Tree Ninja!

As Spring arrives, with the annual slight panic that we still haven’t completed all the planned Winter jobs, our lateness with the orchard pruning once again embarrasses us into action.

But at least this year I have a secret weapon! Continue reading

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Apple Days are here Again

Officially, UK Apple Day is this Sunday, 21st October.

But after this year’s unusually hot and dry summer, it seems you’ll be lucky to still have any apples left on your trees by now. Continue reading

139 Days Later…

Has The Secret Acre gone to rack and ruin since our last blog 5 months ago?

In short, no.

What has gone to ruin, we’ve realised, was our resolve to only work part-time since moving to the smallholding. Both our hours have slowly crept up again over the last two years, almost without noticing. 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

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