Allotment gardens have been a popular theme on TreeHugger lately and why not--they are the real deal; incorporating all kinds of good things: food, recycling, ecology, and community. Their finest hour was during World War 2 when people all over North America and Europe were cultivating small patches of land in order to feed themselves and their families. In Britain a tenth of all the food produced during the war years came from allotment gardens. They are still going strong due to the latest revival of interest in gardening and the desire to grow one's own fresh and chemical-free food, combined with rising food prices.
National Allotments Week is promoting awareness of allotments and encouraging municipalities to provide more land for them. This is important because one of the big problems is that many of the sites used to be on the outskirts of towns, on unwanted land. As cities expanded, many of the sites have become prime development locations and are being lost. Councils may offer alternatives, but they are even farther away and require back breaking work to make the soil good and fertile. Last year a century old allotment garden was demolished for the London Olympic site and the replacement land turned out to be clay soil in a water-logged valley. As part of the celebrations, many gardens will be open to the public. These are fun because each plot is so eccentric and reflects the personality of its owner. Gardeners sell freshly picked produce, home-baked cakes and offer guided tours.
An award is given for the best garden and this year's winner is Mr. and Mrs. Alan Kimber aged 71 (pictured). Last year they won second prize and over the course of that year, they grew over 20 varieties of fruit and vegetables on their patch, including peas, tomatoes, dwarf beans, beetroot, pumpkins and even blueberries. Other prizes went for best shed, best newcomer, best site and best project. :: National Allotments Week
More on Allotment Gardens
:: Victory Gardens
:: How Does Your Garden Grow
:: Victory Gardens in San Francisco
:: Manor Garden Allotments