Followers of our adventures at The Secret Acre will know that we go wild for
It’s usually one of our first big forages of spring, and one of the easiest for beginners, growing profusely in woodlands over a long period, and
not easily misidentified, smelling and tasting of, well, garlic. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged Carry on Henry, Devonium & Kitchenalia, Emma Alesworth, foraged food, foraging, garlic, Great British Chefs, Paul Rainger, pesto, pickled wild garlic flower buds, pickling, recipe, Sid James, Smallholding, tempura, The Seasonal Table, The Secret Acre, Wild Feast, wild garlic, Wild Garlic Flower Tempura, wild garlic pesto, wild garlic three ways |
A lot of people made a lot of banana bread during lockdown. We made red wine and cheese. But apparently, four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel completed an internship in organic farming. He is not alone of course, 1979 World Champion, Jody Scheckter, owns Laverstoke Park, a biodynamic farm in Hampshire. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged asparagus, broad beans, chitting, Emma Alesworth, Formula 1, fruit tree pruning, gardening, horseraddish, Jody Scheckter, kale, Laverstoke Park, leaks, lockdown, parsnip, Paul Rainger, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, Sebastian Vettel, Smallholding, Spring, squash, The Secret Acre, wild garlic |
There is a new soul with us at The Secret Acre.
Meet Noodle, the labradoodle!
beloved Ruby passed away before Christmas we were very clear. We were not going to have another dog for at least a year in order to go travelling. But fate had other plans for us. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged dog, Emma Alesworth, Falkor, Labradoodle, Neverending Story, Noodle, Paul Rainger, Ruby, Serendipity, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
There have always been three souls here at The Secret Acre, the third person in our marriage being Ruby, a little rough-haired Jack Russell.
She even carried the rings down the aisle for us.
So it was heart breaking this Christmas when Ruby died at the ripe old age of 13, from what we have now all learned to call ‘underlying health issues’. The first of a string of devastating bereavements as it turned out.
Sadly it’s turning into a Christmas Horribilis for us. More about this at a future date when we feel we can write about it.
But before the proverbial hit the fan, we were busy preparing for a happier, socially distanced
The Christmas tree arrived on a tractor, delivered from the farm a few hundred yards down the road, where we had often walked the dog past the field where it was growing.
Just six inches needed trimming off the top to get it in.
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged Christmas, Christmas tree, Christmas wreath, dog, Emma Alesworth, farm, foraging, Gluhwein, hedgerow, herb garden, horribilis, mulled wine, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, solstice, The Secret Acre, tractor, winter solstice, Winterval, Yule |
Much excitement on The Secret Acre winter veg patch.
“Look at the size of this parsnip” Emma calls over pointing at the giant disc sitting surrounded by topsoil.
“That would be a great one to dig up for Christmas.”
So we did…..
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Christmas, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, parsnip, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, Winter |
Regular readers will know that our usual approach, as slovenly smallholders, is to do everything about two to four weeks too late.
Hence writing about some of our
winter clearance work in December, instead of in March, feels slightly wrong. We blame it on lockdown 2.0! Continue reading
Posted in Orchard |
Tagged apple trees, blackthorns, brambles, Emma Alesworth, fig, hedgerow, lockdown, orchard, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, Sycamore trees, The Secret Acre, walnut tree, Winter, winter clearance |
Autumn, according to Winnie the Pooh, is “A time of hot chocolatey mornings, toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.”
And who are we to argue with the great
Tao of Pooh?
So all three have been enjoyed at The Secret Acre this autumn, while England endured its
second Covid lockdown as you can see!
These autumn months always just seem to whiz by in a flash.
Posted in Garden, Good Life |
Tagged Amaranth, apple pressing, apples, autumn, Aztec Broccoli, bonfire, broad beans, broccoli, Covid, Emma Alesworth, garlic, green manure, grow your own, harvest, hot chocolate, Huauzontle, leaves, lockdown, marshmallows, onions, Paul Rainger, purple sprouting broccoli, Smallholding, spinach, Swiss Chard, The Secret Acre, The Tao of Pooh, veg beds, veg patch, Winnie the Pooh, Winter, winter clearance |
Last month saw some of our final summer harvest pickings as the decent into autumn gathered pace.
It’s been a long
lockdown summer in the garden.
early broad beans, onions and garlic, through the traditional gluts, and welcome summer helpers.
Here’s another pictorial roundup of the final action.
Posted in Garden, Orchard |
Tagged apple juice, apple pressing, apples, artichoke, autumn, broad beans, cider, cider making, cider press, Emma Alesworth, garlic, grow your own, harvest, onions, orchard, Paul Rainger, peppers, Smallholding, squash, The Secret Acre, tomatoes, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |