Page 34 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 34

Every week is
Allotments Week!
Growing Food for Health and Wellbeing
   My daughter Maddie has complex learning difficulties but loves the allotment. The community at our allotment have helped us so much to make the allotment safe and accessible for her. My next-door plotholder, Len, made Maddie the bench you can see her sitting on in the photograph. The chairman knows my time
is spent caring for Maddie so helps me cut the grass around my plot (we call him the allotment fairy). When we first had the plot, I had to be with Maddie the whole time to keep her safe, but
now a few years on she can independently pick raspberries and strawberries and is learning how to know whether an apple is ripe. She has her bed of strawberries, has boards to walk on and a bench to rest on when she gets too tired.
It is our precious place where we can, along with her brother, spend some happy moments. Our allotment community didn't do anything special this year to celebrate allotment week, but this doesn't matter because with their help our daughter has grown in confidence, and this beats growing the biggest pumpkin any day.
Liz, Buckingham
Our annual campaign week due to take place from 10th to 16th August 2020 has been disrupted by the present Coronavirus Emergency. It
is very possible that even in August
we will still be being asked to socially distance to some extent, and it would be irresponsible of us at the moment to ask associations to plan events
that encourage people to congregate. However, we can still promote the many benefits of allotment life in other ways and stay safe. Here is a great example from the East Midlands.
Royal Oak Allotment Association and Outside the Cave, a health and well- being project in Edwinstowe, have set a gardening challenge for kids. They will be providing children with a pack of runner bean seeds, sunflowers and some salad crops – all easy to grow in small spaces and pots. They will also have easy to follow instructions
on how to plant and grow, and some fun and educational activity sheets
for the children
to fill in including
journaling, recording
measurements and
drawing challenges.
They are offering a
delivery service for those
people isolating. We can
share pictures and videos
showing how we are all getting
on and, in the process, grow some delicious food, hopefully inspiring a new generation of gardeners.
Allotments have a vital role to play
for every plotholder to help them
stay mentally and physically healthy; especially in these anxiety-inducing times. We recently received an email from NAS Member Robin, who told us
just how much his plot helps him deal with life.
“I rent an allotment in the West Midlands and I suffer from depression and anxiety, but working my plot really helps to relieve the anxiety and lift
my moods. I love the feeling it gives me being down there in the open
air, nice exercise and the sense of
joy and achievement when I harvest something I have grown from seed.
My counsellor recommends me going there as it occupies my mind and stops me festering on dark thoughts and other issues, and gives me a sense of purpose and an aim in a day.”
Robin will also benefit from eating fresh
seasonal fruit and vegetables and the easy social contact (if at a
2-meter distance)
on the site, not to mention the
beneficial microbes in the soil!
So, this growing season let’s make every week National Allotments Week – email with news of projects and schemes, from growing a little extra to donate to vulnerable people, to looking after your neighbours plot while they self-isolate; tell us about it and we will let the world know just how wonderful allotments and allotmenteers are!
                                                                                          Certified Organic Vegetable Plants
Tel. 01752 881180
  34 Allotment and Leisure Gardener

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