New Year opportunity for allotment holders to maximise their 2016 harvest

Councillor Billy Ashe, Alison Diver, Growing Communities Officer, Carrickfergus Community Cultivator members Austin Heron and Pauline Whitley, digging in at Eden Allotment Gardens
Councillor Billy Ashe, Alison Diver, Growing Communities Officer, Carrickfergus Community Cultivator members Austin Heron and Pauline Whitley, digging in at Eden Allotment Gardens
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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is offering New Year ‘classes’ for Eden Allotment Gardens’ tenants in Carrickfergus.

Setting an example, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe, has been getting ‘stuck-in’ himself as he launched the ‘Dig In Sunday Club’.

“These monthly meetings will give allotment holders the chance to meet experts on site to gain tips, advice and practical help with their plots.”

Councillor Billy Ashe Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough

“These monthly meetings will give allotment holders the chance to meet experts on site to gain tips, advice and practical help with their plots,” said Councillor Ashe.

“January is a great time to clear a plot and dispose of any crops that have suffered in the wet conditions.

“Unused Brussels sprouts, cabbages, leeks and parsnips are some of the vegetables that can then be harvested.

“Tenants can also take advantage of days when the soil is frozen to barrow and stack manure and compost close to where it will be used it in the coming months,” Cllr Ashe added.

Alison Diver, Mid and East Antrim Borough Growing Communities Officer, said: “We have over 200 allotment holders at Eden with new members joining all the time and are often asked for a little help.

“We ran an allotment training programme last summer which proved popular which is why we have decided to create the Sunday Club. This is a day dedicated to the allotments and a great opportunity for plot holders to get some advice and practical help.”

She also said that allotment gardening can provide a number of benefits to individuals, such as the opportunity to produce a wide range of relatively inexpensive healthy vegetables, whilst at the same time providing physical exercise in the outdoors.

“It can create the opportunity to make new friends and provide the chance to socialise with others who enjoy a similar rewarding pastime.

“Allotments can provide a great sense of well-being and give pleasure and satisfaction to people who through their own skills and effort produce their own food and of course in addition allotments are also beneficial to the environment and wildlife generally. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to improving the quality of life for all the people of Borough through the services it provides including our allotment service,” Alison concluded.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has three allotment sites at Carrickfergus (Beltoy Road), Greenisland (Knockleigh Drive) and Larne (Town Park).