Allotments are as productive as farms…and they do you good!

A two-year pilot study in Brighton has revealed that city allotments can be as productive as conventional farms. The University of Sussex study found that volunteer urban growers in Brighton and Hove were able to harvest 1kg or more of insect-pollinated fruit and vegetables per sq metre in a season – which researchers said put their yields within the range of conventional farms.

Across the two-year period, volunteers recorded more than 2,000 pollinating insects among their crops. The most common were bees, which accounted for 43% of all flower visits.   Despite limiting their pesticide use volunteers were each able to grow an average of £550 worth of produce between March and October.
For full details read the Article in the Guardian.

Another study from last year, by the University of Sheffield, outlined the well-being benefits of allotment gardening. The 163 volunteers in the study recorded “high levels of social and community activities, including the sharing of surplus food produce, knowledge exchange, awareness and interaction with wildlife, emotional connection to their allotment, appreciation of time spent outside and aesthetic delight in the natural world”.

Allotments were shown to provide a sense of community among allotmenteers  – not just connecting with people who are similar to you but with people you have nothing in common with apart from growing.
The Guardian article can read here.