Book Launch at Bealtaine Cottage

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The long awaited day has arrived!

DSC06634I received a delivery from my printers in Dublin, of my book, “A Cottage And Three Acres”. DSC06635It is three years since I put the first chapter on the website and waited for feedback from you, dear supporters of what has become the Bealtaine Project.

DSC06637I recall being  both surprised and elated at the positive response to my writing and your encouragement to continue writing the book.

DSC06638I decided to follow permaculture ethics and have the book printed here in Ireland.

DSC06639I also decided to post the book from Bealtaine Cottage, making full use of my local Post Office which, like many rural Post Offices here in the west of Ireland, is under threat of closure!

DSC06640This way, all the benefits of my effort, go to support rural Ireland, a place I love and care for!

DSC06641One’s decisions in life have rippling effects on all one cares for…and evident that Permaculture can make a difference…

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The book is being posted out from my local post Office here in the west of Ireland, as a most practical way of trying to keep my rural Post Office open…for the government has threatened closure on many! This is Pascal McKenna who runs my local Post Office in nearby Drumshanbo.

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The books are packed here at Bealtaine Cottage…I have employed a friend to oversee this, who comes in each morning. As you can see, there’s a lot of work underway here!

DSC06642The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

To order and pay, use this button…

Goddess Permaculture…Here It Is!

dsc05099This is a morning in early winter, at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.

dsc05100dsc05108On this Sunday, the twentieth day of November, I awoke to frost, clear skies and that bitter cold signalling immersion in Winter.

dsc05112Bealtaine Cottage didn’t always look like this…you can see how it once looked at the bottom of this page…

dsc05118Twelve years ago it looked quite different.

dsc05120The monoculture of meat production had brought the land low.

dsc05121Mother Earth was slowly dying.

dsc05122The air was silent.

dsc05123This morning you can see for yourself the beauty brought back to the land through Goddess Permaculture.

dsc05125What is Goddess Permaculture, I hear you ask?

dsc05130It is simply this…to recognise the Goddess in all life and honour her beauty and abundance, living as close to the Great Mother, Goddess Gaia, as one possibly can.

dsc05136To understand the Divine Feminine as the source of all life.

dsc05138dsc05142dsc05145dsc05151To honour the life force of Mother Earth.

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To not just believe, but to understand that there is a way back to a beautiful Earth!

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You don’t need qualifications to restore Mother Earth…you need to open your heart and feel deep compassion for her loss…

Now we come to the end of this series of images taken this morning, you will find the images I snapped twelve years ago, when the Goddess lay buried deep within herself, hidden by patriarchal abuse and greed!

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If you think that 1100 blogs and over 8,000 photographs is a good free resource…Support the work of the Bealtaine Project…

Subscribe to the second website, growing daily and now with over 90 new blogs and several thousands of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!

Permaculture Learning Opportunity

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No Funding…Ever!

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Bealtaine Cottage was conceived, designed, planted and worked by one woman, Colette O’Neill, over twelve years, on some of the poorest land in the North west of Ireland…all North-Facing!

d7ef191772b1618009dec8fb55602e75 Colette is now offering, for the first time, a series of week long, intensive learning programmes here at Bealtaine Cottage. 

dsc03690ONE WEEK OF INTENSIVE PERMACULTURE

A unique opportunity to stay for a full week at Bealtaine Cottage and experience life in Ireland’s oldest self-funded, financially independent Permaculture Smallholding.
cropped-dsc03650.jpgYou will learn:
Winemaking
Seed-saving
Using Wool in Permaculture
Fertility without animals
Creating a Woodland
Building an easy compost toilet system
Fedging
Using Willow
And more…

 

dsc03684This will be a unique opportunity to learn, first hand, and with one to one teaching, all the skills you will need to set up your own Permaculture smallholding.

dsc03811This 12 year old Permaculture Smallholding site is completely self-funding…no EU Grants, No Government Grants…No Diktats!

www.bealtainecottage.com 035Learn how to set up your own business in easy stages…independently and successfully!

dsc04008Your week’s stay includes all food…Vegan/Vegetarian based on choice.

342464e928d1ad152df82e0710d3d710Your accommodation is an independent Eco-Lodge with wood-burning stove and lots of room.

DSC02044This houses a double bed, so is perfect for a couple sharing.

dsc04426Each course is 7 full days, which means 9 nights, arriving the afternoon/evening before and leaving the morning after the completion of the course.

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All the information about booking is at the end of this page…continue reading…

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Sacred Earth

You will learn about tunnel management and upkeep…the tunnel at Bealtaine Cottage is hand-built, 12 years old and has the same plastic in use…12 years and tight as a drum!

may-2011-bealtaine-cottage-0102There will be one, seven day Immersive Course, per month, beginning in April…through to October 2017.

Pond in May at Bealtaine CottageEarly booking is essential! 

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Learn about planting to create micro-climates and wind shields!

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Create a Potager Bed and plant it out!

This is total immersion Permaculture and Sustainable Living, in that you will be living on site and experiencing all aspects of daily life at Bealtaine Cottage.

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As well as making wine, you will have the opportunity to sample wines made at Bealtaine Cottage…

dsc03687…as well as home made liqueurs!

Pond in May at Bealtaine CottageDates are negotiable at this early stage. 

The course will be a full seven days…and at this stage, I can offer a certain flexibility on start/finish days.

Email: coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

April is now booked!

May is now booked!

June is now booked!

July is now booked!

September is now booked!

October is now booked!

August is now booked!

 

A deposit of 10% will confirm your booking.

Unlike other Permaculture Courses on offer, Bealtaine Cottage is uniquely immersive, with one-to-one / one-to-two teaching for an entire seven days!

(The total cost is fixed at 1100 Euros for one, or 1700 Euros for two people sharing).
(Please email me first to confirm that the week you want is still available!)
Blessings X
Colette

 

Thank You!

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I’m sharing these images of Bealtaine Cottage this evening and saying a massive “Thank You!” to you all!

dsc02869 Many of you have been with me from the very beginning, when I first ventured into the world of blogging and began writing about my journey here at Bealtaine Cottage.

dsc02868I attempted in a small way, to be a voice for simple living through Permaculture, in my attempts at   helping to invest life and abundance into these three acres of Mother Earth…

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…working out a template for others to use in any small way.

dsc02866Making the mistakes, planting land, growing the trees and just trying to get by in between it all! dsc02865Some of you have joined along the way…and many have stayed!

dsc02864The subscriptions have kept growing…a bit like my kitchen floor that grew for almost two years! dsc02863Bealtaine Cottage grew onto YouTube…

dsc02862And then onto Facebook…

dsc02861Bealtaine Cottage magical Gardens on FB has just reached 17,000 Likes!

dsc02860But tonight I want to say Thank You…

dsc02859To all of you who have made this little piece of Sacred Earth reach over ONE AND A HALF MILLION VIEWS!

dsc02858I never imagined it possible!

dsc02857Thanks for all your emails and good wishes!

dsc02856Thanks for all your love and support!

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May the Bealtaine Project continue to grow…in the hearts and minds of all who wish for a better way of living WITH rather than ON Mother Earth!

Blessings XXX Colette

Evening at Bealtaine

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Evening falls at Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC02571The nights are drawing in…have you noticed? 

DSC02569“The pale stars were sliding into their places. The whispering of the leaves was almost hushed. All about them it was still and shadowy and sweet. It was that wonderful moment when, for lack of a visible horizon, the not yet darkened world seems infinitely greater—a moment when anything can happen, anything be believed in.”
― Olivia Howard Dunbar

DSC02568“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
― Charles Baudelaire

DSC02567“Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs.”
― Sebastian Faulks

DSC02564“Although it was only six o’clock, the night was already dark. The fog, made thicker by its proximity to the Seine, blurred every detail with its ragged veils, punctured at various distances by the reddish glow of lanterns and bars of light escaping from illuminated windows. The road was soaked with rain and glittered under the street-lamps, like a lake reflecting strings of lights. A bitter wind, heavy with icy particles, whipped at my face, its howling forming the high notes of a symphony whose bass was played by swollen waves crashing into the piers of the bridges below. The evening lacked none of winter’s rough poetry.”
― Theophile Gautier

DSC02563“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
― William Cowper

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Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

 

Earth Day at Bealtaine Cottage

DSC09083Photographs (18 exclusive photos taken today) from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on EarthDay 2016.

Words from the Earth Day network…on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with ground-breaking ideas and by the power of our example.

And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016.

This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. 

The main website, with over 1,000 blogs and 4,500 photographs is FREE FOR EVERYONE!
There are NO ADS on Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel either!
Bealtaine Cottage https://bealtainecottage.com/
Bealtaine Cottage YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage
Bealtaine Cottage Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/bealtaine-cottage
Bealtaine Cottage Twitter https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess
Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GoddessGardens/

April 2011 Ballyfermoyle 013The paid subscription website, Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows you to support my work in return for some extra special blogs and photographs…and allows me a small, but much needed, income.

Here’s where you can sign up…

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

Yes, I have a mortgage and some bills to meet each month and this is my only source of income. The free website, Bealtaine Cottage, has almost reached maximum capacity at 97.8% of 13 GB allowance at a cost of 199 Euros per year. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life has the same 13 GB allowance, but with only 18% used, so you can see why I now publish new blogs on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life! My total expenditure on both sites and internet maintenance now exceeds 700 Euros.

I will continue to write about, and photograph, Mother Earth whether you subscribe/donate or not…but I so appreciate those who do!
…blessings to all XXX Colette

As Evening Descends…

Towards the end of a perfect day at Bealtaine Cottage. The gardens are looking well tended as the evening descends. Strawberries have been potted up in hanging baskets and seedlings rescued from the gravel around the cottage and potted up. These will make fine plants for the Summer ahead! And…all the while…the birds sing!

Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Metamorphosis

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2016 is a year of transformation for Bealtaine Cottage.

Changes are being put into place this month in preparation for the year ahead.

Last year was the busiest year ever for visitors to the cottage…I lost count somewhere around June and with almost every day welcoming new visitors, work on my writing and gardening began to suffer as a consequence.

DSC08019I was guilty of what many enthusiastic people are guilty of…spreading myself too thinly! Already I have many requests from would-be visitors, so have made the decision to take a year off from opening the gardens.

DSC08020There is so much work to be done, as I have plans to create new beds and paths around the three acres. Talk about work…I haven’t even had time to move my Lemon tree in from the veranda! Thank goodness it’s been a mild Winter!

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The Kale I planted into the old wheelbarrow has made good strides in growing through January! As the days lengthen the growth will increase and I look forward to harvesting leaves of Kale very soon!

For those wishing to visit, the garden gate will not be permanently closed…

Sunday May 1st is Bealtaine Day, a very special day in the gardening year for lovers of all things Celtic and Mother Earth!

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May 1st is the first day of Summer in the Celtic Wheel and Bealtaine Cottage will be hosting an OPEN DAY of celebration!

Unlike the photograph taken today, the gardens will be awash with colour, as well as the hum of bees and the sweet scents of herbs and flowers!

I will also organize another Open day or two as the Summer progresses.

DSC08023Time is of the essence for me, as I attempt to fit in so many aspects of my life!

Bealtaine Cottage is home to me and I have come to realize that it is also home in a spiritual way to so many others…that is why my writing and photographing of this little place must come first.

DSC08025Out of metamorphosis comes new, better and stronger.

Seeds are available from Bealtaine Cottage…all grown, open-pollinated and saved here!

For an up to date selection, click on

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

To subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, click on

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

Blessings for a happy weekend XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

The Cottage in the Woods

Winter edges away slowly, with lighter mornings and longer days.

The Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage have emerged this year into the Permaculture Woods.

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However, I’ve got to admit that I’ve been flagging recently!

A combination of the time of year, family commitments and basically just trying too hard to do too much!

The saying goes, “spreading yourself too thin on the ground”, or something like that…well, that’s me!

I’m done for!

I would love to take a few days off and lounge about in my Jim-Jams, but…well, you know me by now…!

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So, in keeping with the time of year I’ve been painting, cutting, tidying the land and planting.

As you can see here, the back wall of the cottage has been (almost) finished…though I’ve run out of paint and will have to colour match, as I mixed the paint from leftovers.

Still, an old cottage can get away with mismatches…shabby chic!

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The weather has been fairly mild and despite some snow earlier in the month, it’s not been too cold.

I spent some time cleaning up the steps, removing the willow fedge, as it became too shaded by overhanging trees to grow as it should and was dying off.

Clearing other parts of the land I came across yet more stone, so have tidied the edges of the steps with some dry stone walling.

This is a lovely habitat for beetles, snails and small mammals…adding to the immense biodiversity build up here over ten years.

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Some shrubs and bushes near the cottage are looking a bit unruly…these I shall neaten up before the spring is over.

Bealtaine now sits among trees and each year becomes more like the cottage in the woods.

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To be too tidy a gardener is to deny entry to your garden to many beneficial creatures, as well as food for the birds!

Here I have thrown some rotting logs in under the hedge, where all life in the vicinity will benefit. There may well be some mushrooms in the near future as well.

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The leaves of the Hypericum have kept green all winter.

I shall prune this a little to keep a shape in it, as some order near to the cottage looks pleasant.

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“…I hear the sounds of melting snow outside my window every night and with the first faint scent of spring, I remember life exists…”
John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

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“A tree can be tempted out of its winter dormancy by a few hours of southerly sun—the readiness to believe in spring is stronger than sleep or sanity.”
Amy Leach, Things That Are 

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Aquilegia has begun to grow…this is one of the first flowers of Spring and great for early rising bees.

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The all too tidy gardener will also miss these wonderful flowerings of Moss on small standing stones.

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And leaves that are busy creating woodland paths in a garden evolving fast into much welcome woodland.

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I keep the stove in the sitting room burning as I work outside, for it’s a welcoming and warm place to retreat to now and again.

Just to sit by the fire is relaxing.

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And one learns over the years to pace oneself…knowing when it’s time to down tools and go indoors…this I need to remember to do a little more!

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There’s a heap of work to get through before settling down for the evening.

And, as a gorgeous girl in a big dress once said, “Tomorrow is another day!”

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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

If you wish to put a tip in the hat, just click below…it’s greatly appreciated, believe me!

Blessings

Permaculture in Perpetuity

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Permaculture Gardens grow all the year around.

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The integration of water as a harvest system brings both light and warmth to the land. 

Intensive planting creates so many micro-climate zones that encourage and nurture plants even in the severest of  weather.

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This was never more apparent than on my garden walk yesterday…a fine day, after all the flooding and torrential rain experienced this week.

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Sheltered spots harboured mushrooms, many of which were edible.

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Wild herbs continue to flourish near waterways and on banks, particularly Wild Mint and Sorrel.

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Perpetual harvests of food, fuel and water, with little or no input at this stage of development, for once the sculpting and planting are complete, the eco-system of perpetual food and abundance takes over!

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Permaculture is a clever system which copies Mother Nature at her finest.

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There are few parts of the world where she is allowed to truly be herself.

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The Rainforest is one of the few remaining ecosystems where this remains governed by the Wise Mother.

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My journey into Permaculture began along practical lines, but as I became immersed in planting and sculpting, my life transformed with hardly a blip, as Sacred Permaculture merged the boundary lines between the practical and the ethereal.

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Perhaps the pictures I took yesterday best sum this up…walk with me…

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Thanks and blessings to those of you who support this site…it’s good to be appreciated XXX

Blessings

 

The Great Creatrix

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The photographer from Irish Country Magazine has just left…the magazine photo-shoot is over!
You can read all about Bealtaine Cottage in the Dec/Jan edition, which will be on the shelves at the end of November!

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As we walked around the gardens, the conversation turned to the story of how Bealtaine emerged from rushy fields and it became apparent that this story becomes harder to tell…for it all seems so improbable.

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The story has taken on myth-like qualities as visitors look around, finding it hard to believe that Nature could work such magic…but She has…the Great Creatrix!

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The gardens are now a riot of autumnal colour, due in part to what many call ‘mistakes,’ but have turned out to be inspired tree planting, with nothing other than a gut feeling of where to plant and plant without discrimination.

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When one considers it, Mother Nature does not discriminate.

She merely gets on with whatever needs to be done…nurturing and giving all her days.

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Rachel Carson was acutely aware of how the future might be, if humankind did not awaken to the need to live with her…the one…the Mother, Creatrix of beauty and life.

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“Silent Spring” remains to this time, an enduring legacy of the call to wake up and smell the roses.

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We cannot live without her, though she can go on and on into the future without us.

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The question is: does she want to?

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I believe Mother Earth is reaching out to us in a last desperate bid to stop us from destroying our habitat.

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What is being done in the name of economic progress is nothing less than a dance with death.

Despite what is apparent, there appears to be a mass awakening of people, much of it happening on internet media with a  gathering speed and force. permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 012

If this little website is anything to go by, then all is not lost, for I see the growing numbers of people interested in a more sustainable lifestyle!

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We are living in fast changing times, days of optimism and hope…we are moving into a time of co-creating with the great Creatrix…Mother Earth.

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I did not choose Bealtaine Cottage…it chose me, as one who would be an enabler of the great Mother.

In the Celtic calendar, the first day of May was known in Irish as Bealtaine.

This was the feast of bright fire, the first of summer, one of the four great quarter days of the year.

 The ancient Irish Book of Invasions tells us that the first magical inhabitants of the country, the Tuatha Dé Danaan, arrived on the feast of Bealtaine.

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Bealtaine is all about renewal, another chance, an awakening.

I will let the great Seamus Heaney have the last word…

Beacons at Bealtaine
Phoenix Park, May Day, 2004

Uisce: water. And fionn: the water’s clear.
But dip and find this Gaelic water Greek:
A phoenix flames upon fionn uisce here.

Strangers were barbaroi to the Greek ear.
Now let the heirs of all who could not speak
The language, whose ba-babbling was unclear,

Come with their gift of tongues past each frontier
And find the answering voices that they seek
As fionn and uisce answer phoenix here.

The May Day hills were burning, far and near,
When our land’s first footers beached boats in the creek
In uisce, fionn, strange words that soon grew clear;

So on a day when newcomers appear
Let it be a homecoming and let us speak
The unstrange word, as it behoves us here,

Move lips, move minds and make new meanings flare
Like ancient beacons signalling, peak to peak,
From middle sea to north sea, shining clear
As phoenix flame upon fionn uisce here.

Subversion Without Violence

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Bill Mollison once said, “I teach self-reliance, the world’s most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition.”

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 Applying design to growing makes for good permaculture.

As Ireland endures a wetter and wetter climate, constructing vegetable beds on the top of gravel helps to counteract the worst elements of flooding.

DSCF0796The same design principles are applied in the polytunnel.

Beds are raised and paths are lowered, allowing for good drainage on this north facing slope.

DSCF0797This is a Nectarine tree, under-planted with Comfrey, which is then regularly chopped and dropped throughout the growing season, thus feeding the hungry fruit tree.

DSCF0798It has been planted in a central area in the tunnel so as to avoid cold drafts when doors are open.

DSCF0799This morning sees the blossom opening at just the right time, as bees are emerging from hibernation, so it’s essential to have both doors open to receive them.

DSCF0803Now this is something rarely seen, but this system works very well for me…seeds are sown together in one, big, deep, polystyrene, re-cycled box.

As seeds emerge and gain strength, I gently tease them out and pot them on, leaving space behind for the next swathe of emerging seedlings.DSCF0805Rhubarb fills out a Spring bed, with Raspberries coming along next in seasonal line!

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The Summer fruiting Rhubarb lies protected under this mound of straw…excluding light from emerging weeds.

DSCF0807The bed is mound shaped as every year sees more and more compost added.

DSCF0808And here’s the black gold…home made compost. As all of the gardens are on a north-facing slope, the tyres do not interfere with the quality of the compost, just protects the heap from the east and north weather systems…particularly cold!

DSCF0809Trees and bushes all play a part in the permaculture design, creating shelter and wind-breaks in this instance.

You can see one of the six bins used for compost toilet waste re-cycling tucked in on the right of the picture.

This makes great planting compost for trees!

DSCF0810More rain storms moving in from the west and Atlantic seaboard this morning, but the sun continues to shine!

DSCF0811As smoke curls up in wisps from the chimney, reminding me that a hot kettle awaits me indoors…tea!

DSCF0814I love the unpredictable Irish weather!

DSCF0813And the way everything greens up so quickly after the winter!

Have a good weekend everyone.

Blessings XXX

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

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

There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.

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As an Ark for Nature, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from the EU, as only farm animals, monoculture and set-aside are grant-aided!

The Romance of Gardening…falling for Gaia

A love story in pictures…

The misty hill of Ballyfermoyle***

Petunias in pot on veranda table***

Entrance to the Fairy Wood***

The Lodge at Bealtaine Cottage***

Roses on veranda at bealtaine cottage today***

Angel on Midsummer morning***

Bealtaine Cottage sign***

driveway at bealtaine Cottage***Sunset through the trees at Bealtaine Cottage***

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Pond in May at Bealtaine Cottage***

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Bee on Lunaria flower at Bealtaine Cottage***

Angel at Bealtaine Cottage***

Buddha under the Laurel arch at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens***

Mist and trees in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage***

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Midwinter mist at Bealtaine Cottage***

bealtaine Cottage in the snow***

Angel in the snow at Bealtaine Cottage

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Ireland under Permaculture could feed Europe!

It is difficult to comprehend, without seeing this photograph, that what is now a lush, abundant paradise, was once a barren monoculture, devoid of wildlife, birdsong and no biodiversity to speak of…

This was Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Smallholding on day one of the transformation, only made possible by applying permaculture principles and design.

What you are looking at is the view of the land from the cottage itself.

The transformation has been carried out single-handedly, by myself, aided only by planting, mulching and manuring, again carried out by hand over the course of eight years.

Today I decided to visit the well which feeds water to the cottage. The landscape of the hill behind the cottage remains unchanged, so you can see for yourself how inhospitable the cottage and land first looked…

Click on the link below to watch…

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

A Healing Environment…

Flowering Currant, or Ribes as it is called, is in full blossom all over Bealtaine smallholding and it is already calling the bees out from hibernation with it’s heavy scent and glorious flower droplets!

This incredible shrub is the ultimate in permaculture planting, because wherever one chooses to plant a cutting or two, it will grow readily and develop into a flowering shrub rapidly. The flowers turn into droplets of berries adored by birds and hens alike!

Free food and beauty and windbreaks…that is so permaculture!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and I made the journey to Omagh to visit my mother…who is hale and hearty and looking forward to coming down to Bealtaine for a holiday very soon.

Mum insists that she finds her holidays here to be invigorating and healing. Mainly due to the birdsong and cool atmosphere around the cottage, which helps enormously with that plague of old age, swollen feet!

I am convinced that this is due, in part, to the overwhelming heat in the environs where most older people live, especially the constant dry central heating and sealed homes. It is no coincidence that Mum’s feet are returned to normal size within 24hours of her visit here!

Cool, clean air was once a mainstay of the Health System…open windows in hospitals were de rigeur under the watchful eye of Matron! Today, with closed windows, sealed buildings and air conditioning, health problems in hospitals abound, especially MRSA! Cool, clean air is healing…make no mistake!

I have been busy spreading gravel on the driveway and around the cottage. This is the first top dressing I have laid in almost eight years. As it had to be done, I chose a local stone which, as you can see, is very bright and reflects the light beautifully!

Periwinkle in bloom in a sheltered spot near the west of the cottage.

A big stack of straw in the barn…I have stocked up on bales of straw for the hens and vegetable garden as the next harvest will not be until around August…it pays to plan ahead, besides which, the girls will only lay eggs on clean straw!