Racking up the Wins

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. Continue reading

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People in Glasshouses… should get on with it!

Hard to believe we’ve been living at The Secret Acre for three years now, and the still as yet unfinished greenhouse can’t believe it either!

Friends from the start might remember that clearing the greenhouse was the very first task we tackled over three years ago. Like an episode of Time Team if it involved only brambles. Continue reading

Green Roof, Yellow Roof

Green Roof - 3 July 2016The green sedum roof remains one of the highlights of our eco-makeover at The Secret Acre.

Visually striking, it is a daily joy to behold as it changes and evolves across the seasons.

In June and July a profusion of small white and yellow flowers have blossomed in the green, attracting a mass of bees and insects.

This is the (Good) Life!

Birthday Hammock 1 - June 2016So the house is finished and the vegetables are growing.

Surely time now then to simply lay back in warm summer sunshine and enjoy the good life!

The American humorist, S.J. Perelman, apparently once wrote that –

“A farm is an irregular patch of nettles, containing a fool who didn’t know enough to stay in the city.”

Little did he know that this fool has a hammock!

Finishing the Landscaping

Landscaping 1 - Dec15Apart from the snagging, The Secret Acre’s eco-makeover feels pretty much truly complete now the external landscaping around the house has been done too.

First up (below) was removing the old tarmac front drive and replacing with a permeable pebble surface, to provide sustainable drainage, and extending it down the sides of the house. Continue reading

New Year, New Start?

Mistletoe from TSA orchard - Dec 2015It’s February already, but seems like only yesterday it was Christmas Eve and we were fifteen foot up one of the cider apple trees precariously harvesting our very own mistletoe.

But with the New Year has come the challenge of making a new start at The Secret Acre, or at least making a proper start on the plans to be more self-sufficient. Continue reading

Our new Energy Performance Certificate

EPCsIt was with some trepidation recently when Neil from the Severn Wye Energy Agency came round to assess The Secret Acre’s new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This was after all the independent validation of our smallholding’s whole eco-makeover!

When we found The Secret Acre in 2013 its EPC stood at a lowly score of 44 (in band E). Continue reading