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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Bountiful July in the Garden

After a slow spring start, and flaming June, July saw the traditional arrival of glut on the Secret Acre veg patch.

Here are some picture from July as cabbages, onions, garlic, field beans, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, fennel, courgettes, tomatoes, purple French beans, apples from our very early Beauty of Bath variety, and more, all arrived in a bountiful rush.

Meanwhile, our newly created asparagus bed seems to be settling in, while gliders from the nearby airfield silently ploughed their way through the summer skies over the gardener’s head.

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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

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

A Hiccup and a Harvest

Back in May I opined about how on top of all things veg we seemed to be this year, warning that it surely couldn’t last.

And that hiccup arrived almost immediately in the form of a prolonged spell of unexpected parental care, now all fine fortunately, but leaving Emma to cope solo on the veg patch.

So the harvest we have enjoyed is all down to her hard work. Here’s a pictorial roundup of some of the action. Continue reading

That’s Shallot

Having pickled the first sowing of radishes, our next harvest at The Secret Acre was once again the over wintered onions and garlic.

This year’s varieties were Cristo and Iberian Wight for the garlic with Troy F1 white onions and Electric red onions. Although the results seem on a par with last year’s varieties. Continue reading

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