National Allotments Week

Karen Neville

Allotment holders all over will be rejoicing this week – it’s National Allotments Week, 12th to 18th, and this year the National Allotment Society is celebrating the shared harvest from plots.

Every growing season plants produce more crops than any plot-holder can freeze, pickle or jam so don’t be surprised if you see your growing colleagues arrive at work with baskets of plums, sticks of rhubarb or plastic bags full of green beans.

Many will also share their excess with good causes and this year many have also been looking at donating to food banks.

National Allotments Week started in 2002 to raise awareness of allotments and how they help people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and boost communities.

Growing, cooking, eating and sharing home-grown food is just one benefit of allotment life and while there can sometimes be a long wait for plots in some areas, don’t be put off, get on a list for a plot near you and start planning.

Among the local allotment associations taking part are:

Alton Allotments Association, Farmers Market stall, High Street, Alton – Saturday, 10th August, 10am-2pm

Wokingham Allotment Association, Ormonde Road Allotments, Wokingham – Saturday, 10th August, 2-4pm. Enjoy an open day, entertainment, competitions, tea and cake

Pangbourne Allotments, Grahame Avenue, off Kennedy Drive – Saturday, 17th August, 10am-noon. There’s an open morning, allotment tours, information on bee keeping, demonstrations of hand pumps for children, produce stall and refreshments

On a larger scale over the next few months

Visit the Royal County of Berkshire Show at Newbury on 21st and 22nd September where you’ll find a grow your own section for the chance to show off fruit, veg and preserves.

In Surrey in October you can visit RHS Wisley Taste of Autumn from 16th to 20th and enjoy the best of the season with a harvest celebration. The orchard will be laden with fruit and there’ll be a range of local and artisan food and drink.