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 to make a good life possible, here, in their homeland.

There was a time when anyone who could, grew fruit in this area to supply Lairds Jam Factory in Drumshanbo.

Well, the factory closed and the fruit growing stopped!


There are few people who grow fruit in this area now, yet I harvested over 150lbs of Blackcurrants with ease this year and the Apple trees I planted are bent double with the weight of beautiful Apples…all organically grown!

We should be turning off the radios and televisions and asking ourselves some serious questions, because the only investments worth growing are not to be found on the Economic Markets…after all, you can’t eat talk!

Using a re-cycled water bottle,  for the past eight years, contains my homegrown version of washing powder…mild soap bars, cut into chunks and all shook up in this bottle with some spring water added.

  1. Total cost: In the region of 10 cents per wash cycle.

  2. Total Damage to the Earth: Minimal compared to the average Washing Machine Powder or Liquid!

  3. Usability: Really easy!

  4. Does it work: The real work is done by the tumbling action of the washing machine…didn’t you know? The soap just softens the water and helps the washing action.

  5. How much money can you save per year? : Work this one out for yourself.

  6. Message: Stop being brainwashed by advertising from the big chemical companies. YOU DON’T NEED THEM!

  7. P.S. My clothes are clean!!!

    Blackberries are really ripe for harvesting at the moment!

    Mixed with some of my apples, these will make a fine Blackberry and Apple Jelly.

    So far, the pillowcase method of straining the juice has served me well, washing the pillowcase and ironing it to sterilise.

    However, there are few people to be found harvesting berries for free, though many to be seen in the supermarkets buying jam filled with chemicals!

    Elderberries are just beginning to ripen, so the harvest will continue well into September!

    Permaculture is about living on less while at the same time continually running a surplus, because there appears to be a surplus of everything except paper money!

    Sharing the surplus with family and friends is a happy thing to do.

    The philosophy of sharing makes one feel extremely wealthy and begin to question the value system that exists in society around us.

    Permaculture can and does change lives.

    I believe it is the way forward, especially looking at the present state of the Irish economy.

    There is a saying here in Ireland, more relevant today than ever it was before, “People appear to have lost the run of themselves”…how sad, how true!

    But then, before the Economists, bankers, government and people lost the run of themselves, there was a quiet generosity of spirit that embraced the country.

    An open door…this is what Ireland used to be about…I wonder how many doors are freely open today?

    Ivan Illich, social thinker, has written many books criticising present day society and its failure…privileged people can escape the need to be consumers and be ‘doers’, instead, whereas the under-privileged seek satisfaction in consumerism, all that is packaged and pushed their way.

    The way forward lies in nurturing confidence in people to enable them to take more control of their lives…knowledge is power and empowering people to move away from big institutions and useless economic models is enabling empowerment for everyone!

    As John Seymour once wrote…”To allow ourselves to be dependent on some vast Thing created by the Merchants of Greed is madness.

    It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily.

    Good food, comfortable clothes, serviceable housing and true culture – those are the things that matter.

    The only way this can happen is by ordinary people, us, boycotting the huge multinational corporations that are destroying our Earth – and create a new Age – an Age of Healing in place of the current Age of Plunder.”