“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
Local food news from our blog:
Allotments are often sites of surprising diversity, community, wellbeing and intergenerational connection. But the people of Willoughby Road Allotment Association have taken this to a whole new level, and show the incredible capacity for allotment spaces to bring diverse communities together, and to propagate kindness! I spoke with Paul Collingwood and Gerry Ladds, who areContinue reading “Willoughby Road Allotment Association: The Power of Allotments for Community, Kindness and Learning”
Family Services Goes Outdoors! “We were working with a group of Young People who were permanently excluded from school, and there was this one girl who told us about her trips with her Grandad to his allotment. They were good memories. So we said to ourselves, could we have an allotment, where more young youngContinue reading “Low Fulney Family Allotments”
The National Food Strategy is the UK’s first comprehensive review of the food system in over 75 years. It was commissioned by the government and lays out concrete proposals for how our food system needs to be reformed to meet health, nature and climate targets. Interestingly, it has a lot to say about schools. FoodContinue reading “Growing Food at Lincoln St Faith’s”