It must be hugely satisfying to sit at a dinner table with a plate in front of you bursting with the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour. If you get yourself an allotment, you can do just that.
Allotments have existed in the UK for hundreds of years, and provide a way for individuals to have their own little bit of land where they can grow produce of their choosing.
UK law stipulates that local authorities retain a certain amount of land as allotments, which is fantastic news for those living in flats or houses without garden space.
Here are some of the good things about having an allotment:
you can cultivate healthy, organic food at low cost
it's a productive way of spending time in the great outdoors
you'll feel a sense of satisfaction and achievement at growing your own food
it keeps you fit
you'll learn a range of horticultural skills
it's a chance to meet new people
you'll be helping to keep green spaces green
Allotments are popular so you may have to put your name on a waiting list. This excellent web page enables you to simply enter your postcode to find out the location of your nearest allotment. Another good resource is this website.
Allotments come in all sizes and can cost anything from £30 to £100 per year.
Keeping an allotment requires a decent amount of time and effort, so you should be sure you can make the commitment. One way would be to share the work with a friend or two.
You'll also need to carefully consider what you plant and when, and how many types of fruit and veg you're going to attempt grow. Some allotment novices opt for just a couple of kinds of veg and then find they have a ton of cabbages all ready at once.
Unless you're on a cabbage diet, you won't be wanting all of them, so think how you can make sure they don't go to waste. Hopefully you'll have enough friends to whom you can distribute excess produce.
Overall, once you've learnt the basics, keeping an allotment can be a very gratifying experience, keeping you fit, educating you about the rudiments of farming, and filling your fridge with the freshest fruit and veg you're ever likely to eat.