Ever since we got the ride on mower, I have secretly coveted a toy, sorry important farming accessory, to tow behind it!
It turned out there is a
whole catalogue of possibilities, none of which I could really justify the expense of to Emma. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse, Paddock |
Tagged Alys Fowler, cucumber, elephant garlic, Emma Alesworth, garden roller, garlic, Greenhouse, grow your own, hard neck, horses, Lautree Wight, Marco, Monty Don, Paddock, Paul Rainger, RHS, ride on mower, Smallholding, soft neck, The Secret Acre, veg growing, veg patch |
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
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged climate change, diy, Emma Alesworth, frost, Greenhouse, hair, lockdown, pallets, Paul Rainger, planting out, recycling, seedlings, seeds, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
The arrival of spring has heralded the completion of some of this year’s winter jobs at The Secret Acre ready for the growing season ahead.
Long term followers of our blog will know that saving the overgrown greenhouse from oblivion was pretty much the very first job,
a three day long battle, which we urgently undertook when moving into the property.
subsequent reglazing then went on to take several years longer than anticipated! Continue reading
The strange feeling of ‘veg bed competence’ we had at the start of May has somehow survived through to end of the month.
Surely it can’t last!
greenhouse seedlings (pictured left) rapidly turned into a veritable garden nursery vision of plug plants demanding to be planted out against the risks of any late frosts. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged biodynamic, broad beans, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, grow your own, Paul Rainger, potatoes, seedlings, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, veg planting |
Hard to believe we’ve been living at The Secret Acre for three years now, and the still as yet unfinished greenhouse can’t believe it either!
Friends from the start might remember that
clearing the greenhouse was the very first task we tackled over three years ago. Like an episode of Time Team if it involved only brambles. Continue reading
Posted in Greenhouse |
Tagged eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, Paul Rainger, re-glazing, recycle, repair, reuse, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, Time Team |
No sooner had we made our ‘ Beauty Bath Spiced Apple Chutney’, than August’s harvest arrived en masse.
Suddenly every spare minute was taken up in the kitchen with the preserving pan. The
Blaisdon Plums were our biggest crop, with Emma heroically creating over 100 jars of various plum based jams and chutneys for the storeroom. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged apple, aubergine, August, Beauty of Bath, Blaisdon, chutney, Emma Alesworth, fennel, harvest, hazelnuts, jam, mulled, onions, Paul Rainger, pears, plums, potatoes, preserving, radishes, red onions, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, walnuts |
“A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself” – May Sarton.
Personally I like to think my life so far has fortunately been a series of triumphs set against a few disasters. But the jury is definitely still out when it comes to our
new veg beds!
Certainly in this first year, there have been
more triumphs than losses, which is nice. But this is probably mostly because we are still easily pleased! Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Greenhouse |
Tagged aubergines, beetroot, broad beans, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, Egg & Chips plant, Emma Alesworth, fennel, grow your own, Mary Sarton, onions, Paul Rainger, red cabbage, RHS, Royal Horticultural Society, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, Thompson & Morgan, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables |
On collecting the keys for the Secret Acre in July 2014, one urgent task was to excavate the greenhouse and save it from the Triffids.
We’d inherited a splendid 18 foot old greenhouse, but like everything else it was ‘in need of repair’. About a third of the glass was broken, and a dense thicket of brambles had colonised every square inch inside, sprouting out in escape bids through the missing panes, and generally putting so much pressure on the remaining glass that the whole structure looked like a pressure cooker ready to explode.
In 2014 we finally took the plunge and decided to put life before work.
The result was to take on a one acre smallholding near Stroud. Both the land and the bricks and mortar are in need of renovation as Estate Agents say!
So, our first tasks in 2015 are an eco-makeover of the house, prepare the veg beds, and repair the greenhouse and orchard for a productive 2016.
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Greenhouse, House, Kitchen, Orchard, Paddock, Wildlife |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, Good Life, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, sustainability |