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Allotment spy

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leslie Wylie
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 43
Location: co armagh

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Allotment spy Reply with quote

I have been interested in the growth of alotments in the Republic.This weekend past I had a Supervalu break in Wicklow and i took the opportunity to spy.
The alotments which I looked at where sited in an old wall garden which is just missing part of the boundry wall in total there were 32 plots available at an annual cost of 200euro {to me very expensive] What did you get for your money? A not over large plot in fact a small plot, water stands with hose pipe 3 ducks which are employed to pick up slugs and snails and the ground is cultivated prior to you taking over. The downsize -land that is overgrown with docks you are not permited to use any weedkiller or pesticedes and the main bug to me was no potatoes to be planted in the alotments the owner had a ready supply of large plastic which you could help yourself and if you wanted spuds you had to use the pots. All of the plots where not in use and at the early stage in this new site some of the worked plots where returning to nature,

Surely if a person who thinks he has a site that would be perfect for alotments shoulld take a hard look at the weed problems he may have a bee in his bonnett about sprays etc. but if he was to try and control the weeds before taking hard earned euros the site would quickly sell itself.
This could be just a bad site I trust that other alotments and land owners think before opening up

for whom the bell rings
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Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree

Joined: 09 May 2010
Posts: 50
Location: Meath

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about this post for a few days now, and I hope this isn't going to turn into a rant, but the only conclusions I can draw from the allotment situation near me (in Meath) is that:

(1) the local land has been, until recently, more valuable as a prospective housing estate;

(2) there aren't any allotments within any reasonable distance for those of us that really want one and are prepared to put in the work involved;

(3) the ones that are available are a half-hour's drive away and are owned by someone who employs a professional advertising and marketing person, and which attract plenty of interest from the "hopeful, inexperienced but seen-gardeners-on-TV-and-wanna-give-it-a-try" people (I'd include myself as hopeful and inexperienced, but at least I've been practising in my small, suburban back garden for years and I know the amount of work it would take);

(4) as a five-year-old, my parents gave me a small patch of garden and I learned from watching my dad and grandad, and from helping my elderly neighbour in his allotment; now there doesn't seem to be the same continuity or fluidity. The local primary school is mostly "Teachers' Carpark" and "Tarmacked Playground/Basketball Court", they don't have the money, garden space or timetable to encourage kids to plant lettuces or cabbages, and the parents don't have the garden space either because it's all decking, lawn and patio pots stuffed with cheap bedding from invasive supermarkets. I do my best with my own kids, but I gave a handful of home-grown Kelvedon Wonder pea pods to one their friends the other week and he looked at me sideways and said, "Woss these?"

This is turning into a rant, isn't it?

What I think I'm trying to say is that, society has changed, and blaming the allotment owners is too simplistic. It would be wonderful if they'd offer decent facilities to serious gardeners, but that's not how 2010 works. It wasn't even how it worked in 1968 when I struggled with Alf's watering cans from the tap up the far end and was rewarded with my first real tomato.
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