Developing a Woodland from Zero

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From monoculture rushy land to woodland in under twelve years.

Not just any woodland, but a food forest woodland, as you can see from one of the thousand plus trees planted above…a Greengage!

This is the only lawn here, enjoyed by Jack!

DSC01549There follows a series of forty plus photographs taken here at Bealtaine Cottage in July 2016.

DSC01548DSC01494DSC01547 The Bealtaine Cottage Land Restoration Project was started in late 2004.

DSC01495It was a challenge for one woman with zero resources to restore what was deemed by the EU as “Poor Land”…a term I vehemently challenge!

DSC01496DSC01497There is no such thing as “Poor Land”  just ABUSED EARTH!

DSC01498DSC01499DSC01500As with all EU projects that entail putting Mother Earth first, there was zero funding for this!

DSC01501DSC01503DSC01504Not to be deterred…(I never am!) at the age of forty eight, I took on a mortgage to help buy this bereft, sad-looking little place, with the dream of returning it to Eden.

DSC01506DSC01507DSC01508I believe the Earth is sacred.

DSC01510DSC01509DSC01511The rest of the story is told here in these photographs…

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The fact that I have planted this entirely on my own, growing much of what you see from seeds and cuttings, makes this a workable model for anyone to follow…

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A Loaded Gun

“Western civilization is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet.”
Terence McKenna

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I was shocked when I first read this quote!

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However, it is not a statement I can debate, because, from where I am at this moment in time, I have to agree.

It is short and succinct!

It is true.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Returning recently from a shopping trip to Sligo, my head aching from the slow trawl around shops, keeping apace with other shoppers, most of whom seemed in a trance-like state, almost zombified; it struck me that many were there as a source of passive entertainment.

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Shopping has become a pastime for many.

What does this say about our society?

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Is it merely that we are nothing more than consumers?

Let’s face it, our governments have long since created the global economic model upon that premise, that we are consumers of a vast global shopping mall.

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I live in the EU, where the government in Brussels are continually at odds with people, like myself, who demand a more democratic representation of our views.

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Many of these disagreements focus around the EU contamination by big business and corporations which run inherently different policies to the representation of the people.

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Those I speak with, especially on the Bealtaine Cottage website, are sickened and angry with such things as the TTIP, Monsanto, agricultural policies and suchlike!

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For my part, I loathe guns and any analogies to them.

I do not want to be part of a loaded gun pointed at Mother Earth!

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Yet, we are governed in a way which is opposite to what we believe to be right!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

I was happy to get home from shopping.

My head was sore!

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All the over-wrapped, cheaply produced goods made me feel sick.

Plastic and chemicals that I knew my beautiful Mother Earth would have to deal with!

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As the car turned into the entrance to Bealtaine, I heaved a sigh of relief.

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I imagine that feeling to be an integral part of what the land releases on a daily basis…

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I can’t change the system of corruption within government, but I am aware of its inexorable collapse…for this madness is not sustainable.

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We all know, like the Titanic, it’s going down.

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And, like the Titanic, those on the bridge can neither see the disaster in front of them, nor believe their vessel to be so easily destroyed.

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Circling Celebrations

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Winter is the time for comfort, for
good food and warmth, for the touch
of a friendly hand and for a talk beside
the fire:  it is the time for home.

Edith Sitwell

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                   And so the story of Autumn and Winter begins, not in cold and dark, but comfort and light.
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                                                 A time to take stock and nestle into home.
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                                 A time for simplicity of food before the excitement of Samhain.
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                We move inexorably through the year, circling around celebrations, family and friends.
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         This is what it means to be part of a society…planning and sharing the days we look forward to, as well as bringing camaraderie and support on days less well favoured. 
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                As I uploaded these photographs this morning, I enjoyed a sense of timelessness.
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            Even as I move around Bealtaine on my own, the sense of ‘with others’ pervades the air.
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                              Perhaps, in the world we cannot see, there are many around us.
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                                                             This would not surprise me.
                        My mother often said she felt surrounded by people here at this little cottage.
                                                                              I do too. 
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                                      “In a way Winter is the real Spring–the time when
the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.”

Edna O’Brien

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                                                           Like Edna, I look forward to the
quiet time of Winter, for the quiet solitude; a time for contemplation. 
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