On the Allotment - highs and lows of family vegetable growing
I work for Garden Organic in the Heritage Seed Library, so spend much of my time working with unusual and interesting varieties of vegetables. Possibly foolishly this has inspired me to expand my growing space by taking on an allotment.
I have 2 young children, who can be a hindrance or a help depending on the day, but are always keen to get involved and muddy. My husband is very much the heavy lifter who will build a new raised bed but doesn’t get involved in the day to day gardening work. In some ways it’s been really good timing, at present I can still regularly access the allotment, and with the current restrictions due to Covid-19 I have plenty of time at home to sow, pot up and care for my plants. In other ways it’s not, since I never get a moment to myself to just get stuff done!
My aim for the allotment is to grow a range of organic soft fruit and vegetables for the family. I’ll focus on those that we really like and taste better when home-grown, even better if they look good too! We also receive a weekly organic veg box from a local supplier so I won’t be growing staples like potatoes as I’ll be getting plenty of those. I’m hoping that I can continue to inspire the children to get involved and make it a learning experience. At 3 and 5 years old I’m not too worried about them missing formal education while the school is shut, but think an appreciation of where their food comes from and how it grows is really valuable. If nothing else I hope the plot will keep them busy and out of my hair for a bit!
Finally I will be using the home veg patch to grow some brand new HSL varieties as part of our accession trials. When Garden Organic had to close its premises and organise for us all to work from home I took some pre-accessions home for growing, characterisation and assessment. So if you are interested in new varieties that might just hit the HSL seed catalogue in the future watch this space!
More about Lucy...
Lucy is part of the fantastic Heritage Seed Library team, working hard to grow and preserve seed varieties that are no longer available so that our members can enjoy growing them at home. Raising two young children, Lucy is keen to grown an array of fruit and vegetables to become more sustainable and to encourage her children to get involved in growing.
Click here for a full list of our Organic Gardening Blogs. There's something to interest everyone, from frugal gardening, wildlife and starting out, to wellbeing and allotment growing. Each series is written by a member of our staff, touching on their own personal experiences. We hope you enjoy reading.