Using Madingley Mulch for Your Allotment Supplies
Allotments have really come of age in the last few years – and it’s not just because next month marks the 21st anniversary of the first National Allotments Week here in the UK. The rising cost of living has encouraged more people to grow their own when it comes to fruit and vegetables – and the plots have proved remarkably good therapy for people who might otherwise have been stuck in their homes during coronavirus lockdowns and periods of isolation.
To help assist budding fruit and vegetable growers, Madingley Mulch offer garden allotment supplies to customers in Suffolk, Essex, our home county of Cambridgeshire and across East Anglia. Here we look at the history of the allotment, and how the large variety of products we have in stock mean we can help ensure you get the most out of your plot.
The History of the Allotment
Allotments have their roots in Anglo-Saxon times, when huge fields belonging to the village or manor were given over to residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This was known as the open-field system; sometimes woodland would be cleared for this purpose and the land would be designated common land. However, after the Norman Conquest much of the land ended up in the hands of manorial lords and the Church.
It wasn’t until the General Enclosure Acts of the 1830s and 1840s, and the Small Holding Allotments Act of the early 20th Century, which brought the need for allotments back into focus. The various Acts meant that local authorities had a duty to provide them to residents, assuming that the local population could prove there was a demand. The lack of any Welfare State, and the two World Wars, highlighted the need for all nations to ‘Grow their Own’ and be more self-reliant when it came to their own food supply.
Although there was a dip in the number of allotment-holders after the Second World War, they are now more popular than ever. The BBC TV comedy programme The Good Life, about a 1970s couple who forsook the ‘rat-race’ to become self-sufficient, increased interest in allotments.
In more recent years, a growing awareness of carbon footprints and the need to be more sustainable – as well as the rising cost of living – has seen sustained growth in the number of plot-holders. There are now around 330,000 people across the UK who rent out an allotment today.
Most of these allotments are owned by local councils, who charge an annual fee for their use (this varies from region to region). Many still have long waiting lists if you would like a plot of your own. Most plots are measured in rods (perches or poles), which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. Ten poles is the generally accepted size of an allotment – the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.
Allotment Supplies in Suffolk and Across East Anglia from Madingley Mulch
This year, the main theme of National Allotment Week is Soil Health – which is important for gardeners who want to get the most out of their plot. At Madingley Mulch, we stock a range of composts, mulches and soil conditioners from our base on the outskirts of Cambridge – including exclusive products such as ‘Denise’s Delight’ and ‘Tony’s Tonic’. All our soil improvers will help suppress weeds, help the ground retain moisture and promote the growth of your fruit and vegetables.
We also stock a number of weed-suppressing membranes and fixings to give your crops extra protection. There are also a number of high-quality garden tools in our online shop to help you with your digging, hoeing and any other tasks that need doing on your plot. You can also give us a call on 01954 212144 if you need any help or advice.
If you have a particularly large order, remember we offer a weekly delivery service in and around Cambridgeshire – see here for more details about our pricing structure.
- National Allotment Week is running from August 7-13, and there are a number of events around the country.
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