Three Wassails and a Burns Night

Chepstow Wassail & Mari Lwyd

Once again, January came and went, before we actually put into action any of our good intentions to make an early start in the garden.

Not that it was all just lounging around in the house after Christmas drawing up planting plans and ordering seeds.

As the snowdrops started to emerge, we got down to making another year’s supply of marmalade, following the award-winning formula we accidentally hit upon last time round. Continue reading


Tap’y New Year

If you were with us this time last year, you will know that Emma and I decide to dump the traditional first 24 wedding anniversaries – the rubbish ones like ‘paper’ and ‘glue’ which come before the serious bling – in favour of our own list of things we actually like.

So we wrote down 12 each and randomly assigned them into the 24 draws of a repurposed advent calendar, to be opened at the start of each year. Continue reading

Tweeter of the Week!

main-farm-2We’re guest tweeters of the week all this week on Twitter @SmallholdersUK

Followers of this Blog get their updates in one of three ways. Either you’ve signed up on the website for direct email alerts, or you see posting on Facebook or Twitter. Continue reading

Rural reality… transport

magoo1Moving to The Secret Acre has meant reluctantly taking up driving again. Like painfully slow Broadband, having a car is just part of rural reality.

Having driven all my life, I eventually gave up the car after moving to London, but only after paying out shed loads of cash to keep it in a garage for a year first, just to have used it three times in 12 months, before the penny finally dropped that I really could get by without it and be much better off financially. But it still felt like losing a limb at first. Continue reading

The Story of Stuff

Moving BoxesThe day of our big move into the smallholding is nigh. Just over a year since we bought The Secret Acre, and after six months of eco-makeover.

So this week we sit among ever increasing piles of packed moving boxes. An alarming reminder of just how much unnecessary stuff you accumulate. The uncomfortable feeling is particularly acute for Emma who moved into the house in Bristol with just a rucksack and no furniture. Now 15 years later we are going to need two large removal vans to shift it all! Continue reading

Would you like weedkiller on your toast?

breadOne of the big disadvantages of leaving Bristol is moving away from the amazing artisan Mark’s Bread. One of the things we are looking forward to at The Secret Acre is learning to make bread ourselves.

There’s a very good reason why we won’t eat non-organic white bread from a supermarket. Not just because real bread like Marks tastes amazing, but because two in every three loaves of bread sold in the UK contain pesticide residues. Continue reading