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

Winter Clearance in the Orchard

Regular readers will know that our usual approach, as slovenly smallholders, is to do everything about two to four weeks too late.

Hence writing about some of our winter clearance work in December, instead of in March, feels slightly wrong. We blame it on lockdown 2.0! Continue reading

Leaping into Leaves

Autumn, according to Winnie the Pooh, is “A time of hot chocolatey mornings, toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.”

And who are we to argue with the great Tao of Pooh?

So all three have been enjoyed at The Secret Acre this autumn, while England endured its second Covid lockdown as you can see!

These autumn months always just seem to whiz by in a flash. 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

Cracking On

Even as Emma was planting the first of our new seeds in the greenhouse last month, I was still cracking on with some of the winter clearance jobs which we were, as usual, still behind on.

Not just the last of the pruning, and the fencing repairs, but some more taming of the overgrown boundaries too. 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

Wednesdays we go shopping & have buttered scones for tea…

For once winter clearance work has started early at The Secret Acre.

Despite being here three years now, there’s still a long list of overgrown areas and hedges to be tackled eventually, a couple at a time each winter. Continue reading

139 Days Later…

Has The Secret Acre gone to rack and ruin since our last blog 5 months ago?

In short, no.

What has gone to ruin, we’ve realised, was our resolve to only work part-time since moving to the smallholding. Both our hours have slowly crept up again over the last two years, almost without noticing. Continue reading