Plot 29: A Love Affair with Land
Plot 29 is on a London allotment site where people come together to grow. It's just that sometimes what Allan Jenkins grows there, along with marigolds and sorrel, is solace. When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don't want to talk I turn to plot 29, or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows; my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away. I nurture small plants from seeds, like when I was small and needed someone to care for me. I offer protection from danger, as I tried to for my brother. It's not all about healing, though it's there in abundance, like summer beans. Sometimes it's just the joy of growing food and flowers and sharing with people you love. A personal narrative blended with beautiful descriptions of gardening and the pleasures of losing yourself in the horticultural, Plot 29 weaves together memoir and memory, from the author's childhood to the present day.
Allan Jenkins is editor of Observer Food Monthly. He was previously editor of the Observer Magazine, food and drink editor on the Independent newspaper and once lived in an experimental eco-community on Anglesey, growing organic food on the edge of the Irish sea.