Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

The Big Allotment Challenge review

by Diane - April 16th, 2014.
Filed under: allotment.

starting point of the big allotment challenge

9 couples:

Edd and Harshani – husband and wife, Northamptonshire, she’s a yoga teacher. Moonplanting.
Gary and Pete – beekeepers from Brighton
Shawn and Liz, work colleagues from Manchester
Sally and Michelle, sister in laws from Kent,
Alex and Ed
Shirley and Victoria – mother and daughter from Banbury
Jo and Avril – allotment neighbours from Redditch
Rupert and Dimi, husband and wife drum and bass enthusiasts from Surrey
Kate and Eleanor

week 1 challenge on the big allotment challenge

They have started with blank plots and a list of things to grow for the competition. They will be judges on challenges each week. Preserve making, vegetable growing and flower arranging. They are allowed to bring in their own soil conditions.

Kate and Eleanor have llamas who produce a wheelbarrow full of poo a week! >
Alex and Ed bought in worms! >

You can watch it here on iplayer

jam judging on the big allotment challenge

Grow, make, Eat

Grow – pick 3 perfectly matching radishes. Shirley and Victoria win this one!

Make is flowers – grow and arrange them. Cut 7 spikes of sweet peas. Gather flowers and cut a hand tied bouquet.
Alex and Ed win the sweet peas, and Rupert and Dimi win the bouquet.

Eat – to make a fruit jam and a fruit curd. Gary and Pete win this.

Who goes home?
Shawn and Liz

My thoughts on The Big Allotment Challenge:
It’s not a program about growing things to eat yet – maybe it will be soon. The show bench uses uniformity as a criteria which is what supermarkets do. One of the very reasons many of us like to grow their own – picking taste over appearance.
The flowers bit is almost irrelevant to me, I do grow a few flowers but not for picking, for the pollinators. Phacelia and poached egg plant are on my plot, not a huge swathe of flowers.

I do make jam though so was glad to see preserving getting shown. Making jam isn’t hard, making good jam might be!

Overall it’s an interesting program that will spark people’s interest in growing fruit and vegetables. It might put some people off if they think there’s that level of criticism over the vegetables you grow. It might also make people think that an allotment will be in a really good weeded condition when you take it on!
I will be watching it next week!
There are very few glimpses of the actual allotments, which is a bit sad as I found myself straining to catch every second looking at the plots and the inventive styles people have deployed to stop butterflies and birds from damaging the crops. I’m sure I saw a clothes maiden in there somewhere!

Maybe there will be a whole load of extras of footage of each allotment plot with a verbal tour by the allotmenters. It’s certainly something the internet could be used for even if the TV audience isn’t interested.

Next week:
Runner beans, roses and relishes.

Apparently the two bearded blokes write this blog!