A Day of Sustainable Living at Bealtaine Cottage

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Sewing patchwork today…finishing a bedspread…with the back-door open and the birds singing!

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Producing and using surplus is an integral part of living sustainably. 

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Upcycling our waste in a wasteful society is a way to create growth. 

If there is going to be a future, then our past cannot be used as a template.

We have lived in a state of excess at the cost of the future.

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Making soup today has allowed me to harvest and use vegetables from the garden, especially Spinach.

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I love Spinach!

With lots planted in the tunnel and heaps of seedlings coming on in pots, this is one winter green of plenty this year!

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There are lots of windfall apples at the moment and this is the time to get out and collect them up for pies and juice.

Stew down the apples ready for a tart and store in the freezer or even can it…that means jar really!

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Having the stove fired up for cooking the soup and baking, means drying clothes in a very natural and cost-free way.

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Cleaned out the hen house and run…now there’s lots of poopy straw to spread on the vegetable beds before I mulch them with cardboard…great, organic and free vegetables for next year!

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The girls are happy! This deep litter allows a good amount of fertile straw to be used in the vegetable gardens and as a fertile mulch…for free…eggs are a sideline!

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Rosehips from the Rosa Rugosa are ripening…these make the very best Vitamin C syrup!

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Beautiful colouring on the Amalanchier trees today.

A feast for the soul!

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Blackberries continue to ripen…free fruit that not enough people bother to pick and use…though more are enjoying the fruits of foraging!

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Cleared the space beneath this Ash tree to make a little sitting and meditation space.

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Made a green juice to start the day, using Apples, Lemon Balm, Mint,  Kale and Wheatgrass from the garden. Now that’s what fired me up for a day of sustainable living!



  1. Oh, Colette, the picture of the blackberries made me feel again that we are sisters, at least spirit sisters of the land – ours are now ripening here in Vermont as well. Wild berries, just at hand as we step out of the house or car, it does seem so miraculous to simply harvest the free natural abundance of our sacred Earth. As I type, a tiny spider is purposefully scurrying across my screen, reminding me that the World Wide Web is but a glimmering shadow of the interdependent web of life that connects us all in golden light around this planet. We too are at the Edge of Empire here in the Green Mountains between the US and Canada (still technichally US, but there is an independence movement here and we think of ourselves as Vermonters). I fear we can never get far enough away from the destruction that is arising, as the whole Earth’s systems are being thrown into turmoil. I can only pray to Gaia to help us, and to the soul of humanity to awaken from this madness and return to our love for the Earth and remember our spirit purpose here. It is not to consume and to waste and to fight, but to love and learn and heal. We cannot know the future with any certainty, but we have this moment anyway, and I am so grateful for your inspiration and the beauty you share with us across the pond. Blessed be my dear.

  2. Thanks again for another fabulous post. So great to see the fruits of your work. That juice looks and sounds delicious.

  3. just back from France where I planted two more rowans, one ash, four oaks and a walnut tree on our little plot. Brought home apples and pears from the garden which I have dried in rings in the bottom of the Aga which we have just had converted from oil. Main oven at 100 degrees created sufficient heat to dry all holiday bedding and towels on the pulley above. Home made courgette soup for lunch and started a knitted shawl from spare wool. Brought home hazelnuts from the Normandy garden too which are drying nicely. All very satisfying! By the way, I am sure you are using up Laura Ashley patches? I still have some of these 1976 patches left! Lovely to come home to all your posts and pics which ring with a certain positivity in these ever worsening days. As I commented on your post some weeks ago, it’s hard to stay optimistic, but it helps when we have these lovely “sustainable” days. Bright shiny blessings to you x

  4. Beautiful bedspread!

    And spinach is such a wonderful vegetable…

    Where do you source your cardboard? I have just started using it and need more to kill off the grass that is now growing on what used to be a path.

  5. Colette

    You’re a great example to everyone.

    Your posts demonstrate how it can be easy to live simply, cheaply, happily and healthily, which of course is the opposite of most minority worlders’ lifestyles.

    Not everyone can grow what you grow, do what you do. But if everyone did a little – and there’s something there for everyone – it would add up to a lot.

    Keep up the good work.

Your comments are welcome!