What factors support and promote home-based food-growing in four neighbourhoods in SW Sheffield?

Monday, 4 May 2009

Composting and Allotments

Composting recycles valuable nutrients, eases demand for landfill and incineration, and provides home growers with the healthy growing medium so necessary to successful gardening. Home composting is likely inadequate to the task of providing sufficient compost to a large expansion in numbers of growers. This should be organised by the council and vigorously implemented.

Until that time provision of composting equipment should be accompanied by adequate training in its proper use. The use of allotments to produce compost for the home gardener should be investigated and made available to those without allotments of their own.

For the majority of my cohort, allotments are currently irrelevant, but long waiting lists suggest that demand for land to grow on is rising and will continue to rise as economic conditions worsen. In Sheffield there are around 3600 allotments, approximately half of which lie unused while upwards of 1000 people are on waiting lists. (Clare 2009) To even comply with the existing allotment laws, it is clear that the allotment system will need to be expanded and funded to a much greater degree. Management needs to be carefully re-organised and sufficiently staffed to involve stakeholders and those with sufficient experience to advise.

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