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.

Tree Ninja!

As Spring arrives, with the annual slight panic that we still haven’t completed all the planned Winter jobs, our lateness with the orchard pruning once again embarrasses us into action.

But at least this year I have a secret weapon! Continue reading

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Hail the Salsify

Thoughts may be turning to Spring and the new growing season ahead, but the Winter veg bed is still providing the last of its produce.

Including this year, Salsify, a Victorian staple now out of fashion. This vegetable even featured in the Victorian classic Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management! Continue reading

And so the cycle begins again…

The New Year barely seems to have got underway, before the occasionally feel of a Spring like day arrives, and the veg growers cycle begins again.

For us at The Secret Acre that usually means the chitting potatoes gets underway, the rotated veg bed plan is drawn up and the new seed order arrives. Continue reading

The Mystery Christmas Tool

We arrived back at The Secret Acre after Christmas away to find that Santa had delivered a ‘mystery tool’. It was actually a double mystery.

Santa’s Elves had failed to include a note, so we didn’t know who the gift was from. We quickly guessed it was from our friend Derek, he of the Cider Motion Picture and the Boot Rack, as he has past form in the giving of mystery garden tools, which turn out to be fantastically useful, thanks to his own veg growing experience. Continue reading

Wednesdays we go shopping & have buttered scones for tea…

For once winter clearance work has started early at The Secret Acre.

Despite being here three years now, there’s still a long list of overgrown areas and hedges to be tackled eventually, a couple at a time each winter. Continue reading