The first seed
It all started with a letter presented at Cornworthy Parish Council’s January 2009 meeting, calling for allotments to be provided. Posters were displayed in the Parish, asking people, if interested, to apply and within a short time nineteen letters had been received.
Begins to grow
Cornworthy Allotment Association was established on 28th January 2009, with a Founding Committee of six, who met in the Hunter’s Lodge Inn, Cornworthy. The aim was to provide allotments for local people.
In the land
In March 2009 the Parish Council made a valiant attempt to secure a piece of land for the allotments but there was great disappointment when this Tender application was unsuccessful. However, by the summer, a more positive mood was afoot, with the generous offer of land from a local landowner, and in September a private agreement was signed. The site is good growing land and picturesque with stunning views of Dartmoor, the River Dart and out to sea.
By October the work really started and the site was ploughed, harrowed and sectioned off into twenty full or half sized plots. Local farmers gave us help with the loan of equipment/expertise and by mid October all of the plots had their first tenants. Some of the holders had experience in growing crops but many were complete novices.
By January 2010 Planning Permission for the erection of a communal shed and composting lavatory was granted and the spring brought us grant funding from South Hams District Council, Devon County Council, Devon Community Foundation and South Devon Coastal Local Action Group. These funds, gratefully received, have helped provide the site infrastructure which includes a communal garden shed, composting lavatory, straw bail urinal, rain water harvesting system and a borehole. By the winter of 2010 we had achieved a fully sustainable allotment site with disabled assess to all the facilities. The second season brought an increasing demand for allotments and we put in three extra plots to accommodate this.
And with hearts, over time
Today there is a great sense of pride and achievement with our
allotments. The novice growers have received a lot of support and
encouragement from the more experienced so we all grow together. Fame
came our way in May 2011 when Devon Life Magazine told the World about
15th June 2011.
Easter Saturday, April 2012 saw the launch of a book about our allotments called The Perfect Plot. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Kim Sayer and forward by gardening expert Christine Walkden. The book tells the story of how to set up an allotment and there are lots of growing tips as well. Jonathan Dimbleby sums up our book as ‘Both a practical manual and a magical story that lifts the spirit.’ The book is published by Simon & Schuster.