Cash Crop?

Like most smallholders we still work part-time, the holy grail of living off the land proving elusive in the current unsustainable era of cheap industrial food which hides the true costs of production. Continue reading

Harvest 2020 – Part Two

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

A Hiccup and a Harvest

Back in May I opined about how on top of all things veg we seemed to be this year, warning that it surely couldn’t last.

And that hiccup arrived almost immediately in the form of a prolonged spell of unexpected parental care, now all fine fortunately, but leaving Emma to cope solo on the veg patch.

So the harvest we have enjoyed is all down to her hard work. Here’s a pictorial roundup of some of the action. Continue reading

Broad Bean Bonanza

We don’t know about you, but for us it seems to be a bonanza year for broad beans.

Our over-wintered crop, which in past years has struggled to get past knee height, suddenly shot up during May to waist level monsters.

Our first attempt at a spring compost dressing might have helped, as no doubt has the good spring weather. Continue reading

Planting Out

The strange feeling of ‘veg bed competence’ we had at the start of May has somehow survived through to end of the month.

Surely it can’t last!

The greenhouse seedlings (pictured left) rapidly turned into a veritable garden nursery vision of plug plants demanding to be planted out against the risks of any late frosts. Continue reading

Over the Moon

In previous years, last Friday would have seen me out on the veg patch planting our chitted seed potatoes.

The ‘Good Friday Potatoes’. I read it in a book way back and the idea stuck.

Apparently, Easter potato planting is a very English thing. The Irish prefer to use St Patricks day. Continue reading

Hail the Salsify

Thoughts may be turning to Spring and the new growing season ahead, but the Winter veg bed is still providing the last of its produce.

Including this year, Salsify, a Victorian staple now out of fashion. This vegetable even featured in the Victorian classic Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management! Continue reading

And so the cycle begins again…

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