Finally, the frost has passed, and the growing season has started. It’s a little late this year, so the rush is on to get everything planted out for what I’m guessing will be a hot and dry summer.

Water conservation again becoming a priority, only giving plants what they need to survive and thrive. Watering early morning or in the evening to ensure your plants get the water they need. Protecting plants under netting where possible, not only to keep the troublesome insects off but for shade from the midday sun. As always, collecting and storing any rainfall we may get.

We have achieved a lot on our Community Allotment Plot, and we aim to build on this in the future. This has only been possible due to the many volunteers that have worked on this project since its launch five years ago. As life becomes more difficult for the vast majority of us, it is pleasing to see there are still people who are able and willing to give their time and energy to this worthy cause.

I know there are many out there that would like to have the time and energy to help the local community and I wish you all well. Having said that, there are the few that are able to give. They’re called volunteers and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve!

Part of my job is for volunteers to get something back in return for giving. I’ve had an allotment for eight years, and for me, it’s always been about survival. Rising prices and global warming threatening supply means we should all be growing our own, or at least have the knowledge to do so. Home grown, organic fruit and vegetables taste so much better. As with many of the experienced plot holders at Bearwood Allotments, it gives me great pleasure to be able to pass this knowledge on to those who are interested in growing their own.

On behalf of the Dorothy Parkes Centre, I would like to thank every volunteer that has worked and is working on this amazing community project.