Our Field Bean Experiment

Regular readers will know that we over winter our broad beans, onions and garlic on the veg patch. We’ve also had increasing success using green manure field beans over winter too.

One thing we’ve noticed over the hardships of winter, is how the green manure field beans always seem to suffer much less, and recover more quickly, than their broad bean relations.

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Flaming June on the Veg Patch

Here’s a quick pictorial look at some of the June’s garden action at The Secret Acre.

After a slow start, due to the weird Spring weather, June finally delivered some warm sunshine allowing the garden to burst into life.

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The Parsnip of Promise

Much excitement on The Secret Acre winter veg patch.

“Look at the size of this parsnip” Emma calls over pointing at the giant disc sitting surrounded by topsoil.

“That would be a great one to dig up for Christmas.”

So we did….. Continue reading

Harvest 2020 – Part 4: Squeezing the final Pips

Last month saw some of our final summer harvest pickings as the decent into autumn gathered pace.

It’s been a long lockdown summer in the garden.

From the early broad beans, onions and garlic, through the traditional gluts, and welcome summer helpers.

Here’s another pictorial roundup of the final action. Continue reading

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

Best in Show

Regular readers will know that autumn’s harvest season also brings forth the village show.

We have form, stating with some urban practise, and then some baby steps, before gaining experience for a successful all-out assault on a whole section last year.

To be frank, I didn’t think it could get any better, and along with the uncertainty around the virus this year, I doubted we would enter. 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 new toy, and more garlic

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

Let Harvest 2020 Begin!

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

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