Monday, February 24, 2014

Allotment charges offer value for money (to me) - Placebo TV

Yesterday I had a few hours on my plot and today (coincidentally) I got the invoice for my full plot for 2014/15 - it's well over £100 but I'd say this is pretty good value when you consider what being a plot-holder  gives you-
A less pleasant part of the hobby

An allotment plot can be a cheap source of fresh fruit and vegetables, and help you have a healthier diet.

The food you grow will mean you have less contact with pesticides if you choose to grow organically.

An allotment gives you the excuse  to spend time outside enjoying nature and looking busy

Each year you'll probably  learn something new about the natural world -growing, the climate and even ornithology  are just some examples.

Studies have shown that allotment horticulture causes a  reduction in stress and  in times of trouble it can give your mind something positive to focus on, this can give you a sense of achievement and well-being

Group activities on a site  help community spirit and offers an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.

Gardening is a good form of exercise and as well as being cheaper than a Gym you get something healthy to eat. Maintaining a shared site has environmental benefits that come from  providing green spaces and enriching wildlife habitats.

I regularly have a nice surprise with things I'd forgotten I've planted or given up on, yesterday we had our first home grown roast parsnips which tasted great.

A nicer surprise
It's not all fun, you can get scratched and dirty, mud gets under your finger nails and there's heartbreak when animals get your crops before you.

You have to contend with people breaking into your sheds as well as fighting  against rain, drought and pestilence (on my last visit I had to remove the remains of a dead rat)

Here's a bit more about the good things allotments give plot holders..

BBC's Horizon continues to delight

BBC 2 had an interesting Horizon on Placebo effect last week - seems that for a researched product to work as well as the placebo effect is not always easy to achieve. Placebo effect is even seen when used as control in surgical interventions. Research does show that the expectation of a 'drug' causes releases in the brain so it is in that interesting physical mental zone - the programme was well put together (as you'd expect)  and very understandable without being patronising.
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