It’s my second year as an allotment holder at Terrace Road. My involvement was the direct result of a Walton Charity’s Community Allotment project with the school that my son attends. They learnt all about growing vegetables and my son absolutely loved it and came back saying “Can we get an allotment?”
At the time, I had just fractured my back and was in no shape to do any serious work on the plot so I made it clear from the start that my 11-year-old son would have to pull his weight. He does the watering and heavy carrying…. My partner is no gardener, but he does come down, largely through my son pestering him.
The Community Allotment side of the allotment site is so lovely with the shade, the pond and it is very child-oriented over there which he responded well to. It has really encouraged him at home, educationally. When I bring in shopping he wants to know where things come from and how they grow.
Working on my allotment plot gave me a great sense of purpose and I just love coming down here, I love the peace and quiet. To see the difference between last year and now, it is amazing. Everyone is so friendly; everybody shares tips and helps.
I also think working at the allotment helps people’s mental health. You are out in the fresh air, concentrating on something totally different, not stuck inside four walls; and you get to eat the produce, which tastes so different, and you have so much sense of actual achievement.
My family is now committed to ‘my plot’ and are planning how it might develop. For us this is a year by year project – once we get control of the weeds and get a shed up… maybe we’ll have two allotments in time.