Zen and the art of being an allotmenteer

MUWAGAawvBeing a person of little imagination, I thought I would plagiarise one of those iconic titles Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig who died this year. It all came to mind when I was at the Milton allotments a few weeks ago and looked at the people around me –there was just this busy but calm ambience and I was moved to take a few photos. People have allotments for all sorts of reasons: saving money (although it may be marginal); growing food and knowing what has been used in its production; using it as a green gym; stress busting or just simply getting outside. Of course, looking after an allotment is a combination of pleasure and hard work. We need the ability to accept that nature in its many forms will try to eat your food before you can get to it, and that the weather will not always oblige in letting your sowings grow and prosper.
Some people do give up, perhaps due to ill health or simply changing priorities. If so, it is a shame, but if you want to give it a go there are ways of making it more manageable:

    • Take on a half or quarter of a plot
    • Do not try to cultivate it all in the first year – clear a manageable bit of space and grow your favourite crops there. Simply cut the weeds and grass on the rest to keep it neat. You can always clear a bit more next year.
    • Ask your neighbouring plot holders for help – they are normally very approachable and happy to give a hand.

As an existing plot holder at the Milton allotments I, and I assume all the plot holders on any site, want to see our neighbouring plots in use and productive rather than hosting a load of rough grasses and weeds. There are plots free at Milton and Shipton, so if it sounds interesting to you why not give it a go? You will find a lot of helpful people pleased to see you there.

What is MUWAGA up to?
On the 15th June MUWAGA members enjoyed an excellent visit to Bruern Manor with many thanks to Lord Glendonbrook for this opportunity to see the superb gardens. Looking ahead, do not forget the MUWAGA Produce Show, which will be held in Milton Village Hall on 26th August, starting at 2 p.m. Our 2017/18 season of speaker events kicks off on 27th September with a talk on ‘Non-native plants and their collection.’ Talks are in Milton Village Hall and start at 7:30 p.m. Members and non-members are welcome; I look forward to seeing you.

Happy gardening

Tony Lewis