Covid 19, growing food, sustainable food

Welcome to my Lincoln allotment

“Whatever you do, just stick something in the ground!” 

This is advice to everyone from my friend and gardening inspiration, Hillary, who gave me a tour of her Lincoln allotment last week.

“Don’t worry about making mistakes,” she told me, “that’s what we all do with gardening!” 

Think about getting an allotment

The abundance of young plants resulting from the explosion of seed-sowing at the start of lockdown perhaps ask for a bit more space than a garden, and the time is ripe for getting an allotment and growing on…

Thinking about how to #buildbackbetter – spending time in my garden, with my child, is one of the things I want more of in the future. (I was filled with pride when he recently went outside, got out some plant pots, and announced that he was going to “do sowing”!) 

Build back better

Allotments represent much of what it means to me to build back better: reconnection with nature, the fresh air and the healthy soil; building food resilience by increasing urban growing; enjoying fresh, nourishing food that has travelled minimal distance; a positive, local response to the climate crisis; building community… something that was abundantly and warmly evident at the site – a friendly and peaceful place, where many greetings were exchanged during the brief hour that I spent there. I came home with a bag of lettuces from a stranger!

Hillary showed me around their well established rotation system, a plot for self-seeded flowers, a highly productive but carefully tamed bank of brambles, a composting system, a “lasagne” vegetable bed in progress, fruit trees and a cage of fruit bushes.

Geoff was planting out young sweetcorn plants and doing some weeding. Neighbouring plots housed chickens, and others were growing predominantly flowers or fruit trees.

Allotments in Lincoln

Here in Lincoln, the waiting lists for an allotment are short, and on many sites there are vacant plots available immediately, including (at the time of writing) Burton Ridge, Hykeham Road, Long Leys Road and Simons Hill sites. You can apply for an allotment online via the council website, it takes about 2 minutes.

Do you already have an allotment? How do you find it? What’s happening on your plot this week? Who and what inspires you to grow?

If you’re considering an allotment, what would get you started? What are your hopes and doubts?

If you’d like to invite me to your allotment, I’d like to share the allotment love on this blog through the year, and would be very pleased to visit and chat with you. Ping me an email: LauraStratfordgardens@gmail.com

Local food news from our blog:

Old Wood Organic: good food growing in Skellingthorpe

The story of Old Wood Organic is a covid lockdown story of extraordinary transformation. A bracken-filled clearing in a small area of woodland has made way for a productive, organic garden, and is already beginning to supply restaurants and individuals in Lincoln with just-picked organic salad and veg, delivered by bicycle. I think that counts… Continue reading Old Wood Organic: good food growing in Skellingthorpe

Welcome to my vegan allotment

Ady, who has 12 years experience growing a productive, wildlife-friendly, fully vegan allotment in Lincoln, tells us about his experience, really useful vegan methods, and beginner tips: control weeds, save seeds, experiment and enjoy!

Lincolnshire’s foodbanks are struggling under Covid

Did you know there are over 40 foodbanks and community larders in Lincolnshire, including: Deepings, Gainsborough, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, Louth, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford? People using the food banks had risen from nearly 1,600 in May 2019 to 7,216 in May 2020 (and this may still be an under-estimate) – an increase of 450%.… Continue reading Lincolnshire’s foodbanks are struggling under Covid

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