I describe monoculture practice as creating “Famine Farms” for bees and wildlife…becoming places of slow starvation for all.
I recall thinking this when first beginning to plant out the permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.
As you can see from the place as it looked then, it was bereft of food for anything!
Walking around the gardens of Bealtaine during the Spring and Summer, watching bees forage in the blossom, frogs delight in the ponds and listening to the birds sing out a mighty chorus, makes me think of the dire situation these creatures face in the monoculture world of modern farming.
The average person knows little of bees and their importance to all life as we know it.
It forms part of the massive disconnect going right through the core of society.
In much the same way that medical doctors have a two week slot on diet and nutrition, during their four year medical training, farmers are unaware of much of the way in which the food chain operates around them and, in particular, the intricacies of Nature.
Within western culture, religion teaches us that we are placed here to have dominion over Nature.
Such arrogance is reprehensible as we gather more and more knowledge of the decline and loss of habitat of life as we know it!
It is widely held that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame for the continuing decline of the bees.
Many people point to the proliferation of genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value.
The list of who and what is to blame goes on…
However, from my own observations I have come to this conclusion: we are responsible for starving the bees; with loss of hedgerows; tree depletion; use of chemicals; growing of gaudy flowers with no pollen; proliferation of ridiculous lawns and constant demand for monoculture raised foods, to name but a few!
It behoves us all to make it our business to know how to create and nurture bee habitats.
And that means looking at the natural world, not as a resource to be continually trodden on and suppressed, but as a wondrous gift from the Divine we all need to cherish.
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.
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Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is also known as Common and Wild Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Winter Oregano.
Oregano is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family.
The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy.”
Oregano can be made into a tea, tincture, and has powerful anti-bacterial properties.
The Oregano I harvest comes complete with flowers, so is especially potent for tea!
Some interesting folklore concerning oregano…
The Greeks and Romans used it for a variety of benefits.
~Among the Greeks, if Marjoram grew on a grave, it augured the happiness of the departed, and among both the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to crown young couples with Marjoram.
~Oregano corresponds to Venus and air.
~It is an herb of happiness, tranquillity, good luck, well-being, and protection.
~Promotes joy, strength, vitality, and added energy.
~Make a Tea or burn as an incense.
~Plant Oregano around your house for protection, and scatter it inside the house to protect it.
~Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and vitality.
~It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.
~A protective herb with the power to ward off troublesome and meddling individuals, especially those who may wish to interfere with one’s personal financial dealings.
Dried Lavender is also available.
The use of Lavender goes back into the mists of time…
~Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, for well-being, and as an insect repellent.
~English folklore advises a mixture of lavender, mugwort, chamomile, and rose petals to attract sprites, fairies, brownies, and elves.
~Lavender is used in teas, tinctures, and added to baked goods.
~Lavender is an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world.
~Put two handfuls of Lavender Flowers into a square of cheesecloth and tie with a white ribbon.
Use this aromatic “wash-cloth” in place of your usual one.
Rosemary, or Rosmarinus Officinalis, is also known as Romero, and Dew of the Sea.
Dried Rosemary is also available in 1/2 ounce bags from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.
Rosemary is most famous for its use in cooking.
Bees love Rosemary!
Burn Rosemary for a restorative incense.
In place of more costly incense, the ancients used Rosemary in their religious ceremonies.
An old French name for it was Incensier.
I use dried Rosemary in my Wheaten Soda Bread!
It is delicious!
The list of dried herbs available from Bealtaine Cottage will increase as the season progresses.
Wild Mint, which grows in abundance in the Water gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage, will be one of the herbs offered later in the summer.
All dried Herbs come in 1/2 ounce sealed bags.
A suggested donation of 2 euros per bag and 1 euro for postage.
A Present from Bealtaine Cottage…
I can also post packets of herbs or seeds from Bealtaine Cottage, together with a card, with a message of your choice, to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Cards are handmade and feature a photo from the Bealtaine Cottage Gardens. A suggested donation of 2 euro for each card.
Herbs available this week include: Oregano with flowers, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary and some Lavender.
Click on the button and leave your name, address and herbs required…
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