Horse’y New Year

It may be the Chinese year of the Rat, but 2020 kicked off at The Secret Acre with a distinctly horse’y theme.

Before Christmas, fellow smallholder and gardening author, Kim Stoddart, reminded me that we could take a first light harvest of horseradish, just over a year on since we first planted it. Continue reading

Climate Change

While Extinction Rebellion are rightly taking to the streets, inside The Secret Acre kitchen this autumn, things haven’t been hotting up, so much as becoming constantly warm.

Our local climate change has been the result of the purchase of a dehydrator, as another bow to our harvest preservation options.

So far our initial tests have involved plums, pears, apples and beetroot. Continue reading

Brewing up a Storm

May and June has witnessed a flurry of brewing activities here at The Secret Acre.

While last autumn’s cider has been maturing in the barrel, we have also been pushing our apple aspirations to two extremes. As well as trying our hand at Apple Brandy, we had a second successful go at producing Cider Vinegar.
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Apple Brandy

As I came round Bristol Temple Meads, blue flashing lights appeared in the rear view mirror. With the moonshine sloshing around in the back, there was only one thing for it. I’d have to make a run for the county-line, to the safety of South Gloucestershire!

Regular readers will know that we are not adverse to a bit of home brewing and cider making here at The Secret Acre. So when a friend suggested we tried our hand at Apple Brandy it seemed rude not to.

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Yesterday’s Veg Patch Harvest

Particularly pleased with our first ever crop of Padron Peppers (bottom left), continuing our Mediterranean weather themed summer. And one of our favourites in the kitchen.

At this rate of climate change we’ll soon be able to supply our favourite local tapas bar!