Best in Show

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

Harvest 2020 – Part 3: Summer Holiday Helpers

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.
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Timelapse Trials

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

Harvest 2020 – Part Two

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

May Fever

Today is May Day, so happy Beltane.

It seems only yesterday it was Imbolc!

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

New Springwatch Kids on the Block

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.

Since 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

The (Good) Life on Lockdown

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…. 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.

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Goodbye Fossil Fuels

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