Posted in Garden, Growing Food, hens, Permaculture, Permaculture Ireland, polytunnel gardening, ponds, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Garden in February (Part One)

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The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept!

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Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is!

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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.

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Daffodils are now up and beginning to flower.

Daffodils on the hill above the cottage, around an old abandoned dwelling are in full bloom!

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Reminders of Winter come and go, but not for long, sometimes just an hour or two of a light dusting of snow.

Never enough to hold back the advance of the seasons!

But beware the wind chill factor that comes with early Spring and wrap up warm when venturing out to work in the garden!

Rhubarb in a permaculture garden

When the sun does shine, it is truly glorious and plants like Rhubarb spring into exuberant life!

A very hungry plant, Rhubarb eats up a generous dressing of well-rotted manure.

Euphorbia at Bealtaine Cottage

Euphorbia comes into life in the flower garden…here it shares a half barrel with a Fig Tree and both like each other’s company!

In fact, the Fig has fruited well year on year since getting a new bed fellow!

bealtaine cottage permaculture feb 2011 002

An old but treasured book is always at hand to delve into for advice on seasonal food, gardening and outdoors work!

I wonder if this little gem is still in print?

Bealtaine permaculture gardens

Beautiful catkins on the Hazel trees…flowers in fact!

Bealtaine Cottage frogs in the pond

The pond is filling with frogspawn and clumps of frogs celebrating the turn in the year as only frogs can!

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 028

Out in the hen-house the girls are in touch with the growing of the light as they come back into lay!

Fox in the garden at Bealtaine Cottage

Mr and Mrs Fox are hungry and on the prowl! I often lay out food at night for the foxes, for the way I see it is simply this: we have interfered with the food chain by removing the animals that would have predated upon foxes.

This is my way of attempting to live in harmony as best I can…and ensuring that the girls in the henhouse are well protected!

Part Two  of THE GARDEN IN FEBRUARY can be found on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

To subscribe, see the link below…

 

I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, YouTube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

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

 

You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

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

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Birds, Cats, Edible Gardens, Garden, hens, Herbs, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding

New Permaculture Orchard

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 007Last year I planted a new orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 008To date there are thirty eight fruit trees planted across the three acres of land here.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 012This new orchard was planted on an area previously fenced off and used for hens over a period of years.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 009This is always a good start, as the land was prepared by the hens in terms of manuring and picking over.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 010Before 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.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 013Over the morning I have been planting yet more layers into the orchard, mainly flowers and herbs to attract and feed the bees…my secret of abundant harvests; where would we be without the bees?

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 014The next phase will include planting a bee-friendly hedge along the south edge of the area.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 015I planted Fuschia and Berberis, Dogwood and Rubus along the north edge.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 016As I cut back around the orchard, cuttings are dropped onto the ground around the trees and bushes as a mulch.
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 021The planting continues as more and more flowers and herbs are brought from my small nursery area, a really important part of any permaculture garden or smallholding! 

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 019As with all my projects here at Bealtaine, I couldn’t resist using some Willow to effect, constructing a simple arbour that will eventually house a home-made bench, on which to sit and sup a cup of tea!
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 024The plan of maximum planting has worked well all over the land here, building resilience as well as fertility into the land, as a forest does naturally.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 002The days have been warm and sunny, with the back door open all day long.

There is such a good balance of biodiversity here that flies don’t seem to be a bother…this can be a serious Irish complaint during the summer months!

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 003I pulled the sofa chair over to the open door as I find the soft sounds of life in the gardens very soothing.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 001Sammy does too!

The idea of planting food trees is taking off here in the west of Ireland.

My local town of Drumshanbo has planted a Community Orchard near the entrance to the town…a great Transition Towns inspiration!

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Earth, hens, Inspiration, Life, Nature, Thoughts

Awakening

www.bealtainecottage.comThere 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.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis awakening can be described in simple terms and that is what I want to do here…simply explain it from my own perspective.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe power of love is building compassion and understanding in all of us.

www.bealtainecottage.comAs with great change comes great extremes too; for the power of destruction is cutting a swathe through life as we have known it.

permaculture at Bealtaine CottageWe are now aware that we are not alone, but one consciousness that is capable of immense good.

DSCF1520We have witnessed the power of that one consciousness being usurped by destructors…those who rally sacrifice yet offer nothing of themselves.

Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine
Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine

These destructors are to be found at corporate, government and military levels of the old paradigm.

www.bealtainecottage.comI say “old paradigm,” in relation to the end of life battle they now wage.

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They know they are doomed.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The death throes of Empire can be ugly to witness, but pay witness to it we must.

www.bealtainecottage.com 060This is all part of the Paradigm Shift, the epiphany many are now in the throes of experiencing.

www.bealtainecottage.com 064This perception of the essential nature of who we are…this intuitive grasp of our own reality.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 021For many it has been a quickening of all the senses.

Gloria, me and FloThere is no new world… we have simply begun to see the beautiful one we have always had. 
With Flo and Gloria We are growing as a species.  

bealtainecottage.com permacultureWe are not fragments of something, we are one.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the tide that cannot be stopped.

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I am reliably informed that the Postal strike here in Ireland is now over…so all Seeds and Willow ordered will be posted out on Thursday 8th October. Thanks for your patience X 

Podcasts will be linked from the new Podcast page listed at the top of the website…go there for the daily podcast or just to catch up.

Bealtaine Cottage YouTube Channel…is free from adverts, with over 100 videos from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A

Seeds and Willow  https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/  All open-pollinated seeds of flowers, vegetables and trees growing under Permaculture for 11 years.

Bealtaine Cottage Podcast  https://soundcloud.com/bealtaine-cottage  A daily podcast from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens   https://www.facebook.com/GoddessGardens  Daily pics of the cottage and gardens, with words and inspiration.

Bealtaine Cottage Website  https://bealtainecottage.com/  is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs. A massive and comprehensive Permaculture resource.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Website   http://bealtainecottage.org/  subscription is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her. To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.  Click on button below to join the website…Thanks for your support.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Follow Your Bliss and the Universe Will Open Doors

Looking out on a May evening...
Looking out on a May evening…

Making a decision is always the most difficult part of moving forward.

DSCF1379In deciding, one simply puts it out there, for the Universe to pick up.

DSCF1382That is what I have done here at Bealtaine Cottage…the next move comes from that energy.

Sammy-Bear takes a seat...
Sammy-Bear takes a seat…

The sale may, or may not happen…but the planting of trees will move forward.

The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens...an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!
The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens…an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!

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.

Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!
Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!

As my friend, Rosie, on Twitter, pointed out to me this morning…“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” -Joseph Campbell

DSCF1394Bealtaine has begun here in the west of Ireland.

Down the steps into the may gardens
Down the steps into the may gardens

Planting is under way of crops and even a few more trees, though mostly the trees are in pots awaiting a forest!

Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.
Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.

Walking around the gardens this morning I snapped these pictures…

Through the Fairy Wood...
Through the Fairy Wood…

 

 

Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor...
Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor…


Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Willow in the Bog Garden
Willow in the Bog Garden
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spring, Uncategorized

Keeping Hens, in the Town or Country

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 The hens have settled into their new home and are all laying.

Happy clucks and soft singing emanates out from the hen house.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe secure enclosure promises to keep the Fox family away…for I have lost too many of my lovely hens to Mr and Mrs Fox. www.bealtainecottage.comInside, the house is spacious and comfortable, with an upstairs and five windows in total!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe 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.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe dirty straw is then used in the gardens as a mega-mulch!www.bealtainecottage.comThe deep litter system allows the girls foraging in a limited space and I collect greens for them on days when they are stay at home.

www.bealtainecottage.comDays when I am in the garden, the girls are allowed out under my watchful eye!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mulching continues unabated, as the grass paths are mowed…grass clippings are piled onto cardboard as a weed suppressant, allowing newly planted trees to get a footing!

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the system I have used for ten years and all the fruit trees are producing well.

www.bealtainecottage.comHonesty is in full bloom now and being enjoyed by the bees.

www.bealtainecottage.comMost of the early bees are bumble bees and are most prolific here at Bealtaine Cottage, where succession planting keeps all visitors fed from February through to the end of November.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe painted stone Cockerel stands guard by the front door of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comNewly mown paths allows everything alongside to look lush!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe Cherry tree, grown from seed, stands covered in blossom,  with the promise of lots of Cherries, some high for the birds and some low for me!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe Bealtaine Feast has begun!

www.bealtainecottage.comSeedlings are flourishing in the late Spring sunshine.

Posted in Art, Bealtaine Cottage, Blessing, celebrations, Cottage, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spring, Wildlife

Easter in a Permaculture Garden…700th Post!

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This is what happens in Permaculture…surplus is fed back into the system or shared out!

www.bealtainecottage.com In this case there was a small surplus of blue paint…the outcome is what you see here!

www.bealtainecottage.comI woke to a magnificent sunrise this morning…Kilronan Mountain is shrouded in mist, so doesn’t appear to exist at all!

www.bealtainecottage.comBees are buzzing and birds are singing to herald in this wonderful Easter weekend here in the west of Ireland!

www.bealtainecottage.comWith 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.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe promise of seedlings has excelled…it appears that every seed sown has germinated!

www.bealtainecottage.com Fortunately, now that I have five beautiful hens, seedlings that are excess to requirements can simply be fed to the hens as a wonderful source of nutrition.

www.bealtainecottage.comSome of the seedlings are also used by me in salads, again a wonderful source of nutrition!

www.bealtainecottage.comSlabs of bedrock, rising out of the earth all over the land here at Bealtaine, show off their pink colour in the drying air of late Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.comPrimroses play peek-a-boo on the driveway.

www.bealtainecottage.comCrocosmia show off a vibrant lime-green in the early morning light.

www.bealtainecottage.comBack to blue, because…

www.bealtainecottage.comI simply cannot resist it!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe vibrant pink of this Saxifrage has found a perfect bed in the gravel driveway…another reason why tarmac is a non-starter here!

www.bealtainecottage.comPrimroses aren’t the only things around here playing peek-a-boo!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mist in the valley has cut off Kilronan Mountain.

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther up the gardens, behind where I now stand, Comfrey, Lovage, Fennel, Valerian and Chives are all about a foot high and looking very robust in the late Spring, early morning light.

www.bealtainecottage.comBy my feet, the Euphorbia flowers.

www.bealtainecottage.comAnd indoors, on the dresser, reminders of Spring and Easter…

www.bealtainecottage.comHappy Easter to all!

PS: Next month will the my tenth anniversary of Bealtaine Cottage.

Today marks the 700th blog!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Childhood, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spring

Sustainable Food Revolution

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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:

Bill Mollison

“. . . 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 double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.

The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few days I have been busy converting this little shed into a new hen house and run…food to swap and share…fresh eggs! it is going to be a simple enough barter, swapping a sack of logs for nine eggs. Most logs are traded at 3.50 a sack, so that’s a fair swap!

www.bealtainecottage.comThat makes a good swap as eggs are getting more expensive by the day and the logs will be delivered to my door! I just have to ensure that the hen house and run are secure against Mr ans Mrs Fox and family!

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As Spring moves across the land, a drying wind is working its magic on the earth. The greening is under-way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe view from the sitting room window is being filled in like a ‘Painting By Numbers,’ canvas. Ash trees are the last to get their leaves and so stand proud in all their silver glory against temperamental Spring skies.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the beautiful Field Maple to the front of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comContinuing my lifelong passion for trees…this is a wall tile I made from clay…complete with tree, a fairy tree.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe lone Fairy Thorn one often sees growing in the middle of fields here in Ireland served as my inspiration. They are often windswept and leaning away from the west.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis sits upon the dresser in the kitchen…a time when preserves were sold in stoneware jars. All containers were re-cycled, in that they were re-used…even milk bottles! Lemonade bottles had a money deposit attached to them and children would collect them up to return to the shop, as a way of earning pocket money!

www.bealtainecottage.comEven cream came in little stoneware jars like this, as it kept cool in the pantry in the days before every home had a fridge!

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
― Juliana Birnbaum FoxSustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

Posted in Abundance, Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Blessing, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality

The Memory of Eden

July permaculture 2011 010What 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.
Permaculture Cottage July 2011 007Our connection to the soil is vital, for it gives us our food.
apple trees at Bealtaine Permaculture Cottage July 2011 011Those who fail to make that connection are doomed to starvation and loss of habitat.
July 2011 permaculture Cottage 004Loss of habitat means certain death.
Is this what is happening all over the Earth right now?
It appears to be so.
Disconnection!
 
July 2011 permaculture cottage 018Earth is not a thing we live upon, but Gaia, as described by James Lovelock.
July 2011 permaculture cottage 005Gaia is affected by everything we do, every breath we take, every loving or hateful action we do to her.
www.bealtainecottage.com 001The collective consciousness we inhabit is being infused by her cries…there are those who are evolved enough to hear and respond, and those who willfully lock themselves out from the trauma our planet is enduring.
September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 020The latter will have to watch their step for Mother earth is angry and will not abide!
September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 017I believe that we are each a part of the Divine Consciousness and dependent on every other living thing.
Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 008I see this grasp of understanding, manifesting in so many people now, that it really lifts my heart!
There is a fusion happening.
October 2011 permaculture Cottage 010This fusion is bringing us all together with all life, every last atom of it!
May 2011 bealtaine cottage 002For those who embrace this, there is a sense of pure joy bestowed upon us by that Consciousness.
May 2011 Bealtaine 036For those who continue on the path of hate and spite, dominance and abuse, there can only be fear and a deep dark corner of a dying planet.
May 2011 Bealtaine 005The atoms we carry within us were once part of the Milky Way, of stars long since vanished back into the Divine Consciousness.
We carry Eden within us.
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Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.There are almost 700 blogs in the archives on this site.I write, photograph and film, in a small way, to give a voice to Mother Earth.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, New Year, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Woodland

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine Cottage

Nine years of planting trees into barren, north-facing land has now awoken a magical earth, with paths that lead forever among dappled shade.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageAnd every now and then open up into a secret garden…

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…or two…

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSome paths get overgrown fast as Nature’s abundance keeps giving.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe thousands of plants all jostle for space…

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine Cottageand are now self-seeding, like this little Cherry tree growing next to an Oak!

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageWillow arches that lead into the Fairy Wood at Midsummer.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe delicate blossom on the Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageA place for tea in the garden on long summer days.

Pond at bealtaine cottageThe standing stone by the lower pond in the Bog Garden.

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensWillow…

willow arches, dogwood and beechWillow…

crossing the pondAnd more Willow!

bog garden of bealtainePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottagePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottageAnd more paths!

Manifesting the Divine FeminineThe lane-way in Summer, walking down to collect…

The postbox at Bealtaine Cottagethe post!

Water garden in permaculture at Bealtaine CottageThe plants take over as Summer holds sway…

Roses at bealtaine cottageAnd roses outside on the veranda go completely crazy!

Gosh…there’s lots more to share for 2013, so a “Part 3” will be needed!

Happy New Year from Bealtaine XXX

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized

A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Culture, Current Affairs, Food, Fracking, Growing Food, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, New Year, Permaculture, Thoughts, Thrift

Where Do We Go From Here?

www.bealtainecottage.com 002

Bealtaine After Samhain

As we approach the end of another year, reflection begins to take form.
As many of you know, I do not have a television and rarely tune into the radio, so, perhaps, I find myself with more time and silence to reflect and think.
www.bealtainecottage.com 003From the little I have experienced this year from the outside world, it appears that economics has been the driving force behind every problem on this tiny planet.
The mass destruction of our earthly home has been driven by economics… cost of living… better termed the cost of dying, for it is like inheritance tax.
The cost of living is an inheritance tax on the planet, forever diminishing what we inherited and scraping the bones of children as yet unborn.
www.bealtainecottage.com 001Fracking the land for gas has been justified by governments and hailed as cheap energy.
Can you tell me the last time your cost of energy fell?
From this little part of Ireland, I have witnessed the rise and rise of energy costs, whether it be gas, oil, coal or renewables…and I look out my kitchen window every day at mountains, covered by wind turbines.
The turbines multiply each year and the cost of electricity spirals out of control.www.bealtainecottage.com 003Why?

Economics…or, a better word, profit.

Nothing for the people who look at these incredible machines every day…nothing!

There is nothing in the present economic model that takes into account the real cost of anything that pays a profit to shareholders.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Take oil for example.

What is the real cost of extracting this energy source from Mother Earth?

The real cost of Nuclear Power is for future children of this Earth to pay for…there is no safe way of dealing with the waste!

Here I stop!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006It is not in my nature to be negative.

I cannot write or talk for long about any sense of helplessness we may feel, looking at the mess we have made.

As a woman, I am a pragmatist.

I was reared in poverty, so have an inbuilt ability to look at the possible.

The solutions are many-fold.

The most immediate solution is, quite simply, consume less.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009By consuming less, we become active participants in a quiet revolution against the status quo that appears to hold sway.

We are only a valued part of the economic model by being greedy consumers.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002We live in a state of scarcity, according to the economic model, for that brings the greatest profit for the economic model. However, as I have said before, we actually live in a world of abundance, if we could just stop and see the possible.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The possibilities inherent in a simple life, where it is highly regarded to switch off lights, bake a loaf of bread, or cake, keep a few hens and grow basic vegetables…  Walk more, value good quality clothes, make shoes last by polishing them…all this and more makes you a member of society with power and not simply a faceless consumer.

Bench by entrance porchConsider what it is you want in the year that lies before us.

Visualize the world you want to live in.

Create a picture of a future for children as yet unborn…those we will never see, but can only imagine.

Imagine their world, for you are creating it.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Is that power enough for you?

Posted in Animals, Dogs, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees

Flo, Gloria and Me!

With Flo and Gloria I visited my daughter Cara yesterday.

I wanted to see how Gloria, (I will survive, Gaynor) the hen was settling in. When the fox killed her five sisters, Gloria was left injured and traumatised.

But, like the song, she’s a survivor…so my daughter Cara agreed to re-home her in a new environment, where she could put the past behind her!

Here she is, strutting her stuff and being very confident and bossy!

She is a real pet and eats all the slugs in Cara’s garden. 

Flo, with me holding GloriaI supported Cara with ideas and plants as she designed and evolved her first garden, using recycled materials and plants grown from seed and cuttings.

You can see one of the little benches made from recycled wood and fixed into the ground, in the background, under some very healthy Willow!

September 2013 in Cara's garden.It is amazing just how many habitats there are now, in this once bare lawn.

me and Flo, with Gloria looking onFlo is another rescue dog…she was turned out of a car when heavily pregnant and went on to birth five pups in a little nest I made for her behind the sofa in Bealtaine Cottage.

Gloria, me and FloShe is much loved and a delightful little girl…very wilful too…and she’s friends with Gloria!

All girls together…come on now…

At first I was afraid I was petrified I kept thinking I could never live…Oh, no, not I, I will survive, as long as I got love to give I know I’ll stay alive…yeah!

Posted in Abundance, Bees, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds

Growing Food in Cottage Gardens

Roses at bealtaine cottageIt’s a perfect day for being in the garden, with just the right amount of sun and shade as the voluminous clouds drift overhead, sun shines full in between and there’s just a promise of rain!

roses on verandaThe roses on the veranda are hanging so low that one has to limbo-dance under them to get in and out of the cottage.

roses at bealtaine cottageIn doing this manoeuvre, one gets smothered in the most heavenly scent.

weed suppressing with cardboardMy friend, Terri brought lots of cardboard and seaweed from Connemara and I laid the cardboard down in the new orchard yesterday.

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodThe seaweed is being spread on the Potager beds much to the disdain of the slugs…but they will move out, deeper into the gardens, where their voracious appetites will be welcomed!

bees and peas at bealtaine cottagePeas are podding…these are an Irish heritage variety and seeds will be saved!

Peas and Bees at Bealtaine CottageThe bees work hard here at Bealtaine Cottage to make sure I have harvests of abundance every year!

Young Kale in the Potager Beds at Bealtaine CottageKale and Broccoli are thriving in between herbs and flowers.

Potager bed at Bealtaine CottageGarlic stands ready to be harvested.

Young Pumpkins at Bealtaine CottageOnions are thriving and Pumpkins are finally rooting in and beginning to grow.

Roses at Bealtaine CottageCara, who now has Gloria, is delighted to report that the aforementioned hen adores slugs and eats 20-30 daily.

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Raspberries are coming into fruit.

Sweet Joe Pye at Bealtaine CottageSweet Joe Pye…food for the eye…soon to be in flower!

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Salads are continually harvested from the tunnel…mixed with much herbs and very tasty!

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Blackcurrants ripen towards a promise of Cordial, Wine, Jam and Chutney.

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Mother Earth knows no austerity!

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Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Country Living, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Trees

Permaculture Orchard and Spring Well

New mulched permaculture orchardAn update on the new orchard…the mulching continues as the blossom breaks on the little trees.

Permaculture Orchard at Bealtaine CottageLots of nettles have been chopped and layered on the mulch!

mulching the orchardThe path is being extended, as I find time to do a little more and a little more!

Look who has made a little bed for himself on the weed suppressing mat…

New apple trees in the permaculture orchardThis project will continue into the autumn as I have several other projects on the go, including the new kitchen floor.

Herbs in tyres at Bealtaine CottageHerbs are lovely flowers to grow and these are growing just outside the Lodge.

Chives, Feverfew, Comfrey, Clary Sage and Ox-Eye Daisies all happily growing together!

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe hen house this morning…I leave the girls in long enough for them to lay.

This is the entrance from the new orchard.

I have just returned from cleaning out the well up on the hill.

The water tank had stopped filling and had, in fact dried out.

A visit to the well confirmed my suspicion that the pipe had clogged up with plant life!

I can hear the water filling in the tank in the loft as I type.

The hens at Bealtaine CottageThe hens are all in good shape now and are the most passive and calm little creatures I have ever encountered.

Hens at Bealtaine CottageJust adorable!

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine CottageThe Lime trees are now in leaf.

I have discovered that these trees grow very well from cuttings!

Pollarded Willow at Bealtaine CottageWillow is growing thick and fast on the pollarded trees.

This will grow up to 15 feet high, making great fedging lengths this autumn.

Posted in Abundance, Baking, Current Affairs, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Great Food Fraud

lettuce in the tunnelThere is a pleasure in making the connection between our food and where it comes from.

strawberries in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageSo many children grow up not knowing where their food has come from, or the value of what they are eating.

hens in the permaculture gardenOn the day I brought the hens home, I stood and watched them for simply ages!

I watched them investigate their new home and make soft little shrilling sounds, as they approved of the fresh straw and new found space.

Bealtaine Cottage pearsWhat we plant and grow tastes so much better than food we buy.

Of course it does!

Food in supermarkets can be weeks old before it’s eaten!

Not only that but the irradiation can make the food eternal…well almost!

Tomatoes I bought several weeks ago, remain in the pantry, perfect…what on earth are these people doing to our food?

Tomatoes at Bealtaine CottageYes, it prolongs the shelf life of the food we buy, but it also destroys the enzymes in the food!

This procedure involves exposing food to gamma rays from a nuclear source and has wide-reaching implications for our health and the environment.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants in the Permaculture GardensIrradiation is a way of utilising nuclear waste materials to keep food fresh longer and reduce the risk of food poisoning by killing the bacteria.

The food is killed, as it damages it by breaking up molecules and creating free radicals.

The free radicals kill some bacteria, but they also move around in the food, damaging vitamins and enzymes.

The free radicals combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, called unique radiolytic products.

Bealtaine Cottage lettuce in the potager gardenI could go on…you begin to understand why fresh, home-grown food is best!

Purple Sprouting Broccoli grown at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMost people are prepared to pay a little more for fresh food but are unaware of the real age of the food they call “fresh!”

A loaf of bread may be 10 days old!

apple jelly at Bealtaine CottageTesco was recently reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority on claiming that it sold “fresh bread baked from scratch!”

Naughty and not nice Tesco, caught with pants on fire!

Tesco and most other supermarkets, ship in part baked loaves and finish baking them in in-store ovens!

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageThere are really very few, if any, cakes, bread or buns actually made in the supermarkets!

Permaculture Cottage Sep 2011 013Many fresh vegetables are flown in from all over the world and the average age of fresh peas, broccoli etc is about 10 days old!

Compare that to the stir fry I made yesterday, with vegetables a few minutes old.

Apple harvest at Bealtaine CottageOr the juice made with “freshly picked from outside the back door herbs” and fruit.

The weekend is almost here!

Why not get some food growing for yourself, for, after all, fresh is best and you will be saving money too!

Against , gathering tomorrow 1pm at the corner of O’Connell & Grattan Street, Sligo.

Posted in Badgers, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Ecology, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Woodland

An Irish Ark

Lunaria, Honesty in the permaculture tunnel

Lunaria and Fennel in the tunnel today.

The Latin name Lunaria means “moon-like” and refers to the decorative seed-pods.

It’s warm and dry and great for working outdoors.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThe clothes line is heavy with clothes moving gently in the breeze…a perfect Spring day!

I do not own an electric dryer, or a washing machine.

Washing clothes by hand in Spring water leaves them soft and smelling beautifully.

Buds on the Damson tree in the permaculture gardens

The Damson tree is now in blossom, with a strong prospect of plentiful fruit.

Cherry and Apple trees are almost ready to break blossom!

Euphorbia in a barrel

Euphorbia in a barrel outside the veranda today.

The lime green of the flowers are so joyful at this time of year!

That’s Valerian coming up at the front of the barrel.

Primroses at Bealtaine Cottage

Primroses on the driveway this morning.

I have never seen this many Primroses in bloom across the permaculture gardens.

There has been a huge amount of self-seeding over recent years and, with the absence of livestock, plants have grown and flourished in abundance!

I believe that there are more species of plants in the 3 acres of Bealtaine Cottage than anywhere else in Ireland.

Many of these are indigenous and some even rare!

It will be an interesting study to complete, when cataloguing all the plant life here.

Bealtaine Cottage  badger settBealtaine Cottage is evolving into an Ark of sorts, where many species are protected from livestock, chemicals, pesticides and the urge to dominate Nature!

Looking at the picture above of the Badger sett here in the gardens, Mr and Mrs badger will testify to that!

Hens in the permaculture gardens

The hens are out in the sunshine, just basking on the grass.

They have begun to lay eggs and appear to be quite content.

Bealtaine Cottage entrance to the fairy dell woodland

The Fairy Wood in summer…just about 8 weeks away from Midsummer!

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Posted in Garden, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring, Thoughts, Wild Flowers

The Drama Unfolds…

Lower pond in flood at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

The rain has fallen for 48 hours.

Heavy, relentless rain, that has washed down the hill behind the cottage and into the ditches, I constructed for such a deluge.

The water is carried around the ditches and into the stream bed that flows down through the Fairy Wood and on, into the ponds.

This is how it looked, as water rushed into the lower pond, about 10 minutes ago!

The Barn at Bealtaine Cottage, midwinter 2012Visitors are coming this afternoon and more tomorrow…I hope they bring their wellies!

The Bog garden is not navigable in this weather otherwise!

Tulips in April at bealtaine CottageAll is not wet though…there’s a nice warm stove in the kitchen and the air temperature outside isn’t too cold.

In between the downpours, the sun shines, reflected by the watery scene that makes up the gardens today.

April at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardensThe birds are singing and the wind-chimes are melodic rather than frenetic! April Bealtaine Cottage Lunaria in the tunnelThe hens have settled in well and have even laid a few eggs!

They don’t mind being indoors, as the roof on the hen-house is transparent and tilted to the south, admitting the sun as it shines on.

April Celandines at  Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThe lovely aspect to April is the sheer drama of it all…and total unpredictability!

The archives here at Bealtaine Cottage on WordPress contain over 500 blogs

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Posted in Birds, Bloom, Cats, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Spring, Uncategorized

Hens in the Permaculture Garden

Hens in permacultureSix hens have come to live at Bealtaine Cottage.

They arrived on Saturday, looking rather bedraggled and grungy.

With their new lifestyle, here at the permaculture gardens, an overall improvement in their appearance and well-being is guaranteed.

hens in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageIt was lovely to take my cup of tea outside and simply watch the hens as they explored their new home.

I can get quite lost just watching them…I think they may be hypnotising me!

Amethyst Horn at Bealtaine CottageThe morning is sunny, though interrupted with showers of rain, sometimes quite heavy too!

Flowering Currant at Bealtaine CottageWe had about a month without rain and so the earth was more than ready to receive the heavy showers.

Seeds in the permaculture gardensSeeds are doing amazingly well as the temperatures rise!

Bealtaine Cottage plants in tinsAnother week or so and it’ll be difficult to keep up with the progress…so all the more important to get everything into shape now in terms of preparedness.

I have made a short video so you can see the girls settling into their new lives here at Bealtaine.

There is also some footage of the seed progress and the flowering Lunaria.

This is the video I’ve posted today…

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The archives here at Bealtaine Cottage on WordPress contain over 500 blogs

You can also visit Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube, with over 80 videos uploaded for you to enjoy.

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Posted in Animals, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

Transformation Permaculture

Bealtaine Cottage PermaculturePermaculture is about creating a beautiful space that feels like paradise.

Bealtaine Cottage permacultureIt’s about taking better care of oneself and the planet.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculturePermaculture design can be applied in the city just as easily as the country.

Bealtaine Cottage permacultureReal permaculture is about taking care of ourselves in a way that is in relation to the planet.

Bealtaine Cottage permacultureThe notion of paradise is one that has been sold to us as only attainable after death.

Bealtaine Cottage permacultureStrange really…as this earth is the paradise we have been waiting for! Bealtaine Cottage permaculturePermaculture is a path towards more meaningful living, where all aspects of one’s life are connected.

Bealtaine Cottage wine makingPermaculture design is focused on skills, rather than the money to buy whatever it is one needs, or is told one has to have!

Bealtaine Cottage veranda and courtyardThe way we design and build our homes, often excludes the way in which we live our lives.

Bealtaine Cottage verandaFor example, here in Ireland we have an excess of rain, so a covered veranda makes good sense.

Hens at Bealtaine Cottage Jan 2012Of all the new houses I have seen constructed, not one has a veranda. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Permaculture is about re-connecting…with everything that makes up our lives.

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Posted in Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Gardening, Growing Food, hens, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Eggs For Swap and other interesting ideas!

Despite the worst of the weather over the past two months, the raised beds planted out about eight weeks ago are producing abundantly!

Continual rain has not deterred production.

Even the grey skies have not stopped or slowed down growth…could this be anything to do with the stones used in constructing the beds and the white gravel which reflects whatever light there may be?

It certainly is a most unusual micro-climate that has been made here in the west of Ireland.

The beds themselves sit atop gravel, so are really well-drained.

They are lined along the bottom with sheep’s wool, which deters slugs and feeds the plants.

The area is well sheltered and south facing.

No harsh winds manage to invade this micro-climate area as the surrounding trees and bushes offer maximum protection.

Today’s video takes you around what is growing in the two beds.

You can click on the link at the bottom of this blog to access the video on YouTube!

I have plans to build another raised bed in this same area very soon…perhaps this week.

On another note entirely, I went along to the Boot-Sale in Carrick this morning and bought a fine addition to the kitchen, as you can see above, for a mere 20 euros!

Recycling at it’s best!

I am planning to get some hens this week and my dear friends Anne and Simon have offered me a fine cockerel to chaperone the girls.

I am making a sign to hang at the end of the lane…it will read, “Eggs For Swap” as swapping is much more beneficial than money!

I’m thinking, perhaps a bag of logs for some deliciously fresh eggs…or whatever is offered within reason…anyway, it should be much more fun than boring old money!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmg9_FJspwE

Posted in Abundance, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Ireland, Permaculture, Summer, Uncategorized, Wine

Easy Permaculture Soft Fruit Growing

Growing food could not be easier than this!

Just a small part of last summer’s crop of Blackcurrants here at Bealtaine Cottage! 

Simply take a heel cutting from a Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Jostaberry, Gooseberry and plug it into the soil…

The girls enjoying the spent blackcurrants, left over from making Blackcurrant cordial!

Nature will do the rest…

Watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-8SMynuOgM&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

Posted in Bloom, celebrations, Country Living, Culture, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Towards the Equinox…

Pink Ribes and Spring sunshine are both, most welcome.

There was no need to light the stove this morning as the weather is so mild!

The hens are happy to be out on the land for longer as the daylight hours increase and we head towards the Spring Equinox.

Forsythia is in bloom and the “haze,” of green continues to spread over all plant-life…it is both remarkable and beautiful!

Work continues at a rapid pace here at the smallholding, as Spring is advancing with some gusto…there is little time to get all the work that has to be done out of the way…each year is a race against time!

Produce for sale in the porch at the front of the cottage.

Saint Patrick’s day is not far off… 

From Shamrock Song by Katherine Tynan

Irish hills, as grey as the dove,
Know the little plant I love;
Warm and fair it mantles them
Stretching down from throat to hem.

And it laughs o’er many a vale,
Sheltered safe from storm and gale;
Sky and sun and stars thereof
Love the gentle plant I love.

Soft it clothes the ruined floor
Of many an abbey, grey and hoar,
And the still home of the dead
With its green is carpeted.

(If not I?)

Posted in Country Living, Earth, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized

The Life Force that is Spring…

The morning is damp.

This has been one of the wettest winters on record!

The earth is water-logged!

Despite this, the spring is coming in fast…

Kerria is just starting to bud, it will be a couple of weeks and full bloom will show.

Catkins are making a fine show on many of the willow varieties.

Cotoneaster buds continue to thicken and the Dogwood tips have gone a brilliant shade of lime green. This makes a stunning contrast to the red stems!

Catkins have come through on most of the willow and some have even shedded and come into leaf…yes, Spring has sprung !

Even the girls are fussing over eggs, despite the absence of a cockerel!

There must be hundreds of frogs in the upper and lower ponds this morning…it sits in huge pools of thick, shiny blackness all over the ponds.

There’s a green haze covering some of the older trees, especially in the distance where an ancient oak nestles into a dip between a stream and hillock. It’s top-most branches have developed a dull green haze, almost like an aura of life!

Posted in Animals, Books, Country Living, Crafts, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Poetry, Uncategorized

The Road Not Taken…

Spent the day learning more about basketry in another great workshop organized by Tom Browne at Corrigeenroe near Boyle, here in County Roscommon.
I am tired, but looking forward to day 2 of the willow weaving and basketry, tomorrow.

This is a fabulous, fabulous hen basket woven by Tom, to transport hens in…isn’t this just the best looking and most practical basket you ever did see? It has a gorgeous little door on the front and will hold several hens in pure comfort.

Something worth mentioning is the fact that the hen basket is a completely unique design…Tom’s own craft-work! Admired for sure and perhaps copied as well!

The beginnings of another basket..

Tea…hot, comforting tea…and a chance to put my feet up and contemplate my endeavours…I shall dream of willow and baskets and patterns and possibilities… 

I adore Robert Frost and his poetry…this is one of my favourites…I was reciting this in my head as I drove home from Corrigeenroe tonight…

It is, perhaps, one of the most philosophical poems I have ever read and loved!

Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost

Posted in Books, Climate, Country Living, Garden, hens, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring, Uncategorized

Rainbows Before Imbolc

 

As I write this, the rain is lashing down around the walls of the cottage. it’s Friday and the weather is almost mid-March in it’s behaviour…wild, windy, mild and wet!


It has been a day of rainbows…I’ve counted four so far! And the sun, when it does shine through, is brilliant!


The rain has now turned to hailstones!

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
― Cormac McCarthyAll The Pretty Horses

Little bits of work has been done over the course of the day, including cleaning out the hen-house and continuing to cut willow.

“Dang! Look at that RAINBOW!” Piper shouted, accidently spewing bits of apple pie from her overstuffed mouth. All quickly turned and saw…
…exactly what Piper claimed, a rainbow.”
― Victoria ForesterThe Girl Who Could Fly

Thomas Hardy

“WEATHERS
This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly;
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at ‘The Traveller’s Rest,’
And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.

This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.”
― Thomas Hardy

Posted in Birds, Country Living, hens, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency

A Life in the Country ~ The Bealtaine Cottage Girls are having a Bath!

The hens are having a dust bath in the barn!

I caught them unexpectantly as I was passing…

This is one of the best aspects of keeping hens…getting to see what they’re really like…and liking them even more for it!

Keeping hens is very little work if everything is done well from the start. That means a solid hen-house and enclosure for when they cannot roam in the gardens and this can be, for example, when friends with dogs visit…I once had a beautiful cockerel savaged by a friend’s dog…we fell out afterwards!

So here are three very happy girls…enjoy!