There is a recent resurgence in the growing of food and gardening and with this there follows that the demand for allotments and other areas of land to be turned over to horticulture increases. This increase in my favorite pastime is welcomed as the more people involved means there are more views, techniques and experiences to share and subsequently a much brighter environment to live in., However there are two types of 'gardener' that i despise beyond all other things. These are the 40+ earthy types that think that because ~I am young I don't know the first thing about gardening offering unwelcome out of date advice that contradicts everything that I am doing and doing well.
The second are the 'One week wonders' who turn up to their newly obtained allotment in there jeans and berghaus hiking boots on a nice sunny spring morning with all the energy and excitement of a toddler in a ball pool, brandishing the polythene clad set of tools that they have just been to Homebase or B&Q to buy at a premium rate who can be spotted a mile off.
I do not want anybody to think that I don't want people to start on allotments as everyone has got to start some where and out of the band of the enthusiastic there will be a small number that do carry on and develop their plots into crop producing patches of heaven. Its the Jamie Oliver watching, Hugh fearnley whatnot wannabes who watch their latest episode of river cottage and use terms like 'The Good Life' and 'Gardening by the moon'and think they want a slice of rural life not realizing that the two men in question are both millionaires and have a full horticultural and production team behind them.
Just recently I read an article in a popular kitchen gardening magazine about allotment size and allotment sharing. I did not realize but alot of local councils have reduced the average size allotments and now there are half and more worryingly quarter size allotments being offered to people on the waiting list. I can get my head around half allotments and welcomed the incorporation of these onto a small proportion of a traditional allotment site but a quarter plot. This seems unacceptable to me as what is the point of a quarter plot. On my plot a quarter of the plot is for potatoes and another quarter is for flowers with the other half for everything else. If i only had quarter of a plot what would I grow? It suddenly dawned on me who the sort of people asking for these plots and complaining about being on the waiting lists of councils for years at a time were. Where were these people when allotment sites were empty struggling for numbers and being swallowed up by housing developers and the like. It seems to me that these Easter weekend gardeners are just looking for the latest middle class accessory and not a way of changing dietary or food producing attitudes of themselves and their families.