A quiet revolution has been taking place in London allotments over the last few years. Its not only what is being planted, but who is doing the planting that has seen a dramatic change. The growing interest in all things organic and the blooming of modern health-consciousness have made having your own allotment downright trendy and waiting lists have lengthened accordingly. To have the pleasure of hoeing their own plot of land, residents in the Muswell Hill area now have to wait three to five years, and those in Highgate are even worse off with waits of five to seven years. Some areas have closed their waiting lists entirely. All in all, the London allotment is not what it was. Formerly strictly the province of older men, planting traditional, if unadventurous, staples like cabbage and potatoes, the average allotment now sees large numbers of young women with families digging in asparagus and courgettes. It has become a place to spend time with the kids in the great outdoors, without having to go too far from home. Some enlightened councils like Haringey are about to spend around 100,000 on developing allotment sites, but growing problems of vandalism and burglary also need to be addressed.
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