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.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis 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 easy it was to grow! www.bealtainecottage.comThe tunnel is now ready to sow.

Most of the seeds will go into the polystyrene fish boxes I used last year.

www.bealtainecottage.comI simply scattered the seeds into the filled boxes and pricked out the seedlings as they came on…the healthiest were those from boxes where the seed was all mixed in together and in no particular order!

Swiss Chard in the tunnel today...Ruby Chard
Swiss Chard in the tunnel today…Ruby Chard

Greens are next on my list…and again, in no particular order, just greens!

Dark Ruby Chard has over-wintered well in the tunnel
Dark Ruby Chard has over-wintered well in the tunnel

As a vegetarian who tries to avoid dairy, greens are an important part of my diet.

Mixed greens picked in the gardens and tunnel today
Mixed greens picked in the gardens and tunnel today

I add greens to my juice every day to stay fit and healthy.

Parsley,Fennel,Chard and Broccoli leaves all go into a healthy juice.
Parsley,Fennel,Chard and Broccoli leaves all go into a healthy juice.

I have lived at Bealtaine Cottage for almost ten years and have only needed to visit my doctor once.

The best medicine...fresh juice made from home-grown produce! A healthy alternative to big pharma drugs!
The best medicine…fresh juice made from home-grown produce! A healthy alternative to big pharma drugs!

During this time I have not suffered a cold or infection and never stayed a day in bed…something I must treat myself to at some point!

Fresh straw was laid on the paths between the beds.
Fresh straw was laid on the paths between the beds.

All the Herb beds were cut back and the paths in-between covered with straw…

to keep the weeds down.

permaculture at 013

Sometimes we do not even need to sow or plant, as foraging for wild food can produce excellent results.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

When I lived in London there were many places that bordered on wilderness and produced masses of food.

Permaculture cottage November 2011 005

There’s a growing movement to get local and municipal councils to plant fruit and nut trees in public parks and highways.

November 2011 079Resilience has it’s foundations in food security and is an aspect of life we need to take more seriously, but, more importantly, see that it not only gets onto the political agenda, but stays at the top of all planning!

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  1. I just had to share this with you!
    We have managed to stop the Fracking here in Fernhurst. West Sussex, at least for the moment. Local people including Lord Cowdray, who owns the land around the Fracking site have got together with Greenpeace and their lawyers, and managed to tie Celtique Energy up in knots. All the land owners around refused to allow Fracking under their properties. Exciting news indeed.

    • That is just brilliant news! People are awakening to the terrorist that goes by the name corporate whatever! The Corporations have polluted government and are now poised to pollute our very own environment! Here in Ireland we persuaded our local council to vote in a Ban on Fracking in the County of Leitrim…we must fight on to keep our sacred water, Our Sacred Water!

  2. Love seeing your gardens getting a start on spring . . . we were at -39C this morning with the windchill, so still a while for us to wait. So nice I can visit all my gardening friends in their various stages, from planting to harvest . . .

  3. Youtube you say? Time to head on over and subscribe! 🙂 I am with you on the healthy diet. I have been vegetarian for 25 years now (and vegan for 20 of them) and very rarely do I get sick. I, too, found growing beetroot easy and I loved that I could use the leaves like chard as well and the smaller beets that didn’t produce much root were repeat harvested for their leaves right through my summer. They grow all year round here and so I am just about to sow another few rows of them. Amazing things and most underrated 🙂

  4. HI Colette,
    I have taking to making fermented vegies in all combinations with a variety of spices and herbs. I do have to purchase the starter but I make a crockful at a time and it will keep up to a year. Any vegetable/fruit is a fair game. The last batch was made from cabbage, carrots, onions, lots of garlic, fresh ginger, peppercorns, berber spice, extra turmeric, yellow and green zucchini. Filled with probiotics, fermented vegies are a natural pharmacy in a jar. It cures on the shelf for 6 days then must be kept in cold storage for the rest of its days.

    Fermented vegies can heal your gut when hit with things like food poisoning, or any kind of stomach or intestinal distress. Unfortunately the hard part when living alone is having the energy and will to getting the food out to eat!

    I learned about this technique from her book has excellent instructions and recipes. I did buy my supplies elsewhere because I could get them cheaper.

    It really is a great food adventure…If anyone decides to try it…be prepared as the fermentation does cause an unusual odor. I didn’t find it unpleasant, but some might.

    I agree whole heartedly that we are going to have to grow and preserve our bounty just to maintain our health and a healthy supply of food.

    Hugs, bj

  5. My husband and I follow the same diet as you do. We haven’t had a cold in many many years! Health, love and happiness to you on your beautiful land. You are truly creating a brighter future on Earth.

    P.S. how do you store your root vegetable?

  6. I love your idea of juicing. I only grow fruit in my heavy clay soil, and consider myself very fortunate to get my veggies from Riverford. However, we get too many beetroot for my liking and many of them end up as compost (I know, and I am ashamed!). Juicing would obviously be the answer.

    • Dr Gary Null on radio is an articulate and informed advocate of juicing. Beetroot is one of the best veggies to juice. If there was one investment I would urge everyone to make for their health and general well-being, it would be a Juicer! Go for it! Gary Null has a video up on Youtube giving you all the info you need to know about the health benefits!
      Blessings XXX

      And here’s the link

      • I’ve just watched the video and it’s brilliant! Can’t wait to start. Thank you Colette for posting that information.

  7. I’m envious of your mild weather 🙂 If I laid out straw on my winter beds it would end up in Norway within days. Likewise the polytunnel lol. I love how you’ve bordered the beds with stones though, I’d love to do that but have nobody to help me and it’s heavy work looking for them and bringing them home.

    • The weather is very wet as I work between downpours…but it’s great to get the prepping out of the way. The stones I gathered up here and there by myself and moved them in a wheelbarrow, one by one, as is always the best way to accomplish the difficult…little by little. Blessings X

  8. Hi Colette,
    So nice to see green! We are far, far away from warm weather here–still snowed in. Well, we can get out, but there’s over a foot of snow on the garden beds. 🙂 Would you please share more about your seed starting fish boxes? I’m interested in your method. If you have a previous link where you’ve already shared in more detail, feel free to direct me there rather than rewriting. I am always looking for more efficient ways of starting seeds. Many thanks!! –Laura

    • Hi Laura! The fish boxes are white polystyrene, designed to insulate. I fill them with ordinary garden soil and sprinkle mixed seeds on the top, with another sprinkle of soil to cover. Then just sit on the beds in the tunnel. The seeds really like to be mixed together as they all appear to grow fast and very healthy!

      • Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I may try this, as I, too, have found that companion planting works so well. I hadn’t thought of starting them that way, though. 🙂

Your comments are welcome!