Chorlton Allotments

One of the many cool things we saw in Manchester was the allotment that Graeme and Bernadette are members of along with a small group of other people.  It’s less than a block from their home and situated right on the edge of beautiful Chorlton Park.  One evening we walked through the park, watched a group of young men playing cricket for a while, then stopped at their Allotment before heading back.

In the UK, allotments are small sections of land often owned by local government and rented to individuals usually for the purpose of growing food crops.   They can also be self managed and owned by the allotment holders through an association. Some allotments are even owned by the Church of England.

– Original Allotments:
The history of allotments can be said to go back over a thousand years to when the Saxons would clear a field from woodland which would be held in common. Following the Norman conquest, land ownership became more concentrated in the hands of the manorial lords, monasteries and church. The reformation in the 1540s confiscated much of the church lands but they were transferred via the crown to the lords.

In the late 1500s under Elizabeth I common lands used by the poor for growing food and keeping animals began to be enclosed dispossessing the poor. In compensation allotments of land were attached to tenant cottages. This is the first mention of allotments. – from  www.allotment.org.uk

These days, growing concerns throughout the UK about genetic modification, chemical pollution and contamination of food as well as the desire for the freshest possible local, seasonal food have caused a rise in the demand for allotment spaces, empty plots are filling fast and waiting lists are no longer a thing of the past.

– Some things in season now:
artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, courgette, fennel, lettuces & salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, rocket, runner beans, spinach, spring onions, turnips, watercress, cherries, elderflowers, gooseberries, kiwi fruit, strawberries, basil, chives, dill, elderflowers, mint, nasturtium, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sorrel

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