Many would-be growers lack a space to get their hands dirty because allotment waiting lists in the UK can last decades. A brand-new digital platform offers a remedy.
Many individuals turned to vegetable patches for comfort and security when the UK went into lockdown last March, unleashing a wave of panic buying that cleared store shelves. Sowing, hoeing, and growing were methods of gaining control in uncertain times with hints of "dig for victory," but only for those who were fortunate enough to have gardens or allotments.
Many people who didn't have either joined the latter's waiting lists. In certain locations, the National Allotment Society reported a more than 300% increase in applications, which added decades to already lengthy waiting lists. One Leeds allotment supposedly has a 170-year waiting list right now; that's a long time to wait for your runner beans.
Many homeowners are unable or unwilling to maintain their gardens, which results in wasted potential growing space while would-be farmers wait indefinitely. If there was only a way to link the two.
Conor Gallagher, an architect, launched „AllotMe“ this week, a digital platform dubbed the "Airbnb for gardens," so there is now, thanks to him. It enables owners of green spaces that aren't being used to rent them to potential farmers looking for land.
Gallagher developed the concept after relocating from Belfast to London. "I was aware of the large number of people who lack a garden or access to outside space, as well as the near-impossibility of obtaining an allotment through conventional channels. It was clear that there was a strong yearning for sustainable living but that there was no means to satiate it, he says."As an architect, I'm educated to see possibilities in space, and it dawned on me when I passed an overgrown and forgotten garden that there is an untapped reservoir of outdoor space in London that is going unused, so why not put the two together?" - Born was AllotMe.
Gallagher's own backyard was the first plot to be listed on the platform, following in the footsteps of Airbnb's creators who were the first to advertise their residences there. Corrie Rounding of south London, the first "greenfinger" to use the platform, has rented Gallagher's garden.
It's extremely difficult to find a place to grow your own in London, says Rounding, who has been looking for one for a very long time. "Having the ability to cultivate their own is fantastic for the global society with green thinking, but it's also quite soothing. Working outside is so relaxing, I adore it.“
Gallagher has only recently become interested in gardening. He first dug his hands into the dirt a few years ago after learning the advantages of growing his own food for his mental health. In a similar manner, he thinks „AllotMe“ will improve the wellness of others while fostering a sense of community. It's appropriate that „AllotMe“ debuted during Mental Health Awareness Week also with by indirectly achieving certain Sustainable Development Goals like SDG3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).
then how much is it to rent a garden? Well, depending on size, the going charge for a plot is currently between £15 and £30 each month. A portion of the fee is given to „AllotMe“, an organization that offers insurance, or "garden guarantee," to people who rent out their yards.
Gallagher claims that the platform's "greenfingers" cannot be cleanly categorized into a certain age, although he believes that "they are maybe a little bit younger than the conventional perception of a gardener."
Despite just being introduced this week, the „AllotMe“ waiting list in London alone already has more than 1,000 people on it. But this is more than just a fashionable capital project. People are enrolling all over the UK, according to Gallagher, though he acknowledges that the demand for sustainable gardening and spare plots now exceeds the supply. He expects that this will change as more people learn about the platform and as the trend toward sustainable living spreads.
Sustainability, in his words, "is a significant part of it." "Hosts may not be able to use their outside space for a variety of reasons, but by allowing someone to rent it and use it to grow food, they are facilitating a contribution to a greener society and playing a part too," the author said.
More information: https://www.allotme.co.uk/greenfingers