Garden to Visit in Ireland…Unique…Permaculture!

Yesterday was a busy day for me as I worked tirelessly in the gardens, cutting, clearing and ensuring all the paths are open for visitors.

I always carry my camera with me, so here are some of the shots I took on my walk around after I’d finished my work!

It was a hard day, but, as you can see, well worth it.

I continue today and will share pics later on!

Love and Blessings XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

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To arrange a visit to Bealtaine Cottage and the 3 acre Permaculture Garden created by one woman from monoculture land, go to

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Rose-hips, Rain and Recipe for Rose-hip Syrup

The sun rises in a cooler sky, as the mist crawls slowly along the valley floor, in from Lough Meelaugh, past Kilronan castle to eventually meet the mists that cover the giant stretch of water that is Lough Allen.

Autumn is a time of mists, just as Samhain merges into Winter, so do the mists swirl and merge away off into the low clouds.

Lough Allen is an English translation from the Gaelic, meaning ‘Beautiful Lake’, and that it is!

The little town of Drumshanbo lies just above the Lough in the County of Leitrim.

It is little wonder it is referred to as “Lovely Leitrim.”

On a calm day the Lough takes on a look of pure glass, as in Maeve Binchy’s book, “The Glass Lake.”

I am happy to see such a beautiful sunrise and then sit here writing in the still of the morning…it’s now exactly 9am.

This morning has to be slowly enjoyed because there’s a mighty storm of heavy rain approaching Ireland.

Rain has been heavy all year and the earth is quite sodden…the wettest I have ever experienced.

As I write this, clouds have shadowed out the morning sun and already spots of rain are dotting the windows.

Even as the rain falls, the harvest continues…

Did you know that Rose-hips contain 20 times more vitamin C than the same weight of oranges?

Here is an old recipe for making Rosehip Syrup, a Vitamin C product given to babies and young children during World War Two…

Rose-hip Syrup
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2lb ripe rose-hips

6 pints water

1lb sugar
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Wash and remove stalks.

Mince or finely chop.

Add to pan with 4 pints boiling water, bring back to boil then remove from heat.

Stand for 15 minutes then strain through a jelly bag.(I use a cotton pillow-case!)

Return the pulp to pan with 2 pints boiling water, bring to boil, remove and stand for 10 minutes, then strain through jelly bag.

Now mix both juices and boil until reduced to 2 pints.

Add sugar, stir until dissolved, boil for 5 minutes.

Pour into small bottles, seal and sterilize using pan method.
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Other Uses for Rose-hips…

Rose hips can be gathered and dried for tea.

Drying methods are simple as the fruit is small and easily dried…but keep it slow and steady…I use the oven on my wood stove and leave the door slightly ajar to keep the dry air circulating but not baking.

Thanks!

                           Just to let everyone know the good news…the results have come back on Missy’s tumour and it is treatable!

Needless to add, everyone here at Bealtaine is delighted and Missy is especially so!

It’s always worrying and upsetting when a much loved pet is ill and worst of all it would seem that the animal often picks up on this…but all is well and we breath a collective sigh of relief!

Thanks to everyone for all your good wishes…really, thank you all so much!

Salix Tortuosa…or simply, Twisted Willow, growing here at Bealtaine Cottage. It grows readily and will take easily from cuttings. A beautiful addition to a bouquet or flower arrangement.

I Ivy hangs in long trails in the Fairy Dell woodland. There are times when this place resembles a rain forest. The combination of micro climate and damp creates a strange little world down here in the Dell!

 Today there has been all four seasons in one, with sun, rain, wind, snow, sleet, then warm evening sun…

This is the beautiful Fin lough, near Bealtaine Cottage. There are literally hundreds of loughs, rivers, streams, ponds and waterways within a twenty mile radius of Bealtaine…one thing is for certain; Ireland will never run dry!

Last word must go to the Missy Cat…Meow…purrrrrr

Permaculture Cottage Daily ~ Wonderful Visitors, Dr Helen Caldicott and Seamus Heaney

Wednesday 7th September 2011

More Wonderful Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage…

But, before I begin…

This wonderful young fella turned up at the protest on Monday evening, outside the Council Offices in Carrick-on-Shannon…complete with Gas mask, (Josh Fox) style and home made placard and got a rousing cheer from the protesters!

Visitors to the Permaculture Smallholding today… Bernie and Colin.

Both inspired and enthused with lots of ideas and lots of free plants to take back to the 7 acres Colin tending near Ballinamore. Wonderful people, filled with good energy and leaving some of it behind for me.

I am a great believer in good energy and realise how important this is for people to thrive. Those whose energy is sick or failing can get very angry with life and lash out at people. Many of these people can do a great deal of damage as warmongers and people of greed. We have all encountered people like this on our journey.

Wood-chopping and Tidying up…

And as the day moves on, the chores continue…chopping wood for the stove, though it’s warm today and I will light the smaller stove in the sitting room later on, just for comfort and hot water.

The tidy up continues, as I clear out sheds and bag up endless bags for the charity shop in Carrick. Kevin, who runs it, is always so very pleasant and appreciative, it is a delight to visit!

As I take a rest on the veranda, I can’t help but think of the events of Fukushima this year and how it has so quickly disappeared from our news media.

Dr Helen Caldicott has spent most of her professional life keeping us informed of the facts about Nuclear energy and all the associated problems.

Here is Helen talking about the recent events at Fukushima…it’s well worth a watch…just click on the link below!

http://youtu.be/4ITrXVJMKeQ

Food for the birds this winter…no more birdfeeders, which hang in gardens until enough plants have been planted that will feed wildlife proper. That point was reached several years ago as you can see.

This is Cotoneaster, one of many berry bearing shrubs that will more than adequately keep birds fed over the course of a long winter!

One of my favourite poets is Seamus Heaney.

Following the day that became known as, “Bloody Sunday,” Seamus made his way to Derry for the funerals of the thirteen.

This is the poem he wrote about that journey and that day.

Click on the link to hear the poem and see some black and white footage of the events of both the journey and the sad events.

http://youtu.be/xLMlY56sahI

No Fracking in Ireland…Protesting at Council Offices in Carrick-on-Shannon

These pictures represent passion.

A passion for Ireland. Mother Ireland and the desire to protect her land and water and air and trees and green fields and all that turns a lump in the throat when we think of her.

A passion that sees young families, like this one, spending hours of love and care and sharing, designing and painting a banner that evokes a sense of love and a desire to nurture and protect.

I need not go through the depressing facts of Fracking. Indeed I cannot…my blood boils with anger and indignation at how my government, here in this Republic of Ireland, could have granted exploration licences to companies wanted to exploit Ireland’s wealth…her people!

Yes, indeed, for it is people like this young family who will bear the curse of poisoned water, ill health and, ultimately, early death, as a result of this environmental end game played out by Men of Greed all over the world.

Look at the picture. Look at the REAL people who will suffer for the 30 pieces of silver being discussed last night in the Council Offices in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim…

And one of those companies, Tamboran, had CEO, Richard Moorman giving a Powerpoint Presentation to the Councillors at that meeting.

So, Mr Moorman needs to present this disgusting practice to the Irish people…

The councillors may have been listening to you, Mr Moorman, but, WE WERE NOT! WE HAVE THE PICTURE…LOOK AT WHERE YOU’VE BEEN ALREADY!

Permaculture Cottage Daily Diary

It’s been a really busy day!  After making the decision to re-design the vegetable garden and move the tyres…and this was several months ago, I finally got my act together to make a start on the work.

The Rhubarb in the first line of tyres had become embedded as they had not been divided for about four years or so…it was time to use brute force!

Stage one complete…next I will manure and mulch heavily while the soil is warm. Straw on the top will suppress weeds and keep the heavy rains from leaching the soil!

I’m doing this now because it is the right time and a good way of expanding the veggie garden!

Although it’s taken me most of the day, I’m glad to have got it done, finally, as there’s nothing worse than putting things off…now that can be ticked off my ‘to-do,’ list! Anyway, it’s been a lovely day for the work, though now have quadruple the freckles on my face that I started the day with!

Peas are growing well and ready for picking. It’s a task in itself just keeping the harvest up tp date on my list of work…still, that’s not a bad complaint really now, is it?

Before I came in for the evening, I picked a big bunch of flowers…Shasta Daisies, Dill and Lavender and it smells as good as it looks!

Pictures of a Frack Too Far in Ireland…Every Picture Tells a Fracking Story!

These photographs you are about to see were taken in the area of North West Ireland where prospecting for Gas was carried out in recent years.

The site was purchased by the company who test-drilled.

Local people remember what happened and have spoken to me about it.

In some photographs I am standing right on the site!

Look in wonder at the beauty. Download and save the pics…these may be some of the last taken of this extraordinary, breath-takingly beautiful landscape…

Creating a Permaculture Garden of Eden…It’s Easy!

www.bealtainecottage.com (2)
Seven years ago this space was a wet, rushy field that hosted a rather angry looking cow…that was on the first day I spied Bealtaine, as it was to become known.

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Here was the upper field where the orchards are now!

There is a pic somewhere on all these posts of that very angry cow, poor thing!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Lots of mulching, planting and mulching later, here is the same field…mad, isn’t it?

I know I’m always singing the praises of permaculture, but there is no other method I could have followed in order to make this transformation on my own.

The Ladys Mantle has just done its ‘spill thing,’ as you can see…I love this, as it grows beside one of the water bins.

The Rose Arch between the orchards.

Grapes and Poppies in the tunnel.

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Permaculture works on so many different levels and in all situations, even here on the gravel driveway.

www.bealtainecottage.com

The reason why Permaculture works so well lies in it’s simplicity and economy…encouraging us to use what is already around us.

www.bealtainecottage.com

It’s about purposeful living born out of observation of and compassion toward Mother Earth.

www.bealtainecottage.com

Working in harmony with Mother Earth, your investment grows year on year.

www.bealtainecottage.com

There’s not a bank on Earth can guarantee that!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 850 blogs from bealtainecottage.com here in the archives for you to enjoy!

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Ireland and Sacred Earth. Bealtaine Permaculture at the Cottage

I live in Ireland, but then you know that if you’ve been to Bealtaine before.

I live in a very beautiful part of Ireland…and you are probably aware of that too.

I consider the land sacred.

It is our umbilical cord.

It feeds and nourishes us all.

There is a sacredness in the Earth and many are just awakening to this new consciousness.

I came to Bealtaine nine years ago and my journey here has awakened me.

The greatest work we can do is to protect the sacred Earth…that’s it for me, simple as!

I did not expect what was to happen next…

Big Business coming into my beautiful North West of Ireland to exploit the Gas Reserves that lie beneath this sacred land…and, Bealtaine!

Gas?

94 BILLION DOLLARS worth of it!

And the dreaded technology that is still in its awful infancy…FRACKING!

Banned in France.

No understood outcomes…so new…since 2002, so we wait for the accumulation of information and that may be too late for our sacred Earth…What have we unleashed from Pandora’s Box?