Women We Watch: Luby Howden
What drew you to working with nature and when did you first get your allotment?
I first got my allotment around a year and a half ago. We have lived in a city for the last several years in apartments so we’ve never really had our own green space to grow and enjoy. I have always grown things like herbs and flowers on balconies or windowsills. I’m also a real foodie and love spending time in the kitchen, there really is nothing more satisfying than growing your own food and then been able to create something delicious with it.
What plant or vegetable are you most proud of growing?
Last summer was my first real taste of what it’s like to grow your own produce. I would say my big achievements were my lettuce and beetroot. I just couldn’t believe how tasty they were and that I grew them. I also dug out and created a wildflower bed which looks so pretty and it was amazing to have your own supply of freshly cut flowers whenever you felt like it to take home. I have stepped up my game and planted lots of peonies (my favourites) this year and I’m so excited for them to come up so I can fill my home with them.
What's on your lockdown playlist? What music or podcasts do you play to see you through the day and help your veggies grow?
BBC Radio 6 is always a winner but I do you currently have Tom Misch’s new album on repeat.
Talk us through which creature comforts you've turned to at this unsettling time.
For me it’s definitely taking a long walk down to the allotment with my dog, Vinnie and just sitting on my plot and having a good cup of tea or a cheeky gin and tonic at the weekend. It’s so beautiful and peaceful down there and all the chaos seems to disappear.
Which is your pick from our Creature Comforts collection?
I have two favourites! The Watering Can Necklace and the Mini Beetle Necklace. I really love the colours! So cute, versatile and would look great with a pair of denim dungarees or light summer dress.
We love your shed, why yellow?
Thank you, I always receive so many lovely comments on my shed. I have always been into vibrant colours but now more than ever! We all need a little sunshine in our lives. Most of the sheds on the plot are just generic shed colours and I just really wanted something that stands out and has a bit of something about it. I find the colour to be a real mood booster.
Any top tips to budding horticulturalists who don’t have the luxury of an allotment?
If you have a garden or balcony then grow bags are a great place to start. They are super easy to use and you can grow anything from lettuce to tomatoes or even aubergine. I would also say that you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on plant pots. Grow your seeds in yogurt pots, oat milk cartons and vegetable packaging. Grape and mushroom containers are great! I actually prefer all of the above over pots as your plants will have more room to grow and won’t need repotting as much, it’s much cheaper and you’re recycling.
What does your beautiful assistant (your dog) make of lockdown?
Vinnie is absolutely loving life at the moment. He makes a great little allotment assistant as long as I have a supply of his favourite treats and we take regular tea breaks.
What’s the best meal you’ve made from your homegrown goodies?
Probably a roasted balsamic beetroot and goats cheese salad or courgetti fries.
Any inspiring women we should be following?
I don’t think that I could name one alone as there are so many inspiring women especially during these uncertain times. From everyone working on the frontline saving lives to small independent businesses adapting the way they would normally operate to keep themselves afloat and support the community. These times are extremely challenging for everyone but it really is amazing to see true community spirit.
If you were a plant, what would you be?
A sunflower as it would look great next to my shed and yellow is definitely one of my favourite colours... Can you tell?
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