Friday Rambles around the Table -Gardens

Waves Hi, Come in, Come in.. Sorry you are going to need to use the farm porch, I have still not got the front path and deck cleared off yet..

Bring your boots and coats and we will put them in the front “town” foyer so that you do not go home with farm lo


It’s not bad out there today so far,  Ya, I know they said it was going to rain, but it’s snowing.. that’s a good thing as far as I am considered, I am worried about flooding and possible water issues, I mean there is nowhere for that melting water to go.  They are asking folks in the city to dig out their own drainage gutters because they don’t believe that they will get to them in time, and they are once again recommending that you clear your fire hydrant and to make sure you check and clear your furnace exhaust or dryer vents and so forth.

Still I should not make light of it in any way.. we have had 240 cm’s of snow since jan 1st, that’s a full 50% more snow then we normally get in the same time frame. Lets put that into feet and inches.. according Google.. 7 feet and 10 inches!

So I heard on the radio that the local city of Ottawa has 100 community gardens, 40 school gardens and there is a new community garden that is offering larger spaces, a full 1/4th of an acre for rent.

The cost to rent that space for the garden season $350 a plot..  that is before the travel time/cost to get to and from the garden, before the seeds, compost, tools and so forth. If you are local and interested, here is the information. (with more on the site itself!)

Serious about growing food? Looking for space to grow more than the average community garden or backyard plot will allow?

Just Food is launching a new project called The Commons – with larger plots dedicated to increasing community food production.

First site: Just Food Farm – 2391 Pepin Court in Blackburn Hamlet.
Other sites opening in the Fall in the West and South of Ottawa for 2020.
20 plots are available this year, with long-term access to them.
Maximum of one plot per household.
Size: Each plot is approximately 250 m2 (or 2,700 ft2 or 1/16 of an acre)
Cost: $350+HST per year

This got me really thinking.. what was the allotment plot in England in regards to size?

And look at that..

An allotment is traditionally measured in rods (perches or poles), an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.

So these new bigger plots are in fact that same size as used in England for their allotment size..

Now what about in Denmark? Do they like their community gardens.. The answer would be an outstanding yes!

In 1904 there were about 20,000 allotment gardens in Denmark. 6,000 of them were in Copenhagen. During the interwar years the number of allotment gardens grew rapidly. In 2001 the number of allotment gardens was estimated to be about 62,120.

How about Germany?

The importance of allotment gardens for food security was so obvious that in 1919, one year after the end of World War I, the first legislation for allotment gardening in Germany was passed. The so-called “Small Garden and Small-Rent Land Law”, provided security in land tenure and fixed leasing fees. In 1983, this law was amended by the Federal Allotment Gardens Act [de]. Today, there are still about 1.4 million allotment gardens in Germany covering an area of 470 km2 (180 sq mi).[16] In Berlin alone there are 833 allotment garden complexes

What about Russia?

The 1980s saw the peak of the dacha boom, with virtually every affluent family in the country having a dacha of their own or spending weekends and holidays at friends’ dachas. Often ill-equipped and without indoor plumbing, dachas were nevertheless the ultimate solution for millions of Russian working-class families to having an inexpensive summer retreat. Having a piece of land also offered an opportunity for city dwellers to indulge themselves in growing their own fruits and vegetables.

To this day, May Day holidays remain a feature of Russian life allowing urban residents a long weekend to plant seeds and tend fruit trees as the ground defrosts from the long Russian winter.[citation needed] Since there are no other national holidays that are long enough for planting, many employers give their staff an extra day off specifically for that purpose.[citation needed]

The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union saw the return to private land ownership. Most dachas have since been privatized, and Russia is now the nation with the largest number of owners of second homes.[citation needed] The growth of living standards in recent years allowed many dacha owners to spend their discretionary income on improvements. Thus, many recently built dachas are fully equipped houses suitable for use as permanent residences. The market-oriented economy transformed the dacha into an asset, which generally reflects the prosperity of its owner and can be freely traded in the real estate market.

Due to the rapid increase in urbanization in Russia, many village houses are currently being sold to be used as allotments. Many Russian villages now have dachniki as temporary residents. Some villages have been fully transformed into dacha settlements, while some older dacha settlements often look like more permanent lodgings. The advantages of purchasing a dacha in a village usually are: lower costs, greater land area, and larger distances between houses. The disadvantages may include: lower-quality utilities, less security, and typically a farther distance to travel.

What becomes really clear is that community gardens the smaller plots and the closer plots in the cities have been created to help “those that struggle to have fresh food”  for the working people.

The larger plots of land in many different countries are split into two types .. a larger plot that is still close to town and is around the English standard of 1/4th of a acre.. and then the larger Dacha which are starting at 1 full acre per family.

Its just as interesting to me as to what the rules are in regards to how the extra’s produced at times can be shared.. some area’s only allow extra’s to go to local community centers,  others allow small stands but not access into plots, and other allow things to be brought into the city and sold either from home and or what we would consider farmer’s market style.

What I found different in my research that only France’s plots were on marginal land and were not also used as green space, where as most of the rest of the countries all used these area’s to help create community gathering area’s and promote working together.

I am interested to see what happens in this regards over the next five years locally, we will we see more community gardens and less CSA’s or is there room for growth in both? Will we see different rules in regards to what folks can do with their garden produce’s.

Have you ever rented a garden plot? If so, what size? What did you pay for it? Did you like it? What is your families story in regards to if they had or still have a garden plot in the old country?




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5 Responses to Friday Rambles around the Table -Gardens

  1. That’s a lot of snow. We just got another dump of snow last night but we have not had as much as last year. Hopefully this means that it won’t flood this year.

    I love hearing about a move towards more community gardens. As produce becomes more expensive, community gardens may be a viable option for some people.

    Have a great day!

  2. I love the idea of community gardens – there are so many ways a garden can nourish a family. If I lived closer to a big town I would like to set up something like this. Where people can rent a patch and just work it. Or sit on it! c

  3. Silveryew says:

    Hmm. There are allotments here but there’s such a waiting list for them in our local area (2+ years!) so it seems growing in your own garden is the way forward.

    We live quite rurally at home but I know allotments are a thing at home in the larger cities.

    My brother’s wife is from Latvia and while they were under occupation by the Soviet Union, growing your own was how many people survived. They didn’t have a choice, with how poor the supply and quality of food was through official channels. In addition to this her father was deemed to be an enemy of the people (he was an academic) and was sentenced to eight years of hard labour. So her mother was left with three very young children, so having that space to grow food was a necessity.

    Initially there was a strong crackdown on it but it, as black market trading (people bartering with each other) was illegal but it got more relaxed as the decades went on. Her grandmother owned some land in the countryside that was not collectivised, and she remembers travelling out there with her family as a teenager regularly to tend the land to grow and preserve the food they grew.

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