Film ID:
YFA 1310



Visitor Tabs


Part of the Yorkshire Media Consortium project, Roots follows two allotment holders in Doncaster over the course of a year, watching how they work and finding out why they do it.

Title - Roots

The film opens with a sign that reads "Allotment Act 1922 - This land is cultivated as garden allotments. Any person who without lawful authority or by negligence causes to any allotment, garden, growing crops, fences or buildings thereon is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of ___"

Title - Winter

A man in jeans, Phil Knowles, is shown at work in his allotment digging with a spade and shovelling soil into a bag. Close-ups of plant leaves and vegetables follow, and Phil can be seen in his greenhouse.

In another allotment Jim Robinson operates a small rotary plough and plants his onion bulbs for the coming year.

Title - Spring

The next segment begins with Jim in his lush green allotment raking the ground before he plants his carrot seeds. Inside his polytunnel Jim is selling pot plants in trays, the money from which he uses to buy peat.

Phil meanwhile is hoeing and raking his allotment, and there are close-ups of his shallots and tomatoes. He shows a bath of dark green water that he uses to feed his crops, explaining that it contains a secret ingredient. The ingredient turns out to be Phil's urine, leading him to state that he must have chlorophyll in him.

The film cuts back to a sign for Jim's allotment, and there are shots of Jim and a small boy weeding his vegetables.

Title - Summer

Jim, in shorts and sandals, feeds his chickens with bread and picks some raspberries. This is followed by shots of sweet corn, red lettuce and broad beans. A mound of garlic is shown having been harvested but Jim points out the grubs of the carrot fly that have ruined that particular crop.

Phil samples some of his broad beans and points out his courgettes, with which he makes courgette cakes. There are lingering shots of Phil's bath and the rain dripping into it.

Title - Autumn

Jim points out the devastation that rats have wrought upon his sweet corn before shots of onions and shallots that have been more successfully harvested. Phil is shown picking his runner beans before the film cuts back to Jim turning over his allotment with a garden fork to gather his potatoes. A montage of footage from both allotments follows and the film comes to a close on a shot of Jim's onions.

Title - Thanks to Phil Knowles and Jim Robinson for their help in making this programme.

Title - Editor George Fretwell

Title - Facilities Provided by Fern Creative Media

Title - A Film by Chris Batstone
Duncan Robertshaw
Produced by darts
As part of Yorkshire Media Consortium
Archived by Yorkshire Film Archive
Supported by A4E Contemporary Video Collection
Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England