Imagine a typical scene at the local allotments. Older men wearing caps and clad in their favourite gardening gear, gathered together in a ramshackle shed plonked next to an overgrown plot discussing how great it is to escape the house and wife, is probably the picture your mind conjures up. But things are very different these days...
Take a look at the website - yes, website - for Green Lane allotments in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The site consists of 60 plots (with the now obligatory waiting list) and their web presence is indicative of how allotment associations are shrugging off the pre-conceived image portrayed above and harnessing the power of the world-wide web. These days you’re just as likely to find young professionals tilling the land down the local plot as world-wise wizened old wife-dodgers!
The popularity – and increase in numbers – of grow-your-own TV gardening programmes and the celebrity status of presenters such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, along with constant media reminders on climate change, global warming and the benefits of organic produce – along with the accessibility to allotments and information the web has brought - have all contributed to a boom in vegetable growing, and with such well-produced websites as the Green Lane example, such interest is more than likely to be maintained.
I’ve posted a comment on the Green Lane blog as they’ve got a rather interesting thread on the go regarding the gardening tools and equipment you just can’t do without. I’ve mentioned the Sneeboer short fat trowel – a constant companion of mine in the garden – and I’m sure you’ve got your own favourites to tell everyone about!