It’s not all been wine, bread, baking and making things out of pallets recently.
We threatened to extend our
Good Life on Lockdown into dairy and cheese too.
And lo it came to pass.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged baking, brie, butter, cheese, cheese making, clotted cream, creamery, creme fraiche, Emma Alesworth, feta, feta cheese, goats cheese, goats milk, home baking, home cheese making, home dairy, homemade jam, jam, lockdown, making scones, mozzarella, paneer, Paul Rainger, ricotta, scones, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
The final addition to our new fruit cage has been the construction of a raised strawberry bed, like those you get in some PYO places.
Another project accelerated by the benefit of the extra
lockdown time at home and again using our supply of junk wood. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, fruit, fruit cage, grow your own, lockdown, Paul Rainger, PYO, Smallholding, soft fruit, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry bed, The Secret Acre, Wimbledon, woodpile, woodwork |
Since starting to use our nature watch camera at The Secret Acre we recently hit the motherlode of (mostly nocturnal) animal activity.
A veritable M25 of wildlife comings and goings, it turns out, exists in the overgrown patch round the back behind the walnut tree.
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 |
Today is May Day, so happy Beltane.
It seems only yesterday it was
Facemasks may be the haute couture of the pandemic, but here at The Secret Acre they have nothing to do with
the Good Life on Lockdown, but everything to do with Paul’s chronic hayfever. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged April, Beltane, climate change, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, facemasks, Global Warming, hay fever, lockdown, May, May Day, May Queen, pandemic, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
You could have a laurel hedge, taking up the sunniest spot in the garden. Or you could have a fruit cage, where the fruit might be as sweet as can be.
We chose the latter, and took a preverbal
sledgehammer to the laurel. Well a chain saw and a mechanical digger to be precise. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, fruit bushes, fruit cage, fruit canes, gardening, Gardening Naturally, grow your own, laurel, lockdown, Paul Rainger, Peter Gabriel, sledgehammer, Smallholding, soft fruit, summer fruit, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
Move over Chris Packham! Because another advantage of the current Good Life on Lockdown has been spare time to finally play properly with the trail camera we received at Christmas.
moving in we have got used to observing the daytime wildlife, even when red in tooth and claw, but we really wanted a wildlife camera to also be able to capture the hidden nocturnal wildlife, in full on David Attenborough style. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Orchard, Wildlife |
Tagged animal, camera, Chris Packham, David Attenborough, Emma Alesworth, lockdown, nature, nocturnal, Paul Rainger, photography, Smallholding, Spring, springwatch, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, trail camera, wildlife |
We are living in strange times indeed. But life on Coronavirus Lockdown at The Secret Acre could be a lot worse. The sun is finally out, and there’s no shortage of spring jobs in the garden to be done.
We know we are not the only ones to have taken the opportunity to start re-watching the complete DVD set of episodes of
The Good Life again from scratch. We are just getting onto the start of season four!
Meanwhile, the time for other more practical projects has also materialised during life on lockdown. Here’s a quick pictorial run through our first two weeks on lockdown on the homestead….
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, bread making, cheese making, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, gardening, lockdown, Paul Rainger, seitan, Smallholding, Spring, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, wine making |
The arrival of spring once again heralds the start of another year of seed sowing here at The Secret Acre.
As always at this time of the year, I like to remind people of
this little favourite video clip that perfectly explains nature!
And for this year, here (below) is a second little clip of our first tray of new 2020 seeds.
Posted in Garden |
Tagged 2020, biodynamic, community ownership, compost, Emma Alesworth, Fertile Fibre, Greenhouse, grow your own, growing, organic, Paul Rainger, refurbishment, repair, Seed Co-operative, seed compost, seed sowing, seedlings, seeds, Smallholding, Spring, The Secret Acre, The Young Ones |
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