9 reasons why everyone should have an allotment

From providing delicious food to being good for the environment, here's why having an allotment is one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do

If you’ve ever considered having an allotment but need an extra push to take one on, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 9 good reasons why you won’t regret it.

1. It’s good for your health!

Being out in the open air, working with the land and exercising is good for your mental and physical health. According to the National Allotment Society
(NAS), just 30 minutes of work on your allotment can burn around 150 calories, the same as doing low impact aerobics. Much better than being stuck in a sweaty, soulless gym, we think!

2. It’s sociable…

Forget old men in sheds, these days owners are younger and more diverse than ever. You’ll often find a real community spirit on the allotment as well as social activities you can join in and many people say they’ve met friends for life there.

3. You can grow fruit & veg that can be difficult to find in the supermarket…

Forget traipsing round the supermarket trying to find unusual ingredients then paying an arm and a leg for them, why not grow your own? Just a few delights to consider are Cavolo Nero (black kale), Pink Fir apple potatoes, Chinese artichokes and unusual squashes, but the list is endless…

4. It’s incredibly rewarding…

The satisfaction of eating something you’ve grown yourself is hard to beat. We put it down to the sense of achievement you get from growing something from seed and the fact that you know exactly what you’re eating, where it’s come from, how long it’s travelled and what it’s been treated with.

5. It’s creative…

Make your allotment beautiful as well as bountiful by planting pretty flowers for cutting next to fruit trees and veg patches, and painting your shed in a colourful shade. These days plots are more diverse than ever so you could even add a pond, beehive, chickens or a BBQ area with garden bench if that’s your thing. Just make sure you check what’s allowed with the allotment association first.

6. It’s good for the environment…

According to the NAS, just 1sq m of land can support hundreds of different species. So by cultivating an allotment you are single-handedly helping to create essential habitats for bees and other wildlife without which our ecosystem would suffer, crop yields would fall and the world would be a poorer place. Give yourself a pat on the back!

7. It’s educational…

Learning about different varieties of fruit and veg and how to grow them is a great skill to have as an adult but it’s also a wonderful way of helping children to understand where our food comes from.

8. It can save you money…

We’re thinking no gym membership because of all the exercise you’re getting digging, weeding and planting, not to mention the money you save by eating the fruits (and veg) of your labour. According to the NAS, with careful planning (and a big freezer) you could grow most of the veg for an average size family for a whole year.

9. Homegrown veg tastes amazing!

It’s surprising how different and more delicious the food you grow tastes from what you buy at the supermarket. Potatoes taste more earthy, sweetcorn cooked within an hour of being picked is unbelievably sweet, peas eaten straight from the pod taste wonderfully fresh and tomatoes plucked straight from the plant that is still warm from the sun are simply divine.

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