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 |
May and June has witnessed a flurry of brewing activities here at The Secret Acre.
While last autumn’s
cider has been maturing in the barrel, we have also been pushing our apple aspirations to two extremes. As well as trying our hand at Apple Brandy, we had a second successful go at producing Cider Vinegar.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged apple brandy, brewing, cider, cider making, cider vinegar, elderflower, elderflower champagne, elderflower cordial, Emma Alesworth, home brew, IPA, larger, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
We arrived back at The Secret Acre after Christmas away to find that Santa had delivered a ‘mystery tool’. It was actually a double mystery.
Santa’s Elves had failed to include a note, so we didn’t know who the gift was from. We quickly guessed it was from our friend Derek, he of the
Cider Motion Picture and the Boot Rack, as he has past form in the giving of mystery garden tools, which turn out to be fantastically useful, thanks to his own veg growing experience. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged award, boot rack, Christmas, cider making, Emma Alesworth, gardening, hand tiller, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, soil, The Secret Acre, tool of the year, tools, veg growing, veg patch |
It wasn’t just the greenhouse that was running three years late at The Secret Acre.
I had also promised Emma a boot rack for our, well boot room, which like a torture chamber without an iron maiden, has remained rack-less for the last few years in anticipation.
Posted in House |
Tagged boot rack, build your own, cider making, diy, eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, Paul Rainger, recycled, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, wood, woodwork |
Officially, UK Apple Day is this Sunday, 21 st October.
But after this year’s unusually hot and dry summer, it seems you’ll be lucky to still have any apples left on your trees by now.
Last month, inspired by our Turkish smallholding/winemaking experience this summer, we visited our local vineyard – Woodchester Valley – for a tour and tasting. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged Brexit, cider, cider making, climate change, Costswolds, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, turkey, vineyard, wine, wine making, Woodchester Valley |
The inevitable consequence of
Apple Day in October is of course a new batch of cider making.
And this year our friend Derek was on hand to record it all on film, leaving me in presenting terms somewhere between
Jack Hargreaves and Kevin McCloud I fear.
Anyway, grab your popcorn for the first (and quite possible last) Secret Acre movie…
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged Apple Day, apple juice, cider, cider making, Derek Houston, Emma Alesworth, film, Jack Hargreaves, Kevin McCloud, movie, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, YouTube |
October of course sees the official arrival of Apple Day in the UK, and an opportunity for harvest weary smallholders to invite friends round to help out under the guise of having a party!
Although in truth our
apple crop had been arriving progressively in the kitchen since the start of August.
And The Secret Acre is certainly no stranger to hosting
our own Apple Day events, in our long standing quest to make cider, which fortunately seems to be getting better with time at least. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged apple, Apple Day, apple juice, cider, cider making, fermenting, October, orchard, pasteuriser, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
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 21 st October.
And so during October community groups up and down the country hold a range of apple pressing and harvest celebration events.
Posted in Orchard |
Tagged Apple Day, apple juice, apple press, apples, cider, cider making, fruit scratter, harvest, pasteuriser, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, Vigo Presses |
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
Posted in Good Life, Orchard |
Tagged apple juice, apples, cider, cider making, Emma Alesworth, Horsley, Nailsworth, orchard, Smallholding, St Werburghs City Farm, The Canteen, The Hog, The Secret Acre |