Springing into action at the allotment
Friday 13 May 2016
Last month I was lucky enough to be able to spend a day in the sun at the Brandon Trust allotment in Anerley, London. This is the second summer Brandon has had the plot, so I went along to see the planting in action and hear from people who use the space.
The team there have clearly been working hard. The Brandon allotment stands out; when I arrived I could spot its raised beds, woodchip surface, and greenhouse full of seedlings straight away.
It was the first open day of the year; volunteers, people supported by Brandon, and staff, turned out to get the growing season underway. They planted beans, lettuces, rhubarb, onions, and more, and erected a gazebo, canes for the beans, and net covers to protect the produce. It was such a productive day.
David, who gets support from Brandon, told me about how he got into gardening because of the allotment. The first time he visited he never intended to garden; he’s an artist, and had come down to sketch the plot. Once there though, he wanted to get involved and soon fell in love with gardening. As my day at the allotment went on, I saw him taking every opportunity to dig and plant various seedlings and bulbs.
I also had a chance to speak to other allotment holders and the plot manager, Chris. We spoke about the benefits that using the allotment can bring, like relieving stress, physical exercise, making friends, and taking home your own fresh veg.
The day ended on a high for me, as Leon, who also gets support from Brandon, shared his poem ‘Nature in Bloom’. He feels passionately that people should be at one with nature. Check out the poem on YouTube.
What’s great about the allotment is that it embodies inclusion. Everybody is working together to make the most of the plot. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even going to be blueberries!
The next open day will be 15 June, 2016, but you can visit any day of the week within daylight hours. Contact Dawn on firstname.lastname@example.org for all the details.
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