National Allotment Week

Rhubarb Crumble CookieNational Allotment Week is upon us and during the week of the 12th-18th August, we should all take a moment to think about this fantastic initiative!

Since the WW2 Grow For Victory campaign, allotments really have become part of many communities, offering many health benefits and providing cost savings for families and this has progressed over the years.

With many of us growing up with warm memories of time spent tending a plot, the National Allotment Week initiative aims to continue to promote, support and provide opportunities for each generation over the years. This year sees the 12th official week and with Open Allotment Days and events going on, it’s worth having a look to see what’s on around you.

If you have thought about having an allotment but not got around to taking it any further than “it might be nice”, here are some great benefits to think about, that may just boost you into action. And if there’s a waiting list, join one! Interest in home growing cannot be monitored without you telling someone!

1) Physical exercise. If you aren’t one of the gym, biking, walking or running, this is the perfect way to stay flexible, fit and strong whilst watching the changing seasons on your plot.
2) The cost savings. You will save yourself quite a lot of money when using produce you have tendered to.
3) Social. Chances are, you have allotment plots around you and there will be a group of similar minded individuals to chat and laugh with.
4) Health. By growing your own produce, you are more likely to consume more fruit and vegetables, home grown with no pesticides and you will also be more likely to cook from scratch a little more, to incorporate the allotment produce into your diet.
5) The environment. Protect your surroundings and neighbourhood planning. By being actively involved in an allotment you can register as an Asset of Community Value (see below) and have a say in planning in your area. Your own produce also means less packaging and air miles.
6) Your mental health. It can be very rewarding to watch plants grow under your care and small challenges can really boost your happy endorphins!

If you have an allotment, are you listed as an Asset of Community Value with your Local Authority? It is essential to maintain communication with the Local Authority Departments involved in the planning and use of space around you. There are many benefits to registering with them and it’s really worth looking into.

For more information on allotments, advice and guidance, visit www.nsalg.org.uk and have a look around their website. There is a huge amount of information on there and even if you are already a keen allotment keeper and gardener, you may be able to offer support to those just starting out.

Keeping the green space around you, being outside and active with the wonderful benefits of fresh vegetables and fruit can be easy and very rewarding. Take a trip to a local Open Allotments Day and be inspired by the glut of August produce and the smiling faces.

Rhubarb Crumble Cookies

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