The Economy of Resilience 024

During 2014, much of what we assumed to be reality was turned on it’s head.

The great recovery of the economy turned out to be a case of a great slump in China, the economic barometer of the western world.


For, if we are not buying consumer goods, it reflects in China’s economic growth. 023

It became apparent, early on in the year, that China had cut back on it’s imports of raw materials…as for the rest, it does not take a room full of economists to work it out!


Through all of this, for my part at least, growth excelled here at Bealtaine Cottage.

 Mother Earth, now in full recovery in this little portal, happily gave of her best and settled into her annual rest.


It was a year of proof.

Proof that resilience is our greatest ally!


Resilience and the building of this great economy, is possible for all, through the application of basic Permaculture principles.


To begin with, waste does not exist…everything has a value.

This cottage and three acres used to have a septic tank.

It now boasts a compost toilet. 032

The thousand plus trees I planted are grateful for the waste that myself and visitors produce.

permaculture at 032

In return to the economy of the cottage, the stove benefits from timber, my purse benefits from not having to pay a septic tank inspection charge and the soil is improved year on year.


That, in a nutshell, is an example of applied Permaculture, shielding both myself and Mother Earth from the vagaries and demands of an economic model which is killing us all.


We invented waste as part of the economic model we follow in the west…now fast encroaching on all other countries.

This was not how people lived before the 20th century. 008

Read history…even the bed Shakespeare slept in formed part of the estate bequeathed in his will.

For that matter, his coat and garments also formed his estate!

In other words, nothing was considered to be waste!

permaculture at 008

Building resilience into one’s life is creating revolution against a system we know to be destroying the future.

permaculture at 010

For my part,  Vive La Revolution!


  1. Blessings for Samhain. Wonderful post and I was just reading today – in a monthly magazine that generally promotes consumerism – that researchers have discovered that gifts of “things” actually make people depressed in some way because it is another weight to hang off them. Gifts of experiences are much better because they are building memories and maybe skills and possibly receiving inspiration. Iw as also just reading about the Victorians who wasted absolutely NOTHING. Floor sweepings went into the compost; old clothes were made into dusters and then composted; (did you know you can buy rags in a lovely sealed plastic bag in Lidl for paint jobs around the house!!!! Ridiculous) even left over food was either fed to pigs or to businesses in towns who sold it on as take away food; night soil was collected and passed on to market gardeners. As you say, everything had a a value and so absolutely nothing was wasted. What a relief and wouldn’t it be great if our society did that.

    • That remains the only way we can go and many will resent this, but the days of consumer madness are over! We either begin to make peace with the Earth, or, as Vandana Shiva says, face the consequences. For my part, just walking into a big store makes me feel sick and unhappy!

  2. First, Happy Birthday! and thank you for the beautiful pictures of the ocean, Happy Samhain as well. I’d like to say credit shmedit as far as this system goes after reading David Greaber’s 5,000 Years of Debt – good read. In that light we did something blasphemous two weeks ago. We dissolved a portion of the intangible “401k” into the tangible by paying off the house – OMG say you didn’t! That and two 500 gallon water tanks for the earth berm green house we constructed from found ‘waste’ objects which btw is visually stunning as well as practical (no heating/cooling energy input required). After learning about permaculture a mantra came to me; decentralize from the system every subset possible, and that has been my objective ever since. We talked about ‘time’ last night and the difference between the reference point most of us have been indoctrinated to accept (NOW) in the consumer society and our new reference point – as told by Nature – which is much more gradual. We decided we’d rather work for Nature.

  3. I love this message of Resilience! A strong affirmation that Mother Earth and all living things are resilient and can and will thrive beautifully and abundantly outside of and in spite of false economic schemes that are man made and dead end profit mills. There has always been life and fullness of living. Our existence did not begin with the industrial revolution. I guess the industrial revolution like all revolutions come and go. They transform over time and go full circle sometimes repeating the mistakes of the past that caused the revolution itself. The concept of revolution if meant a change toward something better is a good one. But what is even better is evolution. I am seeing the world consciousness evolve to a higher level where the true things of value are honored such as nature and kindness and love for all living things. Sandra couldn’t have said it better. Bealtaine cottage IS like coming home at long last. We all feel that at the deepest level. As we continue to evolve mentally and spiritually our technologies will reflect that goodness as well. Its already doing so when so many of the old ways have now found their way into newness of life style choices. Thank you again Colette for the blessing of all your wonderful photos and words. The pod cast is always a joy as well.

    • Yes Lynne, there is a real change happening and it’s tangible and amazing just how quickly this little band of people are becoming a strong movement, that, as yet, those in power are vaguely unaware of!

  4. Col, you are a perma-hero….you have done your own huge part to fuel this revolution by inspiring change in people like me across the globe. I had begun the journey several years ago …but it was a rather lonely journey. When I discovered Bealtain Cottage, I felt I had come home. I read everything you post and am always fed.I rarely make a comment but want you to know how much I appreciate everything you share – all the photos, podcasts and your wisdom and experience. I say…long live Bealtaine Cottage!

  5. Lovely post. We try not to buy new. Older stuff is usually better quality anyway. We have found that new only just about lasts until the guarantee runs out if it lasts that long. We prefer to have things that have a history. When I use utensils that have been past on to me I think of the person that owned them and maybe quite a few people owned them before that. Women and children of the past that all made mince pies at Christmas with my rolling pin 🙂

    We should proudly use old and repaired items . I have recently come across Japanese ceramic repair called Kintsugi and Japanese Boro fabric mending. Beauty in mending!

  6. Great post – enjoyed your photos. I agree wholeheartedly, although you are far more ambitious/resourceful than I am! I am so frustrated by our disposable culture. Vowing (trying) to buy nothing new in the coming year, and buy as little as possible in general.

Your comments are welcome!