Allotments are all over England – small parcels of land, often council owned, that are used by keen gardeners to grow fruit and vegetables. They’re a wonderful idea and when Adam and I have been driving around cities and towns, I look out for them. They’re a great green beacon that stand out from the grey sky and muted coloured houses.
My grandfather, who was born in England, often tells stories about the lovely big gardens his family had when he was a child. Tilling the land is a passion he continues to have today, so seeing allotments for myself is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time.
In Adam’s family, the allotment is at his Aunty Lisa’s house and is mainly maintained by her and Grandad Len.
Although it’s starting to get too cold to grow most things now, I had a good poke around over the weekend.
They’re generally pretty divisive at the dinner table, but I simply adored the brussel sprout plants. Up until yesterday I hadn’t seen sprouts being grown and hadn’t really thought about what sort of plant the mini cabbages might come off.
There were rows of brassicas in all sorts of shades of green and purple covered in tiny water droplets from showers of rain the previous night. I can imagine plucking the leaves to stir into hearty soups and stews, or perhaps mixed through a cheesy pasta.
Although strawberry season is well and truly over, the tiny plants are holding up well against the cooler weather and are still looking quite vibrant.
Before Adam came to Australia he looked after one end of the allotment which housed an apple tree he’d nicknamed Brian. Lisa and Len took on Adam’s portion when he left and they say Brian delivers a bountiful crop every year.
We were gifted of some of Brian’s fruit the other week, which is still sitting in a bag chilling in Adam’s mum’s garage. When we move into our house in a few weeks time, I think a celebratory apple pie might be on the cards!
Adam and I both enjoy pottering around outside, so I think we’ll be recruited to the gardening team. England has such distinct seasons, it’ll almost be like getting four gardens a year because of the ongoing changes. Plus, is there anything quite nicer than being able to wander down a path to garden, pick ingredients you’ve grown yourself and then cook up something delicious?!