It hasn’t just been biodynamic tear peas that we experimented with this year, our plans for a mushroom bed progressed too.
The idea germinated some years earlier when we visited
GroCycle in Devon to see their project growing mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds, as a possible business idea for The Secret Acre. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged biodynamic, Emma Alesworth, fungi, giant puffball, GroCycle, horseraddish, mushroom bed, mushroom spawn, mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, Paul Rainger, puffball, Smallholding, spawn, tear peas, The Secret Acre |
Like most smallholders we still work part-time, the holy grail of living off the land proving elusive in the current unsustainable era of cheap industrial food which hides the true costs of production. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Allan Jenkins, Basque region, biodynamic, cash crop, Emma Alesworth, green caviar, grow your own, legumes, Paul Rainger, pintxos, Rioja, River Severn, San Sebastian, Smallholding, Spain, tear peas, The Guardian, The Observer, The Secret Acre, truffles, Txakoli, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
Regular readers will know that autumn’s harvest season also brings forth the village show.
We have form, stating with
some urban practise, and then some baby steps, before gaining experience for a successful all-out assault on a whole section last year.
To be frank, I didn’t think it could get any better, and along with the
uncertainty around the virus this year, I doubted we would enter. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, best in show, Emma Alesworth, fruit, grow your own, homemade jam, lockdown, Paul Rainger, Produce Show, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg growing, village show |
August is always a manic month of harvesting and preserving, and our ongoing Harvest 2020 was no exception.
If anything things have been even busier this year with the
unseasonal climate change affected weather meaning everything has been ready at least two weeks early, and some crops badly hit.
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Orchard |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, grow your own, harvest, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, vegetables |
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 |
Our harvesting continued apace in July and as we headed into August, traditionally the month of gluts on the veg patch.
The start of the school summer holidays also marks the traditional
influx of child labour thanks to visiting friends. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged apple juice, apple pressing, apples, Beauty of Bath, bonfire, Comet Neowise, elephant garlic, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, harvest, Lady Christl, marshmallows, Paul Rainger, potatoes, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
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 |
This time last year, after a promising start, events conspired to put gardening and harvesting somewhat on the backburner.
This year, events have conspired to have the opposite effect. Not just for extra
lockdown projects like the greenhouse and fruit cage, but to have beautifully weeded, prepared and planted out in the veg beds for once too. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged broad beans, climate change, Emma Alesworth, garlic, grow your own, harvest, lettuce, lockdown, onion white rot, onions, Paul Rainger, pesto, shallots, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg growing, veg patch |
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 |