Despite our usual New Year optimism for
the gardening year ahead, an unexpected combination of care duties, hospital treatment and Covid, meant that we are having a very slow start to our spring at The Secret Acre. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Greenhouse |
Tagged Alison, asparagus, bluebells, chitting, dog, Emma Alesworth, field beans, Greenhouse, grow your own, Noodle, Paul Rainger, Phil, planting out, potatoes, seed sowing, seedlings, seeds, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg beds, veg growing, veg planting, wild garlic |
Followers of our adventures at The Secret Acre will know that we go wild for
It’s usually one of our first big forages of spring, and one of the easiest for beginners, growing profusely in woodlands over a long period, and
not easily misidentified, smelling and tasting of, well, garlic. Continue reading
Posted in Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged Carry on Henry, Devonium & Kitchenalia, Emma Alesworth, foraged food, foraging, garlic, Great British Chefs, Paul Rainger, pesto, pickled wild garlic flower buds, pickling, recipe, Sid James, Smallholding, tempura, The Seasonal Table, The Secret Acre, Wild Feast, wild garlic, Wild Garlic Flower Tempura, wild garlic pesto, wild garlic three ways |
A lot of people made a lot of banana bread during lockdown. We made red wine and cheese. But apparently, four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel completed an internship in organic farming. He is not alone of course, 1979 World Champion, Jody Scheckter, owns Laverstoke Park, a biodynamic farm in Hampshire. Continue reading
Posted in Garden |
Tagged asparagus, broad beans, chitting, Emma Alesworth, Formula 1, fruit tree pruning, gardening, horseraddish, Jody Scheckter, kale, Laverstoke Park, leaks, lockdown, parsnip, Paul Rainger, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, Sebastian Vettel, Smallholding, Spring, squash, The Secret Acre, wild garlic |
The mad rush to catch up in the garden at the end of May was immediately followed by the mad rush in early June to catch the Elderflower at its sunny best.
After this year’s whopping 4kg of
wild garlic pesto making, we made Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Kitchen |
Tagged calendula, champagne, cordial, elderflower, Paul Rainger, pesto, River Cottage, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, veg patch, water lily, wild garlic |
April was unusually warm and dry, ensuring Spring arrived with a vengeance, underlining the timeless wonder of it all.
At The Secret Acre it proved a busy month
recycling, creating new borders, as well as cutting the grass, planting the potatoes, planting extra successional broad beans and onions, and bottling the last of the cider. Continue reading
Posted in Garden, Good Life, Kitchen |
Tagged April, borders, broad beans, cider, Garden, onions, Paul Rainger, pesto, potato, recycling, seeds, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, The Young Ones, timeless, wild garlic, wonder |
Today is officially the first day of spring, if you’re a northern hemisphere type of person that is.
Of course the
early signs of spring have been popping up everywhere already, but today the sun has done its stuff, at 10.28am to be precise if you were in the UK. Continue reading
Our first ever step on the road to greater self-sufficiency, even before discovering wild garlic, was making Elderflower Champagne.
Once someone has shown you what Elderflower looks like, you can’t help but see and smell it everywhere you go in early June.
And what’s not to like about an alcoholic fizzy drink that is as simple as sticking it in a bucket for 6 days, bottling and drinking!
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged champagne, cordial, elderflower, exploding bottles, foraging, Paul Rainger, River Cottage, self-sufficiency, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, wild garlic |
Spring’s arrival of wild garlic has usually been our second major event in the kitchen store cupboard calendar, even as urban foragers before moving to The Secret Acre.
Of course moving to a new area this year first necessitated seeking out local woodland areas suitably carpeted with the
Ramsons. But wild garlic has to rate as the easiest of forages. Continue reading
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged elderflower, Emma Alesworth, foraged food, foraging, kitchen, lemon, olive oil, parmesan, Paul Rainger, pesto, pine nuts, ramsons, recipe, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, Vegan, wild garlic |
“ I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade” – D.H. Lawrence.
This year we really need to make a start on the whole becoming
more self-sufficient thing, now the house is fairly finished. Our store room is imposing an air of expectation upon us. Continue reading
Posted in Kitchen |
Tagged cointreau, DH Lawrence, elderflower, home made, jams, marmalade, Paul Rainger, pickles, self-sufficiency, Smallholding, The Secret Acre, whiskey, wild garlic |