Allotment virgin

Fri, 24/04/2009 - 14:58
Submitted by Guest

For those of us who dream about living in the country, or even dream about getting a garden; our only hope is an allotment. After three and a half years on the waiting list and approaching my 23rd Birthday, I have finally got one! I can’t tell you how excited I was, even more so that it already had rhubarb growing on it and what I guess was a shed at one point. 

A list of do’s and don’ts came through my door and I was amazed to find out that I could keep chickens if I wanted to. However, I have no idea where to start. Like the brat Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, I heard myself saying; I want the whole world on my allotment. I want chickens, and fruit, and vegetables, a pond, orchard trees, berries and bushes and so much more. So can I? Or even, should I?

The plot is larger than I thought and I probably could put a lot of these things on my pitch, but not all things will grow. Plus, my father tells me you need three or four chickens otherwise they die from loneliness. How tragic. What would I do with that many chickens? What would I do with that many eggs? So I think chickens are off the table, pardon the pun.

So the next couple of weeks, my nose will be submerged in an A-Z of vegetables and only raised to ask my fellow allotment holders about the soil. But the question still remains, how do I get the best out of my allotment? I guess only time will tell. In the mean time, I will tippy toe back and forth waiting for that moment when they hand me over the key. 


Freya Morris lives in Bristol.

If you want to get on your soapbox, email us your column, no more than 300 words please, along with a picture of yourself. We will publish a selection of the columns we receive on this website.

The opinions of this author do not reflect the opinion of Countryfile Magazine or BBC Worldwide.



The Joy of Chickens

Wed, 24/02/2010 - 16:15
Mike Williams

Great post

A few years ago I discovered the joy of growing my own vegetables the then keeping livestock. Like most
Like most I started with chickens and moved on to pigs, sheep and eventually a cow!

Buying chickens is one way to get started but a great way to get into keeping chickens is hatching your own
In an incubator; poultry incubation is a great pastime and with a bit of care and a splash of luck you will end up the proud
Parent of some fluffy chicks

I found a website that has lots of handy tips and advice.

Good luck!!

Go for the Chickens

Fri, 11/12/2009 - 11:45
Cindy Pellett

Don,t give up on the chicken idea, I can help if you need any and given the correct advice can be easy and very rewarding.
Also they will be your little helpers, with raised beds they can work empty soil and nibble at the grass on the paths between in the summer, the droppings are fantastic for the compost. The eggs are a brilliant barter currency, swopped for advice, seeds, plants and just general good will gift, there is something about freshly laid eggs that everyone loves.

I'd love one

Tue, 06/10/2009 - 18:33

I'd love an allotment - but living in semi rural Stratford Upon Avon ( ) (in a flat) there are virtually none! Yet for my family in Coventry there's a few to choose from. It's seems bizarre the more rural your house - the less chance you have of getting one. Lot's of living in semi rural towns still have little or no gardens :(

Must go check on my Window box!!!

I want to get my food miles

Fri, 02/10/2009 - 09:21

I want to get my food miles down. I want food with integrity, taste, nutrients, and the essence of the soil and seasons in it. I don't have a garden so a year ago I put my name down for an allotment. This morning I get my wish.

transforming our countryside into a theme park

Sun, 06/09/2009 - 20:34

Please at least get the spelling correct (Gill) and not the jumped up gyhll. This pass-time has been going for many years and guide books have been available since 1982! (Scrambles in the Lake District) had various Gill scrambles in it.
As for erosion of footpaths, what with Wainrights walks and Julia bounding over the Fells what do you expect? No wonder the MRTs are being over run with call outs and add to that the idiots who seem hell bent on building a cairn every ten paces!

Allotment heaven

Tue, 23/06/2009 - 12:59
Paul Dixon

Good luck with your allotment, I have had as many as 3 at once in the last 28 years, now only 1.
I have had many successes and failures but have enjoyed every minute of time spent on my patch, however do not try to develop your plot too much in you first year.
Each patch cultivated will need time to maintain and care for crops, weeds will be a constant problem so priority 1 is to stop weeds from seeding (ONE years seeds = SEVEN years weeds), I find that this old adage is about right as seeds can lay dormant for a number of years.
So keep your cultivated area weed free, and prevent weeds from seeding elsewhere.
If you have couch grass (Twitch) this need removed when found and destroyed

Good luck!

Sat, 25/04/2009 - 16:17

Good luck! You should get some help from people in turning the soil when you get the key. That way you can get stuff planted quickly, before the season is over!

Allotment newbey!

Fri, 24/04/2009 - 21:41

Everybody and anybody is trying to get or has an allotment! What an exciting prospect to start from scratch and grow your own! Well...apart from the rhubarb! Its amazing how long the waiting lists are for allotment allocation. Supply and demand is out of balance clearly. With so much emphasis on healthy eating and with the current economic climate its really good to see so many people growing their own fruit and veg. Good luck with your allotment and all that grows in it...please keep us all posted Freya on your crops and if you do decide to get those chickens...I'll buy yer eggs!
Jo D

More about BBC Worldwide.