Jolly Allotment

, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Even the smallest creatures can have a massive influence on our lives. For Polly Baldwin, a simple spider bite had a seriously detrimental effect on her life and health. The venom caused havoc in her gut microbiome, causing an array of illnesses that doctors deemed incurable unless she was willing to resort to strong steroids and antidepressants.

Having just been offered an allotment as the sickness started to develop, Polly insisted on working the land despite her growing tiredness and sense of hopelessness. The allotment was a saving grace, providing mental health support, fresh air, a sense of achievement, and most importantly, healthy food – all critical elements to her recovery. Digging deep into gut microflora research, Polly started discovering the power of organic food and its positive effect on the body.

Her Jolly Allotment was an inspiration to create Jolly Gutsy Gatherings, where experts share their knowledge, cooking skills and celebrate the connection between food, nature and community belonging. Follow her journey (and recipes) on social media.

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.