Tim, Rowditch Allotments

Tim, Rowditch Allotments

I’ve had my plot at Rowditch Allotments for just over a year. My Romanian partner Maggie and I felt an allotment fitted in with our lifestyle and values.

We love to cook with fresh ingredients and enjoy improvising - creating our own recipes. We prefer not to shop at supermarkets and we buy local organic produce. Visiting my parents’ allotment and coming back with bags full of fresh goodies inspired us to have a go ourselves.

I didn’t even know there was an allotment just a five minute walk away from my house. The Chair of Rowditch Allotments showed us around the site and offered us a vacant plot.

I work full-time in IT and write blogs in my spare time. The allotment has transformed my week. Before, I used to live for the weekends but the allotment has given my weekday evenings a more meaningful focus.

I’m quite an impatient person and at first I thought I could clear my plot of weeds all in one go. The allotment somehow forces you to slow down, appreciate your natural surroundings, and take satisfaction from every few feet of progress you make. After work I love to go to our plot and spend a few hours in the fresh air. I usually have my headphones in, listening to music or sports. I’ll be happily weeding away, a robin will come and I’ll feed it worms and time just flies past. It’s fantastic. When I’ve finished a patch I get so much satisfaction just knowing that I did it all myself.

Since having my plot I’ve become a hunter of other people’s unwanted stuff. I’ve joined Freecycle and I’m always scanning any skip I find for useful bits of wood, pipes, bricks and slabs for my plot. I was so excited to find large glass panels and a large cabinet which I’m now turning into a cloche.

We had no gardening experience when we got our plot but it didn’t matter. You learn as you go along. Although, you do have to keep hold of your confidence through the peaks and troughs of growing your own. It was heart-breaking to lose some of our very first crops to birds but we learnt about netting crops albeit the hard way. By the time we’d planted the other plots were ready to harvest. We got a good crop of Romanian pale courgettes and I’d bought a poly-tunnel to extend our growing season and grew tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in pots.

Tim’s favourite plot to plate: Courgettes stuffed with rice & minced chicken, cooked in a tomato & garlic sauce, and served with sour cream & parsley.