An Ancient Recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney

Finally, finally coming to the bottom of the freezer and the last of last years Blackcurrants…so many of them…over 150lbs! I have eaten Blackcurrants every day since last summer. I have a very simple meal that I make with them…raw food vegan! It’s simply putting a handful of sunflower seeds in the blender with 3 […]

The Easiest Way to Harvest Blackcurrants

It is early July, early evening and it’s cold. The stove is lit. The weather systems all over the world appear to have gone wild, but as I sit here, sipping tea and typing, the reality of life is more to do with getting the harvest of blackcurrants into the freezer! I have returned from […]

The Closing Chapter

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens. Harvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled. The glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even […]

As the Bees Die…Our Role in Heaven or Hell

Keeping Bees and making honey turned into Keeping Bees and making money…on a vast commercial scale, with hundreds of hives being transported all over the world, to ensure pollination of vast stretches of monoculture crops. There is an Orwellian feel to this scenario. Something feels so very wrong about this. Alarm bells should have been […]

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Changing Colours of Autumn.

Splitting logs of Ash for use in the stove this winter. This wood is easy to grow and easy to harvest if continuously coppiced. Ash, if coppiced, can grow steadily for 2,000 years and more. Ash can be burned in the green, that is, on the day it is cut. It is the perfect the […]

Growing Food in Cottage Gardens

It’s a perfect day for being in the garden, with just the right amount of sun and shade as the voluminous clouds drift overhead, sun shines full in between and there’s just a promise of rain! The roses on the veranda are hanging so low that one has to limbo-dance under them to get in […]

Permaculture Harvests in Ireland

Plums from the one of the Plum Trees here on the land.  Plums are easy to grow in Ireland as they are related to the Blackthorn tree, the one that fruits Sloes. Rowan berries, collected from trees near my local town, Carrick. Foraging can be a very fruitful and worthwhile undertaking in the country, bringing […]

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Pantry

Sweetcorn harvested over the weekend…this is the native American corn, called ‘Painted Mountain,’ and is very colourful! I will save some of the corn seeds for planting next year… Heaps and heaps of windfalls… planting apple trees is cheap and easy and all you do is wait for the windfall! Ha! Ha!…I love it. Simple, […]

Permaculture Cottage ~ Not enough food in Ireland…

Tea after Enniskillen and a shopping expedition for another camera. Recycled of course! A great book shop up there also and by the looks of the cars in the car park, most of the population of North Roscommon and Leitrim were shopping there too! What a relief! It rained yesterday and rained really heavily overnight. […]

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Daily News from Ireland…Bumper Permaculture Harvest!

The first day of Autumn in the Celtic calendar and the harvest continues. Blackcurrants are being picked at Bealtaine, along with masses of herbs, including Oregano, Chives, Dill and Fennel…though the Fennel in the tunnel is seeding and will be dried and stored for baking purposes later on. The Plum trees are bearing up well […]

Permaculture Sunday…Apples, Sweetcorn and more seedlings

More logs wait to be carted around to the barn and stacked ready for the cold winter days ahead! Valerian grown from seed continues to flower and will do all summer and into the autumn all the time that the seedheads are removed… Something else grown from seed here at Bealtaine…this gorgeous Poppy this morning […]