Magical Woodland by an Irish Castle

Stepping into a magical woodland can be one of the most healing and re-energizing acts of care for oneself. This morning I ventured into the woods around Kilronan Castle and the mystical Lough Meelagh, a short distance from Bealtaine Cottage. I’m glad to have brought my little camera, as am now able to share this enchantment with you. This sacred place nestles into the valley that sweeps off towards Sligo and the Atlantic Ocean. The Lough is dotted with Crannogs…ancient dwelling places constructed by ancestral forces on the Lough itself. You can just see this Crannog in the distance. These…

The Best Medicine!

Lists are great things to spend time on. Despite the wet weather, I’ve been busy making a comprehensive list of what to grow …and the reasons why I should. The ability to store food is at the forefront of my thinking. I’ve discovered this year that Beetroot stores very well indeed. Not just that it stores well, but is a first class root vegetable in the making of healthy juice. This is one taken from a box in the pantry and cut open to be juiced. Last year was the first year that I grew this wonderful root vegetable and was surprised at how…

Monet in Gaia’s Garden

Coppiced wood makes one neat pile to be used in the wood stove next winter. The small logs burn very well in the wood stove and give tremendous heat! The building of the next pile is under-way. Much of today has been spent cutting back the growth on the stream that carries the water into the ponds. Che-Mousey-Bear has stayed in the Bog Garden with me as I worked, keeping me entertained… as you can see! The lower pond looked like a Monet painting… in the soft afternoon light after the storm. Ethereal… As I worked silently along the banks…

Know Your Seeds

There are basically four different kinds of seed you can purchase. Open Pollinated Seed.     This is the most natural seed, simply because it has not been interfered with in any laboratory. This seed is pollinated by Nature…bees, insects and wind. Occasionally by us too as we brush up against flowers and accidentally get pollen on our clothes, carrying it to another flower and so on. Sometimes we help Mother Nature a little by gently brushing the pollen from one flower to another. It’s all good! These seeds are what are commonly referred to more and more as “Organic”…

A Grievous Sin

The biggest threat to our food security lurks in the shadowy depths of the Halls of Power…the buildings housing the European Parliament in Brussels. You may or may not be aware of something called The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). TTIP is a trade agreement presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. In my estimation, this will allow full and unfettered access to our food production, from multi-national corporations, such as Monsanto, that carry the weapon of GMOs. I call this manifestation of utter madness, GMOs, a weapon, because that is precisely what it is…and a weapon…

Permaculture Gardens

The growing season has begun, with Rhubarb sending forth strong pink stems despite the storms of recent weeks. Meanwhile, down in the Fairy Wood, ferns have kept their green in the shelter of the dell. Mosses grow bright in the sunlight and ivy twists and twirls around the Goat Willow. Lots of Goat Willow has been coppiced over recent months, and although it takes a year or so to season, it makes excellent logs for the stove, giving out masses of heat for free! Further down the gardens, Pine, laurel and Great Western Cedar all grow happily together and appear…

Don’t Wait For The Cavalry!

Sammy-Bear is filthy. From head to paw, disgusting in the extreme! Last night, as the moon came towards its fullest, Sammy refused to come in. As I walked Jack in the full light of a post storm moon, I could see Sammy on the hill behind the cottage darting here and there as he chased something. Hours later he slunk home in this disgraceful state! He refuses to clean himself, ignoring my chastisements and sits in full state, on the executive chair, in front of the stove! I may as well talk to the wall! There is a full moon…

An Evening with Mr D’Arcy

Snow is falling this evening. It has fallen in small flurries all day, only to melt and try again. This evening the snow is sticking. A near full moon rose in the afternoon sky. Spring has scurried back under a blanket of white. The oven is very hot as the stove has been kept topped up with wood, so I have slid a tray of vegetables onto the top shelf to roast…always a healthy, tasty meal. What remains will be blended into a soup, with stock and red lentils…tomorrows lunch! I visited the library in town today and borrowed  books…

Free to Install, Renewable, Clean Energy

Coppicing has taken up much of the day. It’s remarkable just how much wood can be grown from scratch on a small amount of land. It’s safe to say that there is a surplus of wood here, much of which will continue to grow until next winter. Coppicing increases the amount of wood growing, as each cut tree will produces up to half a dozen more trees and so the stock increases. The logs are easy to cut, no chainsaw is required and the cut wood dries out quicker. The brushwood makes excellent kindling! This is the most environmentally friendly…