Sammy-Bear CatThis is about one woman deciding to do something very dramatic and revolutionary in Ireland…taking three acres of wet, rushy, north-facing land and planting trees like her life depended on it…it does!


www.bealtainecottage.com 011Bealtaine Cottage smallholding is in the west of Ireland.
In May 2004, this was a derelict cottage on a north facing slope of three acres of wet, rushy land.

My aim, living alone and without any workforce or helpers, was to create a self-sustaining smallholding designed and constructed on Permaculture Principles.
dsc04531This has included planting over 1,000 deciduous trees including two large orchards, as well as many perennials and bushes.
This all supports the developing biodiversity here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Ark for NatureBealtaine Cottage has evolved into an Ark for Nature, with continuous planting and expanding biodiversity.
dsc04691Transforming the cottage interior has meant, wherever possible, the use of re-cycled materials.
There is the recent installation of a compost toilet, put in place to ensure waste products are managed on site.

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageGrowing organically produced food includes a continual, all-year round supply from a purpose-built polytunnel.

Potager beds of abundancePotager beds are now in their second year and producing abundantly!
The land has transformed from monoculture to Eden.

There is a continual, substantial food surplus and this is channelled into the making of wines, jams, pickles, chutney, dried foods and plants.

This approach to living on the Earth, forms the basis of an integrated approach to living with the planet, rather than on the planet.

My Spinning WheelSpinning is one of my favourite crafts, spinning wool and using the surplus ‘shoddy,’ as a fertiliser and mulch for the land.

dsc05250Crafting is an ongoing learning curve, necessity being the mother of invention, as proved here with the recycled floor.
Cold composting ensures a continual development of seed production!

dsc05043Bealtaine Cottage and smallholding continues to be developed in keeping with Permaculture ethics.
The addition of a wood burning stove in the sitting room and a multi fuel stove in the kitchen, has given free hot water, cooking, baking and central heating from a fire fuelled mostly with wood harvested here.

Bealtaine Cottage driveway


Bealtaine Cottage this morning


Now have a peek at the “before” pics…


Over the past 14 years of the Bealtaine Project, Colette has sought to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world, photographing and writing several thousand blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as almost 500 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

In 2017 Colette O’Neill became a published author and was granted ‘Artist’ status by the Irish government.

Link to Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage

184 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Pingback: Cover me - micromovements

  2. I found you while searching on YouTube for videos on permaculture. From the very first video, I became calmer and had hope. In addition, seeing Jack makes my heart sing (unless he gets too close to the road). I love Sammy Bear too of course and I think of Beauty often . I cannot express with words what you and your videos, website, and story have done for me. I was suicidal and now I have hope. Blessings and Peace, Colette.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t remember how I came across your site on Youtube but I am absolutely in love with your place and hope to do some planning & perming 😉 on my small city plot this spring. Can’t wait to get the book. Thx for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Colette as always for sharing; as others have said your posts are not only informative and beautifully photographed but are also a tonic for the soul. X

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Colette
    Suddenly, after a long time of uncertainty and aimlessness, your website finds me, as I was looking on youtube for songs about circle of the year ceremonies. I was instantly hooked and am nearly crying now… it feels like coming home. Now I know, I have to return to the wheel of nature and start celebrating the cornerstones of the year again and life in all it’s specialties. Because it nurtures us on such a deep level. Thank you very much for your dedication towards life and nature. With love from Switzerland.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hi Colette….I cannot find any other way to contact you. I went to your Patreon page and had it connect to my subscriptions. You did not show up ! Maybe thats why no patrons. Also on your youtube page on the ” down below ” …try to make the links for all the ways to connect and buy your book a blue link so that people with only phones can get there easily. I dont have a copy and paste option. Love your vids. Looking forward to the book. Live in Hawaii and love your paradise better !!! ❤ Jennifer


  7. Dear Colette, I am deeply touched by what you have created. I am curious if you offer
    anything like an apprenticeship as it would be a blessing to learn with/from you.
    I for one would consider it a tremendous gift and would love nothing more than that opportunity.
    With deepest admiration


  8. Good evening Collette!

    I do enjoy your blogs, but I would love a way to start at the beginning and read straight through both blogs over time. So far I have not been able to figure out how to do so. Is this possible? If it isn’t currently possible, could you consider doing so?


  9. Thank you so much for the information. I have a hobby of genealogy , but it does not go back as far as you are relating. Beale is also part of a clan in Scotland so has multiple Celtic origins.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I grew up at the foot of Beltany Hill, Co. Donegal and although we don’t live there anymore we have called our house Bealtaine/Beltany. The stone circle at Beltany dates from 1400BC and the carved stone head found there dates from somewhere between 400BC and 400AD. Beal is the Celtic equivalent of Apollo the sun god and Bealtine comes for the fire of Beal/Baal which was lit on May 1st at the start of summer in honour of the Celtic sun god. The latter may be related to Baal (meaning “master”), the forbiddden name of God in the book of Hosea (2:16).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Mainstream at the Edges of the World – Mainstream Permaculture

  12. I am fascinated by your cottage. Do you know where the name of it came from? My husband’s family was in Ireland for hundreds of years and founded a village named Mountmellick near Dublin with two other Quaker families.
    Laurel Beale


  13. I’ve jsut found this site randomly, and been amazed the first sight. I am sure will be back daily to keep reading and just look at the amazing pictures.

    May I ask a bit personal question? After retiring from London, do you have a “normal job”, or you can just get by by the fruits/jams/etc you are producing yourself and selling?

    I am curious because one day I just want to do the same-get away from city life, and be back to Nature. But nowadays, nothing works without money and a salary..:(

    Liked by 2 people

  14. We are travelling through Ireland at the end of April and was wondering if you allow visitors to the cottage?


  15. Hi, I just found your site and I’m overjoyed!! You are living my dream!! I am so very inspired and can’t wait to read all of your blog. What you have done is truly amazing and the pictures you post are breathtaking. I am so very happy to have found you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This page is the find of my life. Although we are in Aus in a region with hot dry climate but wet and boggy in winter and many frosts, I am so inspired by your hard work. I can now stop looking for my dream property and be inspired by what you have done and try to do implement the same energy with our current property. Thank you Thank you..


      • I have already started nurturing but after 5 years I became uninspired as things seem to take so long and we started looking for an established property but after seeing Bealtaine, if my property (of 18 acres) looks anything like yours in 10 years I will be ready to just sit and enjoy and soak up mother nature and thank her. Cheers Jill.. p.s Thank you for inspiration and knowledge and sharing 🙂


  17. Truly inspiring, and so useful for those of us who live in Ireland and enjoy a similar climate, soil, and plants. Thank you very much and blessings from us here in West Cork.


  18. lovely to know another Goddess soul, I sometimes feel we are few, if ever you are in Clare, I would love to have you for tea and cake)0(


  19. I found your blog a few months ago and read it from start to finish.. and fell totally in love with Bealtaine Cottage and your posts. This is my first comment and I just wanted to say you are truly inspirational.. We grow our own fruit and veg as much as possible, keep chickens and bees and are in the process of turning our garden into a wildlife haven. I’m so glad I found your little piece of heaven.. thank you :o) xx


      • Hello, I am truly moved and inspired by your wonderful life, it’s amazing. I would love to spend a night at Bealtaine Cottage and submerge myself in permaculture, which is completely new to me as of today! I have my friend Liz to thank for pointing me in your direction. What you’ve done is incredible, I absolutely salute you. Is it possible to contact you to arrange a visit?


  20. incredible, amazing, absolutely amazing all that you have managed to achieve!! in such a short space of time; I am gobsmacked, inspired and remain hopeful one day I will be able to accomplish something similar in our garden; thank you for showing me it’s possible


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