My new friend Mandy invited me to visit her allotment and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The image I had in my head of an allotment bears no relation to what I saw.
This was a thriving community of like minded people, all focussed on growing as wide a range of produce as possible. In terms of location, it was pretty idyllic- based in the castlereagh hills with a view of Scrabo tower and an occasional horse cantering by!
Mandy’s main allotment (yes, she has a back up one) is a little oasis of tranquility away from the hussle bustle of real life. I totally got the appeal of it and can imagine that this would be a very therpeutic way to banish the stresses of work.
Having grown up with a vegetable patch in the family garden, I am no stranger to home grown produce but this was on another level. I couldn’t believe the range of fruit and vegetables growing all around me: I counted potatoes, rhubarb, carrots, parsnips, turnip, swede, peas, beans, leeks, onions, raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, courgettes, marrow, pumpkin, tomatoes, chillies and radishes (which I took home for my salad)
I am now fully converted to the delights of allotments. I even cracked a smile at the few gnomes on display!
Get me an allotment now!!!