A Life in the Country ~ Today at Permaculture Cottage

The hens are out foraging today.

Autumn is a good time to let the girls out to roam freely all over the smallholding…and roam they do!

And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  “Look at this Godawful mess.”  ~Art Buchwald, 1970

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Beech planted with Bamboo. 

Close planting is one of the ways to keep unwanted weeds at bay!

If you look closely you can see Cotoneaster planted to the right.

It is easier to thin plants out than wait for them to grow!

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In the true style of the Economic Terrorist I grew all these trees from seed.

That’s what I love about growing and gardens and Nature…there is no consumerism and everything continues to grow.

The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have – and that is a moral problem, not an economic one.

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other.  It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.  Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied… but written off as trash.  The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.  ~John Berger

Testament to Dad…

My father died in April of last year.

Dad loved this smallholding and bought me a sack full of bare-rooted saplings to plant here.

All the Beech trees, including this Purple Beech are a testament to his love for Nature and the environment we make within.

As these trees turn marvellous shades of reds and browns, I smile and remember my father…

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Forethought and temperance are the virtues which produced thrift, and with thrift the economic progress of society.  And those are the virtues which today are gravely compromised.  ~Adriano Tilgher


  1. Beautiful smallholding. I am a newbie to the world of permaculture. I am from India, and strongly believe in Nature as my life, religion and everything else. As I started understanding the complex problems of today’s consumer styled world, my lifestyle changed drastically. I returned back to my homeland, migrated near forests, and started living a simple and peaceful life without too much materialism. It is amazing to see how permaculture relates to all that I believe in. Your blog and small holding are beautiful and so very interesting.

    • More and more good people are coming to permaculture as a universal consciousness takes hold and Nature collects her defenders together. You are also drawn towards this end, as are so many across the globe. Welcome to Bealtaine!
      All Good Wishes

  2. great timing for us to find your blog, love it, It.ll ne a great help to us. We are at the start of our own journey towards permaculture kiving. We have started a blog too to chart our journey. http://applesteamdream.wordpress.com/ We will be building a straw bale cottage in the countryside in Northern Ireland. Our plan is to be off grid and grow most of our own produce organically.

    • Wow!…that sounds amazing! What part of N. Ireland are you in? I have friends who have built straw bale houses and they are just so warm, it’s amazing…and very easy on the energy too!
      All Good Wishes

  3. The Beech Trees are a lovely gift from your Father – a gift that truly keeps on giving.

    As I looked at your photos I realized I’m miss my girls. I used to keep Plymouth Rock Partridge Bantams. They were great weeders, mini-garden tractors, and bug controllers. As Canadians feel the impact of the global increase in food prices and I expect more will wise up and begin to grow some of their own food.

    Thanks for sharing your self-sufficency blog with with us, readers.

    May you be well and happy too. 🙂

    • Thanks for your good wishes and I accept them graciously! I love to share my life here at Bealtaine and to hear from visitors what they think and feel too! I agree with you that Global food prices are becoming a real issue and all that it entails…the great change is coming and the destructiveness of the excessive consumer society is waning…this can only be a good thing.
      All Good Wishes,

  4. Goodness there is so much in this post, awesome that your dad loved trees as much as you do, my chickens free range from now on too, I don’t even close their door at night.. and they are laying like crazy! and your fantastic quotes.. ! c

    • Yes indeed he loved trees and I find his spirit moves amoung them in a pleasant way…each one certainly reminds me of him in a joyful way! Hens are just great…workers, food providers and entertainers!
      All good wishes

  5. I am thrilled to find your blog and share your sentiments. I’m about to move to a new home with a much bigger garden so I can produce more of my own and my partners food. What a wonderful find you are and a great example of a better ethos for living. Good luck to you.

    • Thanks Chris and am glad that people find this blog a useful template. To be honest, that was what I was hoping and the reason I keep putting it out there!
      All good wishes

Your comments are welcome!