Proud Mini Plot Owner

Proud Mini Plot Owner

Natalie Walton

I’ve always been interested in gardening; I live in a flat, so it’s been mostly house plants over the last 10 years. Being at home during lockdown has really made me appreciate the plants around me (and those I saved from the office).

It’s become a jungle in here! And so, when the opportunity to get an Incredible Edible mini allotment plot came up just 10 minutes from my flat, I snapped it up. I must admit to knowing nothing about grow your own and still don’t but I’m loving it. 

The motivation for getting the plot and being at the allotment are not so much about being sustainable but about learning and being part of a community. It has however changed how I think a lot, I think about waste more now, I’ve never had a compost bin and now I’m assessing all my food waste to see what can go back into the ground, I save cardboard for the paths on the plot, I recycle more than I ever did as I’m so much more aware of what I’ve throwing out and if it can be re-used.  

I’ve expanded my plot to a herb garden in pots outside the communal door to our flats so that we can all have fresh herbs to cook with and as a result I have the most fascinating discussions with my neighbours!

Although I’m not so bothered about how much food grows this year from the plot I have been well rewarded for my efforts, I’m an obsessive waterer and its paid off, I have just had a lovely harvest of marrow, broad beans, yellow and green beans as well as lots of lovely lettuce. I have no idea what to do with them but I’m having fun finding out! It’s the most relaxing thing I’ve experiences other than getting out for a long walk. I walk to the allotment in the evenings, tidy up and make sure its weeded, watered and cared for, have a chat with anyone and everyone who is around (because everyone is happy to chat all night) and then pootle home with my rewards.  I think getting out more on foot, walking and tending to the land has made me think about climate change, I’m disgusted at the amount of waste in packaging. I did notice how in lockdown there was less traffic both on the road and in the air and how this was so much better for us all, the air was cleaner, streets safer, rivers clearer, the birds song was louder. I fear we have so quickly forgotten how good this was as we go back to driving to the corner shop! 

I feel I have had an opportunity to slow down and I think we need to educate us all about how easy it is to get pleasure from the earth! I would love to see every school in the UK maintain a community garden for the students and their local community. Learning more and getting stuck in has changed how I think, and I’d like to see other people have the opportunity to do the same.