Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are often maligned for being a platform to unpalatable opinions but they can give a tremendous amount of information, enjoyment and togetherness.

Smallholders and allotmenteers, by the very nature of their activities, are well placed to share photographs through these channels. It is simple to illustrate an ongoing project, a stop-press moment of beauty on the land, to celebrate a grow your own success or bemoan a failure.

Working on the land can be a solitary occupation, especially in the winter months. Allotments are less populated, there are fewer walkers and the wet weather repels others. Interacting with other smallholders and growers online through Facebook and Twitter can certainly alleviate the occasional feeling of loneliness, but there is so much more that joining in brings.

On a practical basis these social media networks are hugely useful. Those with honesty stalls can share what produce and other goods are currently for sale. Questions asking for advice on pest problems and answers on a topic new to you are always well received and the depth of knowledge that your online community reaches can be astonishing.

A brief word of warning. At Smallholder we consider the rule of thumb to be that if we have any doubt at all about something we’re planning to post online, we don’t post it. While you can delete a post, you are unable to prevent the people that did see it remembering that they saw it or copying it and sharing it anyway.

If you'd like to join the discussion follow us on Facebook @Smallholder and on Twitter @SmallholderMag.