A fresh appeal has been made to residents to become allotmenteers after improvement work at the Greenisland site.
Drainage and paths have been upgraded at the Knockleigh Drive gardens by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
Speaking ahead of workshops to encourage others down the ‘grow your own’ route, the Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, said: “I am delighted to confirm that extensive drainage work has recently been completed at Greenisland Allotment Gardens.
“This will make the ground more manageable and will especially help plot holders throughout the wetter winter months. The path network was also improved in October.
“New fencing and gating was installed in 2016, and a series of free Grow Your Own workshops, open to both allotment holders and members of the public, have been held on site each month for a number of years.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to improving the wellbeing for all the people of the area, through the services it provides, including our Allotment Service, and I am pleased to say Greenisland Allotment Gardens is looking better than ever and is an ideal site to Grow Your Own.”
Two long-term tenants, Adrian Johnston and Barry Shaw, agree and are keen to encourage residents to take up a plot themselves.
Adrian said: “Having my allotment gets me out into the fresh air and I have made friends with like-minded people. Growing my own fruit and veg is very rewarding and the taste is so much better than shop-bought produce.
“Through allotment gardening I have a good supply of fresh fruit and veg throughout the year and save a lot money.
“There is a great allotment community here, people help each other out and share knowledge. I’m out there nearly every day, in all weather, and feel my health has improved greatly with the physical exercise and fresh food.”
Echoing these views, Barry said: “I hadn’t a notion about growing a vegetable two years ago but nevertheless I took on a half plot, built a few raised beds and planted a few different seeds.
“I was surprised when things actually grew! You get great satisfaction when you harvest your own fresh food and are able to take it home and make your dinner using it.”
A Grow Your Own workshop will take place on Saturday, November 24 and again on Saturday, December, 22, 10am to noon.
If you are interested in applying for a plot visit www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/allotments
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