The first time I came accross John Harrison was on a Countrylife Forum. He was a keen Allotment Vegetable Grower and gave many Forum Members much needed advice on their gardening problems.
Some six or so years ago, John decided he would try his hand out at making a website about Allotment growing and his site www.allotment.org.uk has since grown to be the biggest and most popular website of it’s kind on the UK Net.
Whilst all this was going on we shared much information about web building together and it wasn’t long before he was helping me, obviously being around 10 years my junior, he has a far better grasp of techy stuff !
His ever faithful and lovely wife Val, then came in on the action and runs the Recipe side of the Site.
This all not being enough for them, John was approached in 2008 to write a book about his Allotment experiences and not long after came the much acclaimed and top selling book ‘Vegetable Growing Month by Month’.
After that, came ‘The Essential Allotment Guide’ and a book on living for less titled ‘Low Cost Living’.
Obviously Val felt she may getting left out whilst slaving away most of the day on her overused Oven, so they joined up to publish ‘Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves’ earlier this year, a book now well worn and fingered down the Lane.
Links to Amazon on all 4 books are at the bottom of this article.
Last October they kindly invited me to stay with them at their home in Crewe (miles away from a Southerners comfort zone!). Inbetween avoiding umpteen Cats, we swapped ideas and generally got to know each other better.
The thing I have a great respect and admiration toward them for is that before starting the Allotment website, they had fallen into bad times through redundancy etc. and rather than taking the easier route of simply finding another job, they changed their direction, took a gamble and through hard work, positive and confident thinking came out on top.
Since my visit there John and Val, whilst on ‘bunty runs’ to France and Belgium, have popped into see me twice; once on a rather dismal February day and again a few days ago in blistering late Summer heat.
With John’s expertise on Website coding matters, Skype will be shortly going bankrupt at the times I’ve sent that ‘help’ message out! We have good banter about the North / South divide, especially the weather. It’s for this reason I now have a sunny garden back drop behind the camera view thus making out that Kent has 360 days of sunshine a year!
It’s a pleasure to know two such nice people and they certainly deserve all the success they get.