New Year, New Hobby, Healthy Lifestyle!

jeremy, January 11 2018

A new year and a fresh start. The perfect excuse to give your patch or garden some extra or overdue attention? While providing a new hobby full of fulfilment, learning and physical exercise in the outdoors, as we shall see it will also produce fresh nutritious produce which we could all do with!

Even if you’re looking to start turning your fingers green for the first time, you can apply for an allotment at the Hampshire County Council website (Please click on the relevant District Council area on the map).

It may seem early, but now is the perfect time to look ahead and get prepared ahead of the start of another growing season. The days are getting longer now after all! Whatever your situation or preference, it’s never been easier to get advice and information. Hampshire is a hive of allotment activity, and our libraries have the stock and services to match.

The Patch : the Big Allotment Challenge / Tessa Evelegh ; photography by Jonathan Buckley. Accompany a BBC2 series, ‘The Patch’ celebrates our burgeoning interest in knowing where our food comes from and is a practical guide to making your garden a haven of productivity. With essential know-how on everything from soil and compost to pruning and pests, the book is aimed at novice gardeners.

The Half-Hour Allotment: Timely Tips for the Most Productive Plot Ever / Lia Leendertz.                   Intended for gardeners who want to enjoy the benefits of growing their own food, but who have little time to spare, this handbook features advice and techniques that show you how to grow the right quantities of the fruit and vegetables you love.

Alternatively you can download all the assistance you need with our e-books at home, from the garden or from the allotment itself.

The Allotment Chef: Home-grown Recipes and Seasonal Stories by Paul Merrett Michelin-starred chef and star of BBC 2’s Economy Gastronomy Paul Merrett is using the plot…This is the story of how one man swaps his shopping trolley for a wheelbarrow and cooks up fine, homely food as a result.

Of course once the hard work is all done you’ll if course be rewarded with beautiful fresh produce, so select from our choice of cookery books. Growing your own fresh fruit and vegetable products is the perfect inspiration for trying #MeatFreeMonday, contributing towards the reduction of your meal’s carbon footprint, saving money and providing a healthy option to start each new week.

The great allotment cookbook : over 200 delicious recipes from plot to plate                           Celebrate your home-grown fruit and vegetables with this inspirational collection of seasonal recipes.

If being left to your own efforts is not working out, team up socialise and compare at our libraries’ gardening events , including the fortnightly ‘Sow and Grow’ at Stubbington Library,  ‘Garden Design For Wellbeing’ at Waterlooville Library and the weekly Healthy Eating Group at Portchester Library who follow the British Heart Foundation programme. Keep an eye on the Hampshire Libraries Events page for updates throughout the growing seasons!

For those new to the past-time, remember your local library service for tips to get started and in the meantime get an application for allotment space. Be inspired to turn your garden into a food factory ready for this year’s growing season!

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