We’ve been quiet online last month, an indication of frenetic activity in the garden and kitchen, as harvest season started to kick in.
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 →
At The Secret Acre it proved a busy month recycling, creating new borders, as well as cutting the grass, planting the potatoes, planting extra successional broad beans and onions, and bottling the last of the cider. 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 →
One of the things we are looking forward to on our journey to a happier life is being creative in the new kitchen. Using our home grown produce and local foraging to cook, bake and preserve etc, perhaps eventually even selling some ‘farm kitchen business’ style as so many smallholders do. 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 →