Friday 3 April 2020

Stoke council on allotments

News just in from our local council:

"the council has received a 120 per cent increase in demand for allotments since the outbreak, and council teams are working to match people with available pitches. Allotment holders must follow national heath guidance on social distancing, handwashing for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching their face and not holding communal gatherings."

Presumably some applicants are assuming that the crisis will go on well into the summer, and that a possible lack of paid pickers in the fields will affect their fruit and greens supply.

Though if that's all you want it will probably easier to grow a bit of fresh greens indoors in tubs by windows and on patios/balconies, and get a store of fruit in in the form of tins. Though you'd need to convert an entire south facing back-bedroom into a rotating racked garden, if you want really substantial supplies without going outside.

There will also likely be a boom this summer in "pick your own" in the countryside, assuming that travel restrictions are eased in June and that seasonal workers are not allowed to come in from abroad (for fear of triggering a second lockdown).

But good for the allotment applicants, if they really want do want to put in the heavy work that a new allotment is likely to need.

Also (my advice, not the council's) be wary of uncooked fruit and seasonal fresh veg that people may have talked over and picked up / put back. This is especially the case of unwrapped supermarket veg that goes straight into the fridge at home without being washed. The virus lasts far longer on surfaces at general fridge temperatures. It's heat that viruses don't like, not cold.

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