IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR
Kitchen Garden|August 2021
Inspired by his grandad, self-confessed gardening addict and garden writer Joe Harrison explains why he loves his allotment and why his children love it too!
Joe Harrison

How did you get interested in growing your own food?

Growing our own produce has never been about being completely self-sufficient and ditching those fruit and veg trips to the supermarket. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘Good Life’ way of living would be an absolute dream, but realistically for us, our delicious home-grown goodies are an added bonus to our family meals.

The reason I decided to sign up for an allotment all stems from the wonderful memories I have from helping our grandad on his vegetable patch when I was a small child. He would tend to his immaculate vegetable garden from dawn until dusk, stopping only for a cup of tea and sandwich at lunchtime. Looking back more than 30 years later, I can still remember sidling up to him and asking: “Have you got any jobs grandad?” He would always give us something to do, be that watering, weeding, pulling up spent brassica stalks (which he had already sneakily loosened first to make it easier for me), picking peas or maybe shelling broad beans.

Little did my grandad know that he had ignited my passion for growing edibles there and then. I think about him every time I’m gardening on our plot and hope he would be proud of what I’ve achieved.

Our allotment was never meant to be a solo activity for me, a place to get away from it all. It was always about getting the whole family involved, making wonderful memories for our children to look back on. I wanted our children to not only know where our food comes from but to know how to grow it for themselves, following the journey from sowing their seeds right up until it’s time to enjoy picking or digging up their own veggies, something they’re all loving and flourishing at.

Does working the most easterly allotment in the UK have some challenges?

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