We’ve been on the waiting list for an allotment for almost three years. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, I’ll try to give an explanation.
Here in the UK many local councils have areas of land which are divided into “plots” and rented out to people to allow them to grow their own food. They are a great way for people to grow their own produce even if they don’t have a garden or enough space for growing. Some allotments also allow you to keep bees, goats or chickens too. The yearly rent is very low too and the plot is a fairly good size.
Unfortunately, a lot of land is being (or has already been) sold off to developers and the number of allotments has decreased dramatically. There is such a demand for them too and waiting lists for plots are increasing rapidly.
So, like I said, we’ve been waiting for almost three years. That’s three years of emails, phone calls and general badgering of the Parish Council. Three years of asking how much longer they expect we’ll be waiting. Three years that I’m sure they wished we’d move far, far away in order to stop bothering them.
This week we had the call!
We have an allotment!
The nice lady called and asked if we were still interested. She asked with a laugh, as it’s only been two weeks since the last time I emailed her to
bug her enquire as to our position on the waiting list. She said the paperwork would be sent out immediately for us to complete and return. We were happy!
Two days later we received said paperwork. Lots of it. Michael said he didn’t remember having to sign so many papers when we bought our house. But sign we did and, attached to the last piece of paperwork in the envelope was a shiny key. The key to mud and dirt and sweat and tears and snails. Let’s not fluff it up at all.
Gardening is hard work.
So I’ve heard.
Anyway, we’ve signed the paperwork, filled the forms and sent our first years rent of £25 (approximately $40 to those of you in the US). Not bad at all, I don’t think!
Our highlight of the day is going to see our plot. I bet reality hits us when the overgrown mess is in front of us and the realisation of how much work we need to do before we can grow anything is before us.
It might not be in such a bad state.
Ah well, since when did hard work kill anyone? At least that’s what I’ll be telling the children when I arm them with spades and encourage them to get digging.
Hopefully this will be another way of becoming more frugal and saving a little more money. I need to find some very cheap but half decent tools for the plot. Spending lots of money on it wouldn’t be frugal but, I imagine, would be very easy to do.
We’ve never done this before (not on this scale anyway, do a few pots and raised beds in the garden count?), so if any seasoned fruit and veg growers are out there we’d be glad to hear your tips and tricks, especially any cheap and cheerful ones! What tools are a must – but won’t break the bank? Where is the cheapest place for seeds, but the seeds must still be good quality? How can we have a bumper harvest next year for as little outlay as possible?
All advice is welcome (and needed!) and please feel free to post links in the comments section below to any blogs, posts or pictures you might have if you grow your own.