Allotment tales and art.

Sunday the 11th of November

Make Do And Mend. The Low Carbon Low Cost Renovation of an Allotment Shed.

Sheds are interesting places, allotment sheds in particular, full of junk, bric a bric and cobwebs and memories, each one is different and closely associated with the identity and personality of the owner. Some are brand new and straight out of the warehouse, paid for to be erected on site, others are delapidated and in ruins. The sheds on “plot 99” have a long history and are associated with the anti-capitalist philosophy of forgoing new in favour of second-hand, recycled, renovation, repair and self installation.

Historically we have always had two sheds, two old wooden ones, both of which over twenty five years of weather have deteriorated. One was very small and so bad we burnt it and replaced it with an old but still functional wooden shed languishing on another allotment. After a stroke of luck and generosity we acquired this shed and rebuilt it ourselves on paving slabs bought cheaply from ? We then repainted it with ? to protect it and attached cheap roofing from Homebase, all at a cost of ?

Another shed, a robust tin-shed, was scrounged from my neighbour who was throwing it out to replace with a new one. We transported this to plot 99 at a cost of £30 but slowly realised that the aesthetics of plot 99 were better suited to wooden sheds, that a tin shed the size of this one may attract robbers. (A perennial problem on allotment sites) This tin shed was sold to another allotment holder for £60 to cover our original transport costs and the proceeds used to repair and renovate our other wooden shed. This other shed of twenty five years standing had an asbestos roof but in the winter of 2017 we finally got rid of the asbestos at a cost of £75. (The council, who own the site, declined to help except by taking it away when fully wrapped in plastic)

The repairs took a a number of weeks and involved reinforcing the old sheds roof and sides before a plastic sheet roof could be attached, for this we bought two 8ft x 2inch square wooden beams from Homebase at a cost of £16

We bought fixing screws and plastic tops to fix the plastic sheeting roof from Homebase at a cost of £10

We were given six sheets of plastic sheeting by a friendly landlord and walked them up to the plot ourselves.

We were advised to buy the regulation foam underlay for the roof as it prevents crack and breakages, unfortunately it cost £100 so we decided to do without and use old bubble wrap instead.

The shed will now be used for storing vegetables and as a nursery for new young plants.