the allotment shop

I Love The Allotment Shop

I love the allotment shop. Or shed, as it is known around here.

It took me a while to cotton on to how great the shop is. This might have been because it is only open for a few hours a week, or maybe I’ve just become programmed to do my seed shopping online with a nice cup of tea.

But there is something special about the shed, and I feel I should get behind it. It has a wonderful earthy, damp smell – like a garden centre, but better, and the profits go straight back to the plots, which is really important.

Cheap Seeds
This week, I also realised that it’s pretty darn cheap as well. I got myself some DT Brown peas and mangetout for £1.40 a pack when the DT website has them for £1.69. I think this is because out plots take up the DT Brown Gardening Club offer, which certainly agrees with me – especially this year.

Many other allotment associations do this too, so it’s worth checking out your shop to see if the seeds are cheaper than the local stores and garden centres.

Last year, I got some DT Brown Spring Hero F1 for the princely sum of £1.05. On the DT Brown website this year, they’re £1.89!

There is also a big basket of old, out of date seeds. Some go back as far as 2003, but for 10p, I haven’t always been able to resist the temptation.

Great Advice
And of course, probably the greatest thing about the shed is Ron and Val, who run it, and the advice they freely give out. I bought a pound mildew resistant Santero F1 onion sets for £3, as Ron grew them on his plot last year and said they did really well.

Advice on what veg grows well, by someone who has grown it on the same site as me? I like my garden centre, but I wouldn’t get that sort of knowledge there!

Nor would you get the community. When I wander into the shop, there is often a group of people sat on the old chair chewing the cud. They normally take the mickey out of me for being a relative newby, but I don’t really. I kind of like it.

It took me a while to work it out, but the shop’s as much a part of allotment life as the plots themselves, and long may it flourish.

4 thoughts on “I Love The Allotment Shop”

  1. Hi Jono, Glad to have come across your blog. I used to live in Burnham years ago. I have a brother & sister who still do. My first allotment was at Burnham. I wonder if they are still in the same place? My plot backed onto some council houses and once, l grew a really good crop of carrots, came along one day to get some and the lot had gone! No names mentioned but they had a reputation. I was only 10 years old. Didn’t put off and continue to this day. I used to sell my excess veg to Mick Nethercoat, the local green grocer.
    We live in France now but are looking at coming back to dear old Blighty.
    Keep up the good work. Its a great read.

  2. We dont have an allotment shop or shed. Apparently we get discounts on seeds and fruit bushes through the association but it seems a bit of a closed shop. I managed to get the fruit bush catalogue and ordered some from there but about a 1/3rd havent sprouted leaves unlike plants I bought myself which were a little more expensive.

    For me I’m not that interested in the community as so far all I seem to get is people telling me what I should do unsolicited and all contradicting each other!! I tend to go very early in the morning or on the way home as the peace and quiet is what I need most at the moment but everyone gets different things from allotments which is way they are so good

    1. Hi Helen.

      I do know what you mean. I think some of the older tenants are a little wary of newbies at the beginning, especially since growing your own has become so much more popular, and the type of people doing it is much more diverse. Its taken me a while to be accepted.

      Dusk time is the best on the plots. So quiet then, there’s not a soul about and everything is so really still. Can’t beat it.

  3. Ah, that’s one of the things I imagine I’d like about an allotment, the social aspect. For someone who’s new to this game, I’d really appreciate having all that advice on tap, even if a lot of it is conflicting!

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