Home Grown and Home Made Food

 

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The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped.

Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food!

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Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw.

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The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared and tidied.

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Elsewhere in the gardens, the burgeoning beds await their turn to be harvested.

This Golden Oregano will dry nicely and ensure tasty tomato sauces all winter!

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This is a sheltered part of the fruit gardens to leave the potatoes in the ground for a while to come.

Those at the back of the picture will stay where they are.

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You may remember how I mulched this ground last Autumn, using cardboard, straw and shreddings…now you can see the value of this exercise.

The earth is in good condition and any weeds that did grow were very easy to pull.

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This gives you some idea of how permaculture works…a forest garden with lots of shelter, biodiversity and ultimately, resilience!

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Lots of leaf drop feeds the soil, building a much needed fertility.

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Meanwhile, indoors, one of the few electrical items I own is ready to do a lot of sewing.

I also have a hand sewing machine for less labour intensive tasks.

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And in the kitchen I’ve been baking bread and making Houmous Dip.

There really is no comparison to home made and home grown food!

Desiderata for Our Times

bealtainecottage.com 026Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

bealtainecottage.com 002Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

bealtainecottage.com 003Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

bealtainecottage.com 012Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

bealtainecottage.com 013Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

bealtainecottage.com 017Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

bealtainecottage.com 018Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

bealtainecottage.com 021Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

bealtainecottage.com 023Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

bealtainecottage.com 030Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”

View from the Edge of the World

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As the Roman Empire came apart at the seams, the safest place to be was on the very edges of that dying empire.

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I have recently been reading the books, by Robert Harris, detailing the life of the great thinker, orator and statesman, Cicero.

bealtainecottage.com 028It is uncanny how many parallels with modern day life can be drawn from the novels,  ‘Imperium’ and ‘Lustrum’…(the third in the trilogy is yet to be published).

Of all the cumulative reasons why the Roman Empire came apart, endless wars, an over reliance on slave labour and corruption in government appear to be at the forefront.

bealtainecottage.com 016As I read chapter on chapter, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the state of our world today…and viewed with horror an emerging pattern of decline and fall.

bealtainecottage.com 020The template of decline and fall remains the same regardless of time.

Wealthy Romans drank water transported through lead pipes into their villas.

The water contained up to 100 times more lead that that from spring wells.

bealtainecottage.com 023Lead poisoning leads to erratic behaviour, mental decline etc., much of which could be viewed in the conduct of the ruling elite during the final days.

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 Much the same appears to be happening now, even to the point of corrupt and debased behaviour within the ranks of the ruling elite.

bealtainecottage.com 027I never cease to be both amazed and appalled at the continuing scandals.

We appear to be not so much governed, as presided over by people we would otherwise be embarrassed to call our friends…integrity and compassion being somewhat lacking!

bealtainecottage.com 030When Rome fell, the world entered the “Dark Ages”.

bealtainecottage.com 031The Dark Ages lasted several hundred years, but birthed a new Age of Enlightenment.

bealtainecottage.com 001The light of civilization was carried back into mainland Europe, from, of all places, Ireland.

bealtainecottage.com 003The edge of empire for me is a mindset, a refusal to be drawn into the madness.

bealtainecottage.com 006A resoluteness to live with integrity.

bealtainecottage.com 005A desire to continue to cultivate and practice compassion, even when our leaders applaud war and attempt to vindicate suffering and destruction.

bealtainecottage.com 010In these days of crumbling empire, (for this mayhem cannot last much longer!), it is not such a bad place to be…the edge of empire.

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Little Things

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 012A day of many things, but mostly of remembering and giving thanks…thanks for little things…like fresh, Spring water.
permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 012Seemingly inconsequential things…like an almost filled rain tub, a place where Jack loves to drink.
cottage 024 Things many do not see…little things.
Of a beautiful card made for me by a visitor… cottage 025and the wonderful, heartfelt message she wrote.
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Of all the little things we happen upon in our daily lives… those whose hearts we touch and all who touch our hearts.
DSCF1684It is indeed, all the little things, which really matter!

Permaculture Place to Stay in Ireland

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Bealtaine Cottage is a Permaculture Smallholding in the West of Ireland that has been developed from barren land over the past ten years.permaculture B&B Ireland 003

As a way of spreading the permaculture message of hope and regeneration, the gardens and cottage have remained open to visitors from all over the world during this time.permaculture B&B Ireland 006

Many visitors have spoken of their wish to be able to stay at Bealtaine Cottage and have invariably had to seek accommodation at local B&B homes.

This is the Lodge,  dedicated for anyone who wishes to stay and spend more time than just a visit to Bealtaine Cottage. (Sammy-Bear is an optional bed-mate!)permaculture B&B Ireland 007

The Lodge has a comfortable double bed and small single sofa-bed…as well as lots of pull-out floor cushions!permaculture B&B Ireland 008It also has its own door to the garden and a sheltered veranda attached. This is the view of the gardens from the door.permaculture B&B Ireland 009All four windows in the Lodge open onto sheltered gardens, as you can see.permaculture B&B Ireland 010The connecting door to the cottage leads towards the shower-room and compost toilet…yes, this is a permaculture home and all the facilities are based on sustainable principles of living!permaculture B&B Ireland 011With over a thousand trees planted here, the gardens boast shelter and a wonderful array of wildlife and birds.

This is indeed a sanctuary in the true sense of the word.permaculture B&B Ireland 012With a great little wood-burning stove installed, the Lodge is cosy and warm throughout the seasons.permaculture B&B Ireland 014

There are modern, luxurious places to stay all over Ireland…Bealtaine Cottage is different, in that it is part of the landscape and unashamedly connecting into Mother Earth!permaculture B&B Ireland 013You can park your car right up alongside the Lodge by this window.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (16)Breakfasts are Vegetarian or Vegan, sitting around a cosy stove in the old-fashioned kitchen.bealtainecottage.com permaculture (18)You can find all the details of cost and booking by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

Please note that B&B is no longer available at Bealtaine Cottage…Sorry!

The Forest of Bealtaine Connected

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 014Following on from comments and emails you have written about planting The Forest of Bealtaine, I have realised the international importance of this healing project.

10 July 2014 030You, my dear friends, have been planting this forest all over the world and have gently reminded me of the connectedness of which I so often write.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (15)I am dedicating a section of this website to that dream made reality and here’s how…

cropped-img_0132.jpgIf you have been inspired through Bealtaine Cottage to plant a tree, then can I ask you to email a picture and a few words to me, including your name, country and website, so it can be added to The Forest of Bealtaine page?

Buddha at Bealtaine

Buddha at Bealtaine

This page will be located at the top of the website in the coming day/s.

DSCF1256I will continually update it and maybe even create a special website, if it grows like a forest!

What do you think?

Is this a good idea?

www.bealtainecottage.comI know so many of you have been inspired to plant trees through Bealtaine…this site will hopefully pay deep respect to you and your love for Mother Earth.

I await your response.

Blessings XXX Colette 

And here it is…The Inspired Forest of Bealtaine…

https://bealtainecottage.com/the-inspired-forest-of-bealtaine/

In a Time of Uncertainty…

www.bealtainecottage.comMuch has happened recently…to disturb the senses and worry the mind.

www.bealtainecottage.comIt is as though we have entered dark times.

www.bealtainecottage.comI will not invoke any sense of what has been happening in the world, for social media and the media in general will furnish you with all that is going on.

www.bealtainecottage.comI refuse to be a pessimist and throw my hands to the heavens in despair or anger, for my life experiences have taught me the uselessness of that.

DSCF1029Throughout life, we do best to respond to the darkness shed by others, by being creative in whatever small way is possible.

www.bealtainecottage.comSo, in celebration of creation and the power of creative minds which our education system, governments and much of the mainstream media seems to almost despise, I dedicate this blog.

www.bealtainecottage.comWhether it is through cooking;

www.bealtainecottage.comsewing;

www.bealtainecottage.comsharing;

www.bealtainecottage.com 007crafting;

www.bealtainecottage.com 013fundraising;

www.bealtainecottage.com 005welcoming;

Autumn in the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage 034growing;

free tea baking,

Missy...loveor caring… it’s best to get on with it!

Sammy-Bear CatLife is too short and precious to not do…

Blessings XXX

New Permaculture Orchard

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 007Last year I planted a new orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 008To date there are thirty eight fruit trees planted across the three acres of land here.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 012This new orchard was planted on an area previously fenced off and used for hens over a period of years.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 009This is always a good start, as the land was prepared by the hens in terms of manuring and picking over.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 010Before the trees were planted I laid down a generous spread of seaweed and covered this with cardboard, to hold back the weeds for a year or so.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 013Over the morning I have been planting yet more layers into the orchard, mainly flowers and herbs to attract and feed the bees…my secret of abundant harvests; where would we be without the bees?

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 014The next phase will include planting a bee-friendly hedge along the south edge of the area.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 015I planted Fuschia and Berberis, Dogwood and Rubus along the north edge.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 016As I cut back around the orchard, cuttings are dropped onto the ground around the trees and bushes as a mulch.
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 021The planting continues as more and more flowers and herbs are brought from my small nursery area, a really important part of any permaculture garden or smallholding! 

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 019As with all my projects here at Bealtaine, I couldn’t resist using some Willow to effect, constructing a simple arbour that will eventually house a home-made bench, on which to sit and sup a cup of tea!
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 024The plan of maximum planting has worked well all over the land here, building resilience as well as fertility into the land, as a forest does naturally.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 002The days have been warm and sunny, with the back door open all day long.

There is such a good balance of biodiversity here that flies don’t seem to be a bother…this can be a serious Irish complaint during the summer months!

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 003I pulled the sofa chair over to the open door as I find the soft sounds of life in the gardens very soothing.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 001Sammy does too!

The idea of planting food trees is taking off here in the west of Ireland.

My local town of Drumshanbo has planted a Community Orchard near the entrance to the town…a great Transition Towns inspiration!

 

From the Fringe…

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 001The start of the week in this sacred place, where edges meet and overlap…a cooling, calming morning. 

Yesterday was a day of visits and creating bouquets to take with me.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 002The gardens are flourishing and birthing beauty all around me, so there was much to gather and choose from.

This is the tenth year using the roll of cellophane bought for me by my eldest daughter all those years ago as a leaving London present!

Small investments can and do go on giving!

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 003Walking the gardens this morning, after the rain, with the earth scents rising all around me, it was a delight to see the apples well on their way to a grand harvest.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 004I continue to drink the apple juice saved as frozen juice from the harvest last year.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 005The “poor” land here has given me more food than I can cope with…a continuing surplus builds year on year.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 006In this tenth year, it is no longer a surprise that the main stream media has steered clear of permaculture, for the truth of biodiversity undermines the huge Agri-business pushed by governments and those in power.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 007Permaculture has been pushed out to the fringes of society by ignoring the outcomes of such an approach.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 008This is why I write and photograph and film and keep putting it out there.

I don’t mind being ignored, but Mother Earth WILL have her voice heard and those tuning in are rising in numbers to a point where the mainstream media will have to take notice or end up being overtaken.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 010The compost heaps continue to rise toward the sky, dropping back down to earth as they bio-degrade.
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 011Newly planted beds promise a rich return all Autumn and well into the Winter.
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 012Natural Spring water flows in abundance from an aquifer that is unabused by demanding “flush it away,” toilet cisterns.

There is no away and besides which, water is sacred!

Why use clean water to flush our human waste into the rivers and oceans…no way, there is no away!
Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 013Taking care of people means taking care of the Earth…how simple is that philosophy to put into practice?

Not if you are a corporation or a politician on the make and take, for there is no money in caring, just an abundant, real economy!

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 014Our abiding relationship is with Mother Earth.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 016It is the only physical relationship which surpasses all others in this life.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 017If we imagine our world as a tapestry, then where are you on the stitching?

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 020Where do you want to be on the weave?

Here’s a thought: one of the biggest and most powerful supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland spent a small fortune on creating this advertising slogan, “Every Little Helps!”  

Own it!