Permaculture Harvest despite Chaos!

JackThe permaculture harvest continues, along with the increasing numbers of visitors to Bealtaine Cottage.

Garlic is harvested, dried and stored…just in time for re-planting the crop for next year, in just a few more weeks.

As the world teeters once more on the brink of chaos, in the forms of war and nuclear contamination from Fukushima, getting the harvest home and planning for next Spring is a way of keeping one’s sanity!

It’s also a way of nurturing optimism and hope for the future!

kilronan mountainTomatoes are everywhere in the gardens and tunnel.

I let them do their own thing and they have produced wildly!

All the tomatoes are late, but then the summer was dithering in and out of Spring this year!

Even the Perlagoniums in the photo above are in late flower after several months of sleepy time!

porchAs the summer fades into Autumn, the light changes inside and around the cottage in the most delightful ways.

Shadows prevail in unfamiliar places, making all look quite different.

workshopOnions, Blackcurrants, Peas and Broad beans are all stored for the year.

I am continuing to use the remainder of last year’s Blackcurrants!

More wine I think!

I was invited to give a talk to the Green Party recently and am invited to give another talk at an Arts festival in Connemara…along with a wine making demonstration, so will be finding use for excess Blackcurrant crops!

evening sun reflectionsShadow play on the door of the Lodge…isn’t this beautiful?

This is a good place to dry herbs when the stove is lit, as it gets very hot very fast!

wine, kitchenI noticed that there is a bumper crop of Blackberries on the hedgerows this Autumn.

I looked up some old recipes for using Blackberries, so will be collecting them and saving them in the freezer, ready to use in a plethora of delicious recipes!

Food for free and lots of it!

The new compost heap is being stacked up daily, so am already thinking about next planting season!

cup of tea!There is a slight chill in the air, heralding Autumn as it transits into cooler times.

It’s a good idea to wear cotton scarves around shoulders and neck and take them off indoors!

Along with all the food harvested, there is an abundance of seeds to bring in and herbs to dry and store.

This is also the time to begin collecting tree seeds to sow in pots…something I do every year!

missyAs I work, show visitors around, harvest and continue building my workshop, Missy snoozes, oblivious to it all!

Lughnasa Gardens and Weddings

cow parsley at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensAs early Lughnasa transforms the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage into a colourful abundance and the harvest continues, the early days of an Irish autumn unfold.

Berries on the HawthornThe berries on the Hawthorn are turning colour and the magic of a warm autumn fills the air!

Mushrooms at Bealtaine gardensThese mushrooms are growing today near a clump of Birch trees in the woodland gardens further down from the front of the cottage.

willow archway in the permaculture gardensThe willow archway here has closed in on either side as the summer growth has cast even more shade in the new woodland. early autumn in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageBamboo and Dogwood have almost merged to close this path. As you can see, the leaves are beginning to drop.

entrance to the Fairy WoodThe entrance to the Fairy Wood is closing too…there is a lot of work ahead this Autumn as the cutback begins!

New beds by the front door of the cottageHere are the new beds by the front door of the cottage. They are filled with home-made compost and planted with Birch and Cotoneaster, both grown from seed.

New bed by the entrance to Bealtaine CottageI love the simplicity of creating gardens around an old cottage…fuss-free and free!

Bench by entrance porchOne of the evergreen trees originally by the front door has been planted in the corner. It had grown far too big for the terracotta pot.

sitting room at Bealtaine CottageI love the way the silvery autumn light changes the way the sitting room of the cottage looks. This is my best-loved season!

With my beautiful grandsonsI have just returned from the wedding of my son, held over three days at Markree Castle in Sligo. My beautiful grandsons are here with me in the picture. weddingThe flowers were grown here at Bealtaine Cottage and all the guests were gifted with bags of seeds.

It was a lovely, lovely wedding!

Dylan and Michellw wedding 031Here I am with my eldest daughter, Cara.

wedding cakeAnd yes…the bride wore yellow wellies!

Companion Planting in Permaculture

Pumpkin and kaleHere are some of the combinations that have worked really well for me this summer here at Bealtaine Cottage. Pumpkins, Kale and Nasturtium…the bees love the flowers on the Nasturtium, bringing them in towards the Pumpkin flowers.

Celery and RudbeckiaAnother strange but beautiful combination…Celery and Rudbeckia.

Rudbeckia is late flowering and especially useful in a potager bed, making lots of babies that can be potted on and sold at the market next Spring.

Parsley and SedumParsley and Sedum…Sedum is the last meal of the year for the bees and will ensure adequate nutrition for their long hibernation. This is the Sedum, Autumn Spectabalis, which makes lots of babies for potting up!

Tomatoes and FeverfewTomatoes, Feverfew, Borage and flat leaf Parsley…all very happy and thriving together in this potager bed. This is the way I grow all my fruit and vegetables…to the point where no soil is exposed. It works great every year!

KaleYoung Kale with Sedum and Nasturtium. The plants are continually surrounded with shredding. I make shredding from what I cut at Bealtaine Cottage and put it back onto the earth to build up soil. I use an electric garden shredder.

Corn and kaleSweetcorn and Kale in one of the potager beds outdoors.

Lemon Balm and RocketLemon Balm and Rocket…both go great together in a salad as well!

Working in the potagerPotager beds are the focus of companion planting in extremis!

Colette in one of the orchardsThe next harvest in the fruit gardens is the from the Apple trees. Plenty this year!

Potager bedsMeanwhile, the work continues in the potager beds.

bee on courgette flowerOne of the many workers supporting Bealtaine Cottage.

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An Act of Defiance from the Edge of Empire!

Box for the birds and the beesIt seems as though governments all over the western world are colluding with big corporations and the energy companies to deliberately destroy our environments, and, in the face of much opposition from those who elected them into power…the people.

garlic harvest at bealtaine cottage permacultureI have yet to meet the person who supports

war, fracking, privatisation of utilities, or GMOs.

Yet, politicians have, and are, engaged in the pursuit of all of these.

growing seeds at BealtaineAs we approach a global food crisis- and all the warning signs are there, such as rising food prices, oil and the effects of extreme weather- we are in desperate need of leadership.

herb gardens at bealtaine cottageLeadership is absent.

bees and peas at bealtaine cottageRhetoric is everywhere.

weed suppressing with cardboardWe are being force-fed a diet of ‘GMOs are all that can save us,’  publicity, when patently this is not true!

potager beds and peach trees at bealtaine cottageThe less choice in seed diversity, the more prone we are to potential famine.

rocket stove in the permaculture gardenI know that as a grower, working 3 acres of poor land…that it is diversity that builds fertility and food security!

Bench in the garden at Bealtaine CottageWhat are we to do?

Abundance from Mother  NatureAct as defiantly in the face of bullish nonsense and stupid politicians as one can.

bird and bee house at bealtaine cottageHow?

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottagePlant!

Evening Primrose seed germinating at Bealtaine CottageLiving near the western seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean, I live on the edge of empire.

cottage on a slate and painted stones at Bealtaine CottageI refuse to allow the insanity of empire to bellow it’s anarchic way into my home…I have no television.

I plant.

I grow.

I live frugally.

Euphorbia in a barrelIf I lived in the middle of a city I would keep the same philosophy.

Broad Beans at Bealtaine CottageBe defiant: buy less; plant more; save seeds and share! It’s your future…don’t let the politicians mess it up!

Missy Cat at Bealtaine CottageThis is a video I watched earlier and a fantastic template for those without gardens or allotments…or even with!

The Green Backyard
This is the story of a once neglected urban wasteland in Peterborough, recently transformed into a much-loved community resource by a crew of eager volunteer…
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War, Fracking, Oil and GMOs…ALL Connected!

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 024The connection between all of the above is…corporations!

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 001Corporate control of the world is very much in place.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 004Our governments have sold us out to the corporate machine.

Imbolc 2012 Bealtaine Cottage 028Here in Ireland, what happened in the sell-out was very dramatic and actually happened in ONE night, in November 2008, when our elected government signed over the sovereignty of the Irish people in a meeting that took place in the middle of the night with NO minutes recorded!

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012I could add into the title of this blog: banks; politicians;factory farming; monoculture; media…you can too!

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Permaculture Bog GardenIt still boils down to the same fact…it is all connected and quite deliberate!

cropped-november-2011-018.jpgIt’s about control, money, power, greed and to hell with humanity!

Bealtaine Cottage December 2011 007And that is the sad fact…we are pushing our own hand-cart to hell!

November 2011 018Banks, oil and arms!

November 2011 116It’s time to clock out of this madness, resign, sign out!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 005There is a better way…work it out and get on board…

 

 

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There is an Eden…

bealtaine cottage posterThere is an Eden…we stand upon it.

Our potential to change the environment we inhabit is boundless.

permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageIf we started today and worked hard for all the changes we want to see, the possible transformation is beyond our wildest dreams.

bealtaine cottage pathsWhether we have land or not, what we are capable of implementing, in terms of creating Eden, is only limited by two things…our imagination and our ability to use our energy. entrance to bealtaine“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy

missy in the kitchen by the stoveThis is my favourite slice of text written by Arundhati.

I have mentioned it before, but, personally, never tire of contemplating her wise words…

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy, War Talk

fracking posterWe create Heaven, or allow others to create Hell, whether that be through destruction of our environment, as they are doing with fracking, for example, or allowing governments to collude with corporate monsters without challenge…they are, after all, our elected trustees.

planting the futureWe expect them to hold in trust our land, our welfare, and even our children!

We must demand accountability at every level!

Missy...loveOur time on Planet Earth is too short to not care…don’t you think?

 

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or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.

Time to Reconnect with Gaia

willow arch and CheThis has been a great year for trees…amazing growth!

Willow, pollarded and coppiced has made good growth too!

Crocosmia Montbretia in the rainThe morning has been wet, but very still and autumnal.

Crocosmia Montbretia is struggling to climb out from underneath the lush leaf growth. bealtaine cottage permaculture gardensBoth Che Mousey-Bear and Sammy-Bear have walked the gardens with me, despite the rain and the wet conditions.

Strange little fellows!

The branches I chopped earlier in the summer are almost ready to be stacked in wig-wam shape to dry out.

bealtaine cottage permacultureYou can see from this photograph just how near the bedrock is to the surface of the land…I garden on very thin, poor soil on a north-facing slope!

bealtaine cottage permaculture gardensEverything is grown from seed, so has a fighting chance of making it, despite the far from perfect conditions.

jewelled cobweb at BealtaineMother Nature has worked miracles here at Bealtaine Cottage!

cobwebs at bealtaine cottageThe rain has clung to cobwebs all over the gardens…

jewelled web at bealtaine cottageOne web dangles with raindrops…

new orchard at bealtaine cottageThe new orchard is making good progress. I am keeping the ground well mulched as the trees, bushes and flowers find their feet!

bealtaine standing stone poster

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Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage

Moving Forward…

Buddleia in a vaseThere’s a touch of early autumn in the air.

The air is cool and the sun is hidden behind low cloud and even a little mist.

I must admit to loving this time of year!

spinning wheelThe morning is filled with activity as I clear space for my bigger and better workshop addition.

This is all about living as sustainably as possible.

lodge at bealtaine cottageThe Lodge will now be that dedicated space that I have so long needed!

As more and more visitors make their way to Bealtaine Cottage, for workshops on sustainable living and all aspects of permaculture, a space that would define this was needed!

In order to live even more sustainably, I am aiming to install solar and wind power…upgrading the shop and workshop space will help me achieve this goal!

kitchenMoving furniture around is hard going, so I’ve stopped for a cup of tea, as the kettle has been boiling on the stove for some time now.

harvestI have spent some time building a small, sustainable business here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Tomorrow I meet with an advisor from Roscommon Enterprise…wish me luck!

 

You can find Bealtaine Cottage on Etsy… developing the range of Vintage Clothes and Cottage Bric-a-Brac…as well as lots of crafts and jewellery!

shop posterBealtaine Cottage Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BealtaineCottage

A Simple Life

a real sofa bedThis is a real sofa bed.

It’s a bed, with a cover and lots of cushions.

sitting roomI needed another sofa in my sitting room.

Simple.

No fuss.

Looks good and is inter-changeable.

Cost: zero!

Mosaic mirrorMost of what I have in my home cost zero.

Like this fancy mirror above the mantle piece…born from broken mirrors and turned into a mirror mosaic.

Cost: zero.

The mantle piece cost 50 euros in a second-hand furniture shop.

mosaic floorThe simplicity of living, almost cash free, is liberating and allows one to appreciate everything that comes ones way.

Like this mosaic floor, created from broken tiles, throw-a ways from a consumer driven society.

mosaic floorLife within the shop-till-you-drop, over-burdened, corporate-controlled madness that passes as culture, is beginning to wane.

mosaic floorMore people are awakening to the liberation of simplicity…a simple life.

Bog Oak garden sculptureOne where culture is developed and creativity valued.

A piece of Bog Oak, found on the beach and stood up in the garden, surrounded by plants…

bee pollinating broccoliA simple life, is one where bees are appreciated for the work they do and not just seen as a source of honey.

There are several wild bee nests here in the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

I plant food for them, though have no hives.

I want nothing from them, but their labour…let them keep their honey, they deserve it!

apples at Bealtaine CottageA simple life is less cluttered, quieter, calmer.

With little in material goods, there is less to think about and worry about.