A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

New Moon, New Year…All Change!

www.bealtainecottage.com 005The time of a New Moon is a time to set intention for the coming month.

We start this New Year with a New Moon in Capricorn, a very auspicious beginning, a fresh start!

It is rare that a New Year begins at the same time as a Lunar New Year, so, in preparation, I am clearing space all around the cottage, clearing away the decorations of Yuletide and opening up lots of space to embrace this new energy!

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This New Moon brings with it hope for those feeling tired and low by all the negativity experienced over the past year; change is on the horizon.

This is a powerful time to make resolutions and implement change!

www.bealtainecottage.com 001This is a rare opportunity to begin anew…a time to clear all old intentions that never materialized and start afresh! www.bealtainecottage.com 002The last time we had a New Moon at the start of the New Year, was nineteen years ago, in the early nineties.

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New Moon, New Year

The New Moon greets the New Year
Saying “let go of the past”
For the things that are worth keeping
Will in their beauty last-
Yet that that does not serve us
Must be released and shed
The fear, anger and patterns
Which hog space in our head-
And when we call our Spirit
To release them to the Earth
The New Moon greets us with her light
And offers us rebirth.

Jen Reich
Flagstaff, AZ 12-28-13

http://poetry-not-poverty.blogspot.ie/

A truly beautiful website filled with inspirational poetry by Jen…

www.bealtainecottage.com 006However, it won’t just be one New Moon in January, but two!

The month comes to a close with a second New Moon!

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Energy begins to seep back into the earth and plants.

Winter is not yet over, by any means and frost can be devastating, but the little signs of hope are there… Daffodils have begun to throw up green shoots!

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Light has begun to play with shadows here in the shower room (there is no bath in this tiny cottage!) and even the hanging crystals are catching and reflecting the strengthening sun.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Fruit continues to occupy its Yuletide celebratory place on tables throughout Bealtaine.

Time to eat healthy food and build health for the year ahead!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011Time to clear out the old and bring in the new and time to clear the laundry basket…I wash clothes daily, for I do not possess a washing machine, so will spend a little more time than usual to ensure an empty basket for New year!

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The lengthening of the days has already begun.

Where Do We Go From Here?

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Bealtaine After Samhain

As we approach the end of another year, reflection begins to take form.
As many of you know, I do not have a television and rarely tune into the radio, so, perhaps, I find myself with more time and silence to reflect and think.
www.bealtainecottage.com 003From the little I have experienced this year from the outside world, it appears that economics has been the driving force behind every problem on this tiny planet.
The mass destruction of our earthly home has been driven by economics… cost of living… better termed the cost of dying, for it is like inheritance tax.
The cost of living is an inheritance tax on the planet, forever diminishing what we inherited and scraping the bones of children as yet unborn.
www.bealtainecottage.com 001Fracking the land for gas has been justified by governments and hailed as cheap energy.
Can you tell me the last time your cost of energy fell?
From this little part of Ireland, I have witnessed the rise and rise of energy costs, whether it be gas, oil, coal or renewables…and I look out my kitchen window every day at mountains, covered by wind turbines.
The turbines multiply each year and the cost of electricity spirals out of control.www.bealtainecottage.com 003Why?

Economics…or, a better word, profit.

Nothing for the people who look at these incredible machines every day…nothing!

There is nothing in the present economic model that takes into account the real cost of anything that pays a profit to shareholders.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Take oil for example.

What is the real cost of extracting this energy source from Mother Earth?

The real cost of Nuclear Power is for future children of this Earth to pay for…there is no safe way of dealing with the waste!

Here I stop!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006It is not in my nature to be negative.

I cannot write or talk for long about any sense of helplessness we may feel, looking at the mess we have made.

As a woman, I am a pragmatist.

I was reared in poverty, so have an inbuilt ability to look at the possible.

The solutions are many-fold.

The most immediate solution is, quite simply, consume less.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009By consuming less, we become active participants in a quiet revolution against the status quo that appears to hold sway.

We are only a valued part of the economic model by being greedy consumers.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002We live in a state of scarcity, according to the economic model, for that brings the greatest profit for the economic model. However, as I have said before, we actually live in a world of abundance, if we could just stop and see the possible.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The possibilities inherent in a simple life, where it is highly regarded to switch off lights, bake a loaf of bread, or cake, keep a few hens and grow basic vegetables…  Walk more, value good quality clothes, make shoes last by polishing them…all this and more makes you a member of society with power and not simply a faceless consumer.

Bench by entrance porchConsider what it is you want in the year that lies before us.

Visualize the world you want to live in.

Create a picture of a future for children as yet unborn…those we will never see, but can only imagine.

Imagine their world, for you are creating it.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Is that power enough for you?

Angels and Animals in an Irish Cottage on Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve at Bealtaine Cottage.

Snow has fallen.

The air is cold and a bitter wind blows.

It rained hard last night and the streams are in flood.

The blackbirds are hungry and have taken to stealing cat biscuits from the bowls on the veranda!

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The blackbirds are clever creatures and have watched both cats enter the lodge through the cat door, where they now sleep away the day, their bellies filled with food and milk.

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Jack stays by my side, in and out of the cottage, as I work.

Jack looks out for me and is a wonderful friend and guardian angel!

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This is a difficult Christmas for many who are without basic necessities.

I am thankful to have a well stocked pantry and woodpile.

For many, food and heat are major problems in their everyday lives.

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 It’s good to give thanks for a warm home and a full plate.

May you all enjoy both this Christmastide…

www.bealtainecottage.com 003An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you.

Happy Christmas!

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This will be my last blog for a little while as I am taking some time out.

Blessings to you all X

Lifting the Spirits

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Midwinter is over.

For many the celebration of Christmas has begun.

Last minute frenetic shopping today and tomorrow…

The days here at Bealtaine are beginning to lengthen.

Not tangible as yet, but optimism for more daylight has taken hold and sometimes that is enough…simply knowing that the darkness has passed.

The cottage remains in a post-midwinter party state, with chairs pushed back and floor-space revealed.

It may be a day or two before this is sorted, for I want to escape outdoors, despite the stormy weather!

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The lush greenery on the mantelpiece will stay in place for as long as it retains life.

Replacing the candles daily is a small task and keeps the soft light there to lift the spirits.

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A small sadness pervades the air, now that family and friends have gone.

We all enjoyed the coming together of our midwinter feast, with music and bonfire and soft candlelight…a magical time that lifted the spirit.

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Rich food and drink will now give way to simple soups and tea…a sort of cleansing of the palette and system, together with late winter walks, to appease the feasting of recent days.

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Venturing out this morning, into the wind-driven rain, fresh in from the Atlantic, amid the sounds of birds fighting over food…time to scatter the scraps from the feast around the gravel by the cottage for my hungry and cold feathered friends.

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Parsley, Kale and Chard all continue to grow abundantly in the Potager beds…no sign of prolonged frost to diminish these green gifts.

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The Chard is particularly beneficial to the body at this time of year, as it contains generous amounts of both Vitamin C and Iron…the Vitamin C is necessary for the body to absorb the Iron.

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I use the Kale in the juicer each day…a great supplement to my diet, as it charges my energy!

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Do you recall the ground I mulched with cardboard and shreddings?

Well, here it is this morning and as you can see it has now transformed itself into a bed ready to be planted out in the Spring…how easy was that?

There are several hundred blogs on this website about mulching and preparing ground for planting using the easiest methods that I have tried and tested.

To access them simply type key words into the Search Bar at the top of this page!

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Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Midwinter Blessings

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The ancients believed winter, especially Midwinter, was a time of tremendous spiritual power.

And so the shortest day has passed and we are looking forward, at last, to the ascending sun, from tomorrow.

The greenery on the mantelpiece will stay a few days longer, as the days slowly lengthen.

Work on the potager beds and orchards begins in the next week or so.

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Cloud and mist have enveloped Kilronan Mountain today, between snow falls and dark skies…the sun has shone intermittently.

Of the Solstices and Equinoxes, the Winter Solstice was the most important among the Ancients, since it marked the rebirth of the sun after the shortest day.

The worst of the winter is yet to come though…Kale and Parsley stand proud in the Potager beds, not yet diminished by prolonged frost.

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The small Yuletide tree, at the end of the veranda, tied to the supports, stands stout against the wind and storms of the past week.

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The sky changes dress in spectacular fashion from winter to summer and all in-between!

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And jewels of melted sleet decorate the skeletal Fennel.

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Yule marks the rebirth of the sun.

It is a potent symbol of death and rebirth – going from the darkness into the light.

Yule starts before the Solstice and continues on until New Year’s Day.

Midwinter Blessings to you all XXX

Penny Power

Angel in the snow at Bealtaine CottageThe important fact is that we are amazingly powerful as consumers.

Spinning wheel and craft studio at Bealtaine Cottage I refuse to give money to any corporation or anyone who is involved in the rape of Mother Earth.

Christmas Angel 2012I don’t use gas in my cottage, not even a lighter, for I refuse to support fracking.

yuletide tree decked with lights at Bealtaine CottageThat is my bottom line and what I work towards with all the energy I have…bit by bit…

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureI believe in Penny Power, for as one of the biggest supermarkets in the UK and Ireland says in their advertising, “Every Little Helps!”

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureAnd with the small amount of money I have, bit by bit!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture catWhen I was transforming this cottage and land by planting, it was done bit by bit, tree by tree, plant by plant…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture wood burning stoveThe effect was cumulative, for every little bit helps…doesn’t it?

Bealtaine Cottage 006With enough people withdrawing their money, from the destroyers of our planet…

Tying Willow from the Permaculture gardensAnd empowering themselves and others,we will see real change…bit by bit!

Jan 12 Bealtaine permaculture 015Now, that’s what I call power!

Here’s Why…

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The morning is cold with a spectacular sunrise that washes the sky with shades of red and orange…this is midwinter in all it’s glory!

I’m sat by the computer with coffee, as oftentimes I do in the early morning, uploading photographs and thinking of what I shall write for you.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016There are times when I think to myself, “why continue writing this blog and forever taking pictures and waiting endlessly for uploads and…” but then I get a message, a letter, a card, an email and I am reassured about what I do…

This morning, the writing is done, not by me, but by one of you…my friends, who share this healing journey with me…a winding path, back to an understanding and love for, Mother Earth.

As we help to heal her and make peace with her, so, in turn, she does the same for us…

Dear Colette,

I do hope that this (long overdue) email finds that you are in good form and that all is well with you ? My illness`have been kicking up a bit , not allowing me into the garden as much as I would like , but , still , any chance I get I plan , I plant (myself and my youngest daughter Daisy have gone on a frenzy over the past few months of planting all kinds of seeds, chestnuts, acorns, even apple pips, we plan to give them as gifts to people who DO have the space to plant them , thank you for the inspiration!

Martina 2

Next year (Spring) my husband is building me a small veranda (based on your own…I hope you don’t mind we “robbed “ the design? I just FELL IN LOVE with it!) at the back of our little cottage , I plan to show people that you CAN have the country and self-sufficiency in the town! We do get the “they are cracked” looks , but sure, whats normal really?

Martina 1I am sending you some photos to show you , our pantry is complete!

Martina 4And I managed to make some blackcurrant cordial and jelly (all gone now) , also my yearly elderberry cordial , I still have some hips in the garden and hope to send “himself” out with a bucket this week so I can make so rose hip jam , lovely 😉

martina 5Our ducks are huge now , no egg as yet , but Spring will come, all things in there own good time ! And our Christmas tree this year is a little 3 foot dote in a pot , ready to go to its new home in the garden after Christmas , I`ll find a space somewhere says you , there’s always space!

My husband won the Irish Red Cross “Carer of the Year”

The presentation was last night.

He really deserves it! No other carer in Ireland I`m sure puts up with , “no , that doesn’t look right , move that pot there instead” or “will you dig me another pottage bed please” ? 😉

Martina 3As I write , I have beside me Alice Taylor’s new book “The gift of  a garden” , like all her writing, its lovely and homely , if you get a chance I do recommend you read it!

martina 6We too are hoping it will be fine outside for the solstice , if not , we will make toast by the fire inside and tell stories by candle-light…

MartinaDo have a wonderful Solstice and Christmas season… bless you and keep you , and THANK YOU…when I am bed-bound, I read and re-read your posts , they give me SO much hope , in more ways than you`ll ever know!

Its like I am beside you walking in Bealtaine Cottage , soaking up the healing , and I can almost feel it running through my tired bones!

Take care , love from Tia and all in Moilligh Cottage xx

Magic Everywhere!

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Something strange happened last night, for I slept so very deeply and woke early.

It was as though an enchantment had worked a magic everywhere!

I say this, because I spoke with friends this morning, who had similar experiences.

All day today, time has seemed to move so very slowly, though all year it has been remarked that time appears to be speeding up.

Perhaps there is magic in the date…

www.bealtainecottage.com 010This morning has witnessed me once more standing atop the range in the kitchen, armed with a crowbar and quite suddenly realizing success, with the sounds of solid chunks of resinous soot falling down the immense cavity…the chimney is now cleared and the stove, once more, warms the cottage.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0451.jpgSoft light from candles illuminates the descending night and soup simmers in the pot.

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 001Who shall describe the inexpressible tenderness and immortal life of the grim forest, where Nature, though it be midwinter, is ever in her spring, where the moss-grown and decaying trees are not old, but seem to enjoy a perpetual youth.~ Henry David Thoreau

www.bealtainecottage.com 002“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.

It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”

― Agnes M. Pahro

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