‘Get yourself an allotment, it’s the great green gym’, says Goodmayes plot holder

Organic food growers at the Goodmayes Allotment Open Day

Organic food growers at the Goodmayes Allotment Open Day - Credit: Kevin Dunnett

There are few things which can get you fit, help the environment and fill your belly all at the same time.

These are just some of the benefits of having an allotment according to enthusiast Susan Cunningham, who has been tilling the land for two decades.

This week is National Allotment Week, which gives those with plots a chance to show them off and to celebrate the allotment movement throughout the UK.

Susan, a committee member of the Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society, said that while having an allotment is not an easy hobby, it is very rewarding.

“It’s a very healthy activity and you know it’s been grown organically as no chemicals are used,” Susan said.

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“There are also no air miles to get it here so it’s fresh and within 10 minutes you are cooking something you just picked.”

She has had a plot in Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes for the past eight years and said the waiting list can be anything from one to two years to get a site.

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Susan said: “It’s getting more popular, but having said that, a lot of people think it’s an easy hobby but it’s not – it takes a lot of hard work. It’s not just digging and planting. It’s known as the great green gym.”

She said part of the reason allotments are getting increasingly popular is that people are becoming more concerned about what it is they are eating.

One of the next projects the allotment society want to do is building raised plots so people who are elderly or are disabled can continued gardening.

Susan added: “It’s a lifeline for some people. It’s an outside space for people without gardens and it’s a great education tool for children who don’t know where food comes from.”

She said they also encourage people to plant flowers to encourage bees which pollinate plants.

n Want to find out more? Go along to the Goodmayes Allotment Festival on September 1 from 1-5pm.

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