The Demonstration Allotment
This allotment project was started in 2005. The group wanted to demonstrate a low maintenance approach to organic fruit and veg growing and to make a space where the group could meet, work and learn together.
The plots were neglected when we took them on and an army of volunteers was needed to clear the space of couch grass, bindweed and brambles. Four years on and the battle to clear the site of these pernicious weeds continues; when using weed-killing chemicals isn't an option, you just have to keep digging them out or burying them with cardboard, newspapers and lots of leaf mould.
A troop of volunteers continue to meet on alternate Saturdays and Mondays for the morning, throughout the year and undertake a range of tasks from pruning and potting-up to weeding, feeding and watering. Their efforts are rewarded with a sit down lunch, this is cooked on site with the produce we've grown, any left over produce is shared out and turned into preserves to be brought back for the winter months! Our allotment is very productive, July is the most abundant month in terms of variety but the allotments do produce food for the workers all year round - a handsome crop of greens from our polytunnel keep us ging through the Spring period, we're also working on an asparagus bed that should also provide some much needed flavour but we will have to wait a few years for this to become a reality!
The allotments were designed to be accessible to as many people as possible. Wide, flat paths welcome visitors, we have formal and informal beds as well as a large polytunnel, and an area was set aside to be used for workshops and social meetings on the plot. Our fantastic cabin was built by one of our committee members (Peter Newton) and provides shelter for volunteers on chilly winter days.
A pond, flower beds and compost area help us to grow our food in a natural way as they attract pollinating insects and provide habitats for a wide range of predatory creatures. The composting process is essential for recycling nutrients from decaying plant material and maintaining good soil health.
We hope to be gardening for many seasons to come and look forward to seeing you at the plot!