Yes, I'd like to come clean. The parish council have just given me the good news and I've handed over £16 and signed a lease. I am, as of yesterday, an allotment holder. What is perhaps most worrying is that I'm excited about it. The site is "roughly 5 poles" in size and looks a bit like this (plan view):
If grey is the new black, allotments are the new extreme sports.
You need to ge a "Can-o-worms" and use it to rapidly compost any vegetable waste you have - the resulting soil is excellent for tomatoes
(Home grown tomatoes being probably the most exquisite thing on this planet)
I can also recommend CanOWorms.
There seems to be a rise in techies + allotments in the UK, a number of my colleagues have recently got one (I got mine last october).
I recommend raised beds, and joining the HRDA at www.gardenorganic.org.uk
http://www.elementgreen.com/canoworms.htm looks great. I will definitely get myself one of those. First job though is to clear the site. It's in pretty good nick but some parts are quite overgrown and the sheer scale of the thing is daunting! Am pleased to have a small shed, water butt and composter inherited from the previous tenant.
I'd been considering getting an allotment for a while - there are some available just down the road from my I hear. Looking forward to hearing how yours progresses.
If you hurry Mike, www.extremeallotments.com and www.allotmentcam.com both still appear to be available (for some strange reason :-) )
Top Tip: The waste runoff from the can-o-worms makes excellent liquid fertilzer!
Blimey Mike you need to come to one of our London .NET geek dinners. Liam Westley and Nick Edwards both have allotments. It seems to be a real geek thing right now.
An allotment seems like a great idea to me! Number the benefits: Will keep you fit (digging the garden is supposed to be the second best form of exercise after swimming); You'll eat more healthily; You'll be greener; It will get you out of the house; You'll have a bolt hole if the wife throws you out... ;-) But seriously, what's the down side?
I've been trying to encourage my Mum to get into blogging and one way I did that was to try to get her to blog about her allotment. She made a start then activity dropped. How about you guys all pay a visit and drop her an encouraging comment: http://community.tigranetworks.co.uk/blogs/ann_long/archive/2007/01/24/part-two-allotment.aspx
Not sure the London .NET geek dinners require further agricultural distractions beyond myself and Nick Edwards.
I'd equally recommend raised beds, just don't make them too wide. I'm resizing all mine to 1.2m wide so that I don't have to tread on them. I also recommend 'Organic Gardening' by Geoff Hamilton as it includes planting distances for raised beds.
Also the mini Royal Horticultural Society small paperback guides are great, and small enough to take with you; including 'Growing Vegetables' and 'Growing Fruit'.
And feel free to blame Ian Cooper for this post....