Annabelle is my name and Life at No.27 is my allotment journey which started on the 28th October 2015. A journey that has only really just begun but has changed my life tremendously.
As a young girl I was always outdoors, I remember my parents having an allotment, climbing trees, getting lost on foggy moors and entering paintings and decorated biscuits in local autumn shows to name a few of our regular adventures. I was one of the first girls to join the Scouts, even winning Best on Camp on a camping expedition. This installed foundation has stayed with me and something I strongly believe shaped my values and future.
Since becoming an ‘adult’, not that we really ever grow up, I had dreamed of having my own haven of fresh air and tranquility to grow my own produce. Why you ask?
There is so many reasons why, starting with wanting to know where my produce came from, the ability to grow organically, to ease my anxiety, save money and create something that was my little bit of paradise. A passion for gardening runs through my family, my grandparents have always been passionate gardeners, so the need to get my hands dirty and be creative must be ingrained in me.
Roll on to April 2015, I moved away from a 3 year allotment waiting list to the countryside, put myself on the local council list and started trying to learn to my own fruit and vegetables in pots and containers at home. A few months later, the email and offer of No.27 arrived in my inbox, I still remember the sudden excitement and urge to go visit the plot immediately.
With minimal experience, a waist high overgrown plot full of perennial weeds but bucket loads of enthusiasm and determination, I was excited but certainly apprehensive of the journey ahead.
I was determined and still am to make it a highly productive vision; full of colour, inspiration to young and old and my own small attempt to change the ‘allotmenteer’ stereotype.
After doing plenty of research through books and YouTube in between working full time and studying at university, I decided that best way for me to approach the daunting sight before me was to first strim back the growth. I could then see what I had to deal with and organically double dig my way to finish line through the winter months ready for Spring.
I recently reached my 1st allotment and blogging birthday and am sure it will be the first of many. My journey has involved plenty of hard work, commitment, and lessons learnt, but with that brings the biggest sense of pride and achievement. I could never give that up! Sowing a tiny seed in a small pot of compost, nurturing it for months before planting it out in the ‘big wide world’, all the while keeping my fingers crossed for success. Leading to the penultimate time of harvesting and turning my very own produce into delicious delights. It is all down to nature and we have been doing this for thousands of years but it is and always will be a miracle to me.
Lastly, in the short time I have been gardening and developing my knowledge, I have decided that gardening should be essential no matter who you are and will always be a non-stop learning process with lots of excitement along the way. It is just about finding a way to inspire each individual, from nursery age to the experienced generation to just…give it a go.