Is it possible that us allotmenteers and home growers are part Womble?  Do you feel a sense of achievement and pride when you re-use or re-purpose something, particularly when the thing in question was freely given with a smile?

For as long as I have had an allotment, I’ve been a member of Freecycle.  I’ve received many very useful items from many very lovely people in the local area.  The red metal shelves from a couple in Clapham; the shelves still hold all of the Very Important Items in the tool shed.  The propane greenhouse heater from the elderly lady, downsizing in Whitton and most recently two thirds of a bulk bag of compost from a twenty-something who only wanted enough to fill a raised bed and a third of a bag of sharp sand left behind by builders in Ham.  Thank you to all of them for their generosity and thoughtfulness.  Their gifts have become part of my allotment story.

one person's trash

I do my bit to give back too.  Although I’m an avid scanner of the offers column, I’m still surprised that other people want my junk!  Today Lincoln happily collected the tile cutter, telling me about his planned DIY project for the bank holiday weekend.  Jane collected the garden chairs and promised to send photos of them upcycled for the volunteer garden project.  Phil collected the Dyson upright, one just likes his parents apparently.  He left knowing that it had belonged to my father in law.  Finally Francine who had been desperately seeking another IKEA Termosfar light to complete her design; she had thought she would need to order from the States so imagine her delight when she discovered the item was just a 10 minute car drive away.  There is a part of me that likes the idea that in some way, me and my junk have become part of those people’s stories.  Strangers who have become a little bit more connected.

An added bonus is that the place of nightmares , aka the cupboard under the stairs is tidy with useful items such as jam jars neatly stacked in boxes.

Are you a Freecycler (or a member of some other similar board)?  It’s easy to join, go on – just click here.