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.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged apples, beetroot, dehydrator, Emma Alesworth, fruit, harvest, Paul Rainger, pears, plums, preservation, Smallholding, storage, The Secret Acre, vegetables |
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
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, harvest, home brew, Paul Rainger, plums, Produce Show, shallots, Smallholding, squash, The Secret Acre, veg growing |
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.
Posted in Garden, Good Life |
Tagged apples, Beauty of Bath, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, harvest, harvest supper, onions, Paul Rainger, Pentland Javelin, Pink Fir, potatoes, shallots, Smallholding, squash, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
We are great admirers of ‘no dig’ champion, Charles Dowding, but somehow I don’t think this what he means!
Generally we are more than in favour of anything that reduces the need to wield a spade ourselves. But when we recently
cleared a large area of laurel to make way for a future fruit cage, leaving the massive stumps and roots to be removed, I was resigned to a day of hard working with the pickaxe to finish the job. Continue reading
Something quite different to the famous advertising slogan, if you’ve ever watched Blazing Saddles.
And broad beans are of course a long culinary way from a cowboy’s campfire chow.
May and June has witnessed a flurry of brewing activities here at The Secret Acre.
While last autumn’s
cider has been maturing in the barrel, we have also been pushing our apple aspirations to two extremes. As well as trying our hand at Apple Brandy, we had a second successful go at producing Cider Vinegar.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged apple brandy, brewing, cider, cider making, cider vinegar, elderflower, elderflower champagne, elderflower cordial, Emma Alesworth, home brew, IPA, larger, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
As I came round Bristol Temple Meads, blue flashing lights appeared in the rear view mirror. With the moonshine sloshing around in the back, there was only one thing for it. I’d have to make a run for the county-line, to the safety of South Gloucestershire!
Regular readers will know that we are not adverse to a bit of home brewing and
cider making here at The Secret Acre. So when a friend suggested we tried our hand at Apple Brandy it seemed rude not to.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged apple, brandy, cider, distilling, Douglas Adams, Dukes of Hazzard, Heath Robinson, Paul Rainger, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
We don’t know about you, but for us it seems to be a bonanza year for broad beans.
Our over-wintered crop, which in past years has struggled to get past knee height, suddenly shot up during May to waist level monsters.
Our first attempt at a spring compost dressing might have helped, as no doubt has the good spring weather.
The strange feeling of ‘veg bed competence’ we had at the start of May has somehow survived through to end of the month.
Surely it can’t last!
greenhouse seedlings (pictured left) rapidly turned into a veritable garden nursery vision of plug plants demanding to be planted out against the risks of any late frosts. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged biodynamic, broad beans, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, grow your own, Paul Rainger, potatoes, seedlings, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch, veg planting |
Thanks to the mid-spring Easter sunshine, it almost feels like we are on track with our planting plans this year.
Emma’s seeds in the greenhouse are shooting up.
Posted in Garden |
Tagged broad beans, compost, Emma Alesworth, garlic, Greenhouse, onions, Paul Rainger, potatoes, seeds, Smallholding, Spring, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |