It’s rare to get anything from a bank these days.
Investments and savings are accepted, while little is offered to customers!
However, my local bank, in Carrick-on-Shannon, provided me with one of the best growing investments I have ever had…and one that continues to grow and spread rampantly…Valerian.
To be honest, I stole them!
Now that’s a confession I should not be making, but in this case, as the seeds did not belong to Monsanto, I felt it was my duty to snap them off and spread them as generously as I could, all around Bealtaine Cottage.
Anyway, six or so years later, the seeds continue to spread, of their own volition and infest the gravel with delight, for me and the Bees!
Here they are…Click on the link to see the best investment anyone can make…investing in Nature and the environment…
Working in the gardens today. The evening has arrived. It’s hot and still and sweat appears effortlessly. To chill out I decided to just ramble around the gardens here at Bealtaine, mug of coffee in one hand, camera in the other.
These are some of the poppies grown from seed this year…all are different shades of pink and red and white and, I hope, perennial.
I have often thought that what we need more than any religion in the world today is a spiritual order that will teach a sense of belonging to Earth and communion with Nature. I say this because working on this land over the past seven years has brought a sense of spirituality into my life that was never before experienced. This spirituality is creation centred and allows me to see the Divine in so much of Nature that it sometimes takes my breath away.
Even though all our institutions and governments are in debt, it isn’t money that we lack in our lives today…it is that spiritual awakening we most need and it is that which will change our lives and our communities.
Over recent decades we have been exposed to great materialism, yet drug and alcohol abuse increases daily. Here in Ireland, a study out just today, has put Irish motorists at the very top of European drivers surveyed for drug and alcohol abuse. Even here, in this green island paradise, there is a deep disconnect!
Growth on all of the trees planted here has been amazing this year. As I walked through the land I stopped often to look at trees that I had simply forgotten I had planted…they now towered above my head and appeared to look down at me. I almost felt like an intruder!
The first day of Autumn in the Celtic calendar and the harvest continues. Blackcurrants are being picked at Bealtaine, along with masses of herbs, including Oregano, Chives, Dill and Fennel…though the Fennel in the tunnel is seeding and will be dried and stored for baking purposes later on.
Yes…it’s hard to believe, but there have been bumper harvest every year at Bealtaine and this is set to continue as the land moves from monoculture in year one to wonderful biodiversity in year seven, with shelter developing and compost heaps bursting…
Remember the immense power as a consumer you have…and ultimately, your ability, with others, to control the market…buying Fairtrade and supporting local producers is one way to control the market for the good, rather than giving your precious money and support to the global corporations who wreak havoc on our world…
Valerian grown from seed continues to flower and will do all summer and into the autumn all the time that the seedheads are removed…
Blackcurrants and Sage in the Nursery area, again grown from seeds, so 100% permaculture at Bealtaine plants to come. Both of these plants grow very easily from seed scattered into limestone gravel and left to overwinter, before being pricked out and potted on…how simple is that?
Apples today in the gardens at Bealtaine.
Lots of mulching.
Sheeps wool mulched around base.
Regular feeds of manure tea.
Maximum biodiversity planted around the trees.
Trees well spread out.
Hedges and shrubs to protect from the wind.
In other words, intelligent planting, thought-out and planned along permaculture lines…
Just a few shots of empathy for and with Nature, alongside good, basic common-sense, realising that Nature is poly-cultural and loathes monoculture in any form, so, be diverse!
Plant for maximum biodiversity, with pockets of plants everywhere in your garden…and don’t try to dominate!
Us humans seem to have an innate desire to dominate Nature, an idea supported by so many of the world religions!
Use Local Resources
Raised beds can be made from most materials.
Local is best.
I continue to use some tyres in my gardens, but am replacing them gradually with stone, local stone, as and when I uncover it or come across it.
Wood is good and sustainable.
All my compost heaps are made using old doors, up-cycled to a new use!
Look at what you have as a local and preferably free resource and start using it!
By far the easiest and best way of growing I have ever encountered…this is my template for a great garden.
These are the potatoes this morning, growing mightily on a no-dig potato bed.
Have a look at previous blogs to see how this was started…
Collect and Save Seed!
Fennel in the tunnel this morning, flowering and soon to seed.
Save seed…any seeds and grow them on and share them out and value this above all else that you do, for without seed we have nothing!
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are welcomed free.
Donations are always welcome.
Thank you for supporting this blog
Valerian coming into flower today at Bealtaine. The rain continues, almost unabated, raising the water table and pushing the water in my spring well down towards the cottage. Spent quite some time bringing water across to the tunnel to give the plants a good drenching!
Sprays of Hawthorn blossom hang in swathes around the hedgerows at the cottage. The flowers of this tree release a certain chemical which is good for the heart and it is recommended to breath deeply around these gorgeous blossoms!