The benefits of growing your own
More people are getting interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables, for many different reasons including:
- saving money on expensive items (eg bags of salad)
- getting the recommended 5-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables
- encouraging children to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
If you grow your own produce, you'll also become more aware of what's in season, so you may find it easier to choose seasonal food when you go shopping.
As well as these benefits, it could also help your general health and wellbeing. Gardening is a cheap form of exercise and a great way to burn calories and get some fresh air. It can help to reduce stress and can give you a sense of achievement. It is also a sociable activity which involves you in your local community.
I only have a small space – can I still grow my own?
You can grow your own even if you only have a small balcony or a space on the windowsill. Herbs can be grown indoors, and salad leaves can be grown outside in a pot.
If you have a garden but have no space for a dedicated food plot, you could plant fruit or vegetables amongst your flowers.
Alternatively, if a neighbour has a large garden, you could ask them if you can cultivate a patch of ground in return for some of your produce.
Are there any allotments available in Jersey?
The Jersey Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association (JALGA) is overseeing allotment sites in Jersey. It was formed in 2010 in order to identify possible allotment sites, and oversee the development and management of allotments. You can register your interest in an allotment on the JALGA website.
Proposed minimum standards and site criteria
A set of minimum standards and criteria has been proposed by the allotment working group. Allotment sites must:
- not occupy prime agricultural or commercially valuable farming land
- have an accessible clean water supply (personal health and safety, not irrigation)
- provide easy access, particularly for the elderly and disabled
- have adequate security measures against vandalism and trespass
- have a ‘fit for purpose’ access roadway and adequate parking
- be located close to urban areas and ‘points of demand’
- not cause any unnecessary increase in local road traffic
- not significantly impinge on the visual landscape or adjacent community
- have soil of sufficient quality and depth for spade cultivation
- be of an adequate size to be economically viable
Proposed general guidelines for sites
The proposed general guidelines for allotment sites are as follows:
- no allotment site, or plot, may be used for commercial purposes
- the keeping of livestock is prohibited
- standard individual plot size is 150sq.m
- structures which do not comply with planning consent may be not be erected, nor any other works undertaken without planning approval
- all plot holders / plot holder groups must hold adequate and appropriate insurance