More people than ever are realising that growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great ingredient for a healthy lifestyle. It's the National Allotment Week this week and we have spoken to Ilkley resident, Andrea Noble, about her allotment and how a balance of her creative job, gardening and Pilates has given her a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Andrea Noble is one of our valued clients and she kindly invited us to her charming allotment in Ilkley next to the river. Walking through the gate to her allotment a sea of vegetables and flowers neatly arranged in raised beds was a nice welcome.
Her husband, Michael, put her name down for an allotment 17 years ago and finally, 13 years later she got to the top of the waiting list. Looking back it came at a good time as she had recently lost her father to dementia and it gave her and her family a worthwhile project to help get through the most difficult time.
Initally, a lot of energy was put into digging, fencing and designing the area, which provided a great stress relief for her. Her interest for gardening, growing and nurturing was passed on from her parents with her dad nurturing a big vegetable patch. 'It makes me feel closer to my dad when I'm here amongst all the fruit and veg."
Andrea works as a textile designer for AW Hainsworth & Sons in Pudsey and has been furloughed since the start of lockdown. Photographing and working on her allotment has given her a creative outlet whilst she hasn't been able to work and it has helped with fitness and mental wellbeing. 'It was really the only safe place I could go to during the first part of lockdown and it has kept me positive." My work in textile design, my strong belief in sustainability, natural products, exercise and my creative thought processes are interconnected and influence each other all the time.
Andrea's 'Must Grow' list.
Speaking to Andrea it's clear that she spends a lot of time reviewing and planning over the winter months, growing seeds and keeping track of how to rotate crops in raised beds to use soil nutrients and avoid diseases organically.
Her long list of Must Grow's include: onion, garlic, spring onion, parsnips, leeks, kale, spinach, purple sprouting brocolli, courgettes, asparagus and pak choi.
"These are all good for my low carb diet and rich in vitamins. We all love kale crisps and also use kale and spinach in smoothies. We also enjoy having fruits such as stawberries, red, white and black currants in the freezer throughout the winter."
Any tips for good recipes?
3 Cheese Souffles
"Whilst my husband does most of the cooking...
I invented some 3 cheese souffles using our kale, onion, garlic, spring onion, added eggs, broccoli and Parma ham. They went down very well."
'Just tuck under' Sarah whispers in my ear...
Andrea has been doing Pilates with Sarah Clough for some time and through the last few months she has been able to do 3 live, online classes a week; Pilates, Pilates Barre and Weights and because of that and sticking to a low carb diet, Andrea has managed to loose more than a stone in weight over a period of time.
"I'm really seeing a benefit from the classes and what Sarah has taught me about posture and what to think about when bending down at the allotment or sitting at my desk at work. It actually prevents me from having to seek any treatments from the osteopath. I can hear Sarah speaking to me in my head, when I'm at my allotment - 'just tuck under' - 'tummy to spine' - pull up those inside legs'- it's all drilled into my head now. Thank you Sarah!"
Feeling Inspired to try out Pilates?
If after reading this you would like to try out some of our interactive online classes here at Space Fitness & Wellbeing, we would be delighted to welcome you.
Take a look at our range of classes here: Book Online
It's very easy to log onto the classes through Zoom, which is free to download. We can see and hear each other whilst exercising. Don't worry if you're a beginner or just haven't done exercise for a while, we cater for everyone. There's a really friendly atmosphere with people joining from their garden, living room or study from all different parts of the country and even from Australia!