The Easiest to Grow Vegetables and Fruit from Bealtaine Cottage

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Potatoes. Last year I grew them successfully on straw and manure spread on the ground on top of cardboard. The ground was in perfect condition afterwards for digging in a new Rhubarb bed. Swiss Chard. A  cut and come again crop. It just keeps on giving! Here it is growing outdoors during the winter. The frost may set it back but it grows again quickly from the root. Swiss Chard in the tunnel today…Ruby Chard Eat young leaves as salad or cook. You can sow directly into the soil, but I prefer to start…

Magical Woodland by an Irish Castle

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Stepping into a magical woodland can be one of the most healing and re-energizing acts of care for oneself. This morning I ventured into the woods around Kilronan Castle and the mystical Lough Meelagh, a short distance from Bealtaine Cottage. I’m glad to have brought my little camera, as am now able to share this enchantment with you. This sacred place nestles into the valley that sweeps off towards Sligo and the Atlantic Ocean. The Lough is dotted with Crannogs…ancient dwelling places constructed by ancestral forces on the Lough itself. You can just see…

Sustainable Food: Easy Grow Vegetables and Fruit

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Some vegetables and fruit are so very easy to grow it seems ridiculous not to do so! 1. Chard. Simple to start from seed. Full of vitamins and minerals. Cut and come again…it just keeps giving! This Ruby Chard has grown in the tunnel and given successive crops since last summer! 2. Parsley. In this case, curly parsley, but in fact any variety is great to grow, providing endless supplies of vitamin C and Iron for a healthy diet, as well as being simple to grow. Parsley will grow for 2 years easily before…

Garden in February (Part One)

The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept! Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is! Bronze fennel, that most vigorous of herbs and also a brilliant addition to the flower garden, starts to produce tasty leaves that can be added to early Spring salads. Rocket has over-wintered well in the tunnel and forms the base ingredient. Daffodils are now up and beginning to flower. Daffodils on the hill above…

This Could Change the World!

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Real Crisis in the Economy, Economic Forecasts, Economic Recovery, …the list of headlines, news and political in-fighting over the economy seems endless. However, the figures that are collected year on year, collated and spun out to us all, regarding the state of our country’s economy, are referred to as GDP or Gross Domestic Product. GDP is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year. This includes trees.  Dead trees. Only dead trees! Trees that have been cut down and transported out of the country, or…

Carbon Taxes Won’t Save Us!

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Today, I was feeling just a teensy bit down. It’s a rare experience for me. Life is so full on here at Bealtaine, that positivity fills the day, running from one task to the next and looking forward to a brief sit down and a cup of tea. But today, something caught up with me…a growing feeling of fragility that I had suppressed for a long time. Weakness in the face of disaster. Fear. I have spent much of my life suppressing fear. To be honest, most people have too. Carrying life, caring for…

Signs of Spring

Life is stirring. Light shines higher in the morning sky. Thickening buds cast a haze over the land. “But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.” ― Thomas Hardy Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note. We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk. The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the…