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lauber1
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Quote lauber1 Replybullet Topic: allotment
    Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 8:36am
Not sure how to ask this question, but here goes.  What is an allotment in England? How does one get one?  I read about you folks having these allotments, but im not really sure if your talking about the same thing im picturing in my head.  Hope this doesnt come off as a dumb question.
restoring history, one bolt at a time.
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Hillsider
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Quote Hillsider Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 10:02am
Hi,
It's not a dumb question at all, an allotment is a plot of land that can be rented from the local authority near to where a person is living for the purpose of growing fruit and vegetables.
Often folk in the UK are not blessed with as much land attached to their houses as you folk on the USA seem to be, especially in the towns and villages so an allotment is a welcome way to grow you own produce.
I find that I sometimes struggle with the differences in meanings for words between our two nations with my Son now married to an American girl and living in the US I sometimes need to ask for a translation.
Ray.
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 10:37am
Found this on another forum.

Standard Allotment Size

What I have gleaned is that a standard allotment size is 1/16th of an acre. Taking 1 acre, and dividing each side into 4 parts you would end up with 16 allotments, and which makes some sense.

Here are the calculations:
A standard allotment is 10 rods (or 10 sq. rods) in area.

1 rod (length) = 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet. 1 sq rod area = 272.25 sq. feet. 1 std allotment = 10 sq rods = 2,722.5 sq ft.

1 acre = 43,560 sq. ft. 43,560/2,722.5 = 16 standard allotments per acre. And, just for information, there are 640 acres in 1 sq. mile.

In sq. metres, a standard allotment = 2,722.5/(3.2807^2) = 252.95 sq. metres, say 253 sq.m.

I hope that helps!

John, Los Angeles (Brit!)

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steve.woollas
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Quote steve.woollas Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 11:25am
Hello Lauber1,
To add to the above information many allotments in the UK have great historical age, some of the land dating back to the Enclosure Acts most of which date between 1750 and 1850 although the allotments may not always have been on the same site for that period of time. There is also an Allotments Act (of Parliament) which protects to a large degree allotment sites and there is a requirement for Town and District Councils to provide land to be available for allotment purposes. 
Allotments are primarily for the growing of fruit and vegetables although some allow for the keeping of chickens and a pig. Basically a means to provide food for the household.
In the 20th century the heyday of the allotment was the 1940s and 1950s with the introduction of the "Dig For Victory" campaign during WW2. Many allotment sites fell into disuse during the 1970s and 1980s although the 2000s have seen a major resurgance in their use.
The rental cost of an allotment is very low when compared with commercial values, many being between 10 and 25 per plot per annum.
 
Keep On Cultivating
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sprayerman
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Quote sprayerman Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 1:07pm
I(we) took on an allotment in October 2011, its about 2,000 sq ft in area.  Its been great at getting me fit and in the summer last year we could spend up to 30 hrs a week down there.  As to the rent - the site is owned by Birmingham Council - 2011/2 was 40, this year 2012/13 rose to 75 & is scheduled to increase again next year ( its cheaper if you are over 60) - still it has produced some excellent food, despite all the rain last year and we are still digging up carrots and parsnips. The rent is still loads cheaper than gym membership and the site is only 500 paces from home so we walk most the time.
 
Cheers
 
Sprayerman
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sprayerman
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Quote sprayerman Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 1:10pm
Forgot to mention if you want to look at what some allotments can look like here is a link to the allotments I have a plot on.
 
Sprayerman
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vegikev
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Quote vegikev Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2013 at 5:09pm
i read somewhere that the measurement of an acre was born by the amount of ground that could be worked by a yolk and oxen in 1 day.
all things pop-bang.....
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lauber1
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Quote lauber1 Replybullet Posted: 18 Jan 2013 at 6:37am
ok thanks for clearing some this up. I had thought that they were for people who lived in apartment type places, where there was no access to land. After reading a little i see it was more started for the benifit of the poor , who wouldnt have been able to own any land. I could see where improving the lives of the less well off people would make the whole area more stable. It doesnt really say in anything i've read, but i take it the land is just odd peices that might not be the best land, or might be part of a park.  I didnt see anything about the land being part of a farm or land that was farmed before this.
 
They have some community gardens here, not sure how that all works or who really owns the land. I would say that most of the people who live in the city areas, have fairly large yards where they could grow a good amount of produce. Others in the apartment areas, grow on there porches or even roof tops. I live outside the city limits, and have a little over an acre here to play with.
restoring history, one bolt at a time.
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pete0250
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Quote pete0250 Replybullet Posted: 18 Jan 2013 at 9:43am
It is interesting to see how some people, since the various TV programmes on food and gardening, refer to part of their own garden as an "allotment". I believe there is a statute that obliges local authorities to provide land for growng veg etc. if a certain number of local residents ask for it.
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional.
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Martinh
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Quote Martinh Replybullet Posted: 19 Jan 2013 at 4:11pm
Well Some good info here  for our coloninal cousins. Having seen the size of the average house plot in the USA, I hope they understand  how small our domestic house plots are, certainly since say WW2 . My own plot is the 1/16 Acre size and  it is good  to have fresh veggie and enjoy the exercise The big push for allotments came in 1914 during WW1  where Britain needed to support itself  and its Armies Likewisw in WW2 . Allotments do go in and out of fashion . Most newcomers last at best a season when they realise it is hard work , 30 hours a week is good amount of time spent on an allotment . Seeds are not cheap and the physical hard work is hard  We oldies keep it going It still seems to be  an older male thing Thank god we still have somethings

America and England Two great Nations separated by a common language
Martin. The Village Idiot
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sprayerman
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Quote sprayerman Replybullet Posted: 22 Jan 2013 at 12:51pm
When I first mentioned to the SWMBO that I was thinking of getting a plot, I was met with that defined look that suggested I had lost it, and how was i going to find the time etc etc.....  Now she is almost more enthusiastic about it than me.
 
 
Just glad that when we took it on in 2011, we had that kind winter 2011/2 to dig over most of it, before the monsoon started - I would not like to be starting out this winter.
 
 
Sprayerman
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grendel
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Quote grendel Replybullet Posted: 22 Jan 2013 at 4:52pm
we have 2 x 1/2 plots on 2 different sites,up until ww2 most council buit and rented properties had a garden of similar size to allotment, but the house we rented and subsequently bought has a garden no more than 25 foot square, take the conservatory (glazed room/annex with clear roof) and garden shed off that area and there isnt a lot of space to grow stuff, thus the use of an allottment.
Grendel
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will_haggle
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Quote will_haggle Replybullet Posted: 23 Jan 2013 at 11:51am
I watched a programme on BBC last night called allotment wars. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q9d8b Many allotment societies run produce shows and the competition can get nasty!
6 months ago I couldn't even spell engineer - now I are one
Calne, North Wiltshire...
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owen
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Quote owen Replybullet Posted: 23 Jan 2013 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by will_haggle

I watched a programme on BBC last night called allotment wars. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q9d8b Many allotment societies run produce shows and the competition can get nasty!


     I didn't see that last night, when I lived in Cornwall our village garden show created a lot of revelry among keen gardeners but it was all a bit of fun, Never got nasty. I remember one enterprising villager took two runner beans and joined them together with a needle and fine fishing line to make one long one, he then hung it in his window to terrify the rest of us.
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lauber1
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Quote lauber1 Replybullet Posted: 23 Jan 2013 at 6:53pm
I want  to thank all you that have given input on this allotment culture. I have looked over many of the sites, videos and other news storys. I think we over here take for granted that because we have something, the rest of the world has the same things. Not sure why, but it never crossed my mind that people wouldnt have a place to put a fork in the ground and grow food for themselves, like i do here. I guess i also never thought there would be much interest in having a postage stamp size plot either.
 
As i look over the info on this it doesnt appear that there is any real protection for the plot holders against the greed of others or business that what to take the land or the produce. We at least have some laws here that protect the farm land from being taken for commerical things. They dont always work, but sometime they slow down the process enough that the builders look for other easier sites to obtain.
restoring history, one bolt at a time.
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daviddale
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Quote daviddale Replybullet Posted: 24 Jan 2013 at 12:49am
Land that was "allotted".
I think united by a common language, not separated!DD.
Regards, David.
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