the council website, it takes about 2 minutes.
Do you already have an allotment? How do you find it? What’s happening on your plot this week? Who and what inspires you to grow?
If you’re considering an allotment, what would get you started? What are your hopes and doubts?
If you’d like to invite me to your allotment, I’d like to share the allotment love on this blog through the year, and would be very pleased to visit and chat with you. Ping me an email: LauraStratfordgardens@gmail.com
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Why does it matter?
What can we do?
Lincolnshire is a big grain producer. As we face unpredictable changes in weather due to global warming, diversity and resilience is increasingly important.