Okay, so it's not actually that new as I got my very own allotment in March 2016 and have been battling since then to get it into some kind of productive and pleasant state. It has been an interesting challenge so far, to say the least. Last year I was very eager to get stuck in and start growing and had a very good harvest for the first year, including so many courgettes that T never wants to eat a courgette again. This year, the main aim is to make it an enjoyable place to relax and hang out at. Although I find it very peaceful, there's no nice grassy or seated area and it's frankly a bit of a mess. I got a copy of 'Food From the Fire' from my lovely Mum for Christmas and am now enamoured with the idea of setting up an analogue kitchen consisting of (to begin with) a firepit and smoker.
Getting an allotment was relatively straightforward in Bristol compared to some of the stories I've heard about 10 year waiting lists and so on. I saw an advert on twitter that Bristol Council were offering half price allotments which needed work doing, so enquired with the council and they put me on the waiting list for a few different sites. The first one I went to had quite a few free plots, but there was a LOT of work that needed to be done and I wasn't sure about them. When I was making my mind up, one became available at another site, which was perfect. It still needed a huge amount of work, but it's a lovely little corner plot and everybody I met seemed really friendly.
Although the cost of renting the allotment was fairly cheap, most other things aren't. So far I've taken it slowly and used as much as what was left on the plot as possible. I managed to get some sleepers for raised beds from the Bristol Wood Recycling (£7.50 per metre) but they are few and far between.
This really got on top of me in the summer. SO SO SO many weeds. I did manage to grow things only going down once or twice a week, but it wasn't ideal.
Organic vs. Non Organic
Although it would be nice to have chemical free veg, I decided it wasn't worth it to begin with. There were (and still are) so many brambles on the plot that were impossible to dig up from the root. So there's lots of weedkilling on the go, but for me the environmental impact of growing and eating my own veg is already massively improved.