Our harvesting continued apace in July and as we headed into August, traditionally the month of gluts on the veg patch.
When we were urban foragers living in the city, cherry trees were a favourite, especially the irony of collecting a free basket from the productive cherry trees at the end of a large supermarket car park while those inside paid for theirs.
While Extinction Rebellion are rightly taking to the streets, inside The Secret Acre kitchen this autumn, things haven’t been hotting up, so much as becoming constantly warm.
So far our initial tests have involved plums, pears, apples and beetroot. Continue reading
Back in May I opined about how on top of all things veg we seemed to be this year, warning that it surely couldn’t last.
And that hiccup arrived almost immediately in the form of a prolonged spell of unexpected parental care, now all fine fortunately, but leaving Emma to cope solo on the veg patch.
So the harvest we have enjoyed is all down to her hard work. Here’s a pictorial roundup of some of the action. Continue reading
It all started with apples. Which may seem odd. Our main apple orchard harvest occurs in mid-September and October after all. But up by the house we have a Beauty of Bath apple tree, a variety cultivated to crop very early in August, which resulted in it being awarded a Royal Horticultural Society First Class Certificate in 1887 no less. Continue reading
Last month didn’t just mark our anniversary of moving to The Secret Acre, it was of course also harvest time.
The UK’s national Apple Day (yes, there is one) is actually on 21st October.
And so during October community groups up and down the country hold a range of apple pressing and harvest celebration events. Continue reading
It might not sound as impressive as turning water into wine, apples are basically already food after all, but tuck into the delicious apple cake at The Canteen in Nailsworth, or enjoy the apple sauce with your pork at The Hog in Horsley, and you may have eaten apples from The Secret Acre.
Last year we turned our apples into test batches of juice and cider, with a view to scaling up production this year. But despite getting an industrial size press, the timing of our moving into The Secret Acre meant that our cider empire had to be largely put on hold for 12 months. Continue reading
A decade and more ago, the Government were paying grants to grub up and destroy orchards. Today there are loads of Government grants and projects to protect, save and replant orchards, which apparently had been disappearing at an alarming rate. It’s what politicians like to call joined up thinking.
So, blessed with a small old orchard at the Secret Acre, prolific in apples and plums, we decided to do the responsible thing and joined the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, to add our heritage varieties to the County’s register. Continue reading