Friday, February 17, 2012

Where are the allotments?

I grew up in England, where allotment gardening was part of life. You often had to wait a long time for one to be available, but then you had space to grow all your family's fruit and vegetables.

I remember the one that my Dad was allocated; it was overrun with couch-grass and nettles, and almost-impossible to get under control. And the allotments in Manton, Rutland, where I lived when my daughters were born. My then-father-in-law told stories of how his dad had somehow "captured" more than his fair share of allotments to grow his prize dahlias.

I saw allotments in the center of Warsaw, Poland, and in the Netherlands, too. They provide growing-space for people who don't have enough growing-space at home, who live in apartments, or who simply love gardeing.

Allotments are made available at an affordable rental and gardeners are expected to keep their own plots neat, tidy, and free of invasive plants. Usually you're allowed, or provided-with, a shed or other structure for keeping tools or garden chairs whatever you need to enjoy gardening.

There may be a small orchard at one end of the allotment, lots of vegetable plants, and flowers too.

So where are America's allotment gardens? There are a few 'community gardens', run on a similar pattern, but nothing like the systems in many other countries. And yet there are many fine parks and open areas within American cities, where allotments could be opened up.

What do you think? Would people use them--or are they too-suspiciously-socialist-like for the average Joe?

1 comment:

  1. There are some community gardens in the city, as well as some allotments that I have seen here and there. You can also join a co-op where you get a box of seasonal fruit and veg every week or so. Or, if you have rooftop access you can grow stuff on the roof. Nothing like in Europe though...