August’s Bounty – Pass the Preserving Pan!

No sooner had we made our ‘Beauty Bath Spiced Apple Chutney’, than August’s harvest arrived en masse.

Suddenly every spare minute was taken up in the kitchen with the preserving pan. The Blaisdon Plums were our biggest crop, with Emma heroically creating over 100 jars of various plum based jams and chutneys for the storeroom. Continue reading

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August’s Bounty – Hail the Apple?

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

Apple Day

2016-apple-day-4Last month didn’t just mark our anniversary of moving to The Secret Acre, it was of course also harvest time.

The UK’s national Apple Day (yes, there is one) is actually on 21st October.

And so during October community groups up and down the country hold a range of apple pressing and harvest celebration events. Continue reading

The Onion & Potato Harvest

Potato Harvest 2016Another quick update from the veg patch. Our onion and potato harvests were in recently.

The onions were most satisfying, because they are another of those vegetables that we never bothered growing before, when we were container growing in a small city backyard.

The potatoes were more of a relief. We had always grown a sack or two of potatoes in the backyard. A regular and reliable staple. But now, properly in the soil for the first time, they looked decidedly less healthy, and we were worried they had failed. Continue reading

The Unexpected Wheat Harvest

Unexpected Wheat 2016Another of the joys at The Secret Acre in making a start on the garden this year has been unexpected discoveries of some of the things already lurking in the undergrowth.

But we were still surprised by our unexpected wheat harvest.

In a neglected grass verge overdue the attentions of the strimmer, two ears of wheat proudly emerged, presumably from seeds blown in from a nearby farmer’s field!