The Evolution of Bealtaine Cottage…a Fifteen Year Odyssey

I shall begin with Bealtaine Cottage… The plan in the beginning was to create a garden with hundreds of trees interspersed with paths that would become a symbol of regeneration and hope in a landscape that represented one of the poorest and therefore cheapest places to create. North-facing, thin, poor soil- my first book, ‘A Cottage and Three Acres,’ details the story well. (And, by the way, the tunnel is fifteen years old with the original plastic covering…nothing special, 6mm and middle price range in case you are interested!) The plan evolved into a full Permaculture design in the first…

Shape-shifting in Ireland

The stories of shape-shifting can be found in many cultures throughout the world, but none so prominently as that found in Celtic culture. Within the near area of Bealtaine Cottage can be found a wealth of ancient history many thousands of years old. The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. These people who appeared to “land on top of a mountain”, Sliabh an Iarainn, a great brooding mass of sandstone rock and thin soil, visible from Bealtaine Cottage.  The ancient manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that…

So Grateful

Mother Earth is thriving. Her abundance is nothing less than magnificent. Everywhere on this land She thrives. I have found a great many Cherry Trees She has seeded and grown over the past two years, but have remained hidden in the general mayhem of Spring and Summer, only to be discovered this year as Spring seemed to struggle and lag behind, so allowing me to see. It is simply delightful to behold. The mother tree was planted by me a mere 13 yrs ago and already she has brought forth abundance. This Field Maple is bearing fruit this year and…

Bealtaine Cottage Early Summer Album

It has been some time… “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James Just as the rosebuds are swelling, early Summer makes an appearance. It has been a long cold Winter and Spring. Euphorbia has brightened the veranda with its vivid lime green. And finally, finally the garden stirs into full life. “Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” ~ Pablo Neruda “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet…

The Arrogance of Certainty

Thirteen years ago I made a decision to follow my heart and return to Ireland, with a mighty quest. I wanted to prove the cynics and naysayers wrong. I believed it was possible and doable to repair Mother Earth…at least a small part of her, whatever little piece I could afford to buy. Now, thirteen years is a short time in the scheme of things and those who have looked at the before pictures are as amazed as I am at the speed, health and abundance of her recovery! It is important to state here, for the record, that most…

In Search of the Goddess Rising

A blessed day to you! This morning is very special, for a series of events have come together to illuminate for me what I have to do next. An email from a friend, a dedication for my spring well in the Fairy Wood and an image of a sacred megalithic grave not far from Bealtaine. I am, from this morning, in search of the Goddess in the landscape from Bealtaine to the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding countryside. What began as a quest for Eden, thirteen years ago, has evolved into a quest to find the Goddess in all her secret…

Goddess Permaculture 39…Exposed!

Thirty nine photographs of the Goddess at her best, as we rise towards Midsummer…a mere twenty four days away! An abundance of fruit, flowers and vegetables, captured this morning on film, images from a small part of the three acres of Bealtaine Cottage, in the west of Ireland…all growing on this “poor” agricultural land. I won’t take up too much of your time with words, for I would rather you simply enjoy the images, as I have done whilst drinking my morning coffee and walking the land. Many thanks to Majella and Derek who brought me the beautiful little Oak…

Bealtaine Cottage…the Book!

  Finally…on the home run as they say, working on the cover of my long-awaiting book, “A Cottage and Three Acres”. There’s a few bits on the cover (shown below), to be tweaked, such as the colour of the text and white stitching around the photo on the front (this is it laid out flat!)…but these are the tiny details. (See above for the final version, just updated!) The book will be printed in the next week or two, all going well! The timeline should see books being posted off from Bealtaine Cottage by the middle to end of March….

Homemade Bread and Book Update

As promised, here’s the recipe for my easy to make/bake and life-sustaining bread… For this recipe you’ll need a heavy cast iron saucepan and lid. I use a Le Creuset one, but any cast iron one is good! I use the cup method of measurement since my daughter Cara bought me some stainless steel measuring cups for my birthday 2 cups organic wholemeal flour…spelt flour makes for a lighter bread! 2 cups organic white flour 2 cups mixed pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, linseed and poppy seeds. You can choose your own mix to taste! 1 & 1/2 tsps dried yeast 1…