Regular readers will know that autumn’s harvest season also brings forth the village show.
We have form, stating with
some urban practise, and then some baby steps, before gaining experience for a successful all-out assault on a whole section last year.
To be frank, I didn’t think it could get any better, and along with the
uncertainty around the virus this year, I doubted we would enter. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, best in show, Emma Alesworth, fruit, grow your own, homemade jam, lockdown, Paul Rainger, Produce Show, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg growing, village show |
August is always a manic month of harvesting and preserving, and our ongoing Harvest 2020 was no exception.
If anything things have been even busier this year with the
unseasonal climate change affected weather meaning everything has been ready at least two weeks early, and some crops badly hit.
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Orchard |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, grow your own, harvest, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, vegetables |
Our new nature watch camera at The Secret Acre includes a timelapse facility that we have been playing around with.
Best so far has been a summer’s day in the paddock, watching
the horses and their visitors come and go. Eighteen hours from dawn to dusk compressed into just 9 mins of film. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Paddock, Wildlife |
Tagged birds, Cam Peak, Emma Alesworth, green roof, horses, Milton Keynes, Paddock, Paul Rainger, photography, prog rock, Smallholding, Steve Hackett, The Secret Acre, timelapse, trail camera, webcam, wildlife |
Our harvesting continued apace in July and as we headed into August, traditionally the month of gluts on the veg patch.
The start of the school summer holidays also marks the traditional
influx of child labour thanks to visiting friends. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged apple juice, apple pressing, apples, Beauty of Bath, bonfire, Comet Neowise, elephant garlic, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, harvest, Lady Christl, marshmallows, Paul Rainger, potatoes, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
Today is May Day, so happy Beltane.
It seems only yesterday it was
Facemasks may be the haute couture of the pandemic, but here at The Secret Acre they have nothing to do with
the Good Life on Lockdown, but everything to do with Paul’s chronic hayfever. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged April, Beltane, climate change, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, facemasks, Global Warming, hay fever, lockdown, May, May Day, May Queen, pandemic, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
Move over Chris Packham! Because another advantage of the current Good Life on Lockdown has been spare time to finally play properly with the trail camera we received at Christmas.
moving in we have got used to observing the daytime wildlife, even when red in tooth and claw, but we really wanted a wildlife camera to also be able to capture the hidden nocturnal wildlife, in full on David Attenborough style. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Orchard, Wildlife |
Tagged animal, camera, Chris Packham, David Attenborough, Emma Alesworth, lockdown, nature, nocturnal, Paul Rainger, photography, Smallholding, Spring, springwatch, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, trail camera, wildlife |
We are living in strange times indeed. But life on Coronavirus Lockdown at The Secret Acre could be a lot worse. The sun is finally out, and there’s no shortage of spring jobs in the garden to be done.
We know we are not the only ones to have taken the opportunity to start re-watching the complete DVD set of episodes of
The Good Life again from scratch. We are just getting onto the start of season four!
Meanwhile, the time for other more practical projects has also materialised during life on lockdown. Here’s a quick pictorial run through our first two weeks on lockdown on the homestead….
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, bread making, cheese making, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, gardening, lockdown, Paul Rainger, seitan, Smallholding, Spring, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, wine making |
Last Spring we wrote about the popularity of swales in our local farmer’s fields. These temporary winter ponds help work with the water to provide natural flood regulation as well as important wildlife habitats. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Wildlife |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, flooding, floods, habitat, Paul Rainger, rain, Smallholding, swale, The Secret Acre, water, wildlife |
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.
Posted in Garden, Good Life |
Tagged chitting, crocuses, Emma Alesworth, festival, Gaelic, Imbolc, Paul Rainger, Pink Fir Apples, potatoes, Smallholding, snowdrops, solstice, Spring, spring equinox, The Secret Acre, Winter |
Well mostly at least. Yes, we have gone fully electric on the car front, even if the garden tractor and tools still need the occasional can of unleaded. Our own personal divestment at The Secret Acre.
With the old car in urgent need of replacement this winter, it simply felt wrong in 2020 to still be buying an old fashioned, polluting petrol engine (
politicians take note).
Which is not to say we still didn’t um and ah for a long time. Not getting another petrol car was the easy decision, but whether to go
hybrid or fully electric much harder. Here’s what we learned. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, House |
Tagged divestment, electric car, Emma Alesworth, EV, fossil fuels, Fully Charged, hybrids, Nissan Leaf, Paul Rainger, petrol, Red Dwarf, Renault Zoe, Robert Llewellyn, Sawdays, Smallholding, The Extra Mile, The Secret Acre |