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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Leaping into Leaves

Autumn, according to Winnie the Pooh, is “A time of hot chocolatey mornings, toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.”

And who are we to argue with the great Tao of Pooh?

So all three have been enjoyed at The Secret Acre this autumn, while England endured its second Covid lockdown as you can see!

These autumn months always just seem to whiz by in a flash. Continue reading

Harvest 2020 – Part 4: Squeezing the final Pips

Last month saw some of our final summer harvest pickings as the decent into autumn gathered pace.

It’s been a long lockdown summer in the garden.

From the early broad beans, onions and garlic, through the traditional gluts, and welcome summer helpers.

Here’s another pictorial roundup of the final action. Continue reading

Harvest 2020 – Part 3: Summer Holiday Helpers

August is always a manic month of harvesting and preserving, and our ongoing Harvest 2020 was no exception.

If anything things have been even busier this year with the unseasonal climate change affected weather meaning everything has been ready at least two weeks early, and some crops badly hit.
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Harvest 2020 – Part Two

Our harvesting continued apace in July and as we headed into August, traditionally the month of gluts on the veg patch.

The start of the school summer holidays also marks the traditional influx of child labour thanks to visiting friends. Continue reading

Let Harvest 2020 Begin!

This time last year, after a promising start, events conspired to put gardening and harvesting somewhat on the backburner.

This year, events have conspired to have the opposite effect. Not just for extra lockdown projects like the greenhouse and fruit cage, but to have beautifully weeded, prepared and planted out in the veg beds for once too. Continue reading

Multi-Coloured Crop Swap

Earlier this month we went along to our second local Crop Swap.

These were new to us this year, but we’re definitely converts.

The inevitable harvest time surpluses are always a challenge for preserving and dehydrating. So what better than being able to swap some of that surplus for some of the things you don’t have or didn’t grow this year? Continue reading

Climate Change

While Extinction Rebellion are rightly taking to the streets, inside The Secret Acre kitchen this autumn, things haven’t been hotting up, so much as becoming constantly warm.

Our local climate change has been the result of the purchase of a dehydrator, as another bow to our harvest preservation options.

So far our initial tests have involved plums, pears, apples and beetroot. Continue reading

Champion Brewer

The Mayor gave us a silver cup, which was nice.

As always, the arrival of this summer’s harvest also marked the start of the village show season.

Regular readers will know we have enjoyed mixed form at the village show over the last seven years. Continue reading