Benefits of Allotment Gardening
Allotments have been enjoying a resurgence in the last decade as people have discovered the immense pleasure they bring. It’s thought that the idea of common ground for growing food can be traced as far back as the Anglo Saxon period. The ‘modern’ allotment dates back to the 19th century when land was provided to the poor to enable them to grow food to improve their health.
Today’s allotment owners come from all sorts of backgrounds. The appeal is enormous. Not only can you grow your own fruit and veg, which definitely tastes much better than shop-bought alternatives, but there are other benefits to be had.
Firstly, you know exactly what you’re growing and where it’s come from; there’s no need to worry about food miles when you’ve got an allotment. Secondly, gardening is good for the body and soul. According to the National Allotment Society, just 30 minutes of gardening will burn 150 calories.
In addition to being great exercise, which improves physical and mental health, being outdoors will also improve your vitamin D levels (just don’t forget the sun screen and hats for when the sun finally comes out). And finally, the allotment is a place to meet up with like-minded fellow allotment owners. And a bit of chat over the garden fork is a lovely way to lift the spirits.
Allotment benefits in your kitchen
You do need to put in the effort but thousands of allotment owners will tell you that it’s definitely worth it, even when the weather is being less than clement. Once you’ve nurtured and tended your crops, it’s time for the best part: the harvest, and the eating.
Eating produce fresh out of the ground is of course fantastic, but this isn’t always possible. Preserving is a very old custom, and as a nation, we are famous for our jams, conserves, chutneys and pickles. Not only can you continue to enjoy your harvest throughout the year, but it’s also a great way to deal with a glut if you’re lucky enough to have one. And a jar of home-grown, home-made jam or chutney in a pretty jar makes a perfect gift – if you can bring yourself to part with it.
You don’t have to stop at pickling and preserving as your fruit and veg can play a starring role on the table in the form of casseroles, curries, cakes and pies. Ultimately, your meals will be all the more enjoyable for your allotment gardening efforts.