Monday 25 May 2020

Is Your Plot Cultivated ?

This above illustration was drawn for Punch in the 1950s. In those days, men did wear smart clothes even in factories, often with a waistcoat and pocket watch. It was mainly men on allotments (certainly in the North or England) as women ruled the home, and man still took his role as hunter gatherer seriously and Dig for Victory and growing your own food was still very much on the public's mind following the WWII and the rationing that went on for many years after.

Society has changed a lot since then, there are more women, and young families taking up allotments. Those in flats with no garden will sometimes set aside an area for their children to play in whilst they are growing vegetables in a growing area and flowers else where, treating the allotment as a garden. Most allotments will allow BBQ but many have restrictions re having fires these days. 

Then there are those plot holders that want to create wild flower habitats, not really in the ethos of growing vegetables, and difficult to do properly without it just looking like an overgrown weedy mess that will anger serious vegetable growers that are neighbours.  

Small ponds are quite popular, however one needs to consider ensuring that animals and small children can extract themselves from the water should they fall in. Tadpoles frogs & Toads are normally the aim as they help with slug & snail control as long as one isn't using blue pellets of death. Then people forget that ponds attract mosquitoes and other biting insects so ponds are a double edged sword.  

During the lockdown there has been more pressure placed on councils and managing companies with regards waiting lists for allotments which is a good thing. Also as people on lockdown were technically allowed to exercise and visit their allotments and could not work combined with the dry weather, we have seen many plot holders who only just manage to scrape through inspections get on top of their allotments and have them more organised and weed free than we have ever seen before. 

There are a few like myself who are vulnerable or carers of vulnerable people that have had to self isolate before lockdown and will have to continue to reduce the risk after lockdown. I'm luck in that my sister in law is watering what I managed to get in before lockdown and my daughter is keeping the weeds down and putting in the infrastructure of beds and paths for me on my new plot.

 Many Associations nation wide have taken the decision to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips and annual judging competitions together with Committee meetings and Annual General Meetings

It would appear that because of the Coronavirus that site inspections in the London Borough of Sutton are not likely to take place this year as there is little way of knowing how many at risk plot holders are isolating for the full 12 weeks and beyond.

So no arguments this year about what the definition of Cultivated actually means it would appear. 


No comments:

Post a Comment