In between this year’s growing season at The Secret Acre, from
Flaming June to September’s Harvest, we have also been carrying on with our project to rebuild the Pig Sties.
completed the demolition with family help earlier in the year, we enlisted ‘Bob the Re-Builder’ for expert guidance in the shape of Al from Omnijob. Continue reading
Posted in House |
Tagged barn, Brexit, carpentry, diy, eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, garden office, Omnijob, Paul Rainger, Pig sty, rebuilding, renovation, sheds, Smallholding, stables, The Secret Acre |
It’s been a while since we undertook any
major building work at the Secret Acre. Choosing instead to just enjoy living in the house for a while after its extensive eco-makeover.
However, the need to eventually also
replace the yard’s pig sties, barn and shed complex was always being planned in the back of our minds. And with it, a much needed sorting out of the various materials that ‘might one day come in useful’ which had been stored there after the house renovation, along with our growing collection of gardening equipment as we reinstated the vegetable garden. Continue reading
Posted in House |
Tagged barn, diy, eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, garden office, Paul Rainger, Pig sty, rebuilding, renovation, sheds, Smallholding, stables, The Secret Acre |
Two years ago, on a dog walk, we came across a nice chap practicing flying with his new drone. Keen to help out, we suggested a test flight across The Secret Acre which was clearly visable from the hill top on which we were all perched.
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 |
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
Posted in Greenhouse |
Tagged eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, Paul Rainger, re-glazing, recycle, repair, reuse, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, Time Team |
The 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.
So 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!
Apart 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
It’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
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged blog, blogging, eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, Home Grown Heaven, mistletoe, Paul Rainger, self-sufficiency, Self-Sufficient in Suburbia, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, wibble |
It 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
Posted in Good Life, House |
Tagged eco makeover, energy efficiency, energy performance certificate, EPC, floor insulation, home insulation, insulation, loft insulation, Paul Rainger, PV, Severn Wye Energy Agency, Smallholding, solar thermal, solid wall insulation, The Secret Acre, wind turbine |