Post Midsummer Polytunnel Gardening at Bealtaine Cottage

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Second-phase food production is under way as from this week.

Midsummer has passed and many harvests are home or under-way.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 009This week has seen me clear the tunnel, spread lots of compost afresh on the beds and begin planting for the next phase of crops.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 010As I cleared the tunnel and collected masses of seeds and seed-heads, I was thinking about the crops I would plant.

Number one on my list is Kale; one of the great foods, especially in juicing.

Regular intake of Kale juice keeps health at a peak.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 013 Soil is the most important aspect of good food.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 007The food takes up the essential minerals and goodness in the soil and turns these into health-giving good food.

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This was a good time to prune the Peach Tree and remove about half of the Nectarines and feed the tree.

I left some of the herbs in place and moved the rest into pots and outside beds.

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell BerryThe Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture 

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 016“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 019“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.”
― Maria RodaleOrganic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

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All the Poppy heads are now harvested, providing a massive amount of Poppy Seed…great in cooking and baking!

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 011“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”
― Jane GoodallHarvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 022“All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


  1. I have a question. I want to become vegan but all research says it is MANDATORY to take vitamin B12 supplements if vegan. I do not want to have a diet, that no matter how well balanced I eat, I must take some kind of pill to be healthy. Are you a vegan or lacto-ovo? If vegan, what is your opinion on B12 supplements?

    • I have always taken supplements, even before going vegetarian, then vegan.
      The following may help you in your quest for supplement-free B12.
      Many of the breakfast cereals are also fortified with B12.

      Light Plain Soymilk contains (50% DV) of Vitamin B12 per cup.

      Yeast Extract Spreads (Marmite)
      Yeast extract spreads are popular in Britain and Europe, and have started to gain popularity in the U.S. A good vegan source of protein, the spread also packs a lot of vitamin B12. One hundred grams provides 0.5μg (8% DV) of vitamin B12, that is 0.03μg (1% DV) per teaspoon.

  2. Another inspiring day with your post… It really gives me the impetus to work on my garden.
    Thank you very much for your efforts.

  3. I love your polytunnel. Do you grow all season long in there? I wouldn’t be able to do that here, I don’t think, because it would get too hot. But it would be perfect to keep things that might not survive our winters, like figs.

  4. The first thing that struck me was the beautifully laid floor of your cottage then I simply enjoyed the lovely photos on gardening & was amazed at your knowledge hence my next question…
    I planted leek in a pot as I live in an apartment & it has grown seeds, when do I cut the stem to keep the seeds for next year & do I have to wait till the stem has completely dried up… & last but not least, when do I know it’s ready to be picked?
    Sorry, it’s not question but questions 😉

Your comments are welcome!