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…

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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

August’s Bounty – Pass the Preserving Pan!

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

August’s Bounty – Hail the Apple?

We’ve been quiet online last month, an indication of frenetic activity in the garden and kitchen, as harvest season started to kick in.

It all started with apples. Which may seem odd. Our main apple orchard harvest occurs in mid-September and October after all. But up by the house we have a Beauty of Bath apple tree, a variety cultivated to crop very early in August, which resulted in it being awarded a Royal Horticultural Society First Class Certificate in 1887 no less. Continue reading

Time to Fizz

The mad rush to catch up in the garden at the end of May was immediately followed by the mad rush in early June to catch the Elderflower at its sunny best.

After this year’s whopping 4kg of wild garlic pesto making, we made 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

Torpedoes Ahoy!

honeymoon-marrows-1-sept-2016We’ve been away from The Secret Acre for two weeks on honeymoon. Before we left we took the precaution of picking and eating all the courgettes. But these buggers grow fast, and on our return we were greeted by four massive marrows already the size of torpedoes!

In August’s issue of Home Farmer magazine their advice on growing courgettes to marrow size was simply “don’t do it!” So faced with our honeymoon marrows, anyone else got any good (and preferably tasty!) suggestions?