Why an Allotment

It is important for you to think through the reasons why you, personally,  wish to have an allotment. Some of them might be as listed below; you may have others of course; but you do need to be really clear because it is a major time commitment and an undertaking involving a great deal of effort. Some people on our site complain that they don’t have enough time to work on the allotment – but they won’t down-size! You might find it helpful to draw up a balance sheet of pros and cons.
 
Pros Cons
   
Good Exercise Requires hard work
Out in the fresh air Commitment
Social Initial outlay may be high
Interesting Food Needs constant effort (weeds
Environmentally Sound don't go on holiday)
Family Fun Needs planning
Communal Food not necessarily cheaper
Self satisfaction than that which is bought in
Relaxation Can be demoralising
You should set your own pros and cons out and then weigh them up – before applying to join us or add to our waiting list.
When it comes down to it though, the reasons why you want to have an allotment don’t really matter too much, as long as you are sure that it is what you really want to do and you will give the commitment necessary. If you want to join us or add to our waiting list then click HERE.

Bear in mind the following, however:

  • Allotments are not a fashion accessory – they are for producing food (and maybe flowers in some cases).
  • Do not try to take on more than you can manage.
  • As the size increases arithmetically, the effort required increases geometrically.
  • There are only so many hours in a day/week and the more tired you become the slower and less efficient you become. You want it to be enjoyable as well as practicable – so that you want to do it, rather than feeling that you have to.
  • A full plot is probably too much for one person in today’s demanding full-time work environment, as you will have to commit many hours throughout the year – often when you don’t want to or when you least feel like it. It is better to take or down-size to a smaller plot, or share. Families find it easier to work full plots as they are many-handed. We are four and even then it is a stretch in May to August when everything is growing. Also, you will not be able to consume what you grow and it will either have to be given away or go to waste, which is just pointless.
  • By and large the food isn’t cheaper than in supermarkets – but it should be better.
  • You will get more out of it, and it will enrich the experience of being an allotment holder, if you get involved in the allotment society, whether by attending work days, open days and social events, giving produce for sale on produce days, or by volunteering to help in the administration. Human beings are by nature gregarious and the social interactions are as important a part of belonging to a group or society as the output from the allotment.
  • If you do not keep the allotment up to the standards required by the site/society then you will probably lose the allotment and it will be allocated to someone else on the waiting list.
  • NINO – Nothing In: Nothing Out. Crops need attention and looking after – but putting in worthwhile effort will be rewarded by very worthwhile output.
  • For most people, an allotment is challenging, hard work – but also fun and rewarding.