Hello Imbolc

The start of this month was Imbolc, the traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

It is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, as the very first hopeful signs that life will start to return from winters grip start to emerge.

Continue reading

Horse’y New Year

It may be the Chinese year of the Rat, but 2020 kicked off at The Secret Acre with a distinctly horse’y theme.

Before Christmas, fellow smallholder and gardening author, Kim Stoddart, reminded me that we could take a first light harvest of horseradish, just over a year on since we first planted it. Continue reading

Will it ever stop raining?

While the other side of the World burns, here in the UK we have had constant rain and flooding for well over three months now.

The fires are an immediate threat to life, while the crops lost to flooding speak of the future food shortages we can expect as the extreme weather events of climate change accelerate.

Away from human hubris, at least the mushrooms have been enjoying it, with boom in rare mushrooms are appearing across the country.  Continue reading

A Hiccup and a Harvest

Back in May I opined about how on top of all things veg we seemed to be this year, warning that it surely couldn’t last.

And that hiccup arrived almost immediately in the form of a prolonged spell of unexpected parental care, now all fine fortunately, but leaving Emma to cope solo on the veg patch.

So the harvest we have enjoyed is all down to her hard work. Here’s a pictorial roundup of some of the action. Continue reading

Digger Man

We are great admirers of ‘no dig’ champion, Charles Dowding, but somehow I don’t think this what he means!

Generally we are more than in favour of anything that reduces the need to wield a spade ourselves. But when we recently cleared a large area of laurel to make way for a future fruit cage, leaving the massive stumps and roots to be removed, I was resigned to a day of hard working with the pickaxe to finish the job. Continue reading