Financial Collapse…One Woman’s View on What to Do!

Growing Lettuce in a Hanging basket

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage.

The days are long and the simplest of good food is grown in easy ways…like this “Pick and Come Again,” lettuce in a slug-free hanging basket.

I have had lots of time to ponder the way of things in the world.

Growing strawberries in a hanging basketListening, reading and watching allows one to build up a picture of what is really happening. 

The strawberries, meantime, can take care of themselves…another hanging basket crop!

Midsummer Day in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageI do not have television, so my head is not bombarded by trivial nonsense.

Preferring to spend time, especially summer-time, in the gardens allows me to think.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Garden at MidwinterUnderstanding that the economy is not collapsing, but, that it has been collapsing for quite some time now, is essential to developing a plan of action.

Since 2008 when the preliminary financial shock-wave hit, people have felt the slide into financial chaos.

Ensuring a small sum of money is kept aside, at all times, for emergencies, means one is  less vulnerable.

Home made wine in demijohnsBealtaine Cottage PermacultureGetting out of debt is essential too.

That noose around your neck will only keep tightening and there is no advantage in trying to keep up with one’s neighbours.

The likelihood is that they are deeper in debt than you!

Bealtaine Cottage  bread binPay off your creditors in small regular amounts and keep one credit card…safe…at home!

Don’t go shopping with a credit card in your wallet…use cash only!

What if you are at rock bottom and have no money?

Bealtaine Cottage potager vegetable bedTurn your garden and especially your useless lawn into an edible paradise.

Tax free, organically grown, healthy food, growing as close to your home as possible, means more money in your pocket and better health!

Bealtaine Cottage toamtoes in an old bread binNo garden?

Rent an allotment.

Bealtaine Cottage summer in the permaculture tunnelDo not rely on one source for your income.

Prepare for loss of regular income by becoming as diverse as is possible in terms of income.

For example, whatever you are good at can be turned into a micro business or even skill-swap scheme.

Bealtaine Cottage garden shedBe generous in all you do and with all you have. 

Creating abundance and generosity around you will ensure the same will be returned.

Finally, let me just say this…

Bealtaine Cottage bicycle and valerianMuch of our financial despair comes from the lunatic assumption that we can throw things away.

Well, ponder on this…THERE IS NO AWAY!

Bealtaine Cottage lounger in the tunnelThere never has been an “away.”

We live on one very small planet.

What we do, we do to the planet and all it’s inhabitants.

Bealtaine Cottage dogs Flo and JackStart to live with the consequences of our actions and choices.

There is no “away!”

There is only today and what we choose to do.

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage


  1. Oh the conversation we could have in person! 🙂 I just slept for many hours because I’m still ‘detoxing’ from my old life; the one I had before it all came tumbling down. I had a Natural Resource degree from a very prestigious University on the East Coast, but everyone told me (and I told myself) you can’t spend your time in the woods studying nature – there’s no money in it so I spent a lifetime working in the restaurant industry and catering to very wealthy people. Finally I “diversified” into real estate…the rest is history. I drank the kool aide and nearly worked myself to death for my retirement.

    In 2010 as things became worse, I cut up all of my credit cards trying to salvage what I could (realizing it was probably too little to late). The year of 2011 I knew something was really wrong with the whole system and ripped up the sod lawn in one of my rentals and built raised beds and started a garden and that one act took me deeper. My renters, falling on hard times, could not pay the rents and this continued to spiral down. Finally, working as hard as I could, I could not stem the tide and had to declare bankruptcy in 2012 and lost everything. I know what it’s like to go hungry.

    Then I learned about permaculture and about designing one’s life in concert with nature.

    Since then I have personally opted out of this centralized system. No credit cards, cash only, and NO loans of any kind. It’s not glamorous to extract one’s self from societal addictions to money, consumerism and the old life built upon cheap fossil fuels.

    The person I’m with receives a pension and has a 401K but we are in no way fooled about the future plans of those who caused the crash and their intentions to bring more crises our way. We see the signs that ‘safe investments’ like these may take the next hit in our global economy. I’m guessing by your last blog you may be thinking this as well.

    In terms of income – diversity is stability and yes there is no ‘away’. I spend my time trying to figure out how to turn everything around me into tangible decentralized subsets in order to thrive; grow seasonally, grow in the greenhouse in winter, exchange consults for concrete items clients don’t want, start a nursery, install a rocket mass heater and coppice trees for fuel, grow your own medicinals, identify native edibles and encourage them to grow on the property, save seeds, keep bees, keep chickens, observe, make the greatest change for the least effort, and apply the principals of pc repeatedly).

    And lastly, The TV is right where it should be – outside and down in the field with the old lounger chair we pulled out of one of the outbuildings – here’s a picture of it at the end of this bit on mulching

    My apologies if this comes across as rambling, I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of this as I go.

    Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for giving a voice to the positive and proposing solutions.


  2. I really enjoyed all your photo’s and great advice too. The benefit of no television no doubt free’s up a fair bit of time too. I quite fancy the hanging straw baskets, they’re so much more attractive than icky plastic. I’d love to find some like that here. “There is no away” is so very true. It’s not like we shoot things into space, it’s ALL still here, somewhere. We do have a great recycle program but I could always do more. The chaise lounge in your garden delightfully posh 😀

  3. Just received the willow cuttings, they arrived in great shape, even had a customs stamp on them. Thank you so much. After feeling so spiritually connected to Bealtaine through your blogs and videos, it is so wonderful to have an actual physical connectedness. I promise to take good care of them.
    Your recent writings about compassion and humanity have made me think about the people in my family and others I have known who had this great gift. Some of them had a strong sense of self and were able to be sensitive and generous to others. But some of them were ridiculed and could not cope with the inhumanity they saw in our culture. They would try to numb themselves from the suffering they saw through drugs and alcohol. Often when I see a homeless person, I wonder what great soul lays hidden within. I have a cousin who has been an animal rights activist for over 45 years, lobbying for laws to protect animals. Imagine that, we have a culture where there have to be laws to protect animals! But there is a new awakening happening and it is my prayer that these people become valued for their great insight, and that we also focus our compassion on the Earth who has provided for us and been abused by us for so long.
    I am delighted that all has arrived safe and well.
    May some of the sacred energy from Ireland and Bealtaine move into your earth and spread out into the beautiful land of America.
    You write with true understanding of what life is really all about…love and compassion.
    God Bless the compassionate heart that cares for all life, especially the dumb animals.
    Their joy transmits to us an image of the Divine where all is love.
    The Awakening is tangible and wonderful and exciting.
    My mother, who is 82, says that she feels blessed to have lived to see the change begin.
    Happy Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage
    And thank you for your kind donation, Sharleen X

  4. The pictures, your words and my tears of joy in knowing there are lots of us. Growing lawns of dandelion, plantain and lambs quarter at the fences. You are inspireing my gardening.
    We are a growing circle of what I like to call ‘compassionate gardeners and growers,’ taking care of all life.
    Blessings from all life at Bealtaine Cottage

  5. Loving your ideas – especially about what to do with your lawn! And your garden and edible goodies looks wonderful. I always think it saves so much money growing your own food. It’s not just the saving on buying veggies – I often decide I can cobble together dinner from the garden and not going to a shop saves me diesel and far more than the cost of veggies. It stops me from getting tempted into buying other bits and pieces too. Plus I’m lazy and would far rather spend time pottering about between kitchen and garden than going out in the car!
    You have summed up the real benefits of having a vegetable garden.
    The fact that you let the garden inspire dinner is the best way to use food.
    I agree about preferring to spend time in the garden as opposed to the drudgery of the supermarket…makes perfect sense!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage

  6. Genious! Why have I never thought of growing lettuce in a basket?
    Gorgeous pics. They have me looking forward to plotting and planning a summer salad garden…oooh and strawberries! I hope I can find some of those tiny fairy strawberries to grow.
    Thank you for sharing your magical garden and sweet puppers with us.
    I really look foward to your posts here each day 🙂

    Blessings xx

    And reading your lovely comment makes posting my blog so very worthwhile…thank you, Cicely!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage X

  7. Colette, your posts lately have been brilliant! More and more people seem to be acknowledging what is happening and more importantly doing something about it. Too long we have lived in fear, feeling helpless, victims of our society..but you have shown clearly that we don’t have to be…it is so empowering. We ARE the ones we have been waiting for! As always, thank you, Patti
    Each day brings the realisation of what is really going on more and more apparent.
    You are right, Patti…We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For!
    We have the power and are beginning to realise it.
    This blog was always meant to be inspirational and empowering.
    I’m glad it is hitting the spot!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage

  8. Colette,
    You have out done yourself again. What great information. I loved the part about being generous. It does always does come back to you and it doesn’t hurt you. My Dad was a very generous person, he always did for others and enjoyed it, it made him the wonderful man that he was. You are a very generous person too. It shows in your blogs.
    I see change here and in surrounding towns, people are banding together and living better lives.
    My best to you and yours
    It took me a long time to learn about generosity, Carole, but it really is the best feeling.
    And you are right, we remember generous people and carry them in our hearts.
    My father was also a kind and generous man who embraced and nurtured compassion.
    Yet he was a mighty man who refused to be knocked back.
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage

Your comments are welcome!