Important Notice to U.S. Subscribers!

Over recent months it has become apparent, that U.S. Customs are confiscating envelopes and small packages of seeds, posted from Bealtaine Cottage to subscribers in the United States.

As I endeavour to replace all that fail to arrive, the cost has now spiralled beyond reasonable losses to me.

In total I have lost almost 200 Euros in replacements…and some of these have not arrived at destination!

I am so sorry to have to capitulate to this problem not of my making and so am therefore unable to post seeds to the United States.

All other goods from Bealtaine Cottage appear to get through…though many are delayed by 3 weeks or more. I offer my apologies and will post this on the Seed Site for future reference.

Blessings from Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.



  1. I used to post vintage linen cloth to US from France, and sometimes had the packages ripped open – I wonder if Customs were looking for linen/flax seeds, confusing them with the French word ‘chanvre’ which could also be used for hemp, also could be confused with another sort of item! Fortunately, my customers were very understanding, but it was very frustrating to have my beautifully pressed and presented linen arriving all scrunched up and creased! How frustrating for you to not have yours turn up at all!

  2. Let me post you some heirloom seeds, from my central Texas Garden, but we are a zone 9🌻 I would be interested to see if they will grow there!

      • What is the postal address? I have a variety of local seeds, from veggies, to flowers, even heirloom 1905 Lone Star Cotton. Also my mother is going to Ireland in a couple weeks, and she wanted to know about visiting. I know you have a Bealtaine Day open house, but I’m not positive if she will be there to make that visit. Her name is Jenny Rose, and her email is

        I imagine she will really be inspired by all of the beauty of your paradise.

        Angela Rose

        • Sorry to say that Bealtaine Cottage is closed to visitors this year, as I’m overwhelmed with work and commitments. My postal address is
          Bealtaine Cottage
          County Roscommon
          Thanks and Blessings X

  3. I remember several years ago reading about how Monsanto literally controlled most all of the seeds and because the “new” seeds do not regenerate yearly, people are forced to keep buying each year and that makes everyone completely dependent on Monsanto! And whoever controls the food controls the WORLD! In keeping with that theory, even a small business person selling REAL seeds could potentially be a threat because the more people who purchase these alternative seeds equate with growing numbers of INDEPENDENT people-a BIG threat!

  4. Looks like even the EU is placing restrictions on plant sharing. My favorite nursery in S. California Nuccios – has a notice in its catalog apologizing to the customers and friends of the EU. Apparently the EU Department of Agriculture will no longer allow them to ship Camellias and other flower plants that they offer to any EU member countries. What on earth? Welcome to the Orwellian world of global plant and flower fascism.

  5. I had wondered if this might be happening. I didn’t receive my seeds the second time you tried to send them. So sad. I was excited to grow plants with Irish vibes. I understand your frustration tho. Please consider my payment as a donation to Beltane Cottage.

      • At the same time, deliberately moving fauna and flora away from their native habitats can sometimes have devastating effects; the zebra mussel, Japanese knotweed, bindweed, the mink, the red squirrel, the human…the list is long.

        What are your thoughts on that specific topic, Colette?

        • Human interference with Nature bears a long and sullied history. To understand the full context we must see the full picture. Take Japanese Knotweed for instance…we removed trees from the landscape here in Ireland, giving the Knotweed a clear path to spread. Monoculture is never referred to as a danger to the environment by the government depts that urge us to tackle all of the above. We now look at mountains in Ireland, describing their barren wastelands as “Beautiful!” when they are slabs of bereft and dying land that once luxuriated in forest cover… The bigger picture is controlled…

          • Yes, I agree. I’ve heard the bare treeless grassland of the Lake District in England described in all sorts of gushy terms. I see a … bare treeless grassland.

            I saw a mistake in my post – I meant the grey squirrel, of course. Fortunately, the grey’s habitat in Ireland is shrinking: a lot to do with the pine marten’s comeback, apparently (which reinforces your statement about monoculture). The grey, being heavier, cannot retreat as far out on a tree limb as the red, leaving it more vulnerable to attack.

            I’ve even heard that the mink is finding its niche, as otters can be aggressively protective…

            The biggest invasive problem is the human.

          • There’s a wonderful book about how plants grow as a response to the needs of an environment, “Invasive Plant Medicine: The Ecological Benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives” by Timothy Lee Scott (with a foreward by Stephen Harrod Buhner).

  6. Hi Collette,
    The things my country and it’s citizens do make me ashamed and baffled at the same time. There are dozens of seed and gardening catalogs to order from in the states. Could you create some sort of business with a PO Box address to send them under? Surely there is a way to distribute seeds without them being confiscated. I mean women smuggle heroin into the US in their vaginas and rectums!! It’s ridiculous!

    My family and I just look at one another and say The Emperor bought new clothes again. The people in power don’t want to be failures so instead of dealing with true problems and making any sort of minimal improvement they focus on stupid silly insignificant little stuff so that they can manipulate the statistics and advertise that so very much has been done to improve our health and protect our citizens. Poppycock as my Nana used to say.

    • I think their focus is expertly intended. Control of seed lies at the very heart of freedom…think about this…without seed we would all be dead! Dr Vandana Shiva is 100% right!

  7. I had hesitated to order because I have had so many disappointments in the last few years where packages from Britain or the Netherlands have disappeared or have arrived damaged by inspection, as when a friend sent me peppermints (commercially packaged) and the package was unsealed and the peppermints were loose everywhere and a handmade card was in pieces. Now I’m thinking I should order anyway!! Only of course at my own risk. But I don’t want to be the cause of seeds being destroyed. (Perhaps ordered with a book, a truthful description such as “title and blackcurrants”….) I wonder if we might write letters of protest in care of your Embassy here?

    • Letters of protest sound good! Shining a spotlight on injustice is always a positive action. I think it appalling that the privacy of the mail has been so undermined. This service is paid for. I am going to pressure the Post office Service in Ireland to display signage stating all that is banned from posting and countries banning. It may start a conversation about common sense!

  8. Thanks for trying Collette! Makes the envelopes I already have received that much more special and plant-worthy! Typical American politics!

  9. Hello, I just made a donation of 12 euro for seeds via paypal and realised I forgot to add a list of seeds required. Please can you post the following: Nasturtium, Cotoneaster, Astrantia, Pink Poppy, Aquilegia,Crocosmia Montbretia To: T. E Whitty8 Factory HouseScarteen ParkKenmareKerry  Many thanks. Most enjoyable blog.

  10. Must be they are trying to keep us safe, along with bombing and destroying at least 5 other countries since 2001. The folks at the top just want to help by exporting Monsanto and Demonocracy while their own unhealthy population implodes within. Sorry to hear this but not surprised.

    • The people of the U.S. are struggling against it all, especially so. My friend Mia tells me that fresh fruit and veg can be very expensive, laws oppressive and corporate excess at all levels of government. it is all most concerning for the good people of the U.S.

  11. Corporate stupidity; remember, Prohibition increased alcohol consumption!

    If you can get around the restrictions Colette, (such as with the ‘beads’ description) it would be commendable. Laws are made by people and can be undone by people. Meanwhile, we have a right to subvert unjust laws.

    • This lifted my spirits…bless you! I have tried the “beads” thing…but am reluctant to bring trouble to my subscribers and the authorities in the U.S. can be quite reactionary!

      • I was getting a flight recently and I had a tin of Heinz beans in my bag (don’t ask!). It was confiscated. I asked why. The bouncer pointed to the water content in the ingredients. Never underestimate the stupid underestimating their stupidity.

  12. Blame Monsanto. I have several friends in the states who I have tried to send seeds to many many times.. And they ALWAYS get confiscated by customs. I have however successfully sent some when I haven’t declared them and have hidden them among beads and other items. Very sad but not surprising..

    • I have spoken out against Monsanto many times on this site and my Youtube channel…so i reckon that Bealtaine Cottage Ireland is on some kind of murky list…and I always stamp the back of the envelope with my address. It also has to go on the customs form! Very depressing!

  13. Thank you for letting us know. It is a sad day indeed but can’t be helped. All the more important that we in the US educate ourselves on the seed companies that are owned by Monsanto and not order from them. Some seed companies may not be directly owned by Monsanto but they buy and resale seed from suppliers that ARE directly owned by Monsanto. So its important to do our homework. We need to support the seed saver exchanges and private seed companies that preserve open pollinated heritage seeds. Baker Creek, Bountiful Gardens, Seed Saver Exchange, Turtle Tree Seeds (biodynamic), Fedco seed co-op. Just to name a few. There are many others that can be found on the internet… I will so miss ordering from you Colette, it was just so much fun. I’m so grateful for my willow cuttings they are so beautiful.

    • It is a sad day when Ireland allows Monsanto seed trials, yet the US deems seeds from ireland, grown in spring water, organic soil and perhaps the purest environment on the planet, destroys Bealtaine Cottage Seeds.

  14. It doesn’t surprise me to hear this. Sickening, but not surprising. I’m not sure how your custom forms work in Ireland, but in the U.S when sending a package overseas, our forms basically want to know: “What’s in the package.” If it were me, I would not even mention the word “seeds” anywhere on the custom forms. Uh, yeah, it’s “beads”…I make jewelry and I’m shipping “beads,” or something like that. Drastic times = drastic measures.

    Then again, who knows what “they’d” do if one was caught being a seed “smuggler.” This is just wrong on every level. Blessings to you and your lovely piece of Mama Earth.

  15. It’s a sad day isn’t it. Customs wants their due. It gets harder and harder to do anything. I thought that might be the case. I have little regard for the mail system as a whole.

  16. Colette, so sorry for the US customs mess. If it’s only seeds, I don’t see why it’s happening. I occasionally order seed or roots or comfrey Bocking 14 from England and haven’t had problems with it. So sorry.

  17. that is SCARY! And our next president will most likely be “Ms Monsanto!” Whoever controls the seeds basically controls EVERYTHING! And the new GMO ones are not like the Heirloom seeds that you could use again next year. I’m a conspiracy theory type , but it really DOES sound like there is a sinister reason behind this!

      • the USDA has become somewhat of a joke in recent years, though! They have NOT done a thorough job in this country in many situations! Apparently they are too busy making sure that seeds from IRELAND don’t come into the US to address SERIOUS food issues in this country! I don’t know if this reply will even get posted-my only computer-desktop-has been acting up lately. Worsening every day.

  18. God forbid that the USA would allow any safe seeds that aren’t from the GMO kings. So sorry this has been at such a high cost to you.

  19. Um, I wondered if you would have a problem. It might be Customs, or it might be the USDA as they get really cranky about protecting farmers and the public from plant material that is not certified pest free, or is going to areas where the plant material might considered invasive.

      • Agreed. The USDA has a long and proud tradition however, and the individual states can be just as cranky. CA for example, still has the mandated stops at their borders, albeit they are used less and less, to prevent things like east coast grapes, and soft fruits from entering, because they are trying to prevent viruses on the east coast from migrating to those crops here. WA has a strict ban on American chestnut trees, because they have a few that escaped the terrible chestnut blight that decimated east coast trees at the beginning of the 1900’s. Also there are native varieties that would spread disease rapidly. Same with filberts or hazelnuts. Not all gooseberries can cross state lines because they can transfer rust.

Your comments are welcome!