Bill Mollison once said, “I teach self-reliance, the world’s most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition.”
Applying design to growing makes for good permaculture.
As Ireland endures a wetter and wetter climate, constructing vegetable beds on the top of gravel helps to counteract the worst elements of flooding.
The same design principles are applied in the polytunnel.
Beds are raised and paths are lowered, allowing for good drainage on this north facing slope.
This is a Nectarine tree, under-planted with Comfrey, which is then regularly chopped and dropped throughout the growing season, thus feeding the hungry fruit tree.
It has been planted in a central area in the tunnel so as to avoid cold drafts when doors are open.
This morning sees the blossom opening at just the right time, as bees are emerging from hibernation, so it’s essential to have both doors open to receive them.
Now this is something rarely seen, but this system works very well for me…seeds are sown together in one, big, deep, polystyrene, re-cycled box.
As seeds emerge and gain strength, I gently tease them out and pot them on, leaving space behind for the next swathe of emerging seedlings.Rhubarb fills out a Spring bed, with Raspberries coming along next in seasonal line!
The Summer fruiting Rhubarb lies protected under this mound of straw…excluding light from emerging weeds.
The bed is mound shaped as every year sees more and more compost added.
And here’s the black gold…home made compost. As all of the gardens are on a north-facing slope, the tyres do not interfere with the quality of the compost, just protects the heap from the east and north weather systems…particularly cold!
Trees and bushes all play a part in the permaculture design, creating shelter and wind-breaks in this instance.
You can see one of the six bins used for compost toilet waste re-cycling tucked in on the right of the picture.
This makes great planting compost for trees!
More rain storms moving in from the west and Atlantic seaboard this morning, but the sun continues to shine!
As smoke curls up in wisps from the chimney, reminding me that a hot kettle awaits me indoors…tea!
I love the unpredictable Irish weather!
And the way everything greens up so quickly after the winter!
Have a good weekend everyone.
Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.
If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…
Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.
As an Ark for Nature, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from the EU, as only farm animals, monoculture and set-aside are grant-aided!
You are growing a nectarine, on a north-facing slope, in Ireland?! 😀 Have you had any fruit from it yet…?
Yes! This is the fourth year in the polytunnel and I have had fruit over three years! I have planted and worked this land with the belief that everything is possible!
Wow! Time to rethink my ideas… I bet they taste soooo good.
The tree gets over-laden with fruit, so I have to thin them out. I also grow grapes and peaches in there too!
Show off 😉
[…] Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage: […]
This is a really lovely post. I live in Bill Mollinsons home state of Tasmania and we could certainly do with a bit of that gorgeous rain here. I guess the best part about Permaculture is that it offers you choice at all times. You live in a rapidly changing climate, you adapt. That’s the gift that Permaculture gives us. Taking what we observe, we share and what we grow and learning how to adapt to where our environment it taking us is what is going to lead us into the future. I love the delicious possibilities in your posts 🙂
Adaptation will be the ultimate test for us all and whether we can adapt rapidly enough. This has been the wettest winter on record here in the west of Ireland. Farmers are beginning to realise that weather forecasters saying this is “extraordinary” are wrong…it’s becoming commonplace.
Driest here…seems like we are flip flopping when it comes to weather doesn’t it?
Reblogged this on Awakestate.
I have a question for you about your seeds. Do you have or collect seed for the valerian you grow?
All the Valerian seeds are snapped up as fast as I can save them! I will endeavour to save more this year!
Beautiful–greening up wonderfully!!!
Soo beautiful !!!
Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
I’ve been looking for a good video or post about just how subversive growing your own food is. Ask and you shall receive! Here’s the ever wise and inspiring Colette, sharing beautiful photos and planting/composting tips. Enjoy!
Dear Miss Collette,
Thanks for the lovely visit at Bealtaine Cottage this morning.
Blessings dear Shannon and enjoy your weekend XXX