The Perfect Permaculture Plant …

A Permaculture plant is one that is perfectly suited to that space in nature, soil, climate, site, micro-climate, etc.,

A plant that is comfortable in that zone and one that adds to the bio-diversity possibilities on the land space you inhabit.

One that provides food, whether for yourself, animals, insects or the soil…thereby keeping the loop healthy and working.

Cow Parsley in my garden

Covered with tiny droplets of rain, this Cow Parsley looks exquisite, despite the fact that it is hated and despised by so many gardeners, yet home and food and shelter to so many insects.

I have vast tracts of Cow Parsley growing on my land.

It looks stunning when dusted with winter frost!

I noticed that there was a lot of this wild herb growing on the roads around the mountain of Kilronan this week.

It looked spectacular in the mountain light.

Wind Spiral in the Fairy Dell

This wind spiral catches energy moving through the woodland of the Fairy Dell.

This is a spot that everyone refuses to visit or even walk through after sunset…

Fairies inhabit this little bit of woodland.

 A woodland zone is  a vital part of the Permaculture Plan…

Harvest Moon in the West of Ireland, tonight!

Last night the Harvest Moon rose over my Permaculture Vegetable Garden.

The sky was clear and the air  crisp as the moonlight illuminated my path back across the grass from the compost heap.

Today is now calm and sunny, but rain clouds  have emptied a lot of water over the valley.

I watched them move, sweeping across the mountains from the Atlantic Ocean, bringing fresh, clean water to my garden.

I have lit the stove in the kitchen and filled it with Turf and logs.

The heat will air the clothes that I’ve rescued from the clothes line.

As I write this I can smell them drying…time for tea, I’m thinking!

The Magic of Autumn, A Permaculture Floor and Free Rose Arch

Irish Dresser

Pumpkins take pride of place on my dresser back in 2010.

There is a brilliant Pumpkin season underway here in the west of Ireland, with some of the biggest and best being grown outdoors, despite the lack of sun this summer.

There was an almost full moon in the southern sky last night and the sky was clear and blue this morning.

However, rain and storms are forecast!

The moon last night was strong enough to light up the back of the cottage.

It waxed and shone brightly.

I am busy harvesting onions, garlic, herbs, potatoes, chard and loads of Apples.

Nights are closing in and there’s even a little frost on the grass some mornings.

This is my favourite season!

I wanted to integrate re-cycling as a theme in my cottage.

I feel strongly about the amount of waste that happens every day in our lives…”throw it away”…but where is ‘away?’

We all live on this finite planet.

We share the oceans…they’re all connected.

We share the air, good grief, we share everything on this planet, though some are greedy beyond belief!

These broken tiles were going to be buried in a landfill site…I needed a floor…and so a connection was made between some like-minded people.

This is the result, much admired by visitors to the cottage…my floor, a statement of permaculture fusion, permaculture art maybe?

Making a Rose Arch in the garden needn’t cost a penny!

This Rambling Rose is supported by a Ribes hedge and a couple of lengths of Willow.

There are several different kinds of flowering shrubs on either side to support wildlife and biodiversity, which is probably the reason why my Apple Harvest this year and every other year is so bountiful!

Observation is a key element in Permaculture.

It is also a great friend of any gardener, for observing one’s garden allows one to continually create small and interesting places from what grows and shapes itself.

Archways will form naturally and give a good indication of what is possible in that space.

A kind of evolutionary gardening if you like!

According to the Irish Calendar which is based on ancient Celtic traditions, autumn lasts throughout the months of August, September, and October, or possibly a few days later, depending on tradition….so the first month of autumn is almost over!

There is a heavy harvest of all berries this year…sign of a cold winter to come…but the birds will be fed well as there are simply tons of berries here at Bealtaine Cottage.

I began my work here providing nuts for the birds in feeders all over the gardens, but the shrubs and trees planted are all producing more than adequate food for the birds and all wildlife, so the bird-feeders have all been passed on.

Under Occupation…Mother Earth needs a Lawyer!

The Earth is in desperate need of protection.

Mother Earth is in desperate need of people with integrity to look after her interests…for her interests are our interests.

So, what constitutes integrity?

Do any of our leaders possess this quality?

How often do we say, “there goes a person of integrity…”?

Integrity is the “quality or state of being complete”, of being in an “unbroken condition” or state of “wholeness”… entireness, wholeness; the unimpaired state of anything: uprightness: honesty: purity.

The problem with many politicians, who make decisions on our behalf, is that they seem not to possess any of the last three qualities.

I am very concerned about our seed security.

Seed gives us our food…all of our food.

I have spoken about this before and the little I have to say about it resonates deeply with many of you.

Now, the reason that I mention politicians is that all decisions relating to our environment and food security are taken at governmental level and it is at governmental level that the big corporations employ many of their people…to lobby!

There is no integrity in lobbying politicians on behalf of a corporation…that is all about money and back-scratching.

So, back to Mother Earth and who lobbies for her…successfully?

Well, one of my all-time heroes, Tim DeChristopher is in prison for taking direct action to help her.

That is a story worth googling!

There are many organizations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who represent us on the front-line.

There are also many people who genuinely care and are concerned and I count myself as one.

The problem is that politicians are very adept at being sly.

Take for example the issue of GMO’s.

Recently, the government here in Ireland allowed this abomination into our country via, “GM Potato Trials!”

Now, who, I ask, would have lobbied for that?

Then there’s the case of Order 81 in Iraq.

Who was behind that?

Do people even know anything about Order 81, imposed by the US government in 2004.

Yes, imposed!

What a break for U.S. corporations, such as Monsanto!

The U.S. imposed 100 Orders on Iraq.

Order 81  was designed to have a major impact on the way farming is done in Iraq.

This order prohibits Iraqi farmers from using saving seeds from one year to the next.

Order 81 prohibits the farmers from using their own seeds, on their own farms, to grow their own crops.

So who supplies the seeds…?

Well, join the dots and look at what’s going on.

Prior to the U.S. invasion, agriculture in Iraq was flourishing.

The Fertile Crescent in Iraq, the cradle of civilization and where farming actually began, had developed a system of farming that was the envy of the world.

There was immense biodiversity and within that was food security.

GMO’s depletes biodiversity, leaving us all tied to the corporations supplying the seeds.

Alarm bells ringing?

Under Occupation, centuries of progress have been destroyed, almost overnight, due to the bombing of the Iraq Seed Bank…how convenient for Monsanto to get a foothold.

How much of this did you know?

As I suspected, the Earth needs a damn good lawyer and fast!

 

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Fruits of the Earth

Kilronan Mountain rises above the mist early in the morning here in the north west of Ireland.

The solace of an early Autumn and a brightening sky.

Fruits of the Earth are ready to harvest.

Apples scattered on the grass in the orchard are nibbled by night-time visitors and afternoon wasps.

The seasonal change-over is happening, hot becomes warm and cool becomes cold.

Crocosmia is blooming…the brilliant burnt orange of an artist’s palette.

This little flower, once brought to Ireland from South Africa, now colours the roadsides for departing visitors…an orange farewell and abiding memory.

The orange flag of Lughnasa spent in an Emerald Isle.

As the Equinox approaches and the days shorten, the scents rising from Mother Earth are full of fermenting fruit and wood smoke.

Plums split open in fertile ripeness.

Wasps descend.

Samhain is just around the corner and then the descent towards the longest night of the year…the seasons progress…

The promise of a Toffee Apple on a stick.

Scrumping children sneak into gardens for the promise of apples and pockets filled with booty to carry off.

The Return of Romance

Simplicity of living is much sought after these days.

There are television programmes and magazines devoted to the simple life.

We are drawn towards images of romantic simplicity…think of all the wonderful books translated into gorgeous films that espouse life before the Industrial Revolution.

I have to admit an interest here, as my most read novel is Pride and Prejudice and favourite film is the translation of that book onto the big screen by Deborah Moggach, directed by Joe Wright.

It is simply exquisite in it’s attention to detail that reflects the beautiful simplicity of everyday life.

And that is what we have been seeking, through consumption, for several chaotic decades now…a return to the simple life.

So, let’s define the simple life.

Well, it is simple enough to define, for it simply means, “less of!”

Yet all the media, while espousing the simple life, cheer-leads us to consume more.

Individually designed Lavender Hearts for sale at Bealtaine Cottage on Etsy

So, I urge you to read the book and see the film.

Within the romantic idealism of past times there sits a very clear message…less is more.

De-clutter your life.

Embrace the sunrises and sunsets.

Open the door of your de-cluttered world to romance and fall in love with Nature.

All good will follow!

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A Healthy Eco-system Feeds our Spirituality

Eight years ago this did not exist.

What is now Bealtaine Cottage, sat in the middle of three very barren, small fields.

It is difficult for me to relate to the sad scene I first encountered at that time.

Much has changed during the recent years.

The land has blossomed into abundance.

An abundance I find hard to keep up with.

Scant topsoil, clinging to daub on shallow bedrock seemed impossible.

It was another Findhorn project in the making.

Everything that was reality then has been turned on its head.

This was not possible…every note of common sense and knowledge re-inforced that.

So, what has happened?

The simple answer is, I do not know.

The more complex answer is, energy…physical and spiritual energy.

This energy is linked to the Divine.

Our Earth appears to be in the beginning phase of the process of shifting into a divine and higher  level of consciousness.

I feel it is possible to make a conscious link to the vast energy of Nature that enfolds us.

Every living thing drinks in the energy of the sun in one form or another.

That is the very visible and tangible understanding of what is happening.

For us to make the conscious link, it is necessary to be aware and ultimately inspired by it all.

The Return of the Divine Feminine and Earth Healing.

For several thousands of years there has been a dominance of patriarchal religion.

The role of women has been greatly suppressed and undermined.

As a consequence, we have forgotten and been denied the sacred power of the divine feminine.

As a woman growing up here in Ireland I was taught that God was male and women were subservient at all times to the male.

The role of the feminine was diminished at all levels of society.

I recall my mother having to endure a ceremony called, “being churched,” after childbirth.

The RC church regarded my mother and all like her as being “dirty,” following childbirth and that only a male priest could cleanse her and make her fit for the world in which she lived.

Mother was not allowed to attend church until this ceremony had been conducted.

Imagine a world where giving birth to a sacred human being made one unclean in the eyes of God?

Without the divine feminine in our lives, we impoverish ourselves of the sacred meaning and divine purpose of being alive.

Without the divine feminine in our lives we lose our ability to heal, understand, nourish and empower ourselves and our world.

We allow the ignorance of patriarchy to diminish what we know to be sacred and special.

Without the understanding of the divine feminine we submit to chaos and fear.

The Earth and her inhabitants have had enough of chaos and fear…

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A Celebration of 200,000 Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…

Some of the thousands of photographs of life at Bealtaine Cottage over the past few years and a huge “Thank you” to all of you who have made the journey with me…Bless you!

Garden to the east of the cottage, Summer 2010

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Lavender drying on the back door of my cottageThe back door open to let in the cool breeze, Summer 2010

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My Spinning WheelMy spinning wheel placed on the home made floor

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The lane at (Bealtaine Cottage), Ballyfermoyle

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A full moon over Bealtaine Cottage

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Angel in the Bog Garden

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The North Garden full of autumn colour in 2010

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Wood burning stove in the sitting room

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Willow archway in the Bog Garden

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Christmas at Bealtaine with blue sky, sunshine and snow!