Go green and take up an allotment

Kettering Allotments Association chairman Brian Mitcheson, member Alan Shipley and secretary Russell Attwood
Kettering Allotments Association chairman Brian Mitcheson, member Alan Shipley and secretary Russell Attwood

Green-fingered gardeners are being urged to snap up an allotment in time for the summer as plots become available in Kettering.

And people in the north of the county have also been able to take inspiration from an Islip couple who have appeared on BBC2 show The Big Allotment Challenge.

Edd Curbishley and Harshani Curbishley-Brown this week appeared on the programme hosted by Fern Britton demonstrating their belief that positive energy can be transferred from planter to plant – and, eventually, to the dinner plate.

But anyone interested in growing their own greens – whether spiritually or not – has the opportunity to join the Kettering Allotments Association, which has announced it has some plots available.

The association manages four fields in Kettering. They are at Scott Road, Margaret Road, Windmill Avenue and Northfield Avenue.

At the time of going to press, there were eight half-plots free at Scott Road and three at Margaret Road.

In recent years, there has been a shortage of availability, but Kettering Allotments Association secretary Russell Attwood said a turnover of members meant some plots had become available.

But he warned people to act quickly if they wanted one, as demand meant they might not be available for long. Mr Attwood also said time was of the essence at this time of year, with the window of opportunity for planting vegetables to grow this summer closing fast.

He added: “If they take a plot today they can get crops this summer. If you leave it until June you are very unlikely to get much this year.”

Group treasurer Dai Johnson said: “The vacant plots are quite overgrown with weeds, so anyone taking on a plot must be prepared for some hard work.”

Chairman Brian Mitcheson said a benefit of having an allotment was the opportunity to get exercise and fresh air. He added: “Growing your own vegetables you know what goes into them. There are no food miles attached.

“For a lot of people it’s a family thing, they bring the children down. We get quite a few young families.”

Rents vary with plot size, but a typical cost is £14.50 for a half plot for a year, and slightly less for pensioners.

For more details, contact Dai Johnson on 01536 483398 or visit www.ketteringallotments.co.uk.

Allotments are at a premium elsewhere in the north of the county, with about 200 people on a waiting list for an allotment in Corby.

But a spokesman for Corby Council said tenancies were renewed every year, meaning that number could change at the end of the month.

To inquire about allotment availability in other towns and villages in north Northamptonshire, log on to borough or district council websites for relevant contact details.

On the box

A couple from Islip has appeared on a new BBC2 show which challenges pairs of gardeners to grow the best possible produce.

Edd and Harshani Curbishley-Brownfeatured on BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge, which is broadcast on Tuesday evenings from 8pm.

The couple, who describe themselves as biodynamic and spiritual gardeners and grow their own produce for their kitchen table, left the show last week.

Yoga teacher Harshani, 45, and Edd, 53,who works in sales, have been married for five years.

They like to garden as organically and ethically as possible, and even bought the house next door to expand their outside space by combining the two gardens.