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Grow Your Own

When the going gets tough, grow your own vegetables.

Waiting lists for allotments across the UK now exceed 100,000! It seems there is an enduring allure to going through the process of digging, planting, growing and harvesting your own vegetables. It is local, organic, and if everyone I know who has an allotment is to be believed, the produce is much, much tastier. They can’t all be lying.

From plot to plate (Photo: PeterAstn/flickr)

From plot to plate (Photo: PeterAstn/flickr)

The majority of the land in the UK is owned by around 1% of the population, so new land for allotments is hard to come by. The National Trust, however, recently announced they will turn over parts of their land across the UK to provide allotments for local people who want them.

The last time public land was given over to be cultivated was the ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign during WW2 – you can see some fascinating original documents for this campaign on the Earthly Pursuits website  that are full of handy tips like, “One word of warning: don’t try to sow seed when the soil sticks to your boots. Wait for a fine spell”.

It is expected to be a popular move, and the NT have even asked old hands with years of experience to come and help teach keen younger whippersnappers a thing or two about how to become green fingered and how to maximise yields.

If local produce is high on your agenda, head for  our Gastronomic Cycling Holiday in the Loire or or Gastronomic Cycling in Provence holidays that are packed with delicious local produce, so you can do some memorable cycling during the day, and feel good about having a gourmet feast in the evenings!

If you enjoy growing your own veg then this is a great blog for ideas and tips – it’s called http://www.mytinyplot.co.uk/.

Curious facts and quotes

The National Trust was set up more in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley  to protect coastline, countryside and buildings perceived to be under threat. It looks after more than 248,000 hectares (612,000 acres) of land as well as more than 200 houses and gardens.

“The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond”.
Mae West