It all started at Bake Club!! One of our members Gemma, and her mum Tina were talking about the local allotment site. Gemma has a couple of plots, and Tina makes jams and pickles from the harvest.
Following the WI vote for ‘Mental Health Matters’ it became apparent that Market Harborough WI should apply for one. It is widely documented that gardening, growing things and being in the fresh air can help to alleviate both depression and anxiety. It also links in well with the loneliness resolution from last year and provides an opportunity to do some exercise, without donning some dreadful Lycra!!
We applied to the Market Harborough and Bowden’s Charity, who own the site, outlining our reasons for wanting to rent an allotment. We were very fortunate to be allocated one almost immediately. We have use of an adjacent shed as well.
This project is not just about gardening. It provides a weekly time for members to meet up – perhaps just to chat, oversee the works in hand or make tea – we do have a camping stove!! It really is a project that potentially will embrace a number of members in very different ways. We hope that our Craft Club will perhaps construct a scarecrow; Bake Club to produce a recipe book – there are endless possibilities!
Saturday 14th August 2018, was our launch day. It was exceedingly hot, but a good number of our members attended. We enjoyed cold drinks, in particular gooseberry cordial and vegetable themed foods, carrot and courgette cakes.
Since then, we meet once a week. There is a calendar in the shed listing jobs that need to be done, plus a space on it for any ideas. We have made huge progress tidying the allotment. We have repaired and made the compost area bigger. We have acquired a greenhouse which we have recently erected – this will allow us to grow more tropical items.
Some of the ideas so far are to harvest and pack our own seeds to fund our project. One member would like to grow items that she can make into toiletries, such as lavender, which is already there; herbs for speciality soaps and aloe vera for a number of health and beauty products. Another member wishes to grow aubergines, just because!! Gemma has set up a Facebook page, so that our progress can be recorded.
If you are interested in joining us, then please e-mail: