I came to a little cottage in an unfamiliar place in the west of Ireland ten years ago… I was a very different woman then.
I rarely questioned the matrix that was my life.
Much has passed.
Much of me is gone too.
The years here have seen a new woman emerge, one who would have been barely recognisable to me all those years ago.
Bealtaine has sculpted me, hollowed out the fear and uncertainty, re-shaping and moulding me into someone very different.
I have journeyed back to the Mother.
I now live my life to serve the interests of Mother Earth.
I love to listen to Mother Earth, to be close to this higher power and live in awe.
I love to walk with her through seasons, work to help her overcome and, little by little, day by day, let the Goddess in.
What began as a journey into Permaculture, has transformed and taken me deeper into the heart of Sacred Earth.
There is much for me to understand and connect with, for to be in communion with Mother Earth is what energizes me and fills me with joy.
If you decide to continue this journey with me, I welcome you.
I care deeply about her restoration to health and beauty and need to listen to her heart.
What is here has grown from love and respect.
And as if Mother Earth
heard my despair, she has worked tirelessly overnight making the compost heap look beautiful…I laugh out loud in joy!
This morning as I spread compost and seaweed on the vegetable beds, before mulching down with cardboard and straw, I ponder on putting the exposed earth to bed for the winter…this makes me feel as though I am nurturing the great Mother.
It is all I can do to help assuage the horrors of what Man does to her!
The big tidy-up is important, before the wind and rain sets in…and what a lot of tidying to be done!
Just in case you thought anything about where the compost toilet is emptied…in these neat bins, holes drilled into the bottom of each, no smell, no flies and thoroughly sustainable on site!
Cutting and chopping Willow to store for burning…as Charlie supervises!
The Lime trees have begun to shed their leaves.
The bees continue their daily forage in and around the Nasturtiums.
As the seaweed dries out, all these lovely shades of autumn emerge…
Let peace rise up as the Michelmas daisies around Buddha…my mantra for today.
Tend Mother Earth…in this time of destruction…it’s the best we can do!
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.”
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.
Beds are raised and paths are lowered, allowing for good drainage on this north facing slope.
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.Rhubarb fills out a Spring bed, with Raspberries coming along next in seasonal line!
The Summer fruiting Rhubarb lies protected under this mound of straw…excluding light from emerging weeds.
And 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!
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!
Have a good weekend everyone.
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…
Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!
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.
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!
Into the kitchen for a warming cup of tea after spending the morning cutting back brambles in a bid to open up another part of the land. Autumn continues and there remain quite a few leaves on the trees.
Missy cat…staring at Jack in a sort of threatening way…The autumn sun shines silver into the sitting room…I love this season for the soft silvery light.
Jack makes sure he stays in his little home in the porch…he knows that Missy is not allowed in without his say-so!
Lime trees have almost completed their leaf drop, feeding the earth for another year.
November has stayed relatively mild and warm, so many of the trees are showing off their colours a little longer!
Manure from the hens has been spread on the vegetable beds…hoping for massive pumpkins next year!
I am in love with the green earth ~Charles Lamb
Living in the country is a never ending adventure in Nature…
I love writing about this life in the west of Ireland…
However, everyone who lives on this beautiful Earth has a deeply rooted connection with it’s spirit.
The spirit of Gaia!
And this is true for all!
Bringing in the harvest, bit by bit and cooking it, bottling it, freezing it, jamming and pickling it… And the thing is, there is a huge harvest in the hedgerows this year due to the brilliant Spring we had here in Ireland…so there’s food for all, just waiting…
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace
in all troubles. ~Anne Frank
This is a good time to divide and plant up house-plants…they make fantastic Christmas/Yuletide gifts and are imbued with all the love you have given them! What better gift?
Sunlight floods in…I love mornings like this!
The less clutter around the better life you find, especially in the simple things…at least that’s what I’ve found to be true!
Find peace and joy and contentment in the Natural World! Go out walking…
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.
September 1st 2011.