Food in the Midwinter Garden

dsc05676

It’s surprising just how much food is growing in the gardens of Bealtaine at this time of year, the time of scarcity…but far from it!

dsc05673dsc05672dsc05671There’s the makings of a decent salad, with Fennel, Japanese salads like Mizuna and others as well as a lovely edible garnish in the form of Pansy flowers.

dsc05670dsc05675In other parts of the gardens, where little micro-climates exist in the form of stones and shed walls, there’s Flat-leaf Parsley and Thyme.

I used Thyme in roasted potatoes yesterday…delicious!

dsc05664Purple Sprouting Broccoli is giving lots of florets…delicious raw or cooked and full of goodness! dsc05663Then there’s Leeks…all grown from saved seed and the stronger for it!

dsc05662Elsewhere in the gardens I found stands of Kale…shred this in salads and roast as chip dips!

dsc05669dsc05668Here and there in the flower beds and in pots…lots of Sage and Rosemary…great herbs to add taste to root vegetables at this time of year!

dsc05666Bay is growing in abundance, quite acclimatised to the Irish climate.

dsc05674Golden Oregano continues to thrive past Midwinter.

All of this is growing outdoors, not in the tunnel and these pics were snapped today, 26th of December!

dsc05651Even the Rhubarb is beginning to produce!

dsc05642There’s lots of other food in the garden…for birds and small mammals, in the form of berries.

Seeds are available from the link below…

 

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

To join the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

Make It, Mend It.

As the Winter nights draw in, we have a sense of being confined to home. This is the time when many people feel there is little to do, often resorting to whiling away the evenings doing nothing much…and I speak from personal experience more’s the shame!

The reality is actually quite different from that which we first encounter, for this is not time we have to pass, but down time allowing us to catch up, prepare for the lighter days ahead and make plans.

There lies ahead of us a mere 5-6 weeks to that most busiest of holiday seasons, Yule…Christmas.

This is the perfect time to give home-made gifts…especially edibles!

I say especially edibles because much of what passes as Christmas food in the shops is really quite mediocre.

For real taste and great packaging, nothing beats home-made!

Jam, wine, knits, biscuits, bakes…the possibilities are endless!

And the other half of this title?

Mend it…the economy of home management. Sewing, knitting, darning, painting, upcycling…a good lamp to work by and work away!

Of course, all this is about skills, and no better time to learn a new skill than by joining an evening class and meeting like-minded people.

Come to think of it…there really is very little time over the course of one winter to get half of it all done!

If you’re short of ideas on sending gifts abroad, then have a peek on the Bealtaine Cottage Seed site.

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

I’m happy to act as Mother Christmas and despatch beautifully wrapped seeds, with a card including your message, to deserving recipients all over the world…

Moving with Orion Towards Midwinter

017

The signs are everywhere…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Nights drawing in…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 003

Unexpected sunshine on frosted mornings.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 055

The bare beauty of trees silhouetted against clear winter skies. 

Full Moon at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

As Orion strides across the evening sky, we draw closer to the Winter Solstice and the darkest, stillest, nights of the year.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 001

Winter Solstice celebrations begin on the 21st of December, a time of hope and joy for all, regardless of belief or religious observances.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 040

Magical Midwinter!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 015

Ancient tribes all over the world observed rituals around Solstice time.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 007

We too can  celebrate Winter Solstice, integrating it into our own traditional celebrations.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

A chance to step outdoors and observe the night sky.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

An opportunity to nurture and develop connections to family and friends.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

From this day, there are 22 days to go before the descent into the Midwinter Solstice.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 006

Yes, the coldest days precede the Spring, so January rarely feels like the prelude to that beautiful season!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

But, here in the West of Ireland, with Imbolc on the first day of February, the signs are there for all to see, as new life emerges from the frozen earth.

*************

Thanks for your support in sustaining and developing this site.