Wednesday, 29 August 2012
More thoughts from down the plot.
People take on allotments for a number of reasons. Many see it as a lifestyle choice. Something that they have seen in the colour sups or on the telly and that seems like a nice idea. Bit like having a new kitchen or going skiing. A few months down the road and after a wet summer like this one and with what few crops did come up having been devastated by slugs and the plot an impenetrable jungle of weeds, it all begins to look a bit too real. A bit too hands on. As I say, we all have our own reasons for working an allotment and not the least of these is not having a garden and just needing a place to escape to. Just a place to potter - and I am convinced that for many of us there is a great store of therapeutic self-nourishment to be found pottering about on a patch of ground. For myself I feel that my allotment connects me in some way with the world of food production . I listen to the farming program most mornings and take a keen interest in how the harvest is going. I know from my own small plot that this has been a difficult growing season and that the poor harvest in America and Russia will result in a rise in world food prices and, sneer if you want, but I find that my own efforts down the plot make me feel a part of all of this. I have always been interested in the wartime Dig For Victory campaign when every available piece of ground was turned over to food production. However, when you look at the stats you soon come to realise that,wonderful though the Dig For Victory campaign was, it's contribution to the nations food was tiny compared with that of the North Atlantic convoys or even the ploughing up of the downland. What Dig For Victory did do was make people feel a part of the war effort. It helped connect us to something larger and to each other. Funny the things that come to mind when you're digging spuds.