Let Harvest 2020 Begin!

This time last year, after a promising start, events conspired to put gardening and harvesting somewhat on the backburner.

This year, events have conspired to have the opposite effect. Not just for extra lockdown projects like the greenhouse and fruit cage, but to have beautifully weeded, prepared and planted out in the veg beds for once too. Continue reading

Let me take you down

The final addition to our new fruit cage has been the construction of a raised strawberry bed, like those you get in some PYO places.

Another project accelerated by the benefit of the extra lockdown time at home and again using our supply of junk wood. Continue reading

Nursey Times, Lockdown Hair, and Pallet Man Rides Again

We’re currently busy with the annual planting out now that the risk of frost has passed.

There was some unusually late frost here last week that had us dashing out for several nights to fleece the young potatoes. The first time we’ve ever had to do this, as climate change driven weather extremes continue to build. Continue reading

Show me round your Fruit Cage

You could have a laurel hedge, taking up the sunniest spot in the garden. Or you could have a fruit cage, where the fruit might be as sweet as can be.

We chose the latter, and took a preverbal sledgehammer to the laurel. Well a chain saw and a mechanical digger to be precise. Continue reading

Seeds of Life

The arrival of spring once again heralds the start of another year of seed sowing here at The Secret Acre.

As always at this time of the year, I like to remind people of this little favourite video clip that perfectly explains nature!

And for this year, here (below) is a second little clip of our first tray of new 2020 seeds.  Continue reading

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