In recent years, allotments have become a much sought after commodity. This surge in demand is largely off the back of the popular ‘grow your own’ trend, but there are just as many people wanting to grow for leisure as there are for food. From both stances, there are considerable health benefits to be had from owning your own allotment.
As a hobby, running an allotment can provide an invaluable sanctuary from the noise, chaos and stress of everyday life. The combination of fresh air, nature and digital detachment is both regenerating and refreshing, creating an environment that is conducive to both mindfulness and head space, two cornerstones of emotional and mental wellbeing. In addition, all the digging and weeding provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. Then, of course, there’s the benefits of the end products. That is, unadulterated fresh produce that is free from the deleterious effects of chemical agents, genetic modification and transportation. Straight from the ground is inevitably the best way to ensure a high nutritional content, not to mention that all important taste value.
For National Allotment Week, we’ve spoken to 3 grow-your-own enthusiasts to see what they have gained most from having an allotment.
'For me, the main benefit of having an allotment has been to my mental health. It's such a great place to relax, unwind and to appreciate the simple pleasures of being outdoors and growing your own food.' Matt @modernvegplot
'Since owning my first allotment I have gained a huge sense of purpose. Learning to nurture my small and messy piece of paradise has in turn nurtured me. My mind is clearer, centred and overall more balanced.' Louise Smith, @shegrowswild
'Allotment gardening provides a multitude of health benefits. It's wonderful to grow a significant variety of fruit and vegetables you can't buy in the supermarkets. And managing an allotment is also a great way to spend time outside, with the family, getting fresh air and exercise.' Richard Chivers, @sharpenyourspades