January tends to get a
bad rap as a month.
We blame Pilot for letting the rot set in when they sang in their
1975 No1 hit single “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me”.
Josephine Nuese, author of The Country Garden pointed out, gardening really begins in January, with the dream. So come last year’s cold snap, or this year’s unseasonably mild weather, we kind of quite like January here at The Secret Acre. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged bread making, brussel sprouts, crocuses, crop rotation, Emma Alesworth, field beans, gardening, green manure, grow your own, January, Josephine Nuese, kitchen, leaks, mushrooms, New Year, Paul Rainger, planting plans, seeds, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
This new book by
Rebecca Bevan, beautifully illustrated by Madeleine Smith, is the perfect companion to the RHS’s Growing Vegetable & Herbs.
Between the two of them, anyone will have the confidence to successfully fill their garden with flowers, vegetables and fruit.
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged advice, Book, Emma Alesworth, gardening, gardening books, gift, Growing Vegetable & Herbs, Madeleine Smith, National Trust, Paul Rainger, Rebecca Bevan, RHS, School of Gardening, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, Waterstones |
Regular readers will know that we
over winter our broad beans, onions and garlic on the veg patch. We’ve also had increasing success using green manure field beans over winter too.
One thing we’ve noticed over the hardships of winter, is how the green manure field beans always seem to suffer much less, and recover more quickly, than their broad bean relations.
Posted in Garden |
Tagged broad beans, closed loop cycle, Emma Alesworth, field beans, Garden Organic, gardening, green manure, grow your own, nitrogen fixing, Paul Rainger, seed saving, self-sufficiency, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, veg trials |
Here’s a quick pictorial look at some of the June’s garden action at The Secret Acre.
After a slow start, due to the weird Spring weather, June finally delivered some warm sunshine allowing the garden to burst into life.
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged aubergine, beans, Calla Lilies, earthing up, Emma Alesworth, first earlies, fruit cage, garden canes, gardening, gooseberries, Greenhouse, grow your own, main crop, Paul Rainger, peas, Pink Fir, potatoes, Smallholding, strawberries, strawberry bed, tear peas, The Secret Acre, tomatoes, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables, wigwams |
A lot of people made a lot of banana bread during lockdown. We made red wine and cheese. But apparently, four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel completed an internship in organic farming. He is not alone of course, 1979 World Champion, Jody Scheckter, owns Laverstoke Park, a biodynamic farm in Hampshire. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged asparagus, broad beans, chitting, Emma Alesworth, Formula 1, fruit tree pruning, gardening, horseraddish, Jody Scheckter, kale, Laverstoke Park, leaks, lockdown, parsnip, Paul Rainger, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, Sebastian Vettel, Smallholding, Spring, squash, The Secret Acre, wild garlic |
You could have a laurel hedge, taking up the sunniest spot in the garden. Or you could have a fruit cage, where the fruit might be as sweet as can be.
We chose the latter, and took a preverbal
sledgehammer to the laurel. Well a chain saw and a mechanical digger to be precise. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, fruit bushes, fruit cage, fruit canes, gardening, Gardening Naturally, grow your own, laurel, lockdown, Paul Rainger, Peter Gabriel, sledgehammer, Smallholding, soft fruit, summer fruit, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
We are living in strange times indeed. But life on Coronavirus Lockdown at The Secret Acre could be a lot worse. The sun is finally out, and there’s no shortage of spring jobs in the garden to be done.
We know we are not the only ones to have taken the opportunity to start re-watching the complete DVD set of episodes of
The Good Life again from scratch. We are just getting onto the start of season four!
Meanwhile, the time for other more practical projects has also materialised during life on lockdown. Here’s a quick pictorial run through our first two weeks on lockdown on the homestead….
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, bread making, cheese making, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, gardening, lockdown, Paul Rainger, seitan, Smallholding, Spring, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, wine making |
We live in troubled times.
Human hubris, stressing animals and environmental systems beyond breaking point,
is to blame.
And while a period of self-isolation might be the ideal opportunity to
learn more and get started on your own biodynamic organic home veg patch, people are also looking for calm in the storm. Continue reading
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 |
In a Secret Acre first (and quite possibly last!) we thought we’d announce our first ever ‘Tool of the Year’ award.
And our totally just made up award goes to… the
Wolf Garten KS2K Weeding/Planting Knife! Continue reading