Our new nature watch camera at The Secret Acre includes a timelapse facility that we have been playing around with.
Best so far has been a summer’s day in the paddock, watching
the horses and their visitors come and go. Eighteen hours from dawn to dusk compressed into just 9 mins of film. Continue reading →
Posted in Good Life, Paddock, Wildlife |
Tagged birds, Cam Peak, Emma Alesworth, green roof, horses, Milton Keynes, Paddock, Paul Rainger, photography, prog rock, Smallholding, Steve Hackett, The Secret Acre, timelapse, trail camera, webcam, wildlife |
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 live in troubled times.
Human hubris, stressing animals and environmental systems beyond breaking point,
is to blame.
And while a period of self-isolation might be the ideal opportunity to
learn more and get started on your own biodynamic organic home veg patch, people are also looking for calm in the storm. Continue reading →
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 →
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen, Paddock |
Tagged 2020, Bloody Mary, compost, Dalesford Organic, Emma Alesworth, horse, horseraddish, Kim Soddart, New Year, Paddock, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, stables, The Secret Acre, vodka, Welsh Pony |
Pretty much all the stock fencing since we moved to The Secret Acre is in need of repair. We just about got away with putting off replacing the worst section in the paddock last winter.
This March we could put off taking action no longer.
Continue reading →
Posted in Paddock |
Tagged Copsegrove Farm, Emma Alesworth, fencing, New Zealand Corners, Paddock, Paul Rainger, repair, Smallholding, stock fencing, The Secret Acre, Tim Tyne, training, Viable Self-Sufficiency |
Half way there
Rebuilding the stables and pig stys in the Yard at
The Secret Acre is on the long list of big renovation jobs to get round to eventually. Hopefully before they finally fall down!
But the concrete base that forms the Yard oddly stopped short of running the full length of the outbuildings, petering out into a rather unstable set of York Stone slabs placed on the grass.
Continue reading →
Posted in Garden, Paddock |
Tagged cement, concrete, Emerald Garden Solutions, Paul Rainger, pigsty, Smallholding, stables, The Secret Acre, yard, York Stone |
While the eco-makeover of the smallholding’s accommodation carries on, Emma and I continue to seek as much practical help and advice as we can to prepare for the adventure ahead.
So it was one Saturday last month that we found ourselves visiting
The Empire Farm in Somerset for their course ‘ Living the good life on less than an acre’ which sounded perfect for us at The Secret Acre. Continue reading →
Since finding The Secret Acre, what to do with the paddock field has been, and remains, a matter of hot debate.
Donkey cheese was an early favourite with Emma, but it appears to only have a market of one, a Wimbledon tennis player, and the Alpaca and Llama market now seems saturated. Friends even suggested planting woodland or vines. But sheep and/or goats seem the most likely eventual choice. Continue reading →
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.
Continue reading →
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Greenhouse, House, Kitchen, Orchard, Paddock, Wildlife |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, Good Life, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, sustainability |