To Allotment or not to Allotment?

I’m sitting here at 9am with the application form from the council to join the Allotment waiting list.  Thing is, I just don’t know whether to fill it in.  I love the idea of expanding my growing space and becoming an Allotment owner, but, do I have the time?  Our local Council charge £31 per year for a site and as from 2008 (taken from the website) they had 359 people on the waiting list.  What I don’t understand is that when we called to the Allotment site the other day, there were so many run down plots, messy plots and plots that looked like they hadn’t been tended to in years.  I thought the Council had the right to evict Allotment tenants for un-cultivated plots?  So why are so many looking drab and lifeless?  I might venture back to the Allotments on Saturday and take some photo’s of just how poor it is.

Anyway, back to my discussion.  Would I have time?  Well at the moment, yes, yes I would.  But I don’t drive?  And as I’ve never had an Allotment before, I wouldn’t know if this was a necessary or if it would create problems if I didn’t.  My Mum has a car, so I could always get her to take me and maybe she’d even help?  Who knows.  I mean, I’ve not even decided to fill the form in yet.

What would you do?  I think this photo sways it for me….

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4 thoughts on “To Allotment or not to Allotment?

  1. Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. We took on an allotment 2 years ago and I love it. It does take up a fair amount of time though and it can be hard work but the rewards are great! I live round the corner to mine so usually walk to it instead of taking the car. Only really use the car if we need to take compost or heavy things round. Not sure how close the allotment you have been offered is to you but remember in summer (if we ever get any hot weather!) you would need to visit daily to water. If you think you might not have time to commit you could always share the plot with a friend to make it easier to fit in with the rest of life. Good luck whatever you decide. 🙂

  2. Hi Dead Girl

    I too would say go for it!

    I have just taken one on, I don’t know what I’m doing … and I love it. Potatos and onions have been planted in clay and are starting to grow so its not that hard, even for me.

    I contacted my local council about an allotment and received an automated reply. A friend said I should go to the allotment an ask to speak to someone … so I did … and got a plot that day!!! Its an allotment association. I’m STILL waiting to hear from the council!

    I have since found out that councils have a statutory obligation to provide land for allotments if six or more council tax payers request them. This is how I came across your blog (related posts). If you’re interested you can read my post here: http://thesecretpeople.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/councils-statutory-obligation-to-provide-allotments/

    I don’t drive either and have to hide my tools on my plot in an upturned barrel. Others take theirs home in their nice cars.

    Its a shame that people aren’t looking after their plots when so many others are desperate to make good use of them. Your council really should do something about it.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make,

    Keith (slimline66)

  3. Hi,

    I say go for it too, the worst thing that could happen is that you won’t have the time and id that’s the case you can always give the plot up.

    That said it is a Great price, Our local council charge £65 per year. I personally think it’s a bit steep but when you consider the food you can grow and the enjoyment you get out out of it, it kinda cancels the problem out.

    I waited for four years to get a plot. One day , fed up of waiting I called the council o ask what was happening and the lady on the other end of the phone told me that there was a new allotment site opening up did i want to shift my name to that list, I did and the rest is history.

    I do understand the frustration of gardeners who see untended plots and feel aggrieved, but as I always say whenI see this post, we don’t know what’s going on in the lives of other gardeners. Last year a couple of people commented about scruffy plots, mine was one of them.

    Most people didn’t know that my was suffering Cancer and I simply had to prioritise.

    This year I have that bit extra time now, and intend to make a real good effort with the plot. I look around and see untended plots and as I think ” huh, lazy, scruffy” etc, I remember what I went through last year.

    Anyway your gardening skills look as though you would be a real asset to any allotment site…so go for it!

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