Jenny Toone and Derek Applegarth shared with us their experience in how they became and enjoyed being Allotment Gardeners at London Heritage Farm in the Winter 2014 issue of Mouth of the Fraser published by the Richmond Heritage Commission and Richmond Museum & Heritage Services.
– by Jenny Toone and Derek Applegarth
“An allotment garden (British English), often called simply an allotment, or a community garden (North America) is a plot of land made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing food plants. Such plots are formed by subdividing a piece of land into a few or up to several hundreds of land parcels that are assigned to individuals or families. Such parcels are cultivated individually” – Wikipedia
After enjoying afternoon tea in the restored London Heritage Farmhouse, or a detour from a walk along the South Arm of the Fraser River, have you ever walked through the allotment gardens at London Heritage Farm and wondered how they are organized? We did.
These amazing allotment gardens are filled with an incredible variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers and touches of whimsy. Each one reflects the personalities of their gardener.
We recently moved to a townhome, but missed growing some of our own fruits and vegetables. We applied to the London Heritage Farm Society, operator of London Heritage Farm on behalf of the City of Richmond, for an allotment and to our delight, our application was accepted. We were soon tilling the soil of our plot, and planting and nurturing the year’s crops! We discovered which plants do well in the rich clay soil, and enjoyed hearing great gardening stories from our fellow allotment gardeners.
Our efforts were rewarded with a beautiful harvest of nutritious fruits and vegetables, which we happily shared with friends and family. It’s true that freshly harvested, homegrown and organic really does taste better.
Allotment gardeners join the London Heritage Farm Society, pay an Allotment Fee, and contribute a minimum number of volunteer hours to the operation and maintenance of London Heritage Farm. There are many different volunteer opportunities, something for everyone.
We had a great time contributing to the success of London Family Farm Day in August, one of the many Society events that help to support the operations of London Heritage Farm, and to bring awareness of the farming history of Richmond.
London Heritage Farm is a City of Richmond heritage site. Everyone is welcome to walk, cycle, or picnic in the park, from dawn to dusk. Check out the London Heritage Farm website at www.londonfarm.ca or call 604 271-5220 for more information, including the schedule of the Tea Room in the London Heritage Farmhouse.