Plot your veg sowing to reap rich harvest dividends

With an allotment, you are growing a lot more than just food, you are cultivating a fantastic community of like minded people

by Gazette Reporter
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By Feebee Foran

Have you ever wanted to have your own little plot of land to grow plants on? To be able to harvest your own spuds, vegetables and fruits?

Introducing GrowAllot ‘24. Along with Bohernabreena Allotments, I’m giving away 10 allotment beds for the 2024 Growing Season to 10 lucky winners.
But did you know that the current waiting list for allotment hopefuls is nearing 4 years in some locations, such is the demand.
With the rising cost of living and indeed the lean towards leading a more sustainable lifestyle, there has been a surge in interest towards growing your own.


Some people allocate spaces in their gardens to just vegetables. Apartment dwellers fill their balconies with pots and containers to grow herbs and leafy vegetables, but with an allotment,
you are growing a lot more than just food, you are cultivating a fantastic community of like minded people.
What does allotmenting mean to me?
I was so lucky to receive “the keys” to my allotment on the cusp of the first lockdown. When I first went to visit my little plot, in the beautiful surrounds of Bohernabreena in the Dublin
Mountains, I had work to do. Not just physical work and digging, it went a lot deeper than that. I had recently lost my dad after an 11 day illness with an aggressive cancer in his lungs and liver
and I was searching for a way to ground myself. I’m not special in this feeling – a lot of people experiencing grief also feel the need to physicalise their emotions and the sayings to “dig deep”
and “feel grounded” take on very real meanings.


By working in my little plot of land in Bohernabreena Allotments, I found a whole new sense of solace. As someone with what I call “a fizzy brain”, having a quiet space in nature allowed me
to tune the world out, focus on one thing at a time and get instant gratification from the work I was doing. There’s nothing more satisfying than arriving at an overgrown plot, and leave it tidy a few hours later with sore muscles and a hungry tummy. You certainly earn your dinner after a good day in the allotment.
Each year, I grow the vegetables and fruit that I like eating. It might sound basic, but that’s the great thing about growing your own vegetables – you choose what to grow. From potatoes, to
pak choi, I love to pop to the allotment to pick my dinner. And as a Herbalist, I make the most of my space by growing plants that I use for medicinal purposes and for my skincare range
Forager. Whereas others will use their spots to grow flowers, or fruits for jams and cordials. Its your space to cultivate as you see fit.
The community spirit in an allotment is one of generosity, support and, well all round messing! In Bohernabreena Allotments there is always a laugh to be had, a story to be told, tips and tricks
of getting the best from your harvests, and flasks of tea on the go.

GrowAllot ‘24 – The Prize
The GrowAllot community project will give 10 lucky people the chance to bypass the four-year waiting list and get growing right away and access to their own allotment bed in Bohernabreena
Allotments for the growing season of May – October ‘24. They will each receive mentorship to help them get growing and learn how to get the best yield from their beds.


They will also be supported by our fantastic sponsors who will provide everything they need to make their growing season a success. We are thrilled to be working with GIY who will provide
seeds, growing and educational support over the coming months. TV Chef & Author Conor Spacey will be sharing his wisdom in reducing waste, by providing a copy of his fantastic newbook Wasted (Blasta Books), which will inspire our growers to focus on their own food waste and sustainable practices in a fun and delicious way. Love Earth Water will be supplying
innovative water bottles that create awareness of our carbon footprint with every drop of water. More fantastic sponsors to be announced shortly.


Plus, over the coming months, the Dublin Gazette will be sharing the growing adventures of our 10 winners. From the harvest wins to the wilted, our growers will help you get growing through
their learnings. You can also follow the fun on instagram on @forager.ie If you want to get involved in GrowAllot ‘24, you can apply via www.forager.ie/growallot24
Everyone is welcome to apply, even if you have never managed to keep a flower alive, all levels
of knowledge are welcomed.
Simply complete the application form and let me know why you should be selected as one ofour 10 growers. Applications close on the 31st March. Winners will be announced on the 5th
April and our opening ceremony will take place on the 27th April in Bohernabreena Allotments, where our winners will all receive access to their beds. What are you waiting for – get up and grow!
T&C’s apply, see https://www.forager.ie/growallot24 for details

Feebee Foran is a herbalist and owner of Forager, a 100% natural skincare brand that
harnesses the natural medicine of wild Irish weeds. She is a nature educator, enthusiast and
resident forager for Ireland AM on Virgin Media TV.
www.forager.ie

@forager.ie

PHOTOS BY AISHLING CONWAY

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