First things first


Monday, 26 April 2010

Grow your own - but where?

The allotment shortage has not abated, and in fact the shortfall in plots has worsened dramatically in the last year, according to the Telegraph, which writes:

"The grow-your-own trend, which was boosted by the recession and fears about the rising price of food, has shown no signs of calming down.

"The survey of over 150,000 council plots in England found 91,500 people waiting for an allotment – up from 76,330 last June.

"The figures indicated there are around 60 people waiting for every 100 plots, up from around 50 people last year and just four people in 1996.

"The severe shortage, in parts of the country, has meant that some gardeners are facing waits of up to 40 years. The average time is over three years.

People in Westcombe Park who have tried to get an allotment will know this problem well - and will have found that not only are the local waiting lists 10 years long, they are now closed to new names so you cannot join them at all.

Transition Westcombe has tried to come up with a constructive solution: matching would-be growers with other people willing to lend a patch of their garden - perhaps in return for a share of the harvest. Visit Patch Match for more information or to sign up.

We particularly need people to sign up and offer a patch of their land to those on our own waiting list.

If you've considered doing so but have hesitated over what kind of person might show up to share your garden, here are a selection of things that our would-be growers have said about why they are so keen to take part:

"I have always loved growing things (although I am far from being an expert!) and had a vegetable patch in my old house. I now rent and have only a very tiny shared front garden. I would really like to feel close to the earth again and grow things and also to feel closer to the community here."

"Having grown up in the countryside we always grew veg when I was young. I really miss this living in London and would love the opportunity to start growing my own veg again."

"I would like to Patch Match because I am an extremely keen cook but have never had the opportunity to grow my own produce due to lack of space. I noticed the allotments as soon as I arrived at our new flat, but the waiting list was full."

"I hope to grow all of the basics and I'll be happy to share the crop, it's the process I'm most interested in."

"We have no car and cycle everywhere, so carrying large loads of groceries from Sainsbury's is not ideal, we wish to grow our own food, to sustain ourselves, our future family and hopefully inspire our community to live sustainably."

"I am originally from rural Gloucestershire where growing your own veg was part of everyday life, it's something i miss very much and would like to start doing again. I am on various waiting lists for allotments but fear i may never reach the top of any of them!"

"I do not have a garden of my own - just a tiny backyard, and little growing experience. I would love to have the opportunity to grow some organic food crops - perhaps even share the skills of the lender."

"I like to think I'm green-fingered, live on a limited budget, love spending time outdoors and doing physical work, and am a committed environmentalist. At the moment I have a couple of window boxes above a busy road - and am told that the waiting lists for local allotments stretches to over three years!"

1 comment:

Anne said...

Hello. Is Patch Match still active? I can't access the site ... :(