Growing your own tasty food to enjoy with friends and family is just one benefit of allotment life. In celebration of National Allotment Week, we unearth the wellbeing benefits of having your own small patch of land.
Get those creative juices flowing
Allotments come in all shapes and sizes – from a veg box on your balcony, to a full-sized vegetable patch, half the size of a tennis court. You can grow just about anything from French beans, to pumpkins, to sunflowers, cabbage, carrots…the possibilities are endless. Having your own piece of land to nurture and cultivate and learn new life skills is fantastic for keeping your brain active. Creative manager, Lara Kenny said “Access to green space is proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress, and is a great way to reduce your screen time in front of a laptop or mobile phone”.
Eco-anxiety is a growing concern amongst those who worry about the future of our planet and the impact of climate change. Allotments can play a part in working toward a greener future. Not only do you connect with seasonality of fruit and veg, you reduce your road miles as there’s less reliance on supermarkets. Executive chef at PwC, Chris Phypers said: “Customers are always impressed their food is grown on the rooftop of the office. We’re now looking to investigate expanding to square foot gardening, such as planting sweetcorn with courgettes, as we know they pair well together”.
Sense of community
With over 330,000 allotments across the UK, there’s lots of opportunities to meet like-minded people, eager to share their tips and tricks. Many allotment communities have their own Association which always brings together neighbours from all walks of life. Communications Manager, Elizabeth Histed said: “We moved to a new county last year, and our allotment has been a great way to meet people in our village. We’re looking forward to the annual pumpkin growing competition this year, which often ends up with drinks in the local pub after the judging”.
All the physical energy from weeding your allotment can certainly help you sleep better. Digging or raking a lawn for 30 minutes requires as much energy as a 2km (1.2-mile) run. Not forgetting spending as little as 15 minutes a day out in the summer sunshine can build up your levels of vitamin D.
Pennies to peas
Properly managed, an allotment can produce enough food for a family’s weekly shop. With the cost of food rising, ‘grow your own’ could offer a cheaper alternative to get your five a day. If you don’t have time to look after a full-sized plot, even a veg box in your garden could supply you with a seasonal crop of French beans or shallots. Head chef, Chris Dickson said: “I love knowing the food on the dinner plate has been raised from a tiny seed. A £1.99 packet of seeds can grow up to 30 plants”.
If you’re feeling inspired to start growing your own, we offer lots of discounts for BaxterStorey employees, from leading brands such as Wickes and B&Q to get you started!
Wellbeing is all about changing or improving our habits in order to feel better in ourselves. If you’re a BaxterStorey team member, we offer lots of advice on wellbeing – visit our REACH portal on The Vine for more information.