Bealtaine Cottage…So, you want to know what a smallholding looks like before it’s permacultured?

Bealtaine Cottage smallholding at the beginning, nine years ago.

The property looked quite barrens and derelict. 004

And today, winter time in Ireland and the land is pure abundance!

Where the orchards, tunnel and veggie gardens are now.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage 019

And just some of the apples that crop every year!

An unpromising start…but Permaculture can take root anywhere!

entrance to bealtaine

Making a start…about nine years ago.

Bealtaine Cottage

Bealtaine Cottage at the beginningHow it was…

bealtaine Cottage in February 2013

Over 900 trees planted since then.


  1. What an amazing transformation. Did you have a vision or plan or did it just happen naturally? Well done anyway on creating such a beautiful area from scratch xxx

    • Hi Fran, Sometimes I stand back and think the same, so I must take my hat off to Mother Nature, which is the essence of Permaculture…trust Nature to protect your investments…better than trustung the powers that be, haha!
      Did I have a vision…yes, I looked at Nature and marvelled at the possibilities! Did I have a plan…I knew what I should do by walking the land day in, day out and observing, but also by starting near the cottage and planting to protect that environment, filtering the wind etc. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have a woodland in your lifetime…5-7 years gives you a growing canopy and beyond!

  2. I love looking at before and after photos! You’ve made such amazing and beautiful improvements…and so much hard work has gone into it all. Ah, but it’s a good kinda hard work, eh? 😉

    • I’m now at the point of continually harvesting plants and cutttings for compost and it’s hard keeping up with it all! I was looking at the before pics this morning and thought | had to post them…it is hard to believe somtimes…but that’s permaculture for you!

Your comments are welcome!