The glories of GROWING
WOMAN'S WEEKLY|August 10, 2021
To mark National Allotment Week on 9-15 August, we ask three women to tell us what makes their outdoor spaces so special
KATE CHAPMAN

‘Fruit and veg tastes so much better when you’ve grown it yourself’

Julie Williams, 71, is retired and a community volunteer, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. I’ve always loved growing things. I first had an allotment about 30 years ago and looked after it jointly with my friend Sue. We were both into Indian cooking, which required lots of vegetables and specialist herbs, like coriander, which wasn’t so readily available back then, so that’s what we grew.

We took our young sons along to play there, so they could enjoy the outdoors too. We shared the work and it was a lovely way to spend time together. We did this for about five or six years, until I changed jobs and I didn’t have the time any more.

About 15 years ago a friend of my husband’s offered us part of his allotment and we decided to have another go, as we liked the idea of growing our own vegetables. We each have our own jobs – I do more of the weeding and planting, while my husband does the majority of the digging, although it’s a team effort.

We grow all the things we like eating ourselves – potatoes, spinach, beetroot, onions, gooseberries, runner, French and broad beans, as well as raspberries for jam and courgettes for friends and family. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – like the garlic we once tried to grow! But it’s a really lovely feeling growing your own food.

We like spending time outdoors, especially when the weather’s fine, it keeps us active and we’ve even had picnics down at our allotment. The food just tastes so much better when you eat it fresh, from field to fork – knowing you’ve grown it yourself.

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