Three Wassails and a Burns Night

Chepstow Wassail & Mari Lwyd

Once again, January came and went, before we actually put into action any of our good intentions to make an early start in the garden.

Not that it was all just lounging around in the house after Christmas drawing up planting plans and ordering seeds.

As the snowdrops started to emerge, we got down to making another year’s supply of marmalade, following the award-winning formula we accidentally hit upon last time round. Continue reading

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Tap’y New Year

If you were with us this time last year, you will know that Emma and I decide to dump the traditional first 24 wedding anniversaries – the rubbish ones like ‘paper’ and ‘glue’ which come before the serious bling – in favour of our own list of things we actually like.

So we wrote down 12 each and randomly assigned them into the 24 draws of a repurposed advent calendar, to be opened at the start of each year. Continue reading

Cider – The Motion Picture!

The inevitable consequence of Apple Day in October is of course a new batch of cider making.

And this year our friend Derek was on hand to record it all on film, leaving me in presenting terms somewhere between Jack Hargreaves and Kevin McCloud I fear.

Anyway, grab your popcorn for the first (and quite possible last) Secret Acre movie…

An Apple a Day

October of course sees the official arrival of Apple Day in the UK, and an opportunity for harvest weary smallholders to invite friends round to help out under the guise of having a party!

Although in truth our apple crop had been arriving progressively in the kitchen since the start of August.

And The Secret Acre is certainly no stranger to hosting our own Apple Day events, in our long standing quest to make cider, which fortunately seems to be getting better with time at least. Continue reading

Show Off

August’s harvest rapidly flowed into the Sept/Oct apple crop (more on this in the next blog) and before you know it here we are in November!

But while this hectic period was on, we still found time to enter September’s traditional local Village Show.

Now, veterans of this blog will know we have form when it comes to Shows.

Well, I say we, but although we have both entered before, only Emma had actually triumphed. Continue reading

The Timeless Wonder of it all

April was unusually warm and dry, ensuring Spring arrived with a vengeance, underlining the timeless wonder of it all.

At The Secret Acre it proved a busy month recycling, creating new borders, as well as cutting the grass, planting the potatoes, planting extra successional broad beans and onions, and bottling the last of the cider. Continue reading

It’s the Final Download

Sang no European rock band ever. But if they had, it would have made a fitting title for this, our final word on rural broadband, you’ll no doubt be relieved to hear.

And that’s because we have, to give credit where credit is due, actually reached a satisfactory conclusion. Continue reading