Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette
Being in the middle of a city like Chelmsford doesn’t stop you getting out into the great outdoors.
We welcomed James Gardner into Jo Bailey’s Drive show last week. James talked about the ups and downs of maintaining an allotment in the centre of town.
Lots of people grow their own produce of course, but what makes James different is that he writes a diary on Instagram talking about his progress – and importantly, how you can get positive mental health benefits from taking time off to look after a small city centre wilderness.
There are only 12 small allotment plots in the city centre of Chelmsford and James has been looking after his plot since November last year.
It was really interesting to hear James’s success stories and also the things you can keep on an allotment – including bees and chickens.
And I had no idea that allotments were still measured in rods, perches or poles, old Anglo-Saxon measurements. A typical allotment is 10 square rods, about 1/16th of an acre or about 250 square metres.
To show how well he’s doing James came in with a whole load of vegetables too, although I don’t know what happened to them afterwards.
You can read James’s Instagram diary at www.instagram.com/escapetothecityallotment and you can hear James talking on air again about his experiences at www.phoenixfm.com.