The Economic and Ecological Collapse We Helped to Create on Valentine’s Day.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture porchAny financial system that is based on debt is doomed to failure.

A good analogy is to look at one’s own household.

Do you consume more than you produce?

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensKeep borrowing and eventually the crunch will come…payback time, with nothing in reserve to pay what’s owed.

Many people refer to this as, living beyond one’s means.

If this is what you are doing, then it’s time to take control of your own micro economy.

Bealtaine Cottage... Flo, aka Mrs MouseLeave your government to continue paying bankers grossly inflated sums of money and try to re-calibrate your own finances.

I was enjoying a long conversation with my mother on Monday.

mum, aged 80, at Bealtaine CottageGrowing up through WW2 was the greatest lesson in personal finance for her. (This is her, aged 80, at Bealtaine Cottage).

If one did not have money, one could not buy goods or services.

That proved to be enormously enabling for that generation…one of the healthiest and most empowered ever known in the modern world.

Mum, aged 80, at Bealtaine CottageMum still has all her own teeth…sugar was rationed!

She has never been over-weight, birthed 11 children and did not own a washing machine until I bought her one. (My elder brothers never quite got their heads around why she would need one!)

Mum has always lived within her means and helped all of her children as well.

If Mum ran the economy, the bankers would be paid according to their productivity…and politicians also!

Bealtaine Cottage polytunnelToday is Valentine’s Day.

Many people of limited means have bought flowers for their loved one…flowers grown in Kenya in Africa by using water from Lake Naivasha.

Bealtaine Cottage water barrelThe water levels have dropped.

This has had a devastating effect on plant, marine and animal life.

Hippo numbers have fallen by more than 25%.

The lake is now quite polluted with pesticide drain off.

University of Leicester environmentalist David Harper told the March 28, 2006, British Times: “Almost everybody in Europe who has eaten Kenyan beans or Kenyan strawberries, and gazed at Kenyan roses, has bought Naivasha water.

“It will become a turgid, smelly pond with impoverished communities eking out a living along bare shores … As the lake becomes smaller and shallower it will become warmer, fueling the growth of microscopic algae.

“It is only a matter of time before the lake becomes toxic.”

The Food and Water Watch report said: “The pesticides applied on the farms and in the greenhouses eventually end up in Lake Naivasha and in the groundwater, endangering the area’s people and wildlife …

Che Mousy Bear at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 12 001Kenya is the largest supplier of cut flowers to Europe, providing more than a quarter of imports.

These are mostly roses, and a third of annual production is for Valentine’s Day.

For less than the cost of a cheap bunch of flowers, you can buy a fruit tree and plant it for the one you love.

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureEach tree planted will provide oxygen for two people for the rest of their lives.

Apple tree at Bealtaine Cottage  Permaculture Cottage 023Isn’t it time we invested in Love?


  1. Just had to add a note of thanks for the thoughtful post – you are absolutely right, of course. We all have to think more critically, find out the truth and then take action in our own lives if we ever hope to see any change, or to avoid the inevitable disaster…I so enjoy reading your blog; many thanks!
    Thank you and welcome to Bealtaine Cottage…there are many people now working towards this goal and the future looks better each day, of that I am sure!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage

  2. I have the pleasure of knowing your Mother and have the utmost respect and admiration for her integrity, intelligence, and humanity. It will be a further pleasure to invite her to my flat tomorrow to see this blog, where she is mentioned with much love and sensitivity. Your comment on the shocking condition of Lake Naivisha and the resultant extreme effects on marine, plant and animal life in that area – together with the undoubted exploitation of workers picking roses for export, paints a sad and poignant picture on this Valentine’s Day.
    Thank you Christine. I often wonder what the world would be like if women such as my mother had been allowed a room of one’s own…Virginia Woolf’s metaphor for freedom and privacy. The world may be a quite different place today if such women had the opportunity to participate more in shaping society. The change is happening now though and is gathering momentum!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage X

  3. Beautiful! I agree. That generation who grew up during and shortly after WW2 are amazing. My boyfriend’s dad grew up in Amsterdam during WW2, and he often talks about “The Hunger Winter.” It gets me planning our garden big time whenever I hear his stories. Happy Valentine’s Day. Thank you for the love you share with the Earth and our world.
    Thanks Laura and a Happy Valentine to you too.
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage X

  4. Excellent post and very appropriate. Valentines day is celebrated by a few at the expense of many, including our mother Earth. For the last few years, I have not bought cut flowers, for even the UK grown ones are certainly brought on with pesticides and lots of fossil fuel. I think (hope) my wife understands that it’s because I’m mean spirited, but rather determined to make a difference each and every day.
    One of the loveliest gifts I ever received was from a partner who cooked, from scratch, a beautiful meal…it was made with so much love and thoughtfulness! At the end of the day it is only we who can change our world and heal our environment.
    I am sure your partner is with you on this.
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage X

  5. Colette,
    You have given me much to think about again. I order flowers for my Mom who is in an assisted living center in Florida. I assumed that the flowers I bought would have been grown there. I will certainly inquire. I am hoping that my Mom will be able to come and live with me this summer, although she is in her 90’s and her health is frail so I don’t know if this is possible. Your Mom looks so vibrant, you are blessed to have her. Our older relatives have so much to offer us.
    Have you see the film No Impact. It is about a family who causes no impact to the planet for one year. Wow. It was very educating.
    Blessings to you on the Valentines Day
    It’s always lovely to receive flowers…I can’t argue with that and have often sent them in the past.
    However, once one begins to look into this, it appears that there are lots of beautiful gifts that can be delivered on one’s behalf.
    This is just, as usual, food for thought…
    The film you mention sounds intriguing…I shall look that out!
    Blessings to your mother on this day of love and mindfulness and Blessings to you all from Bealtaine Cottage X

  6. I love the idea of buying a fruit tree as a Valentine gift. What could be more romantic? As well as the lovely fruit there will be blossoms for years to come.

    My sister planted trees to celebrate the births of each of her (6) children. How wonderful that your mum had 11! She looks much younger than her age, a beautiful woman.

    My dear grandmother who died at the age of 97 ( and was half Irish 🙂 lived through two wars which helped mould her character, she was a very strong and compassionate person, who laundered all her washing by hand right up to her last days. She gave birth to 2 children (I think she would have liked more) and fostered 16.
    She also grew fruit, vegetables and herbs and kept, chickens, award winning bees (apparently) and a goat in the garden of her suburban-semi (I’ll never forget the raspberries, onions, runner beans and lavender she used to fill my arms with). She worked hard but felt she had an easy life compared to her mother who was born a farm labourers daughter and went into service when still a child. But who also lived to a ripe old age.
    I’ve always thought about how contented my grandmother was and how she found happiness in the simplest things. she never had time modern trappings (wise I think).

    Your posts are always thought provoking and wonderfully educating as well as inspiring. I can never think of enough words to thank you for what you share here.

    Warmest blessings to you and your lovely mum.
    Reading what you say is most thought provoking.
    All these wonderful, compassionate, strong and resilient women…no wonder that society worked so hard to keep them excluded from the echelons of power!
    Thank you for your blessings and I return Bealtaine Blessings from all here X

  7. a beautiful post and so fitting today – another lovely celebration spoiled by the culture of buy buy buy leading to lining the pockets of the capitalists.
    my partner drew a heart in my porridge this morning with rose hip syrup haha i couldnt have been happier with a dozen overpriced, half dead, chemically assisted roses which had been flown half way around the planet
    . have a beautiful day xx
    Wonderfully put!
    I shall be saying Happy Valentine to Gaia later on as I continue planting trees.
    Bealtaine Cottage Blessings from all here X

Your comments are welcome!