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 |
And then there were three. I’m still not quite sure how it’s happened. We had always envisaged space for three veg beds. But after the great effort made by an army of friends to get the first one going, I’d assumed numbers two and three would have to wait a while yet. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Orchard |
Tagged apple trees, fig, ground clearance, Paul Rainger, pruning, Smallholding, Spring, The Secret Acre, truffles, veg beds, Winter, woodpile |