Allotment wars! How community vegetable patches have become a battleground

Lifestyle

Name: Allotment wars.

Age: There have been heated arguments over allotments for ever, or at least since there have been allotments. But this one is new.

Which one? The one in the village of Bearsted in Kent.

What’s the issue? A proposal, known locally as Project A, to move the village allotments. Some are for, others … you guessed it … are against.

Here’s an idea, admittedly an old-fashioned one: put it to a vote. Call it, I don’t know, democracy? Or Demo-cress-y?

Are we doing veg puns? Because I’m sure there is a war and peas one in here somewhere … Not your best. Anyway, they did that, a vote. That’s the problem.

What is? The vote. Some people are saying it was rigged.

Who does, Donald Trump? Was this on Wiki-leeks? Hoe hoe hoe – very funny. No, some of the villagers are said to have become suspicious when it emerged that some of the votes in the online poll might have come from foreign IP addresses.

Russian interference! In the Bearsted allotment war! Putin wants his say in where Blighty’s (hopefully blightless) potatoes are grown. He’s probably got a satellite on it, Spud-nik … No, the village sleuths are exploring the possibility that the IP addresses could have come from South America and Australia.

[Adopting Australian accent] “We’ll show those poms, and their pommes de terre, who’s in charge.” Possibly. The relevant authorities are reportedly investigating.

GCHQ? The parish council. When they get back from their holidays.

Why do people want to move the allotments anyway? To expand the tennis club. And new allotments would be created across the road.

But, as an allotmenteer myself, I know it takes years to get an allotment the way you want it. It was you! Unless you’re the Taff’s Well poisoner? Or both?

Who the hell is the Taff’s Well poisoner? No one knows, obviously. But someone in Taff’s Well, near Cardiff, has been spraying the allotments there with weed killer.

Whatever for? Again, no one knows. Villagers have set up security cameras to try to find out. They think the culprit might have been using a water pistol to attack the plots through the fence.

It’s all conflict and division – what happened to The Good Life? Allotments are much sought after; more than 100,000 Britons are on the waiting list for one after a lockdown surge of interest. A poll this year found that having one is among the three most popular life goals.

Do say: “Project A? Turnip down. I’m against it – from my head to-ma-toes. Keep calm and carrot on …”

Don’t say: “Anyone for tennis?”