Janice and John's Allotment Blog - Autumn 2019
From Spring to Autumn - One plots transformation from wilderness to wonderful
It’s been a while now since I updated our plot blog and in that time there has been so much progress in taming the beast! Beast - also known as couch and bind!
John has cleared the weeds, burnt unwanted wood and other rubbish on the site. He has repaired the raised beds, installed water butts, established three compost bins and made it look beautiful. He has grown crops for us to eat and to share with others, including the Food-bank that he volunteers for in our church (New Community Church, Sidcup). See Shed-Gate blog for the palace he has built!
More importantly perhaps, is the well-being benefits for him. He bikes to the allotment and obviously uses energy on working the site. This has resulted in some weight loss and increased muscle capacity and physical well-being. He also benefits from simply being in the open air, amongst nature and alongside the really lovely people who have plots near and around ours - you’ve all been so welcoming, kind and neighbourly. Such benefit to mental health and well-being.
John retired at the end of July and where once he would get up (at 5am!!) and go to work, he transitioned smoothly into getting up (later than 5am!!!) and going to the allotment instead. This has made leaving work after 51 years, smooth and seamless. I know that many men struggle to make the transition but for John, getting involved in the allotment has been so good for him, along with the volunteering work that he is now able to do, such as cooking on a Monday evening for the homeless and lonely (again in our church).
The benefits to me as John’s wife are obvious: a happy productive husband, improving his fitness, maintaining a healthy outlook on life and bringing home the things he has grown for me to cook. This enables me to do the things that interest me, which includes the allotment, without worrying that he is at home and moping around.
It’s great to see some new neighbours arrive too and perhaps next year, 2020, they may be persuaded to do plot blog, from wilderness to wonderness.