Move over Chris Packham! Because another advantage of the current Good Life on Lockdown has been spare time to finally play properly with the trail camera we received at Christmas.
moving in we have got used to observing the daytime wildlife, even when red in tooth and claw, but we really wanted a wildlife camera to also be able to capture the hidden nocturnal wildlife, in full on David Attenborough style. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Orchard, Wildlife |
Tagged animal, camera, Chris Packham, David Attenborough, Emma Alesworth, lockdown, nature, nocturnal, Paul Rainger, photography, Smallholding, Spring, springwatch, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, trail camera, wildlife |
We are living in strange times indeed. But life on Coronavirus Lockdown at The Secret Acre could be a lot worse. The sun is finally out, and there’s no shortage of spring jobs in the garden to be done.
We know we are not the only ones to have taken the opportunity to start re-watching the complete DVD set of episodes of
The Good Life again from scratch. We are just getting onto the start of season four!
Meanwhile, the time for other more practical projects has also materialised during life on lockdown. Here’s a quick pictorial run through our first two weeks on lockdown on the homestead….
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged baking, bread making, cheese making, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, gardening, lockdown, Paul Rainger, seitan, Smallholding, Spring, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, wine making |
The arrival of spring once again heralds the start of another year of seed sowing here at The Secret Acre.
As always at this time of the year, I like to remind people of
this little favourite video clip that perfectly explains nature!
And for this year, here (below) is a second little clip of our first tray of new 2020 seeds.
Posted in Garden |
Tagged 2020, biodynamic, community ownership, compost, Emma Alesworth, Fertile Fibre, Greenhouse, grow your own, growing, organic, Paul Rainger, refurbishment, repair, Seed Co-operative, seed compost, seed sowing, seedlings, seeds, Smallholding, Spring, The Secret Acre, The Young Ones |
The arrival of spring has heralded the completion of some of this year’s winter jobs at The Secret Acre ready for the growing season ahead.
Long term followers of our blog will know that saving the overgrown greenhouse from oblivion was pretty much the very first job,
a three day long battle, which we urgently undertook when moving into the property.
subsequent reglazing then went on to take several years longer than anticipated! Continue reading
The start of this month was Imbolc, the traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.
It is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, as the very first hopeful signs that life will start to return from winters grip start to emerge.
Posted in Garden, Good Life |
Tagged chitting, crocuses, Emma Alesworth, festival, Gaelic, Imbolc, Paul Rainger, Pink Fir Apples, potatoes, Smallholding, snowdrops, solstice, Spring, spring equinox, The Secret Acre, Winter |
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 |
Although it feels like we are well into spring now, it was only this time last month that our local swales were heralding spring’s arrival with the first sighting of frog’s spawn.
clumps of spawn (eggs) can be laid in ponds anytime from January onwards in the south-west England, but we’ve never seen it that early here at The Secret Acre. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Wildlife |
Tagged drainage, ecosystems, Emma Alesworth, erosion, flooding, frog, Paul Rainger, pond, Smallholding, spawn, Spring, swale, The Secret Acre, wildlife |
The New Year barely seems to have got underway, before the occasionally feel of a Spring like day arrives, and the veg growers cycle begins again.
For us at The Secret Acre that usually means the
chitting potatoes gets underway, the rotated veg bed plan is drawn up and the new seed order arrives. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life |
Tagged chitting, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, horticultural tips, New Year, Nottingham Trent University, Paul Rainger, potatoes, seeds, Smallholding, Spring, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing |
It’s not just our green roof that changes colour and shades with the seasons.
Our local hill does it too.
Has The Secret Acre gone to rack and ruin since our last blog 5 months ago?
In short, no.
What has gone to ruin, we’ve realised, was our resolve to only work part-time since moving to the smallholding. Both our hours have slowly crept up again over the last two years, almost without noticing.
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Orchard |
Tagged blog, cordial, drought, elderflower, Emma Alesworth, fig, flowers, herbs, horseraddish, orchard, Paul Rainger, potatoes, pruning, rain, River Cottage, Smallholding, snow, Spring, summer, The Secret Acre, veg beds, weather, Winter, work life balance |