Page 39 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 39

  Allotmenteering & Social Media
The general consensus is that working on the plot or in the garden is a great distraction from the evils of social media, but I have found that using social media has really helped me to learn and feel a part of the ‘grow your own’ movement. My husband and I took on our plot in North Cornwall in May 2018. Having been lovingly tended by the previous holder for many years, it had fallen into disrepair and had become significantly overgrown over the period of a couple of years before
it was handed over to us. Although not complete novices in the ‘grow your own veg’ arena, this was our first ‘proper allotment’ and we approached it with great gusto, spending time clearing the plot, making raised beds and paths and improving the poor soil with green manure.
Being in a small fishing town, we knew most of the plotholders previously and their advice was, and still is, invaluable. However, I have found a community of allotmenteers and growers on social media that I am proud to be a part
of. My chosen media is Instagram.
I use my account to post, amongst other things, progress on our plot, what I am sowing, successes, failures, frustrations, questions seeking advice, and not forgetting how helpful our dog is! By taking and posting photos, it also helps me keep an annual record of timings and harvests. The community of those posting about allotments,
veg and flower growing is huge, from complete beginners charting their allotment journey, those who grow as a hobby, those who have their own growing businesses, to those who are ‘influencers’ and have thousands of followers.
Famous ‘grammers’ include @ themontydon and @charles_dowding
(he of no-dig method fame) and there are many more. I also follow smaller accounts such as @sharpenyourspades who has been experimenting with soilblocks rather than using plastic pots and built his own envy-inducing polytunnel, @my_little_allotment who highlights how having an allotment
can assist with mental health; @ cutflowerallotment who used her allotment to grow all the flowers
for her wedding last year and @ swancottageflowers who grows cut flowers for weddings and whose in- depth advice proved invaluable to me last year when I created my first cut flower beds.
Following these and other accounts has helped me with my planning,
I use my account to post, progress on our plot, what I am sowing, successes, failures...
sowing and troubleshooting, tips for effective ways of dealing with pests
and diseases, grow-alongs (where accounts sow, germinate, pot on and plant out in ‘real time’ so you can join in) and recommendations of varieties of vegetables I haven’t tried before. Some accounts also go ‘behind the scenes’ showing their sheds (shed-envy anyone?), frustrations that they are behind with everything that needs to be done (usually because of the weather), the joy of dogs on the allotment or in the garden, and informative short films. I would thoroughly recommend social media as a resource to learn, inform and have fun!
Sarah Ford @longdenlife
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Allotment and Leisure Gardener 39

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