Greenhouse is Go… finally!

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.

Although the subsequent reglazing then went on to take several years longer than anticipated! Continue reading

Keep Calm and Pony Up

We live in troubled times.

Human hubris, stressing animals and environmental systems beyond breaking point, is to blame.

And while a period of self-isolation might be the ideal opportunity to learn more and get started on your own biodynamic organic home veg patch, people are also looking for calm in the storm. Continue reading

Cherry Red

When we were urban foragers living in the city, cherry trees were a favourite, especially the irony of collecting a free basket from the productive cherry trees at the end of a large supermarket car park while those inside paid for theirs.

So it was exciting to inherit an old orchard when we moved to The Secret Acre. And although mainly apples and plums, there was also an elderly cherry. Continue reading

Hello Imbolc

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.

Continue reading

Goodbye Fossil Fuels

Well mostly at least. Yes, we have gone fully electric on the car front, even if the garden tractor and tools still need the occasional can of unleaded. Our own personal divestment at The Secret Acre.

With the old car in urgent need of replacement this winter, it simply felt wrong in 2020 to still be buying an old fashioned, polluting petrol engine (politicians take note).

Which is not to say we still didn’t um and ah for a long time. Not getting another petrol car was the easy decision, but whether to go hybrid or fully electric much harder. Here’s what we learned. Continue reading

Horse’y New Year

It may be the Chinese year of the Rat, but 2020 kicked off at The Secret Acre with a distinctly horse’y theme.

Before Christmas, fellow smallholder and gardening author, Kim Stoddart, reminded me that we could take a first light harvest of horseradish, just over a year on since we first planted it. Continue reading