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Author of 'Minding Your Peas and Cucumbers',
Kay Sexton discovers the dark secrets of your allotment personality.

Being asked to write 'a little bit' about allotments is a bit like one of those dinner party games where you're asked to describe
your partner in just three words. How do you sum up something so demanding, fascinating, infuriating and rewarding in
such a smallspace? (I'm talking about my allotment here; summing up my partner is easy by comparison!). Slowly, over the
many years I've spent around allotments, I've come to understand that it's not the allotment that's the problem.

It's the allotment-holder. Some of us were born with a strange gene - we have the tendency to allotments. Others weren't, and
no matter how long we talk, or how much we enthuse, they will never 'get it'.So, for those who wonder how far down the winding
path of allotment-mania they've gone, and for people trying to understand what makes an allotment-holder tick, here is a simple
test to see if you have to this permanent, but largely harmless, condition.

If asked to visit an
allotment you will:

a) Make an excuse not to go
b) Take along a camera,
notebook and pen, so you can
gather evidence of allotments
that aren't being properly cared for
c) Enquire as to whether there is a
group working day planned and
avoid that date. You've done your
share of fence-painting and path
mending, thanks very much

When you visit an
allotment site you look for:

a) The exit
b) Evidence of vacant plots
c) The best kept allotment and then
compare the size of the leeks,
straightness of potato rows and
fruitfulness of greenhouse
with your own

You think Wellington boots:
a) Would be better with a stiletto heel
b) Are excellent - you have two pairs;
one for the allotment and one for...
well, also for the allotment...
c) Serve a purpose in wet weather but
aren't much good for digging up
potatoes or preparing runner bean
trenches

You planted your first crop
when you were:

a) Forced to
b) Sick of paying a fortune for watery
tasteless tomatoes
c) Knee high to a gooseberry bush

Your favourite vegetable is:
a) Asparagus
b) Any of them
c) Something that it takes a
wheelbarrow to transport: giant
pumpkin, mammoth onion, huge
marrow etc.

You believe broccoli is:
a) Devil spawn - nothing that
looks like so much like a tree can
possibly be edible
b) Something everybody can
enjoy - you just need to find
the right way of cooking it
c) Best picked on Christmas
morning for lunch on Christmas Day

Your ideal holiday is:
a) A Seychelles beach break
b) Spent touring the kitchen gardens
of Victorian England
c) No such thing, peas don’t pick
themselves you know!

win a signed copy of Kay's book, 'Minding Your Peas and Cucumbers' here >
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