PLOT TO COMMERCIAL - ALEX
Hi I’m Alex - some know me as The Essex Allotment, a commercial veg grower in the heart of Essex.
Although now forging a career out of all things ‘grow your own’ my gardening journey didn’t start that way. Like many it started as a hobby designed to help improve a small part of my life.
Living in the city of Chelmsford in an apartment with a newborn on the way, 4 years ago I decided to apply for an allotment to give my, soon to be family some outside space to enjoy. Over the years it became so much more than that.
Yes it gave me the desired outside space I craved, however it was the springboard to a change in career, pace of life and a better understanding of my personal well-being.
My growing skills were limited but highly influenced by a mother whom worked in the floral arts industry, and early memories of summer days picking tomatoes and cucumbers from my grandads greenhouse. I think that’s why, still to this day, my favourite ‘veg’ to grow is a big fat juicy tomato! The smell of that greenhouse on a warm summers day will stay with me forever! I wanted to ensure my son had similar memories to call on in the future.
Fast forward to now, and those 4 years allotmenteering have been the most valuable 4 years for me personally so far. I have a better understanding of food, what I eat and what impact it has on my body. I understand the importance of having time to myself and my thoughts. Planting hundreds of plants in spring with nothing but fresh air and nature’s song has been incredibly beneficial to my mental well-being. Most importantly I put my time working with nature down to my change in attitude towards life, Encouraging me to reevaluate what is really important.
I now feel ready to encourage others to understand the importance of what we eat and how it is produced. Looking after our bodies (and the environment) by eating the right way. So I’m now producing high quality fruit and vegetables free from all chemicals and pesticides on a commercial, albeit local scale.