Thursday, 21 June 2007

Grow Your Own – Allotments hit the silver screen!

A new film, Grow Your Own has been released which centres on the allotment and the part it can play in forming communities from individuals. It is based on a real project to give Balkan War refugees allotments in Liverpool. Gardening as therapy for those who have experienced real trauma is increasingly recognised as beneficial, as The Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture has found in its work with torture survivors. Those involved in the charity’s natural growth project find it easier to talk about the past outside, on one of the projects allotments.

Grow Your Own follows the lives of the plotholders over a year, and focuses on the changes which ensue when two new tenants arrive: Diveen Henry’s widowed Zimbabwean √©migr√© Miriam (with son in tow) and broken, Chinese mute Kung Sang, who’s unable to care for his two kids. As the seasons pass, the elder tenants and their new neighbours begin to connect and, inevitably, grow along with their produce. The full review can be seen here

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Allotment diary May 2007

I cant believe I am doing my diary for may and it is the middle of June. I guess that I have been so busy planting and watering things that I have not had time to write about it! It has been really dry on the allotments during May. I tried to water as much as I could, but like many people did not make it up everyday. I am not sure whether I should just give up on my carrot seeds, but think I will give them another couple of weeks to appear. I have sown them 3 times now. I have seen a couple of tiny seedlings, which have disappeared. Slugs? Mice? Birds? Aliens? Who knows!

Other than this things are doing ok. My peas are a little yellow, and I think it is magnesium deficiency so I have put some epsom salts on them. I don’t get such a good crop as other plots. I need to go and ask what the trick is!

It looks like a bumper year for fruit.

Strawberries are just beginning to ripen

Plums are blooming

Currents are ripening

Apples are looking good.

Onions and garlic need some rain really to swell them up a bit but they are ok, courgettes are settling in.

We have dug up the first new potatoes, we used to wait until June, but by the time we get to the end of them they have become floury and are more prone to slug damage. We dig them up so early we need 3 plants for the family, but they do taste good!

The allotments are looking lovely, foxgloves and iris giving splashes of colour. Most people have a few flowers on the plots to encourage the bees and those butterflies!

On the pond the lily leaves are up, but no flowers yet. The tadpoles are getting fatter. We have seen damselflies on the pond, two types, the blue ringtail and the emerald rubyspot. It is such a peaceful and relaxing place to be, and there is nothing more stress busting than an hour by the pond with a good book! Why not put a pond on your allotment or in your garden? The . BBC website tells you how.