Hacking the Swimming Pool (Smallholding Turkish Style, Part 2)

As if making your own wine in glorious sunshine wasn’t enough, the Turkish smallholding we visited this summer had a brilliant swimming pool hack. Continue reading

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Smallholding Turkish Style

Visiting Turkish friends this summer, we were told we must visit their Uncle in Urla who, like us, has built a house on an acre of land and is growing his own. And what an inspiration it turned out to be.

Alongside the veg, figs and olives, smallholding Turkish style means a small personal vineyard, about 10 rows of vines producing about 250 bottles a year, which of course we felt duty bound to taste extensively whilst discussing the finer points of our respective wine and cider making. Continue reading

Yesterday’s Veg Patch Harvest

Particularly pleased with our first ever crop of Padron Peppers (bottom left), continuing our Mediterranean weather themed summer. And one of our favourites in the kitchen.

At this rate of climate change we’ll soon be able to supply our favourite local tapas bar!

That’s Shallot

Having pickled the first sowing of radishes, our next harvest at The Secret Acre was once again the over wintered onions and garlic.

This year’s varieties were Cristo and Iberian Wight for the garlic with Troy F1 white onions and Electric red onions. Although the results seem on a par with last year’s varieties. Continue reading

139 Days Later…

Has The Secret Acre gone to rack and ruin since our last blog 5 months ago?

In short, no.

What has gone to ruin, we’ve realised, was our resolve to only work part-time since moving to the smallholding. Both our hours have slowly crept up again over the last two years, almost without noticing. Continue reading

Three Wassails and a Burns Night

Chepstow Wassail & Mari Lwyd

Once again, January came and went, before we actually put into action any of our good intentions to make an early start in the garden.

Not that it was all just lounging around in the house after Christmas drawing up planting plans and ordering seeds.

As the snowdrops started to emerge, we got down to making another year’s supply of marmalade, following the award-winning formula we accidentally hit upon last time round. Continue reading