Yes, it was sweet. Once again, though, it was - IMO - clever constructed to 'sell' us a dream. The clever editing, and clips of hazy, halcyon days (that reminded me of the old 1970s sex ed films we were forced to watch in PSD in school) reminded me of Jamie at Home and River Cottage - the underlying messages of which are 'jolly good smashing fun if you have pots of money in the bank to fripper about with; particularly if you have a lot of invisible background chums to help you out, but stay conveniently out of shot for most of it, giving the impression that I have 56 hours in every sun-drenched day to potter in my garden'.grahamhobbs wrote:Well, what was there to dislike about it, it was sweet and anything to get new people growing their own must be good.
It's only the impression that you can feed yourself on a few plants dotted amoungst the roses that concerns me, this veg. growing is only going to be a very occaisional small supplement to buying your veg at the supermarket, it is not going to seriously feed a family. It's this false impression that concerns me. Ok encourage people to start growing, but be realistic. Otherwise what happens people get an allotment and give up in no time because they have unrealistic expectations, wasting the space for people who are serious.
That dream is just that, for most of us. Lovely as Alys' garden undoubtedly was, I doubt my kids would be too impressed if I got rid of all the grass to make way for a brassica patch; and as much as I'd love to grow beans up my washing line poles I doubt they'd last two minutes with my miniature Tarzans trying to climb them.
Yes, it is good to encourage people to start growing their own food but I agree that this programme may be unrealistic. And yes, I have first hand experience of people getting allotments on a 'whim' (because they've watched Jamie or Hugh, usually) who although excited in Spring, were decidely less so once they'd had it a few months and have now let it fall into rack and ruin. But, as long as they pay their subs, the council seem to turn a blind eye, despite most rules and regs expecting at least a minimum of cultivation.
I used to have my name down for an allotment. Once I had 2 kids under 4, and realised that the practicalities of getting two buses to either site with 2 kids AND assorted stuff were virtually zero, I took myself off the list to make way for someone else. That's why I became involved with the community garden - a raised bed which, if used properly CAN feed four, needs far less work and is local enough for us to walk to several times a day. Undoubtedly less beautiful and magical than Alys' little paradise, but a far better compromise for us and, I imagine, most families that this programme was actually targeted at.