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July 10, 2009

Allotments and how to get one seem to be a hot topic at the moment. At a recent dinner, one wannabe allotmenteer reckoned that there was a three year waiting list before you could start tending the loam on an Edinburgh council patch. Another diner said that she had resorted to lurking around the allotments and offering to help the more frail, elderly gardeners in the hope that she might inherit their patch should they go to the great raised bed in the sky.

A new National Trust initiative has just launched a campaign to persuade people to try an alternative to the allotment: vertical vegetable gardens. Apparently, there is the equivalent of 344 football pitches worth of space on the UK’s window ledges and anyone with a flat should be able to grow enough veg for a meal.

Telly chef and author Gizzi Erskine is fronting up the campaign and tending the window boxes at her East London flat. Her top tips for how to get started, what veg works best and how to use it can all be found here.

Gizzi preparing to swing her chard
Gizzi preparing to swing her chard

Pic from National Trust