Our new nature watch camera at The Secret Acre includes a timelapse facility that we have been playing around with.
Best so far has been a summer’s day in the paddock, watching
the horses and their visitors come and go. Eighteen hours from dawn to dusk compressed into just 9 mins of film. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Paddock, Wildlife |
Tagged birds, Cam Peak, Emma Alesworth, green roof, horses, Milton Keynes, Paddock, Paul Rainger, photography, prog rock, Smallholding, Steve Hackett, The Secret Acre, timelapse, trail camera, webcam, wildlife |
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 |
Ever since we got the ride on mower, I have secretly coveted a toy, sorry important farming accessory, to tow behind it!
It turned out there is a
whole catalogue of possibilities, none of which I could really justify the expense of to Emma. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse, Paddock |
Tagged Alys Fowler, cucumber, elephant garlic, Emma Alesworth, garden roller, garlic, Greenhouse, grow your own, hard neck, horses, Lautree Wight, Marco, Monty Don, Paddock, Paul Rainger, RHS, ride on mower, Smallholding, soft neck, The Secret Acre, veg growing, veg patch |
This time last year, after a promising start, events conspired to put gardening and harvesting somewhat on the backburner.
This year, events have conspired to have the opposite effect. Not just for extra
lockdown projects like the greenhouse and fruit cage, but to have beautifully weeded, prepared and planted out in the veg beds for once too. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged broad beans, climate change, Emma Alesworth, garlic, grow your own, harvest, lettuce, lockdown, onion white rot, onions, Paul Rainger, pesto, shallots, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg growing, veg patch |
It’s not all been wine, bread, baking and making things out of pallets recently.
We threatened to extend our
Good Life on Lockdown into dairy and cheese too.
And lo it came to pass.
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged baking, brie, butter, cheese, cheese making, clotted cream, creamery, creme fraiche, Emma Alesworth, feta, feta cheese, goats cheese, goats milk, home baking, home cheese making, home dairy, homemade jam, jam, lockdown, making scones, mozzarella, paneer, Paul Rainger, ricotta, scones, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
The final addition to our new fruit cage has been the construction of a raised strawberry bed, like those you get in some PYO places.
Another project accelerated by the benefit of the extra
lockdown time at home and again using our supply of junk wood. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged Coronavirus, Emma Alesworth, fruit, fruit cage, grow your own, lockdown, Paul Rainger, PYO, Smallholding, soft fruit, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry bed, The Secret Acre, Wimbledon, woodpile, woodwork |
Since starting to use our nature watch camera at The Secret Acre we recently hit the motherlode of (mostly nocturnal) animal activity.
A veritable M25 of wildlife comings and goings, it turns out, exists in the overgrown patch round the back behind the walnut tree.
We’re currently busy with the annual planting out now that the risk of frost has passed.
There was some
unusually late frost here last week that had us dashing out for several nights to fleece the young potatoes. The first time we’ve ever had to do this, as climate change driven weather extremes continue to build. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged climate change, diy, Emma Alesworth, frost, Greenhouse, hair, lockdown, pallets, Paul Rainger, planting out, recycling, seedlings, seeds, Smallholding, The Secret Acre |
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 |