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It's National Allotment Week (4-10 August), so what better time to visit the Regent's Park Allotment Garden? Open Monday-Friday, from 8.30am-4:30pm, you can visit at your leisure and spot a wide range of vegetables and fruits from artichokes and giant pumpkins, to raspberries and pears.

Gardens beds at the Regent's Park Allotment

When the allotment garden was set up in Regent's Park in 2010, the mission was simple - to inspire and train people to grow their own food following organic principles. The site is owned by The Royal Parks, and run in partnership with Capital Growth, who provide training and activities on site, and Capel Manor College, who use the allotment for their courses.

I work two days a week at the allotment and manage a team of five dedicated volunteers from the local area. Their help is crucial and without it, the allotment garden would simply not be viable.

Everything we do here is based on organic and sustainable principles. Apart from the customary composting and harvesting of rainwater, we have a wormery which we feed with scraps from the allotment garden. The worms produce worm tea - a natural fertilizer for plants.

Allotments have the power to transform attitudes to food. Annually, in the UK alone, it is estimated we throw way 15 million tonnes of food, however, if you've spent five months nurturing a tomato plant, then those tomatoes are not ending up in the bin! From my experience I find those who grow their own food, or at least understand the process, tend to be more careful about purchasing choices. Whether that means buying only what they will use, buying organic or buying local - ideally, all three.

Our annual Harvest Festival is on Sunday 21 September and is a great family day out. We are building a clay oven so visitors can make their own pizzas using fresh produce from the allotment, and wash it down with our freshly pressed apple juice.

Julie Riehl at the Allotment in Regent's Park

Find out more about the Regent's Park Allotment Garden.

The Royal Parks also has an allotment in Kensington Gardens and their Harvest Festival will be on Sunday 7 September.



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