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      ‘ myself will be here and John will bring his flask,” he says. “If we both come up, we always have our lunch up here,” John adds.
Steve Ohlsen took on his allotment at Cotton Lane in Bury St Edmunds 12 years ago. He had been on the council's waiting list for three years when the decision was made to extend the allotments towards the river Lark. It was great to have a blank canvas, he says, as this allowed him to design the layout of his plot for himself.
Despite waging a constant battle
against pests - including muntjac, rats, field mice, moles and pigeons - Steve has grown an impressive array of produce over the years.
“We have had success with kale, chard, mangetout, calabrese, sprouting broccoli, summer, winter and spring cabbages, dwarf, French, runner and climbing beans, cauliflower, sweetcorn, swede, turnip, beetroot, courgette, butternut squash, pumpkin, leeks, onion, shallot, parsnip, carrot and celery,” he says.
“We also shared the development of
an asparagus bed - it took three years to get established - but was so worth it.”
“Growing vegetables and fruit requires you to acquire knowledge and skills, and the satisfaction from teaching your grandchildren these is enormous.”
“Working down the allotment helps keep me fit and contributes to my mental well-being. A spell on the plot nurturing plants and contemplating nature makes me happier and more hopeful about life.”
Above and below right, allotments at Great Barton and Fornham along with locally grown vegetables and flowers
Stock images and pictures by Melanie Weaver and Sarah Field-Rayner

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