I have been advised by numerous recipients of my blog, that rather than sell Bealtaine I should consider the potential for crowd-funding, in order to raise the funds to bring the Permaculture Food Forest to fruition.

As you know I am familiar with all Earth based things, but I’m a bit stuck with this crowd-funding idea.

If any of you know about this proposal and what it entails, I would very much appreciate if you could help with some more information, as I’m a bit stuck.

Do you think crowd-funding would work?

Do you think I would get to realise my dream ( our dream, yes that’s you too) of planting  9,000 trees?



  1. Hi Colette, I do not know your reasons for selling but i think there are a number of ways you could finance the project. Paul Wheaton (find his blog online) recently funded a big project & he may share ideas. Have you considered setting up a community interest company? Kind regards Bill Smith

    Bealtaine Cottage wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ Bealtaine Cottage posted: “I have been advised by numerous recipients of my blog, that rather than sell Bealtaine I should consider the potential for crowd-funding, in order to raise the funds to bring the Permaculture Food Forest to fruition. As you know I am familiar with all Ea”

  2. Hi Colette, you might consider contacting a fairly new charity called the Green Sod Land Trust. They are buying up (and receiving as bequests) small parcels of land all over Ireland which they hold in perpetuity for the future generations and with the intention of keeping Ireland green and wild where ever they can. They might be interested in allowing you to use the land to plant your trees. I know the sister of one of the founder members so if you cannot get hold of anyone let me know and I will try and get a number for you. xx

  3. My first question is, it it time for you to move on from Beltaine Cottage? It’s so beautiful, and you’ve manifested such amazingness, that it would certainly be hard to leave. But sometimes we leave one place for something bigger and better. You obviously have a dream of something bigger than what you have in your life today. Could you take that on, while maintaining the gardens at Beltaine Cottage?

    Do you have a budget for the new idea? Would the sale of Beltaine generate enough funds to manifest it?

    If you do crowdfund, I think you can keep much more independence through that system than with some other options. You set everything up the way you want it. You would probably offer incentives for people to give, but you decide what they will be. Haven’t done it, but I think it can work well for some people.

    • Thanks Rachel…you pose some interesting questions that provoke some serious thought. Ideally I would like to keep Bealtaine, but am enthused by the thought of a planting, or helping to facilitate the planting of a, permaculture food forest here in Ireland. lots more to think about!
      Colette X

  4. Hi Colette,

    Like you, I’m not 100% sure how crowd funding would operate in practice, apart from the theory that lots of people would contribute a tiny amount towards the common goal. Basically you would ‘sell’ me a tree for a small sum €5 or €10. You would plant and tend the tree on my behalf, at Bealtaine cottage. Voila.

    Another possible way of realising your dream of 1000 trees is to delegate the task. Of course I, personally, would ‘up the ante’ to, say, 20,000 trees. The difference is you would inveigle folks, with your undoubted charms, to plant trees FOR YOU, in lots of 10, 15, 50 etc., depending on the space THEY had available. For your part, you could assist by, say, supplying some of the tiny plants you propagate in Bealtaine cottage… and so on. So the community of Bealtine FOLLOWERS would join together in planting this initial target of trees around Ireland and / or around the world. You / Bealtine could become a focus, the glue to hold the plan together, for providing the world with some new lung tissue, namely 1,000’s of nice leafy trees, absorbing carbon dioxide and pumping out tons and tons (literally) of precious oxygen.

    Wow, where did THAT come from? Oooh I love creativity.

    Well, Collette, there’s my tuppence worth.

    I am retiring next year from my job in Dublin and I have a desire and the beginnings of a plan to turn my 2/3 rds acre into a food forest in SW Donegal… Not the proverbial 100 miles from you in Roscommon. I do want to drop by Bealtaine sometime soon to see what you’ve done and how I might do my thing in Donegal.


    Robert Jordan

    Aka Ecoboy

    • So far, Robert, I have planted 900 trees but my aim is to plant 9,000 in a Permaculture Food Forest, as a project here in Ireland. Bealtaine Cottage has already inspired thousands around the globe to plant trees, as from the correspondence I’ve received. Bealtaine Cottage has reached her tree carrying capacity, 900 trees on 3 acres, as you will read from the blog and see on the website. The need is to acquire land in order to realise this dream. It shall be done!
      I will open Bealtaine Cottage to garden visitors from next year, as yet undetermined time.

  5. First, I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you what an inspiration you have been to my wife and I as we planned and planted our 1-acre food forest in Kalamazoo Michigan, USA. We have checked your blog together almost daily for 2 years.

    To play devil’s advocate, I don’t always like crowdfunding, in short, because it amplifies the human tendency to lunge towards glib, “shiny” or “sexy” new “solutions” over proven, practical ones that seem mundane. It encourages celebrity solutions over people solutions. And it discourages small-scale “appropriate technologies.”

    And so it can encourage well-meaning fundees to sink to that lowest common denominator and to tell funders what they want to hear.

    When it comes down to it, I’m probably the most critical person of crowdfunding that you’ll ever hear from, especially with Permaculture projects. With Permaculture, it creates the danger that people can “obtain a yield” from SELLING Permaculture instead of DOING Permaculture. It encourages a few to make their way as Permaculture “celebrities”… Permaculture is about small-scale, local, “appropriate technology” solutions that can be cobbled together by anyone (which is what’s so very inspiring about your approach!) In a way, global “crowdfunding” is importing an external resource to your system. And just as with importing external “energy” in the from of fossil fuels and chemicals, that can lead us to make mistakes, using that “easy money” and easy energy to impose “sexy” human ideas on nature, instead of working with her, as part of her system.

    With that criticism for you to consider, I’d encourage you to GO FOR IT!

    I know you’ll be mindful and honest in your approach and I think it’s a good experiment to see if people–especially those in your community–will value planting trees for its own sake. And it will be positive experiment to see Crowdfunding put to work FOR nature, not over her.

    And on balance, for a positive and inspiring view of the ethics of crowdfunding, and what you can achieve with it, you should watch this video:

    And if you’re interested, here is a song from her band that she talks about:

    Best of luck! I look forward to chipping in the few spare dollars I have to give.


    • Thanks so much Mike…I am mindful and thoughtful of all that friends of Bealtaine Cottage have to say and I do agree with much of your commentary on crowd-funding…though am yet to make up my mind! Personally, I abhor asking for anything and am very independent, happy to go without and keep my perceived independence!

  6. I don’t know about crowdfunding but if you need financial help have you thought of sponsership? I am sure there would be people who would be willing to sponser your work.

    Instead of complaining that the rug has been pulled from beneath our feet, We must learn to dance upon flying carpets

  7. Hi Colette,

    There’s a Company called that assists in getting funding from well wishers and others for specific projects, mostly arts and technology but anything creative can qualify. Permaculture or planting trees should qualify. You have to make your case: what is your goal, how much money do you need to achieve it, how long will it take to complete the project. You have to give rewards to the people who donate. Then when/if your project is approved, you have up to 77days to get offers of donations. Obviously you contact everyone on all your email lists, put it on your blog, tweet and Facebook (if you’ve made your peace with them!)

    If you get enough offers to fulfill your stated requirement within the 77days, fundit collects the money for you. After 21 days they send you the money and you give out the rewards. Could be something like a tree with their name on, or a weekend at Bealtaine, or a bag of seeds…… They deduct 8 per cent for admin and bank charges. If you don’t get enough offers for the full amount, you don’t get any of it and the fundit project doesn’t go ahead.

    It’s obviously important to work out very carefully what you’re asking for. The projects I had a quick look at were looking for up to 4,000. If you ask for too much, you might not get enough offers before the deadline. So it could be a good idea to break up your grand plan into a number of smaller projects and tackle them one by one.

    You should go to the web site and look at some of the projects that are on offer now, and some that have been successful. Look at the FAQ page: this explains it all. Good Luck! Jane.

  8. Without knowing the extent of your financial need, it is hard to say whether it would be the answer, but it couldn’t hurt. And you won’t plant 9,000 trees with no land, eh? Go for it.

    • Thanks Roger! If I can buy the land, I can supply most of the trees from seed, graft, gifts and goodwill…it is the land that must be purchased. The land can be held in a trust of some kind, or even a charity of some sort.

  9. I am encouraged to think there might be a way for you to keep your place. Surely there are those that can help you with this, you really deserve it. I am hoping for you that you can plant your trees, enjoy the fruits of your dreams and labor, and be at peace there without fear of having to sell it.

  10. Hi Colette,
    Our town’s Transition Movement did a crowdfunding to get a community fruit press. We called it “The Low Hanging Fruit Press,” and we had that thing funded in just days! Granted, that’s a much smaller project, but with your audience and additional spreading of the word, I bet you could raise a bunch of money for a food forest. I think you need to have an amount in mind so that you can list it, but I know we exceeded the requested amount. Some local vendors added in bonuses if people hit certain target donation amounts, i.e. a jug of cider if you paid $20, a gift certificate at a local coffee shop if you paid $25, etc. You could also just donate w/o asking for any kind of gift back.

    I was really skeptical of this process in the beginning. Like you, I’m much more Earth-savvy than web-savvy. That said, this crowdfunding experience has been great for our community. We’ve had three group apple gleanings, a group cider press party, and the press can be loaned out to anyone who needs it at any time. It’s definitely a way to join with others instead of feeling like you need to do everything yourself. When Mama Earth wants something, she does have a way of facilitating. So long as we have the internet, might as well use it, I guess.

    I would donate. In fact, I’m helping some local youths get a grant to begin a food forest in town — just $1,000 worth of fruit trees to start, but our Parks leader is interested in this becoming a pilot program around town. You never know what might come of your idea once things begin to grow!

    Big blessings and smiles,

    • Thanks so much Laura for taking the time to go into so much detail…I am fascinated by this idea and would like to see it take off. I’m hoping to get as much feedback as possible from my Bealtaine friends before I decide on the next step…Blessings, Colette X

Your comments are welcome!