Bealtaine and the 16th Anniversary!

Bealtaine, the month of May, is just days away! This will mark the 16th year of the Bealtaine Project…my vision of turning marginal, north facing, wet and rushy land in the west of Ireland into a woodland garden and Permaculture Food Forest.

Jack in the Stone Circle

As each year has passed, the land has become more fertile, with crop yields continuing to increase. The Food Forest also continues to expand in many planted and natural ways…edible mushrooms are a growing part of the natural landscape of healthy woodland.

Just recently the old henhouse, previously a playhouse for my two eldest grandsons now grown up, was removed and this opened up a beautiful vista of the growing woodland.

Also, planting against the cottage walls as a form of both insulation and vertical gardening has been a key element in the evolution of the gardens.


Clematis Montana covers the front wall of the cottage and has been planted against the She Shed.

Over the past few months the world has been taken up in its fight against Coronavirus and many countries have been in lockdown, where people are forced to stay in their homes. Sites such as Bealtaine Cottage have become safe, go-to places of sanctuary online…no advertisements, no talking heads and lots of birdsong. It will always be like this, as I planned it to be something that I, myself, would be drawn to…hence many like-minded people come here.

There was a quiet celebration of Bealtaine this year as friends and family are confined to their homes. Despite this, the Bealtaine Fire was lit amid the ushering in of Summer.