Staffs Growing Concern: Celebrating National Allotment Week!

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Growing concern leader Katherine looking at runner beans


"Just go for it! What have you got to lose?" on growing your own food.

Katherine Robinson, Growing Concern

We visited the Leek Road allotments to chat with society, Growing Concern, for National Allotment week.

What is Growing Concern?

Katherine: The allotment based society at the Students' Union.

If you fancy exercising your green fingers, learning about growing your own food or just want some fresh air or exercise, come down and say hi, we'll show you round, and give you a brew!

We meet every Sunday from 12pm and EVERYONE is welcome, we have a mixture of students, alumni and staff in our group.


As it's National Allotment week, why should students get involved in Growing Concern? 

Katherine: There's a tonne of benefits to gardening. You get to spend a lot of time outside in the sunshine. I'd say it definitely counts as exercise so there's a health aspect as well as it being good for your mental well-being.

Evan: There's a social aspect to it, I've made loads of friends here - that was why I kept going along, all the friends I'd made. As well as the free food of course!


Some students might not think to grow their own food, what would you say to convince them to start?

Evan: I love it! It's quite exciting even though it seems boring at first. It's really rewarding to see what you've grown and tastes much better.

Katherine: Food you grow yourself is really yummy! 

There's a lot you can learn from YouTube so just go for it! What have you got to lose?


Editor note: Can confirm own grown food is delicious, they gave me the best plum I've ever tasted.


Easiest food to grow yourself and top tips for a beginner gardener?

Katherine & Dave: Be careful of slugs and know what your pests are!

Salad leaves are pretty easy and don't take too long (about 4 - 6 weeks to grow from scratch)... beetroot and tomatoes are also simple. Pumpkins are good because they're very low maintenance.


What was the best moment on the plot?

Evan: The first time I came. Seeing the size of the allotment and all of the different things that they grow truly wowed me!


So, how can students get involved?

Turn up whenever, but we'd highly recommend Sunday... there's free lunch on Sunday!


Join the Growing Concern Facebook group here.


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