Thursday, April 24, 2008
I'm really keen on the idea of getting an allotment. Food prices are rising at an alarming rate (even boring old rice has gone up 63% since last year) and with the price of oil well past $100 per barrel, it's likely that things will only get worse.
There's a long waiting list for most of the allotments in Lewes, although as most of them are occupied by elderly men the turnover must be quite high. All I need is a very cold winter. Also, I would imagine that if the supposedly forthcoming economic recession really takes off, councils will be under more pressure to provide plots of land.
I once ran an allotment with three men I used to meet in my local pub in Twickenham. It was a disaster. One of the men was a very left-wing politics lecturer and wanted to instigate five-year plans and quotas. The second man was from a moneyed background and his only experience of gardening was watching labourers toiling away on his parents' land. The third man was obsessed with potatoes.
If we'd spent more time digging and less time planning and arguing, our allotment might have been a success. Sadly, in the case of allotments, democracy doesn't always work. I shan't make the same mistake again.