About paulrainger

Smallholder trying to be selfsufficientish. Previously an environmental campaigner, and Founder of Bristol's BIG Green Week Festival. Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me from the way I walk.

An Apple a Day

October of course sees the official arrival of Apple Day in the UK, and an opportunity for harvest weary smallholders to invite friends round to help out under the guise of having a party!

Although in truth our apple crop had been arriving progressively in the kitchen since the start of August.

And The Secret Acre is certainly no stranger to hosting our own Apple Day events, in our long standing quest to make cider, which fortunately seems to be getting better with time at least. Continue reading

Advertisements

Show Off

August’s harvest rapidly flowed into the Sept/Oct apple crop (more on this in the next blog) and before you know it here we are in November!

But while this hectic period was on, we still found time to enter September’s traditional local Village Show.

Now, veterans of this blog will know we have form when it comes to Shows.

Well, I say we, but although we have both entered before, only Emma had actually triumphed. Continue reading

August’s Bounty – Pass the Preserving Pan!

No sooner had we made our ‘Beauty Bath Spiced Apple Chutney’, than August’s harvest arrived en masse.

Suddenly every spare minute was taken up in the kitchen with the preserving pan. The Blaisdon Plums were our biggest crop, with Emma heroically creating over 100 jars of various plum based jams and chutneys for the storeroom. Continue reading

August’s Bounty – Hail the Apple?

We’ve been quiet online last month, an indication of frenetic activity in the garden and kitchen, as harvest season started to kick in.

It all started with apples. Which may seem odd. Our main apple orchard harvest occurs in mid-September and October after all. But up by the house we have a Beauty of Bath apple tree, a variety cultivated to crop very early in August, which resulted in it being awarded a Royal Horticultural Society First Class Certificate in 1887 no less. Continue reading

A Year on the Green Roof

We love our green roof here at The Secret Acre. Everyone should have one.

July is one of the best months with an outbreak of small white and yellow flowers, although this year’s display is less pronounced than last year, possibly due to the very dry spring compared with 2016’s deluge. Continue reading