GYO The New DIY

An allotment has become the must have accessory for the modern family. Where DIY once ruled the Sunday morning in suburbia its now Grow Your Own that has become the creed and the Allotment the place of worship. After a considerable effort by a group of dedicated enthusiasts our Parish Council was forced into providing a plot of land for the eager horticulturists. Six years later half the original allotment holders are still tilling the soil, some plots have been through several hands as individuals find the task of GYO too difficult, but all are being used and a small waiting list remains.

My father introduced me to the pleasures of growing your own food when he took on a plot in the late 60s. We were both new to vegetable growing and learnt together that nature needs a lot of help if you are to eat what you grow. Pests, diseases, drought, vandalism and the quality of the soil all need to be understood before success can be achieved. As any old gardener will tell you, work with nature and she will be your friend and feed you, fight with nature and she will be your enemy and you’ll starve.

At the moment I’m picking sugar snap peas, strawberries, wild rocket and cabbages; and by the end of the month there will be new potatoes, tomatoes, gooseberries and carrots. In fact this year the choice and quantities are less than normal as a long spring holiday coincided with the peak sowing and planting season, thus I’m about six weeks behind. Last year we went for over ten months without needing to buy any vegetables, all very satisfying.

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