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.
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Orchard |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, grow your own, harvest, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, vegetables |
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
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen, Orchard |
Tagged apple juice, apple pressing, apples, Beauty of Bath, bonfire, Comet Neowise, elephant garlic, Emma Alesworth, grow your own, harvest, Lady Christl, marshmallows, Paul Rainger, potatoes, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg patch |
Today is May Day, so happy Beltane.
It seems only yesterday it was
Facemasks may be the haute couture of the pandemic, but here at The Secret Acre they have nothing to do with
the Good Life on Lockdown, but everything to do with Paul’s chronic hayfever. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged April, Beltane, climate change, Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, facemasks, Global Warming, hay fever, lockdown, May, May Day, May Queen, pandemic, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
You could have a laurel hedge, taking up the sunniest spot in the garden. Or you could have a fruit cage, where the fruit might be as sweet as can be.
We chose the latter, and took a preverbal
sledgehammer to the laurel. Well a chain saw and a mechanical digger to be precise. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Emma Alesworth, fruit, fruit bushes, fruit cage, fruit canes, gardening, Gardening Naturally, grow your own, laurel, lockdown, Paul Rainger, Peter Gabriel, sledgehammer, Smallholding, soft fruit, summer fruit, The Good Life, The Secret Acre |
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 |
Hard to believe we’ve been living at The Secret Acre for three years now, and the still as yet unfinished greenhouse can’t believe it either!
Friends from the start might remember that
clearing the greenhouse was the very first task we tackled over three years ago. Like an episode of Time Team if it involved only brambles. Continue reading
Posted in Greenhouse |
Tagged eco makeover, Emma Alesworth, Greenhouse, Paul Rainger, re-glazing, recycle, repair, reuse, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Secret Acre, Time Team |
We moved to The Secret Acre to live the good life, so when the opportunity came along last month to visit Cerys Matthews’ Good Life Experience with friends and the dog, it seemed rude not to! Continue reading
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged campfire cooking, Cerys Matthews, clog dancing, Emma Alesworth, festival, foraging, Gladstone, Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, Paul Rainger, Smallholding, The Good Life, The Good Life Experience, the great outdoors, The Secret Acre, Wales |
If you were with us this time last year, you will know that Emma and I decide to dump the traditional first 24 wedding anniversaries – the rubbish ones like ‘paper’ and ‘glue’ which come before the serious bling – in favour of our own list of things we actually like.
So we wrote down 12 each and randomly assigned them into the 24 draws of a repurposed advent calendar, to be opened at the start of each year.
Posted in Good Life |
Tagged Bristol, Donostia, El Rincon, Emma Alesworth, Hundertwasser, Klimt, Paul Rainger, pintxos, San Sebastian, Smallholding, tapas, The Good Life, The Kiss, The Secret Acre, Vienna, wedding anniversary, Wien |
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