Growing scheme for budding allotment holders

By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas

HELP is at hand for Gosport residents who want to grow their own vegetables but are uncertain how to go about it.

Every Saturday morning, from 10am until midday, the Growing in Gosport scheme offers demonstrations and tips on how to get started by giving would-be allotment holders a mini allotment to cultivate.

It is the brainchild of the chair of the Gosport Allotment Holders and Gardeners Association, Jim More, and he describes the project as, “very hands-on. If we are sowing potatoes, I’ll do the first few and then hand over to them.

“We want to give people the confidence to grow their own stuff.”

The association website makes it clear that the scheme is for those with either no or limited experience of growing veg and Jim will be pleased to demonstrate the basics such as making sure the potatoes are planted the right way up.

There is a waiting list for allotments in the borough but people can join the Growing in Gosport scheme and get started on their mini parcel of land while waiting to be allocated their own plot.

It is also open to those who have a garden and want to develop their ‘green fingers’.

The training/mentoring takes place on the mini allotments at Brockhurst Allotments, Military Road, which have been rented by the association from Gosport Borough Council.

Jim confirmed there are still spaces available and said a charge of £25 is made to cover the cost of the seeds, composite, etc, plus there is a refundable £25 deposit for the key to the allotment site.

The charge includes membership of the association which gives access to talks by horticultural and gardening specialists and also visits to places of interest.

However, the incentive is not just membership benefits and the advice that will be available from Jim but also that having done the hard work, the participants in the scheme get to eat what they have grown.

There is an application form for the scheme on the association’s website and further information is available by emailing enquiries@gosportallotments.co.uk.

To be eligible, people must be a Gosport borough resident, aged 18 years or over, and be able to work, dig and weed their mini-allotment.

Photograph (top): own-grown on a Gosport allotment. Gosport Allotment Association, reproduced with permission