Self-Sufficiency at the Cottage

Fennel grows very well in my garden here in Ireland. In fact all the plants from the herb family grow well here. I’ve been harvesting seeds from the Fennel plants this morning. The seeds taste lovely, sweet and liquorice like. They make great chewy sweets that help to assuage the appetite, so can help in […]

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A Special Delivery from the Postman!

My postman, Tom Benson, was clearing out the cowsheds on his farm in Keadue and kindly offered me an absolute mound of well-rotted cow manure, one of the best additions to the permaculture gardens at this time of the year. It will boost the fertility in all areas of the land, especially the fruit and […]

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Driven Headlong by Passion…

Walking along country lanes in late September is a joy, when wrapped up warm. The sun shines bright, but there is a chill in the air. Colours are brightening before the leaves finally shed their food onto the earth, replenishing the soil and adding fertility for the next growing season. Cows muster around hedges, watching […]

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A Time of Early Shadows

Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over. Scents of woodsmoke and compost fill the air. Samhain is close. The Celts divided the year into two parts…the light and the dark. Samhain is the crossover point into the dark. Seamus Heaney wrote a wonderful collection of poetry entitled, “Into […]

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Living Lightly upon the Earth

So much has changed since my birthday last year. Re-painting the cottage has made a big difference to the light inside and the way in which the walls now reflect the outside in. I made new curtains from simple gingham. There is now a green floor in the kitchen with gold spirals all across it. […]

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Stonehenge, Newgrange and the Cycle of Life

The autumn continues to progress through it’s mellow display of earthy colours. Tomorrow is the Equinox and the beginning of the descent towards midwinter. The time of year denotes the slowing down of all that is life as we know it. Time to sort out the winter woolies and hang the heavy curtains to keep out the […]

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As The Nights Draw In…

The light is changing. The nights are drawing in. The Equinox approaches…a time of equality in night and day, dark and light, balanced on the cusp of the descent into winter. Much more of autumn is to come, with the delights of Samhain and last harvest in the coming month…my favourite time of year, for […]

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Ireland: Life before and after The Merchants of Greed…

The radio is talking about economic growth/lack of it/regulators/lack of them… They are all lacking the essential connection, which to my mind is the actual land where they live! All the time there’s talk about international investors, while fields grow high with rushes and Irish children leave school with little or no understanding of how […]

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How to Grow the Best Organic Apples!

Apples…one of the easiest  fruits to grow. These Apple Trees were planted seven years ago and have fruited every year. They has never been sprayed. There have never been any chemicals sprayed on or around them. These trees are the perfect plants in the perfect place…a permaculture success. The fruit is used as a base […]

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