It’s Just A Hobby, Though.

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Three – Plot 17 Growing Season April – September 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
It’s Just A Hobby, Though.
““Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years”


Allotmenteering is no different from blogging or writing; l have made this comparison in other posts l have published. Many of you know l liken my blog to my allotment, passions, and personality.

I have hobbies, but do l class Plot 17 as one?

The other day someone remarked to Suzanne, “Yes, well, the allotment is just a hobby, right? It makes no money, so is it worth doing? By the way, l look forward to receiving some free veg.”

When Suze repeated this back to me, l was somewhat angered as was she. The comment wasn’t particularly a flippant jokey remark. Still, it was suggested by someone who didn’t truly understand that allotmenteering isn’t ‘just’ a hobby by some, like blogging and writing are not just hobbies by some.

Everything we do comes down to time allocated, dedication and what it means to that individual.
The comment was spoken by someone who is a friend to us both but is also to be a mentor for Suze with her property investment career. [Some of you may recall a few months ago, l mentioned that Suze, in addition to wanting to be part of the gardening business, is also looking at becoming involved in a new long-term business of property development and investment].

Well, her new mentor suggested that the allotment was ‘just a hobby’ in such a way that it was unimportant.

It was like a red rag to Suze, and when l heard it, me too. I just thought it was another person who didn’t understand the importance of the plot to us. In the same way, those who don’t blog, read, or write for enjoyment can’t get their heads around those who do.

I have hobbies, l have passions, and l have my visions set on business, but in many ways, growing vegetables and so on for the table is a very different choice. It’s a lifestyle choice. Like how l changed my eating habits to reflect a healthier lifestyle which already has paid dividends in so many ways, so too is the decision to adopt a farm-to-fork philosophy.

I enjoy amateur photography. That’s a hobby. I enjoy online gaming. That is another one. I love writing, but that is also a pastime, a way of expressing myself and displaying my individualism to my friends and readership alike. I don’t have as many hobbies as l once did back in the day.

Composting started as a hobby, worm farming, not so much, l viewed that initially as a business concept, and l still do, but l have to redirect the approach on that to discover the right angle for me. Combined, however, the two are business concepts. Gardening wasn’t a hobby. That was a slow-to-rise passion because l have always loved the brown or soil side of Gardening, while Suze loved the green or plant life side. Together it made for a good combination for a business.

Earthly Comforts was originally to be a business blog; however, the blog became a hobby with the potential for flipping, perhaps at a later date should l wish, for it to become a business initiative. Still, for the time being, it is an outlet for my writing and my photography. It may remain a journal for my passions, hobbies and passive income sideline business whilst Gardening and Compost Doctoring becomes my main career path.

As to the allotmenteering, that is the central hub of business and pleasure alike. With everything under one roof now, it can become a training ground for new ideas, business formation and strategy centres and yet, that still is the sideline.

Our plot is number 17 in the allotment world where we are, 17th of a total of 78 other plots. You can tell the career farmers like Suze and l, and you can quickly tell us apart from the casual growers, the hobbyists. The difference between us is the time a person spends getting their area, their slice of farming life, prepared for the growing seasons.

The plot isn’t ‘just’ a hobby to Suze and myself. It’s more than that. It is part and parcel of taking a stand, taking stock of aspects of your life, and making decisions that alter parts of your life for the betterment of your health. It is about accountability and responsibility.

It is about taking on board a piece of land and working it hard with blood, sweat, strain, pain, and the tears of exertion and making it something to be proud of. It is about choices and lifestyle and being able to award you something other than the conventional life.

It’s about taking, moulding, and tailoring a piece of land to suit your specific needs and making it much more prominent. It’s about achievement, a legacy of sorts. Your plot represents what you want your life to stand for—taking barren earth and creating fertile grounds for growing within. It is about expression, individuality, and imagination. Farming an allotment plot is about mindset and potential for a better future.

Farming an allotment plot is as much about the environment as introducing a more organic approach to a healthier lifestyle. You are planting seeds, watching plants grow, and the joy of harvesting your chemical-free crop, taking the bounty to your table, and reaping the rewards of the foods you have created and produced.

An allotment plot in the UK is about something other than having a business that pays you a financial income. We can’t do that on council lands. But it settles in a different currency. We can barter with other like-minded farmers like communities have done for centuries in the marketplace. Where people can trade ideas and observations as much as the fruit and vegetables they have grown. It is about community, friendship, and the relationships between farmers and their lands.

Allotmenteering is about mindfulness, well-being, positivity, personal development and resourcefulness. It is about setting targets and watching them come to fruition. It is about forecasting and planning, and grafting.

There is so much work – hard work, labour, intense work. It is about preparation, true grit, determination, love, attention to detail, and learning. It’s about discovery. It is about wanting to change and wanting changes in your life to mean something. It’s about passion and enthusiasm.

It is about tackling challenges, obstacles, and setbacks and developing a strong-minded attitude, perseverance, and exploration. Allotmenteering is about development, personal growth, self-belief, and testing your abilities. It’s about the desire to see something through from the start to the end and then starting that process again and introducing more of yourself into something that you can say, l did that, we did this.

Running and managing a plot of life is all about processes and processing, which you are as a person, an individual. It’s about potential.

All these ingredients are essential, paramount, and the keys to making something much more significant than a hobby. An allotment is more than some romantic dream or fairytale of growing vegetables to feed you and your family and ONLY thinking that on beautifully clear sunny days, you can spend thirty minutes attending to your lands and reaping the benefit of fresh produce.

It is about the gruelling hours you have dedicated to working the earth with your hands and fingers in all the seasons in the cold and the wet and the mud and the shit and not thinking that just sowing some seeds is all there is to it.

It’s about dealing with all the pests and predators that want to feast on your grafting before you do and environmentally coping with them to become the winner.

So the comment of, ‘it’s just a hobby’ doesn’t cut it for me, like a writer dedicating hours of their lives to producing literature that is read by others and deriving enjoyment or knowledge that benefits them in ways they couldn’t imagine, or a blogger who spends time preparing a post that has the potential to reach out and touch a reader in ways that other things cannot, that resonates with an aspect in their lives and brings a smile or share a tear with the author.

Not everything in life is about money. It’s about satisfaction and achievement and knowing that you can make a massive difference to yourself, your life, others and their lives too.

Is allotmenteering just a hobby?

No, it’s about lifestyle and the start of something much bigger and more rewarding.

However, people will either get that, or they won’t.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. Till then, have yourselves a terrific day!

The Autistic Composter

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

24 thoughts on “It’s Just A Hobby, Though.

  1. People that speak like that I don’t think they know what satisfaction and achievement from hard work means! And I think they don’t know also what a hobby means…I hope she’ll never receive the free vegetables 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it was a bit of a blow admittedly Ribana, however not everyone gets the importance of growing your own vegetables.

      Our friend is a good person, but their focus is on property. I think, that their comment was thinking along the lines that as so much focus was being placed upon the allotment would there be any time set aside for the learning side of property business.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t take the words to heart so much?

    Obviously you pour your heart and souls into this baby! It is amazing what you guys have done! How you plan and figure out, how you prepared it and built it from nothing and how much it took for you to even get it.

    I bet the comment was said because you and Suze probably make it “look” easy. Obviously she has no idea just how much of yourselves is poured into this

    And like you said – free veggies for the table and I bet they be even more amazing than from a store – you know how was raised and is safe 😊❤️

    Also… not to mention living greenly … but has been wonderful for you 2 to get out and work together on something – keep active and healthy … is wonderful to socialize with someone you enjoy and create something incredible together – nice memories there 😊👏 good for mental health – mind and body

    But yeah – I bet you guys make it “look” easy, so maybe the friend just doesn’t have same view or picture of it? Doesn’t know just how much work it’s been? And how much of dream it is

    If was just a hobby, I would expect it in your backyard … not renting an allotment and preparing and creating – that is way more than a hobby.

    The friend may define it as a Hobby if is not making money – which is just society mindset so I wouldn’t pay much mind to that … actually just because isn’t currently making money does not mean will not pay off… because you won’t have that grocery bill – or be at mercy of stores

    This VAGUELY reminds me of the story of The Little Red Hen ?

    It wasn’t until the hen showed the bread she made that everyone saw the vision and suddenly wanted a piece lol

    I would think not to let that comment bother you – if does, maybe speak to her about how much is to you, and not a hobby.

    But most importantly is how you and Suze view… you enjoy and makes you happy right? There are many benefits and is your baby you know what you pour in

    And to make it look easy, is probably best compliment, because it is not easy!!

    Their view of it being a hobby could very well be money based

    Does Suze have a job in investment properties? Cause then is probably just because of money… which be work to make money ?

    Anything outside of that – is your own time to do as wish – so maybe just views anything outside of making money job, would be more of a hobby?

    So I do believe the friend misspoke without knowing your passion and drive with it?

    I would NOT say a Hobby – not yours

    So I wouldn’t let it bother you – you know how amazing you guys are and you know what you do, and that is what matters – it matters and means a lot to you both – that is very clear even from over here and only knowing you sorta from blogs and emails lol

    I used to scrapbook the kids lives – it wasn’t a hobby to me… I was chronicling 😉 – I very serious about recording their lives and how loved they are and always have those memories and moments frozen in time.

    I am sentimental type – save weird things lol ✌️- if means something

    Yes I enjoyed very much lol … yes was in my free time… no I did not make any money doing

    But was hard – I spent hours planning the pages and the photos – and saved all the memorabilia to adorn the pages in between the photos

    And this was before was a big thing to do – so I made all my own enhancements or items.

    It meant more than just a hobby to me – I always want my kids to know their moments and memories ❤️

    So I would not actually call that a hobby – I just did it for them and maybe me to remember and look back on – which important to me .

    So I see how someone could view differently depending on the activity or thing in question

    I can also see how it would bother you in the terms that it was said the way it came out – as unimportant ?

    It is a lifestyle choice and people do not always understand or view others choices the same way

    Make sure your mentors understand visions and positive risks – are supportive and mentor positively for optimum mentorship lol ✌️

    A mentor wants to see you succeed in all your ventures – maybe sometimes cautiously – but would never discount a dream.

    “A trusted advisor”

    But then again if she is mentor only in investments – then her comment doesn’t really have any weight 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suze’s mentor is a great guy, but he is not a gardener, but he is good at what he does. I told Suze to not take it to heart, sure l was angry, but after a while l thought, gardening isn’t understood by many just as much as writing on a blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I think you are right… if someone not experienced in something they do not understand the full extent.

        If he knew, he would be impressed –
        Sometimes people don’t see a vision until is in front of them and complete✌️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When l speak to him he is always helpful and is super impressed with everything we do. I think because Suze is sensitive and overtired, stray comments can tend to hurt more. But he’s not a gardener, he likes sitting in them, but not the prep that is required to get them into great shape.

        I spoke with him yesterday and he offered to assist with the water station.

        The general rule is when you are passionate about something you love doing you may it work for you – it comes across in everything, but when the opposite is present, you just don’t quite get how some people can see things as more than just a hobby 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He sounds like a business man not a gardening man lol

        So probably does view as a hobby

        That’s ok… just simply laugh and say … eh little bit more than a hobby

        It is wonderful that you are introducing him to this new world of gardening

        Teach him the ways if he’s interested in learning 👏

        I would be trying to learn everything from you both too 😄✌️

        I hope you let him assist… let him see the whole view 👏👏

        Who knows – maybe you create a new hobbyist lol … I’m just kidding – but maybe you can create a love for gardening and seeing beyond hobby??

        Would be to his benefit if he is in property investment – because curb appeal is HUGE!! I would think with ANY property (unless you talking huge acres of untouched land lol) but then also there – to see the possibilities to be able to get a buyer to see a vision and sell the property – OR be able to sell clean and self sustainability living to a buyer ? Give tips etc

        So yeah maybe if he’s smart could be to his benefit

        Mentor him in gardening – while he mentor in his area

        Now it reminds me of the old Reese’s commercials – where one person was eating peanut butter, and another had a chocolate bar… the chocolate bar person trips and the chocolate bar flies into the peanut butter 😄

        Hey you got your chocolate in my peanut butter 😄😄😄 do you remember those commercials ?? 😄 did you have those?

        Sometimes mixing two different things ends up being incredible 🤷‍♀️

        You guys do incredible amazing job … think of it more as a challenge, than insult … show your strength with your passion and work – then will see more than a hobby 👏

        This is where you 2 shine ✨ know that and own that!! 👏 you guys are sooooo impressive!!

        I shine in funerals – even though I am happy person… some laughed when I said I was going to work for a funeral home – just because I am happy person and full of life usually

        But with funerals it allows me to help others and give them peace and that is where I shine

        Plus I am under the cover of darkness when I contain such light 😄✌️😘

        You would normally never guess I do funerals

        At the function yesterday I was talking to the competitors of PG&E… 😘… lol … SMUD 👏

        I was teasing them about bringing down PG&E’s monopoly in my area lol

        My new guy was with me … he’s a little more quiet and shy?? 😮

        I did not expect that lol … he is good looking and should show his confidence in his death knowledge

        He is new – I am extremely social when is cause … and this my city – so I know them and have made name for myself, am respected … so many see me and come give me hug or whatever – so I introduce him – but I think he was overwhelmed little lol – I will mentor lol

        I am very good at mentoring confidence in one’s self – giving strength 😄

        Love what you do, enjoy life – you have one 👏❤️ don’t let little things like a comment stand in front of your passion and drive

        You do amazing 👏 own it 😘❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The project we have at Dover is his property or one of them, it’s an investment for him and his wife, and he asked for us to handle it, so there are dividents and l agree curb appeal is huge – sell the sizzle not the steak as they say 🙂

        I think principally, Suze is overwhelmed by everything going on and especially as she is feeling the stress of taking on board a new career especially one she is a fish out of water with. She is tired and run down, but l said to her, see it not as an insult but something to be worked with.

        Yes l was a little annoyed at first, but l know this guy and he wasn’t trying to be insultive.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yeah is hard to find balance sometimes

        I feel her – I work hard and am exhausted too .. sometimes I am fish out of water also lol

        Be the sizzle to his steak 🥩 ♨️

        Omg you could blow it out of the water like that 👏👏

        Yeah show him that hobby of yours – see if he says hobby after this lol

        I would say challenge thrown down then lol

        Show him you got skills ❤️👏 tell her to believe in her skills – she got this!! Look what you guys do!!! 👏 Suze totally got this ❤️👏

        That is a little exciting when you look at it like that!!! 👏👏❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes!! We all tired … looks like we need a week in March for nothing? Cause that’s still a dream 🙏😘

        You guys got skills so never doubt the amazing work you do!! ❤️👏

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh yeah and the opportunity for me to say something regarding the funeral profession came up when speaking to the SMUD people with my new guy… and I said …

        Funeral people are the such funny amazing people – they very hilarious and wonderful people! 👏❤️

        They laugh and the woman says “we see that”

        You just have to not be afraid to own what you love!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hahaha oh yeah sorry …

        Sacramento Municipal Utilities District


        Is our other utilities in the surrounding areas – but PG&E have monopoly in my area 😝

        Liked by 1 person

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