Each month we are going to be getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For August, we have been chatting to John Padgett, who currently volunteers as the BHAS Chairman, and is at plot 41a at the Hertford Avenue allotment site.

How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?

I’ve had an allotment for 5 years now. I feel the growing of fruit and vegetables is one of the most primitive of human activities and it’s all too easy nowadays to bypass any connection with how our food is grown. In our busy, compressed lives, the allotment is a peaceful oasis.

What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?

Watering, picking raspberries, feeding my pumpkin and more watering!

What crop has done well this year?

My crop of Garlic (Sprint) did well this year. It must have enjoyed the relatively mild winter and wet spring. The raspberry canes (Joan J) have also done well and I collect about half a large punnet every other day at the moment.

What are you planning to grow next season?

In addition to the Asparagus, Raspberries and Dahlias which are perennials, I’ll be growing Purple Sprouting Brocolli, Salad leaves, Climbing French Beans and doing some experimenting with some unusual squashes

What’s your favourite recipe to make with your harvest?

At the moment it’s got to be Fresh Raspberry Meringues. I buy the meringues for simplicity then just top with whipped cream and heaps of fresh raspberries – it’s the perfect way to finish a meal on these hot summer days.

Our thanks to John for taking the time to answer our questions this month and provide a look into his allotment world.  If you’d like to be interviewed for next month’s newsletter, please contact us!