Friday, 7 August 2015

An Allotment Visit.


As a child I lived in East Africa, I have fond memories of a large house with a verandah surrounded with orange, lemon, lime, mango and papaya trees. We had  a backyard which went on for miles and miles and every vegetable imaginable was grown in it. We had mint,coriander, fenugreek, chilli plants, sweet corn, plantain trees. We also had tomato plants, all types of green beans, fresh garlic, spring onions, potatoes, aubergines and many more vegetables that I can't even remember names of. 
All our fruit and vegetables was sourced from our vegetable gardens and it was only when certain vegetables were out of season, that  my mum would make a trip to the local market to buy her vegetables. There were no chemicals or pesticides used and everything was organic and tasted beautiful. No vegetable was uniform shaped but you knew that it would taste great never the less.

When my parents emigrated to the UK, my mum found it really hard to adjust. She hated having to shop at the super market for her fruits and vegetables and she found it really difficult to find asian vegetables unless we travelled miles to source an asian supermarket. Feeling frustrated my mum started growing her own vegetables and herbs in the English backyard which was barely 20 ft. This was difficult with the soil and the climate but my mum never gave up. She would work hard digging and planting and cultivating seeds. Often she faced failure after failure because of the bitter frost and English weather but she never gave up. I still remember the look of joy on her face when she got her first crop of green chillies.

Years went by and my mother's vegetable patch flourished, but sadly she passed away, my father maintained the vegetable patch and we carried on enjoying the vegetables from my mother's vegetable patch for many years, that is until my father passed away too and the house was sold.


I have always missed not having the luxury to have home grown vegetables, with work and children I have never had the time to start up my own patch although I would love to one day. I really admire people who spend the time and effort to grow their own produce. One such friend is Heidi , she is a food blogger friend who has magic green fingers. She has her own allotment where she grows a variety of herbs and vegetables. Chatting to Heidi about her allotment brought back childhood memories. It made me quite emotional and when Heidi invited me along to her allotment to pick some fresh produce I was over the moon. I think Heidi didn't realise how special it was for me to visit the allotment and relive the memories of my mums vegetable patch.




























Heidi grows a variety of herbs and vegetables 0n her allotment, she maintains the allotment with her partner Clive and together they have created a vegetable paradise.

On the allotment she has potatoes, courgettes and beans which were ready to be picked.


I really had fun picking the courgettes, she has two varieties a courgette with ridges and a smooth variety.

Below you can fresh beetroot, yellow squash, cucumbers and you can also see the mini apple tree, the apples were not quite ready to be picked.

The purple beans were really interesting, although they were  not long enough to picked and needed a few more days before harvest. On the allotment Heidi also grows fresh mint, lavender and oregano.






























Spending the afternoon at the allotment was really fun and Heidi and Clive also showed me around the other plots too. There was a lovely community feel and camaraderie  amongst the  plot neighbours . I was able to see a variety of other produce such as gooseberries, redcurrants, corn, spring onions, pumpkins  and many other fruits and vegetables growing.

After a glorious afternoon at the allotment, we had the most delicious lunch at Heidi's made with the fresh produce. I can't wait to go again to visit Heidi as her allotment has definitely stirred my childhood memories for me.

I had a lovely visit and armed with bags of fresh home produce I arrived home. My next task is to create some recipes with my freshly picked courgettes, yellow squash, beetroot, oregano, mint, potatoes and rainbow swiss chard.



37 comments:

  1. What a lovely story - very touching :) Looks like you got lots of colourful veg for your recipes xx

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  2. I think we all need a friend like Heidi. Was lovely to read about your childhood memories. How fabulous to have parents who felt it was so important you had fresh vegetables in your diet all the time.x

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  3. What a lovely story, I'd love to have the space to be able to grow my own veg x

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  4. I would love to be able to grow my own herbs and things, not sure about veggies, I don't eat them, could grow them for the guinea pigs tho!

    Kirsty xx

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  5. I always wished I could have an allotment or at least a corner in the garden to grow edibles. The truth is it takes such commitment and so much of your time that I never really managed it. I am very lucky though to have green fingered neighbours. They give me vegetables and I pay them in baked goods!

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  6. What a lovely story, it would be amazing to have a space like that to grow my own fruit and veg

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  7. Nanya, your childhood sounds like a fairytale, no wonder you have so fond memories of it! The produce from the allotment looks amazing, hope you have managed to enjoy every bit of it!xx

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  8. I grew up in an allotment family too and my husband is a farmer. We do not have the time for our own, but do have five raised beds in the garden. There is nothing like growing your own.

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  9. What fab thing for you and Heidi to do. I look forward to your recipes Nayna.

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  10. We have been to allotment open days in the past and they are good fun. We used to have an allotment, but it was too much work for us. Then we moved and were able to have a sizable veg plot in the garden.

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  11. What a lovely post Nayna! Full of love and happy memories. Glad you had a good day with Heidi. I too have the bug for growing home produce, and have started small with herbs, courgettes and tomatoes. Have fun creating lovely recipes with all that fresh home grown produce x

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  12. You sounds very green fingers and the photos all look brilliant - yum yum! I have never got beyong a few herbs and salad. x

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  13. My mum had an allotment when i was growing up and we loved working on it .. with a dodgy pelvis i hate the fact i couldnt physically cope with my own :-( .. there is nothing so special as home grown

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  14. What a wonderful basket you went home with, homegrown veggies always taste so much better. Mich x

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  15. I'd love to have my own allotment and be able to grow my own veggies. It's my dream to live 'The Good Life' I just wish I could make it happen :)

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  16. How stunning is that basket of vegetables! So colourful! My 4 yr old is growing some carrots, however she's very impatient and keeps pulling them all up before they are ready!

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  17. There is nothing better than growing your own, even if it is just tomatoes on your window ledge x

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  18. Lovely story. We are on the waiting list for an allotment plot

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  19. We're on a waiting list for the local allotment site. I grow a few things at home but I can't wait for a bigger plot.

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  20. Aw how lovely, I think home grown always tastes better than shop bought.

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  21. Beautiful! I wish we could have an allotment (no space in our flat to grow stuff). But the waitlist is so long I don't see it ever happening. We do have a veggie patch at the in-laws though which is fun when we visit them.

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  22. Glad you enjoyed your day - you make my allotment sound so romantic!

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  23. I wish I were more green fingered. My grandpa used to have a vegetable patch the size of my garden and his veggies were amazing

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  24. What a simply wonderful visit and post Nayna, and I loved reading all about your childhood too! Great photos and entertaining story! Karen

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  25. Allotments are such great ideas and form a wonderful community.

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  26. That's a lovely story about your mum and her fresh green chillies! We had a vegetable patch once but alas I'm not green fingered at all!

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  27. i actually gave half my garden to the community centre on the back of my house and they made it into an allotment which is massive and holds some lovely fruits and veg now

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  28. What lovely memories. My parents have a vegetable patch too and they usually bring us something from it when they come to visit us.

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  29. Ooh how fabulous . I have a little raised bed in which I. Growing veg

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  30. I'd love to be good at growing veggies but I'm rubbish! I need a Heidi of my own I reckon :)

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  31. Loved your story about your childhood and your mum growing veggies, special memories for you. I've had an allotment for a few years now, love it. I grow a lot there, cram as much as possible in - courgettes galore at the moment so I think I'll be using some in chocolate cake :)

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  32. What an idyllic sounding childhood you had - sounds wonderful. There is nothing quite like growing your own fruit and veggies, I love it when we do it!

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  33. I loved reading through this story.. Your's friend's space looks awesome.. I always wish to have a small vegetable garden in my house..

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  34. I had a small garden when we were living in Chennai.. but in Mumbai cannot imagine and afford having an independent house. So nice to grow at least a few herbs for daily use in the kitchen.

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  35. Sounds like an amazing place to grow up and what lovely memories to have of your mum. I would love to grow veggies, but my garden is not very forgiving!

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  36. I hope you'll Pop over and share your seasonal recipes

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  37. What an amazing allotment! I used to grow lots when I was younger, but as an adult lived in a flat. When we moved to our house I planned to grow my own veg, but my babies have taken all my time! Maybe next year.

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