Garden in February (Part One)

The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept! Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is! Bronze fennel, that most vigorous of herbs and also a brilliant addition to the flower garden, starts to produce tasty leaves that can be added to early Spring salads. Rocket has over-wintered well in the tunnel and forms the base ingredient. Daffodils are now up and beginning to flower. Daffodils on the hill above…

New Permaculture Orchard

Last year I planted a new orchard at Bealtaine Cottage. To date there are thirty eight fruit trees planted across the three acres of land here. This new orchard was planted on an area previously fenced off and used for hens over a period of years. This is always a good start, as the land was prepared by the hens in terms of manuring and picking over. Before the trees were planted I laid down a generous spread of seaweed and covered this with cardboard, to hold back the weeds for a year or so. Over the morning I have…

Awakening

There is a spiritual event taking place…a coming into awareness of something so fundamentally awesome and life changing that is spreading into the consciousness of all life. This awakening can be described in simple terms and that is what I want to do here…simply explain it from my own perspective. The power of love is building compassion and understanding in all of us. As with great change comes great extremes too; for the power of destruction is cutting a swathe through life as we have known it. We are now aware that we are not alone, but one consciousness that is…

Follow Your Bliss and the Universe Will Open Doors

Making a decision is always the most difficult part of moving forward. In deciding, one simply puts it out there, for the Universe to pick up. That is what I have done here at Bealtaine Cottage…the next move comes from that energy. The sale may, or may not happen…but the planting of trees will move forward. I have done what was asked of me and agreed to the sacrifice. What happens next is synchronicity and the will of Divine Energy…The Forest of Bealtaine will happen in the same magical way as Eden emerged here at Bealtaine Cottage. As my friend,…

Keeping Hens, in the Town or Country

 The hens have settled into their new home and are all laying. Happy clucks and soft singing emanates out from the hen house. The secure enclosure promises to keep the Fox family away…for I have lost too many of my lovely hens to Mr and Mrs Fox. Inside, the house is spacious and comfortable, with an upstairs and five windows in total! The system is similar to the one I used in London for over a decade. It is known as a deep litter system, using lots of straw. The dirty straw is then used in the gardens as a…

Easter in a Permaculture Garden…700th Post!

This is what happens in Permaculture…surplus is fed back into the system or shared out! In this case there was a small surplus of blue paint…the outcome is what you see here! I woke to a magnificent sunrise this morning…Kilronan Mountain is shrouded in mist, so doesn’t appear to exist at all! Bees are buzzing and birds are singing to herald in this wonderful Easter weekend here in the west of Ireland! With the emergence of Spring, several weeks ago now, there has been an accumulation of heat and light working on the earth that promises an early Summer. The promise…

Sustainable Food Revolution

Living in a time when the cost of food is rising day on day, it might be time to re-think the lawn! This is what Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement has to say on the subject: “. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like…

The Memory of Eden

What is it that makes so many farmers and gardeners want to burn vegetative material? The same happens here in Ireland, a country with the lowest tree cover in all of Europe! This is essential for building soil, in fact is the only thing apart from erosion of rock, that actually gives us soil. Our connection to the soil is vital, for it gives us our food. Those who fail to make that connection are doomed to starvation and loss of habitat. Loss of habitat means certain death. Is this what is happening all over the Earth right now? It…

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Nine years of planting trees into barren, north-facing land has now awoken a magical earth, with paths that lead forever among dappled shade. And every now and then open up into a secret garden… …or two… Some paths get overgrown fast as Nature’s abundance keeps giving. The thousands of plants all jostle for space… and are now self-seeding, like this little Cherry tree growing next to an Oak! Willow arches that lead into the Fairy Wood at Midsummer. The delicate blossom on the Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree. A place for tea in the garden on long…