There are so many big problems.
It’s hard to avoid them. They seem to extend into every part of life. It has become normal, it seems, to expect bad news, to wake up with a groan ready for Radio 4.
But here’s some good news: there is huge demand, in England, right now, for an answer. A small answer with big potential.
A patch. Several square metres of soil. A Sunday afternoon. An allotment.
It’s not the whole answer, but it is a part of one, and it is part of an answer that, in fact, needs to see us turn back to small parts, to locality, to local communities, and to the individuals in them.
Allotments are good in so many ways. They provide people with meaningful outdoor work, a chance to get involved in the land, as well as walk through it. They foster communities that span generations and cultures, united in the camaraderie of growing, in something ancient, and deeply human.
They provide food that is free from packaging, waste, and exploitation. It is cheap, organic, healthy. Studies suggest that allotments are oases of biodiversity. That their soil is healthy, their insects happy. Moreover, with the potential to grow food at the same rate per square metre as conventional farms, they could, in principle, service nearly 40% of the UKs fruit and vegetable consumption. Even a fraction of this would be great.
And a fraction of it is possible.
Allotments in the UK have become notorious for their long waiting lists. Many people, we believe, would have an allotment if they were available, and they and the planet would enjoy all of these benefits more and more.
Hence, Green Allotments. Our project is to find plots of land across the UK, buy them, and rent them out to local communities for a peppercorn rent, helping to service the demand for allotments, and bring about the great things they enable.
Join us, as we explore the benefits of allotments one by one, discover the science behind soil health, the interesting things they don’t tell you in Geography about biodiversity, and the amazing things other people have done with their patch. We will range from the tiny to the global, from the soil to the sky, as we look at the world from the perspective of the allotment.