1. Know where your food comes from
These days it’s all too easy to visit the local supermarket for our fruit and veg needs. But often this produce comes from half way across the world and may have been intensively farmed. Growing your own produce means you know the food you are eating.
2. Save money – grow your own
It does not cost much to have an allotment and you also save on your weekly shop. The cost of seeds is minimal and so the main effort in growing produce on an allotment is your time.
3. Meet new people
Allotments are a great way to meet like-minded people. With people of all ages and from all walks of life you are bound to make friends with your allotment neighbours! Sharing produce and sharing tips and experiences of allotments can help everyone make the most of their plot.
4. Teach children where their food comes from
Many children have no association with farming and horticulture - allotments allow children to get back in touch with where their food comes from and get their hands dirty. They might even surprise you and eat vegetables they didn’t think they liked! Why not give children their own space on the allotment?
5. Reduce food waste
Only grow the produce you will eat – and share with your neighbours. Allowing vegetables and fruit to stay on the plant means you can harvest when you need them and reduce waste from bulk-buying from the supermarket.
6. Make habitats for wildlife
Owning an allotment plot allows you to cut your carbon footprint by growing your own as well as making fantastic habitats for wildlife such as robins, hedgehogs, frogs and bumblebees. Allotments are a great habitat for a range of wildlife and your plot can be a great place to get up close views of wildlife. By growing organically, you can also reduce the amount of pesticides entering the soil which has a profound effect on the number of helpful insects which can improve growing conditions in the long run.
7. Keep fit
Spending half an hour a day digging, raking or mowing can burn between 120 and 165 calories per activity. If you are not a gym goer or not keen on jogging, an allotment can be a great chance to get fit as well as growing your own healthy produce which will encourage you to eat healthily. It’s also good for your mental wellbeing too.
8. Local community greenspace
Allotment fields are part of the wider community and a great place to come together. You can also share a plot with neighbours, family or friends if you are short of time.
9. Healthy competition
Allotment fields are a fantastic opportunity for healthy competition between friends. Whether growing the biggest pumpkin or who can grow the oddest shaped tomato, allotments allow for some healthy competition in both senses of the word! What’s the weirdest or wonkiest veg you’ve grown in your allotment plot? We’d love to see it!
10. A chance to recycle
Allotments are a chance to reuse a number of household or garden items and reduce your waste. Doors can become greenhouses, old felt can become a roof. What ideas do you have about items you can use on an allotment?
If you are interested in having an allotment plot in Ipswich visit www.ipswich.gov.uk/content/renting-allotment