The Big Allotment Challenge

23 Responses

  1. Yewbarrow says:

    Saw this a few weeks ago, wouldn’t have the courage to “go that public” with my plot Dix, but hope it will be good to watch – the other programme on allotments a few years ago sort of died before it even started, don’t know how they are going to keep interest going as we all know “watched seeds” do not grow to order – anyway it will be fun I am sure – are you going for it?

  2. Beanstew says:

    Don’t think you would have to go public with your plot Jenny – the poster suggests they will be supplying ground somewhere. Pity this only came to our attention after Cliff has practically cleared his new plot – otherwise we might have persuaded him to have a go!

  3. roly says:

    to me this could be a challenge to me but one needs to look at this very seriously before taking the plunge because it could backfire

    as I’ve said before if you want to be a proper allotments grower and I mean a proper gardener you should be able to provide veg on the table all year

    and believe me it has been done but not by me it takes a lot of commitment that unfortunately I wouldn’t have

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again Geoff Hamilton used to generate interest every week on many garden ventures and I would dearly love to walk in his footsteps so far as gardening is concerned

    because you need to make every garden program interesting to all because as you say it can die before it starts

    and no I don’t grow to order I just love growing and being on the allotments and greenhouses what could be better :good:

  4. Beanstew says:

    The piece of soil they will be providing is an unknown quantity – will be good for some things, and not for others. I would imagine anyone would have to start with a soil analysis and profile. As for making it interesting all year round, I imagine there might be more than one plot, and everyone taking part growing different things, and approaching it differently. Surely by skipping backwards and forwards between plots, they could keep it interesting.

  5. gibbon says:

    what happend to my comments?

  6. dandlyon says:

    That sounds a way to pressent the program Sheilaand would cover a wide range of growing.
    My self I see no reason today having something on the allotment all year round,this is the age of the home freezer,many crops mature all at once so something like runner beans,broad beans and peas can all be frozen over a short period of time.My plot has flooded three times in recent years so any winter crop would have been lost.Carrots and parsnips are rotting in the ground or feeding the local slug population.
    A gardening program in my eyes is not all about growing but how to get the best out of what you have grown,how to make it last a few extra weeks.If all your produce has been eaten by October then its back to the supermarket,which beats the idea “I want to eat organic and know how the produce I eat has been grown and treated”

    • babyface says:

      I had an email the other day from the bbc asking me to apply. The ground is in a walled garden in Oxfordshire and you would be required to go there two days a week ( they would cover the costs). However for me two days out of my week would mean I couldn’t get to my own plots and i’d lose two days work!
      They would have been better filming people on there own plots over the course of twelve months- but these producers think they know best!

    • Beanstew says:

      They are probably trying to save on production costs, by having all the plots in the same place – otherwise they could have a crew travelling all over the place all week just to see what everyone is doing. It has a lot of drawbacks for people taking part, as Adam has already suggested. Anyone with an existing plot is used to fitting it into normal life, and it is accomodated to fit in with family, work and weather conditions. And how could you plan in a longterm committed manner as you really need to do, when they will only be interested in it for the duration of the programme? Apart from those strictures, can also bet that they will have some themes of their own that they will want to show,
      whether the people involved want to do them or not, because fashions come and go, even in horticulture.

    • Beanstew says:

      Also wanted to answer Tony (above) re winter cropping. I agree Tony that changing weather patterns suggest this is less successful and also with methods of preserving, less necessary – and I am all for green manuring as the way to go in the winter. Will they address issues like this, I wonder?

  7. Veggiepatch says:

    Hi just reading this with interest, as our lotti committee sent an email out some point last yr about it saying bbc looking for volunteers.

    The info they were sent was 10 plot holders to grow produce all yr round, and then make meals with said produce so a bit of gardening n cooking. I think it’s an elimination show a bit like the great British bake off perhaps where a policyholders a month is eliminated, the 1st couple months are given to them to develop their plot ready to start growing with a gardening guru on hand to advise a little.

    Does anyone know when it starts being shown on the BBC?


  8. Yewbarrow says:

    this proposed programme reminds me of one Monty Don did years and years ago, before he came to gardeners world fame etc. etc. – he showed how to grow veg and then cooked and ate it – really great programme and have never forgotten it – lets hope this one is similar

  9. babyface says:

    Fork to fork Yewbarrow.
    VP- the programme will be aired march 2015

  10. cilla says:

    I didn’t know about this programme so thanks for posting it. I also loved Geoff Hamilton :heart: Barnsdale is not so far from here and I met him a few times, still miss his Gardener’s World. I have the book Fork to Fork and it is very good with recipes included. I look forward to watching this.

  11. dixon says:

    We’ve had baking, we’ve had sewing and, surprise, surprise, now we have gardening. Never ones to underuse a good format, the BBC are launching a new contest to find the nation’s best horticulturalists.

    Presented by Fern Britton, six-part competition Grow, Make, Eat: The Great Allotment Challenge will see nine pairs of enthusiastic gardeners pulling on their trusty gloves and sewing the seeds of success (or not, as the case made be).

    Each duo will be filmed as they toil in their allotments every week, demonstrating their skills in growing vegetables and making jams and chutneys. But whose preserves will claim first prize at the village fair and which couple will dig themselves a deep hole?

    Instead of labouring under the watchful eyes of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the green-fingered hopefuls will be trying to impress three experts – horticulturalist Jim Buttress, floral arrangement expert Jonathan Moseley and preserves specialist Thane Price – who will weed out the weak and select one pair for elimination at the end of each episode.

    The commission follows the enormous success of The Great British Bake Off, which recently saw Frances Quinn crowned champion of the fourth series, pulling in a whopping 8.4 million viewers. BBC2 will be hoping The Great Allotment Challenge and series two of The Great British Sewing Bee will fill the considerable hole left in their schedule when Bake Off moves to BBC1 for its fifth series next year.

    The Great Allotment Challenge will be filmed in a walled garden on the Mapledurham estate in Oxfordshire and each coupling will have four months ahead of the filmed challenges to harvest their crop, so with the series expected to air in early 2014, they’d better get digging for victory..

  12. Allan says:

    Cant wait to see the contestants in their designer wellies, Pink gardening gloves, With all their stainless steel tools, I might sound a bit old fashioned and cynical but with what we have had in the past, That’s all you can expect, Why not have a garden that is already in production as a base for a program, I would love to see the produce from the beechgrove garden collected and given to a good chef, To cook and present it, Not have stupid contestants botching meals up and being told off, on air, Just to make a more dramatic program, Why have ten plot holders competing against each other, Surely four working together would give better results. :yahoo:

  13. Beanstew says:

    Think Al has just about nailed what many of us are thinking – and if so, it will be a great pity, and another opportunity wasted. The people I would be interested in watching, are those who have been at it for years, have a few tales to tell, and have become characters through their growing and life experience. The Beechgrove idea would be good too, because they have a good team, and their set-up works because they know what they are doing, and are genuine people.

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