Here come the Crops

And we say, it’s all right.

Despite the Climate Change driven drought, summer abundance arrived at The Secret Acre.

It all made for a busy July and August, along with the usual influx of willing helpers at the start of the school holidays.

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How it’s going on the Veg Patch

Here’s a quick pictorial catch up of how it’s going on The Secret Acre Veg Patch after our unexpected slow start to the year.

Overall, things have caught up pretty well considering our chaotic spring, and garlic, field beans, salads, strawberries and red currents are all ready to start to harvest.

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Good Things Come to Those who Plant

Last year we created an asparagus bed by the greenhouse, planted up with a mixture of purchased crowns, as well as some plants grown from seed by Emma the year before in preparation.

As the RHS advises, new asparagus plants take a couple of years to settle in before you can start harvesting, so patience is required initially.

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Nitrogen Fixing Root Nodules

Last year we wrote about our Field Bean Experiment.

Inspired by results from Garden Organic, we allowed a section of our Green Manure Field Beans to grow on as an edible alternative to Broad Beans, and also to seed save for replanting this year.

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White Dog, Blue Bells, Slow Start

Despite our usual New Year optimism for the gardening year ahead, an unexpected combination of care duties, hospital treatment and Covid, meant that we are having a very slow start to our spring at The Secret Acre.

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January Gardening Begins with the Dream

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”.

But as 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.

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Decent into Autumn

As the September harvest with its late summer sunshine gave away to increasingly damp and cool autumnal weather, we gathered in the last of the crops at The Secret Acre and started clearing down the veg beds.

Here are a few pictures from October and early November’s gradual decent into autumn.

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Sunny September’s Harvest

Here’s our quick pictorial look at some of September’s harvest season action at The Secret Acre.

As is so often the case now under climate change, awful August gave way to warmer days again in September, as soon as the school had gone back (September was second warmest on record for the UK), before autumn could return again properly in October.

In the garden, flowers, fruit and veg all continued in abundance as we moved into this harvest festival and apple pressing season.

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Going for the One

You might remember that last year, Emma tied on points with another competitor for first place overall as ‘Best in Show’ at our local Fruit and Veg Show

We are nothing if not competitive here at The Secret Acre, so as the start of Village Produce Show season loomed again at the end of August, Emma was plotting to go one better this year.

And that she did, claiming the ‘Best in Show’ trophy as outright winner this year, picking up the section winner cups for Best Baker and Best Brewer en-route.

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Making the Most of Awful August

It seems to us that more and more August is becoming the start of autumn in the UK under climate change. Certainly our green roof seems to think so!

In the last few years, summer heat seems to have started too early in spring, with an awful August (in time for the school holidays!) before the sun often returns again in September before a final slide into full autumn.

Nonetheless, July’s veg patch bounty continued to accelerate in August, aided by our usual school holiday influx of visitors, put to work on the growing harvest.

Here’s a few of our pics from our August at The Secret Acre.

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