Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, care for the earth, Country Living, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Sustainable Living

Free For All!

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It’s been a long and lovely day, filled with wonderful garden visitors, followed by some serious cutting back and clearing over near the tunnel.

DSC01961However, before I begin, I must say that I’ve been reading the comments on the Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens site on FaceBook and feel compelled to make a very important comment, for all to read…

DSC01962The lovely Bridget Birkner had this to say about her garden…

“Colette, my dear sweet friend. You know I started this year as my first year with Goddess-Inspired Permacultre Gardening and Food Forest since moving here some months ago, but being now in August, having only 1 cucumber, 6 cherry tomatoes that only turned orange and one sweet banana pepper, I wanted to sit down and cry at the lack of harvest. My soil is so insanely poor, and it looks like I need to do some more tending and research. My Willows, everything you sent me, the moment I transplanted it, it withered. I’m crushed to say the least, but I promised myself at least 10 years before I can say “goal!” It truly is hard but amazing work, but right now I feel so defeated because Mum Gaia seems so sad at the state she is in my area. I look to you with such hope and KNOW She WILL prevail! Why? Because SHE can live without us, we however, cannot live without Her. And for that, I humbly bow before her in grace and humility, that she give me another chance in helping me tend to the area where she is so sad right now in the United States” 

DSC01963So in response… and for this valuable knowledge to reach the wider world…
DSC01964Especially for Bridget…and those who are struggling with restoring fertility to soil…here’s a little secret…and what I have done and continue to do to restore health to the soil…
DSC01965I pee in a bucket and mix it 10:1 with rainwater…it is marvellous liquid fertiliser and helps to get good bacteria developing in the soil.
DSC01966However if you are on serious medication it’s best not to use it!
DSC01968Fresh urine is high in nitrogen, moderate in phosphorus and low in potassium and can act as an excellent high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser
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In a healthy person, urine is sterile.
DSC01969Urine is great as an activator for compost heaps and, in highly concentrated form, as a weed-killer.
Dilute fresh urine at a 10:1 ratio and apply to the root-zone of fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, or to leafy crops like cabbage, broccoli, spinach and lettuce every two weeks or as needed.
Dilute fresh urine at a 20:1 ratio and water in to the root zone of seedlings and new transplants.
DSC01960So, there you have it folks! No more supporting chemical fertilisers or paying extraordinary amounts of money for organic fertiliser…get yourself a bucket and a watering can and help Mother Earth the natural way!
DSC01970Now that’s out of the way, here’s an update on garden work today…this has involved an immense amount of cutting back. I have stacked all the cuttings and wood into various big piles to biodegrade naturally, whilst at the same time providing essential habitat for hibernators and small mammals.
DSC01971You can see from the followings pics the difference this has made in terms of light and space for the woodland floor to regenerate.
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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.

Please join…

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Posted in simple life, Simple Living, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Simple Life ~ Bealtaine Cottage July 1 2016

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril

DSC01127A simple life is not impoverished…it’s knowing what is enough!

DSC01124Here I made a board for jigsaws…something I love to do.

DSC01125It’s simple…look closely and see how it was made…wood, glue and edging strip to keep the bits from falling off the board.

DSC01128All these photographs were snapped today, the first day of July….a few last night!

DSC01129 A little record of a simple life… Enjoy!

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Posted in awakening, Earth, Gaia, Hope, Sustainable Living, Thoughts

Evolve or Revolve…It’s Time to Choose

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I don’t know about you, but for the past decade or so I have felt a powerful force at work all round me.

DSC01063I have seen it too!

DSC01064It is a Universal force of such incredible energy that at times, I feel overwhelmed by it.

DSC01065This force has made governments tremble and grown men cry.

DSC01067It is unstoppable, all-consuming and, at times, can appear very frightening indeed.

DSC01066Mankind has tried to tame it, harness it, even destroy it.

DSC01068All to no avail.

DSC01069She abides… Have you heard her call?

DSC01070Are you listening?

DSC01071Her name is Earth.

DSC01072She is our Mother, our home, our future.

DSC01073Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world. ~ Jonathon Porritt

DSC01074If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature–even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe–has to change. ~ Janine M. Benyus

DSC01077Our little Spaceship Earth is only eight thousand miles in diameter, which is almost a negligible dimension in the great vastness of space.  ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

DSC01075DSC01076DSC01078DSC01079DSC01080The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. ~  Rachel Carson

DSC01081DSC01082DSC01083DSC01084The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its wellbeing–all of this [is] the integral community in which we live. ~ Thomas Berry

DSC01085DSC01086We can do nothing and keep revolving, remaining perfect fodder for governments, corporations and empires, or…

DSC01087DSC01088DSC01090DSC01091 we can connect with Her and begin to evolve into what we are meant to be…part of Her.

 

Blessings XXX  Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

Posted in Lifestyle, Permaculture, Recycling, Sustainable Living, Thrift

Simple Living

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“We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.”
~ Jane Wilson-Howarth

DSC00922DSC00921DSC00920DSC00915Colour is important to me, as you can see from both the cottage and the garden.

DSC00917DSC00916I am led to infuse it into my daily life, as in the tie-dyed sheet that hangs as a curtain on the old doorway.

DSC00914Sometimes it’s all too easy to go to the shops and buy what is deemed suitable for covering a doorway…usually a door!

DSC00912But, as always, a cottage can be very forgiving and accommodating to whatever furniture or resources one has.

DSC00905A cottage is never in competition with the big, new house down the road!

DSC00906It’s more of a “make do and mend” kind of home, where anything goes, be it period or modern, or just recycled, as is the case here at Bealtaine.

DSC00907As I snapped these photos this morning, my gaze was being continually led outside…and so it should be, for that connectivity is immensely important.

DSC00911I recall living in an old house in Muswell Hill in London and how I loved tending the window boxes beyond the old sash windows. DSC00909How just the simple act of pushing them up and the outside coming in provided a kind of release of energy both ways!

DSC00908The connectivity of life!

 

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Posted in beauty, Bees, care for the earth, sustainable gardens, Sustainable Living, Trees, Wild Flowers

Creating Environment and Powering Down!

DSC09873Most of the energy we use at home comes from burning fossil fuels.

DSC09872Using less energy means burning fewer fossil fuels and putting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Over the past twelve years I have endeavoured to reduce not just my own carbon footprint, but that of Bealtaine Cottage and gardens.

DSC09866When first planting the forest gardens it was important to keep the paths open, so mowing once a week during the growing season was a huge task!

DSC09868That issue is now almost resolves as the trees have shaded the paths…

DSC09855 and dropped lots of leaves to create quite a dense mulch.

DSC09865I am now tackling the long grass area that is the frontage of the gardens onto the road.

I began this task about three days ago, sculpting as I prepared a strip into which I planted.

DSC09829DSC09832DSC09831Planting is diverse and from my own Nursery where I grow trees, flowers, shrubs, herbs and vegetables.

DSC09834DSC09833DSC09835DSC09839It has always been important to me to keep this neat and attractive as it is an encouragement to passers-by to consider Goddess-Inspired Permaculture in a positive light! 

DSC09827DSC09828This is the stage I am at today. I simply strip back some grass and turn the sod upside down behind the strip…then plant!

DSC09848DSC09849DSC09850The end result will be that there is about half the amount of grass to mow…so half the amount of fossil fuel used!

Best of all will be an extended feeding ground for the Bees!

DSC09857That’s what I call a result!

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Posted in Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

A New Beginning for Bealtaine Cottage!

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Today is an exciting and very uplifting day for Bealtaine Cottage and me! DSC09687For the past year or so it’s been utterly frustrating not being able to share on this website.

DSC09689Restrictions were placed upon me in relation to upload space for photographs, as I had used up virtually all of the allocated space of 13GB, which is that allowed on the Premium Plan from WordPress.

DSC09691Well, today I paid for an upgrade which allows me unlimited upload space…a treat for myself and, I’m hoping one for you too!

DSC09693As I type there is a lovely soft rain falling outside, refreshing and renewing the earth.

DSC09694The same has happened here for me on the website…I feel a sense of renewal and excitement!

DSC09696To be honest, writing and photographing Bealtaine Cottage and Mother Earth constitutes my first love!

DSC09695Much as I love the interaction on social media, it can be very time-consuming and ultimately takes away from the work I do here!

DSC09684The payment of an extra 200 Euros was necessary for the extended plan, but this liberates me from the strictures of what I can put out there for everyone to enjoy.

DSC09697I will continue with the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website and am working on a plan to do a sort of “joined-up”daily blog…watch this space! DSC09698And so the story of Bealtaine Cottage continues, moving onwards and upwards!

DSC09699“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
Esther Meynell

DSC09700And so I hope to continue bringing the country to you!

DSC09701Sharing this little sacred space in the west of Ireland, with the world…

DSC09702 The seasonal changes, garden, wildlife and Mother Earth…

DSC09703The song of the Goddess and her inspired Permaculture…

DSC09704Thanks for staying with Bealtaine Cottage…

This is a new beginning…Welcome back!

 

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Gardens, homesteading, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

One Million Celebration!

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Sometime today, Bealtaine Cottage will be viewed for the 999,999th time.

It will, thereafter, have reached one million views!

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Who would have ever thought that this little place, tucked away as it is in the West of Ireland, would have become such a beacon in these troubled times?

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I never imagined so many people would flock here to find inspiration and comfort, but they have and you continue.

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The journey continues here.

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Better ways of living with Mother Earth are under constant scrutiny and reflection.

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Visitors come and go, always taking away strategies and ideas to use, as well as plants and seeds.

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Basic concepts of sustainable living are explained…the shock of the “Compoost Loo” morphs into admiration for it’s sheer simplicity and hygiene.

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The miracle that Nature has performed here in such a short space of time becomes more visible with each photograph.

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The realisation that everything is possible when one embraces Mother Earth as a co-creator, rather than something to be abused and driven.

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I began writing about this journey and photographing Her magic back in 2011, as a way of trying to convince people that what we stand upon is part of us…we shape our world by how we live.

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Bealtaine Cottage has become a little centre of hope in a world where we are continually told we are a blight upon the Earth.

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We are not!

This is what we are capable of…helping Her to nurture us, as we in turn care for Her. Garden permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 163

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I have two websites… Bealtaine Cottage and Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

This site, Bealtaine Cottage, is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life costs 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.

Making this small donation adds your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

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Posted in Eden, Garden, Life, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

World Vision

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Midsummer has arrived in her usual blaze of triumphant colour.

The longest day is here!

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I have celebrated eleven Midsummers at Bealtaine Cottage and watched as the vibrancy of life has taken hold, year after year multiplying in abundance and vitality.

Not even I knew how it was to be!

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This morning, as the sun rose in the East I ventured into the gardens to greet the day that rose above the trees.

It was truly magical to see and be a part of!

Walking down the driveway to the road below the gardens, it seemed that every small part of this once barren land was singing!

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A once close held vision of an abundant and unbridled Mother Earth, has come to pass…

She breathes,

She sings,

She is allowed to be…

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My joy is to share it with you…

that all this is possible…

for if it can manifest here in this once poor little place, then it is possible for all the Earth!

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Almost one million views will have been registered here at bealtainecottage.com.

It is my wish that this message of renewal and resilience continues to spread across the world.

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We are at a point in human history when all seems to be infested with despair.

It does not have to be this way.

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It is our choice.

We choose death or we choose life.

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We all know, intuitively, what is causing the cancer of despair.

The remedy is to be found around us, if we but open our eyes, unshackle our hearts and begin our work as healers, shamans, nurturers, carers, even warriors…for Mother Earth.

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It cost me little but time and work to release Eden here at Bealtaine Cottage.

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We can stand at the crossroads today, on this longest of days, and peer into our future.

Bealtaine Cottage before and after

It doesn’t have to be like this, as once Bealtaine Cottage was…

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Choose to be part of manifesting Eden…it’s in every choice we make!

If you would like to subscribe to the new website, “Bealtaine Cottage Good Life” and catch up on recent words and pictures, please click on the link at the top of this page. See you there!

Posted in Gardens, Growing Food, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

Thrive

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Seedlings are thriving in the tunnel.

Spring is in full bloom and life is thriving at Bealtaine Cottage.

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There is a certain joy in the air that is spiralling outwards and upwards capturing the energy of all life.

April 2011 Earth Day at bealtaine cottage permaculture gardens

Primulas and Lady’s Mantle show off their form and colour, jostling for attention as the sun rises higher and higher in the clear blue skies above this little cottage.

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I love archways like this in the gardens, for there is something deeply spiritual and connective about the shape of them, joining one side of a path to another…connecting, as we’re all connected!

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Green, deep shades of green symbolising life at it’s most potent and powerful.

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Healing colour that pulses energy through the eye and deep into the human mind creating calm and joy.

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As Mother Earth thrives, so do we.

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The connection is so very simple to make.

We need little education to understand this most elemental of connectors we share with her.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

We need Nature to thrive.

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There is much to be said for the “Green Economy”, including the aspects of personal health and well-being we acquire through allowing Nature and ourselves to thrive.

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If you want to thrive, go to Mother Nature.

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If you want children to thrive, place them in Nature.

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The sounds, sights, scents of Mother Earth are all around us.

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The eminent Archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas, describes the power of Nature so well… “Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hills, trees and flowers. hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery of all there is on Earth.”

It’s time to go to her and begin to thrive.

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Bealtaine Cottage website is free, with over 1,000 blogs and 4,500+ photographs.

However there is a new website for lovers of all things Bealtaine…

News on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life: A new post published on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…LEGACY. 19/APRIL

Please support Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, by subscribing.

 Bealtaine Cottage Good Life

A new website…

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list and give you full viewing of the new website!

Click on button below to make your subscription.

Thanks for your loyal support, encouragement and good wishes.
Blessings XXX

Posted in care for the earth, EU, government, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

A Loaded Gun

“Western civilization is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet.”
Terence McKenna

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I was shocked when I first read this quote!

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However, it is not a statement I can debate, because, from where I am at this moment in time, I have to agree.

It is short and succinct!

It is true.

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Returning recently from a shopping trip to Sligo, my head aching from the slow trawl around shops, keeping apace with other shoppers, most of whom seemed in a trance-like state, almost zombified; it struck me that many were there as a source of passive entertainment.

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Shopping has become a pastime for many.

What does this say about our society?

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Is it merely that we are nothing more than consumers?

Let’s face it, our governments have long since created the global economic model upon that premise, that we are consumers of a vast global shopping mall.

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I live in the EU, where the government in Brussels are continually at odds with people, like myself, who demand a more democratic representation of our views.

Full Moon at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Many of these disagreements focus around the EU contamination by big business and corporations which run inherently different policies to the representation of the people.

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Those I speak with, especially on the Bealtaine Cottage website, are sickened and angry with such things as the TTIP, Monsanto, agricultural policies and suchlike!

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For my part, I loathe guns and any analogies to them.

I do not want to be part of a loaded gun pointed at Mother Earth!

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Yet, we are governed in a way which is opposite to what we believe to be right!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

I was happy to get home from shopping.

My head was sore!

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All the over-wrapped, cheaply produced goods made me feel sick.

Plastic and chemicals that I knew my beautiful Mother Earth would have to deal with!

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As the car turned into the entrance to Bealtaine, I heaved a sigh of relief.

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I imagine that feeling to be an integral part of what the land releases on a daily basis…

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I can’t change the system of corruption within government, but I am aware of its inexorable collapse…for this madness is not sustainable.

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We all know, like the Titanic, it’s going down.

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And, like the Titanic, those on the bridge can neither see the disaster in front of them, nor believe their vessel to be so easily destroyed.

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, new Year Clearout, painting, Permaculture, stuff, Sustainable Living

Renewal

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You may recall how I began clearing out “stuff” before the Midwinter.

Since then I have begun to enjoy the freedom of less and less stuff.

In keeping with this new sense of space and energy in and around the cottage, I have gone in seek of leftover paint, so as I could begin the task of painting and renewing as much of the cottage and gardens as possible.

The veranda wall of the cottage has not seen paint in several years, so a good wash down and paint was begun this afternoon.

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I scavenged two pots of paint and set about mixing them…I am happy with the result, a kind of peachy white.

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My energy has been renewed as I embarked on a plant-based diet a week ago.

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Washing the tunnel and clearing out the beds inside have been completed.

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The beds have been raked over and are ready to plant into during the weeks ahead.

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Another task undertaken this weekend was the cleaning out of the hen-house.

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They are enjoying masses of fresh oat straw!

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As the daylight faded and I packed the paint away until the morning, I began to see the lovely tones of the freshly painted wall.

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Each Bealtaine Cottage blog consists of about two hours work.
Thanks so much to those who have donated and for supporting this website!
If you would like to make a donation of appreciation, then I thank you most sincerely.

Blessings
Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Ireland, Permaculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living, Trees

Chocolate Brownies on a Frosty Morning

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The oven was very hot on the wood stove last night.

As I watched the thermostat creep forever upwards, I imagined it to be a sign…to make a batch of Vegan Chocolate Brownies…never waste a hot oven!

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And so I quickly got the ingredients together from the pantry and whipped up a tray and a half of these delicious, and extremely nutritious, treats.

I went to bed safe in the knowledge that the morning would be filled with hot coffee and chocolate brownies…and it is!

The recipe?… I hear you ask!

Well, here goes…

Vegan Chocolate Brownies

1 can coconut milk

Half a glass of organic millet (I use a half pint glass)

150g chopped dates

Mix together in a saucepan and cook slowly on low heat for about 40 minutes

Meanwhile…

Mix and mash in a big bowl:

3 ripe bananas (I buy the brown bananas very cheap!)

half a glass of cocoa powder

4 tblsps sunflower oil

3 tblsps cornflour

1 tsp baking soda

Mix both mixtures together when ready.

At this stage I add oats, sesame seeds and other healthy seeds and grains I may have to hand..in total about 2-4 ozs

Spoon into a big baking tray and set walnuts on top.

Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes.

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And there you have it…no animal products whatsoever and very healthy!

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Meanwhile, Sammy Bear and Charlie are making full use of the dresser, as Jack has taken to sneaking their food!

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The day was just gorgeous yesterday, all sunshine and rainbows.

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With the diversity of planting comes lots of winter colour, as you can see…much more interesting than a lawn!

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All this and wood for the stove!

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Complete with a rainbow!

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This morning is very cold and frosty, but equally beautiful.

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With fresh coffee and brownies, it is idyllic!

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The stove is lit and the kettle sings low.

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There is a small stretch in the days…about 15 minutes per week is added to daylight after the Solstice!

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The frost is welcome as it will help in breaking down garden waste and allowing it to be taken down into the earth by the worms and insects.

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There are plenty of leaves all over the gardens waiting to be dealt with in this way.

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Never clear a winter garden, or cut back too early!

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Mother earth, Permaculture, snow, Sustainable Living, Winter

Earth Art

I work for the Great Earth Mother.

I feel honoured to capture images of her and post them through Bealtaine Cottage.

I believe that more and more of human life will come to honour the Great Mother through these images.

This is her Art…Earth Art.

(These images were captured here at Bealtaine Cottage during the Winter of 2010)

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“Remain faithful to the earth,

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my brothers and sisters,

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with the power of your virtue. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth. sun 19 12 10 032

Thus I beg and beseech you. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. 

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Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away.

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Lead back to the Earth the virtue that flew away,

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—back to the body,

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back to life,

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that it may give the Earth a meaning,

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a human meaning.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…I have posted over 120 videos about Permaculture, Sustainable living practice, planting, growing and living.

I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written almost 800 blogs on this Bealtaine Cottage website.

As an advocate for Mother Nature, Permaculture, Sustainable Living Practice, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from either the Irish government or EU.

Everything created here is self-funded, with a little support from occasional donations..

Any donation, no matter how small, goes a long way in sustaining and developing this site.

Blessings
Posted in Collapse, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

The Great Collapse

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The great collapse of society, as we know it, is under way.

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Most people are unaware of this.

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Every aspect of controlled living is the same as ever it was.

Sammy-Bear says "Hello!"

The television keeps pumping out much of the same.

Supermarkets hum with shoppers.

Christmas lights flicker in shopping centres.

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The madness of more predominates a world in crisis.

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The populations of countries, channelled to look one way, as governments and the one percent carry on their relentless rendition of acquisition and destruction.

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Look at how we live compared to a few decades ago…

There is no longer a mentality of saving for one’s heart’s desire.

All is instant, right down to the way we satisfy our hunger.

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Hunger?

Merely a concept to most people in the western world.

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I dare not say developed, for that implies evolved and the fact is, we are not in the least bit evolved!

We devour resources, as we revolve.

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Society is revolving on a mad merry-go-round of consumption.

Revolving, not evolving!

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We all know, in our mere moments of sanity, that this cannot go on.

Eco-systems around us are collapsing.

Species extinction is a runaway train-wreck.

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Another Christmas looms, as people prepare to celebrate the birth of a baby with an orgy of consumerism!

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We should take a bit more notice of that collapse and extinction, for anyone with common sense knows who’s next!

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Future generations will look back upon this time and refer to it as the Great Collapse, much in the same way as we refer to the death of millions in The Great War.

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And, as we all know, there was nothing great about it!

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Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…I have posted over 120 videos about Permaculture, Sustainable living practice, planting, growing and living.

I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written almost 800 blogs on this Bealtaine Cottage website.

As an advocate for Mother Nature, Permaculture, Sustainable Living Practice, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from either the Irish government or EU.

Everything created here is self-funded, with a little support from occasional donations..

Any donation, no matter how small, goes a long way in sustaining and developing this site.

Blessings
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Sustainable Living, Winter

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

 

Posted in Abundance, Books, Celtic Mythology, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Sustainable Living

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.

Posted in care for the earth, Current Affairs, destruction, government, Mother earth, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, war

Forces of Evil

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There is so much happening in the world at present that many of you are struggling to keep abreast of all the doom and gloom, with the war machine ramping up into full steam ahead and governments failing to really listen to the will of the people.

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Of course it is as much about money, power and control, as all the previous slaughter on this struggling little planet. Make no mistake, there are forces of evil at work…and they are ALL man made…there is NOTHING supernatural about them!

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The bigger picture is, as it always was, about life on this small, perfectly designed  and formed Sacred Earth.

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This is what is important…the sacredness of Mother Earth.

How much longer can the Great Mother tolerate the slash and burn tactics used by the criminal elite?

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When governments and government funded (through tax breaks) corporations, are not slashing and burning the Earth, they are usurping the natural world away from the people they are supposed to serve and represent, by privatizing and corporatizing OUR natural resources.

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This is not about  protecting Sacred Earth, but creating fiefdoms to harness all the resources of Mother Earth into a vast monster, that is regarded as unassailable and protected by the very laws meant to protect us from such iniquities. 

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So when I refer to this madness as “Forces of Evil,” I am not exaggerating…for evil is not a part of the natural world, but a dark, malevolent force of great destruction created by Man!

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Evil must be resisted…always.

For my part, I am never afraid of evil, but simply contemptuous of it…it is not to be tolerated!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, climate change, diet, meat-free, places to stay, Sustainable Living, Vegan, Vegetarian

Be The Change You Want To See!

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Sustainable living in full sunshine as the Indian Summer continues in the West of Ireland. The back door remains open and the rain barrels stand empty.

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This has been the driest September I have recorded in the ten years spent here at Bealtaine Cottage.

There is something afoot in the climate…it has changed into a series of extreme weather events.

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And so we must adapt as best we can, for there is nothing being done by governments here in the west.

It’s all talk and taxes!

The majority of people I have spoken with are concerned, but not to the point of implementing real changes in their lives.

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People appear to be looking to others, to see what changes are being implemented and then tending to follow suit, to a greater or lesser degree.

In this respect, I feel energized to keep writing my blog, to let people see that it is possible to live sustainably in style and comfort!

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it is the choices we make which empower, or disempower us.

No corporation, government or institution want you, the human being, to know that!

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Many imagine that their personal choices make no difference in terms of impact on their environment, but they do!

Each choice, every decision that is implemented, has a direct and cumulative effect on the planet, for everything is connected!

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I have a visitor this weekend. I have chosen to make a vegetarian cottage pie…this is the filling and it tastes yummy!

There is no need to be part of the killing industry, no need at all.

As a vegetarian and aspiring vegan, my health is good and I have lots of energy.

I have visited the doctor twice over the past ten years.

I feel good about that choice, for I truly love all animals.

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My guest will have home made pizza tomorrow and here is the sauce being cooked on the stove.

Cooking the day before allows all the flavours to infuse.

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And we shall eat in a style that does not cost the earth in an unfitted kitchen.

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If we recognise that there is immense change ahead for us all in the climate chaos manifesting, then we can build as much resilience into our homes and lives as possible.

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My guest will stay in the Eco-lodge, heated to perfection with this small wood-burning stove, where the kettle sings constantly ready for tea.

Be the change you want to see!

Posted in Autumn, Bees, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

Irish Country Magazine

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With the sun shining bright in the sky and just a touch of autumn in the air, I spent some lovely time being interviewed for Irish Country Magazine.

The interest in sustainable living is growing!

I’ll let you know when the interview is published.

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There is something of an Indian Summer happening here in the west of Ireland and it’s pretty gorgeous too!

Grapes are beginning to turn colour and ripen on the vine.

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The early morning walk was tempered with a small chill in the air.

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Yesterday was spent cutting the overgrowth in the undergrowth along the hedge on the west side of the driveway.

I am cutting all the Goat Willow, which will grow very fast next year and fill the gaps.

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In the meantime, there are stacks of wood every couple of metres along the hedge!

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It promises to be a good week, filled with sunshine and warmth…our promised “Indian Summer!”

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I shall leave the seed-heads on the Buddleia for the small birds to enjoy eating over the first few months of Autumn…time enough in cutting them back!

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Something of the Mediterranean about the cottage this morning, as the day warmed up…

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It’s not often that the sky is as blue as the watering can, but…

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The bees continue to enjoy Nasturtiums flowers…

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As the leaves hold onto the precious morning dew.

Posted in Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Edible Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts

Economy? The Future is Local…the Illusion of Growth

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I keep hens.

These hens feed into my local economy in small, positive ways.

However, these beautiful creatures are not part of Ireland’s economy, despite their consistent hard work!

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Economic growth is all about measuring the flow of money.

Surplus eggs at Bealtaine Cottage are bartered for other goods.

The details of that growth are almost irrelevant.

Yet, every day, the news is filled with details about the economy, difficult to relate to any aspect of our daily lives.

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There is not one aspect of what I do here at Bealtaine Cottage which would be deemed to contribute to economic growth. Sewing, spinning, planting trees, growing food, supporting wildlife, caring…

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Planting trees?

Only measured on the day of cutting and selling!  

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Ensuring the land is brought back to fertility…not measured.

If it cannot be measured in  the transfer of money, then it is not counted.

If you produce what you consume, then, apparently, you do not produce…the real economy of people like me is zero.

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However, the future is local in terms of the real economy, because the real economy is about real people and the real lives they lead!

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I believe that in order to stabilize the world, we must first stabilize our country and in order to do that, we must ensure our homes and communities are efficient and resilient.

The future can only be welcomed if our present is secure.

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We are of real flesh and blood; real feelings: compassion and hope; real lives, not economic statistics on the six o’clock news.

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The future is local, resources are plentiful; the future is us…just us and justice!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Food, Frugal Living, Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Thrift, Trees

A Day of Sustainable Living at Bealtaine Cottage

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Sewing patchwork today…finishing a bedspread…with the back-door open and the birds singing!

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Producing and using surplus is an integral part of living sustainably. 

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Upcycling our waste in a wasteful society is a way to create growth. 

If there is going to be a future, then our past cannot be used as a template.

We have lived in a state of excess at the cost of the future.

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Making soup today has allowed me to harvest and use vegetables from the garden, especially Spinach.

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…mmm!

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I love Spinach!

With lots planted in the tunnel and heaps of seedlings coming on in pots, this is one winter green of plenty this year!

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There are lots of windfall apples at the moment and this is the time to get out and collect them up for pies and juice.

Stew down the apples ready for a tart and store in the freezer or even can it…that means jar really!

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Having the stove fired up for cooking the soup and baking, means drying clothes in a very natural and cost-free way.

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Cleaned out the hen house and run…now there’s lots of poopy straw to spread on the vegetable beds before I mulch them with cardboard…great, organic and free vegetables for next year!

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The girls are happy! This deep litter allows a good amount of fertile straw to be used in the vegetable gardens and as a fertile mulch…for free…eggs are a sideline!

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Rosehips from the Rosa Rugosa are ripening…these make the very best Vitamin C syrup!

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Beautiful colouring on the Amalanchier trees today.

A feast for the soul!

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Blackberries continue to ripen…free fruit that not enough people bother to pick and use…though more are enjoying the fruits of foraging!

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Cleared the space beneath this Ash tree to make a little sitting and meditation space.

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Made a green juice to start the day, using Apples, Lemon Balm, Mint,  Kale and Wheatgrass from the garden. Now that’s what fired me up for a day of sustainable living!

 

Posted in Sustainable Living, Thoughts

While Rome Burns…

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There are no solutions to the instability in the world that I care to offer, as my voice is irrelevant in the scheme of things that cause mayhem and war.

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I can only offer advice on what works for me…on what keeps me sane in a world filled with lunacy!

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Keep grounded!

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Do what you have to do and do it well!

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Look ahead into the seasons and make plans for planting, working, visiting and caring for the world around you.

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Think about ways in which you can heal the world around you, be positive and nurture.

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Don’t allow the mayhem to grind you down…life went on after the Fall of Rome, as well we know!

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Remember, even as war, austerity and breakdown of society is happening right now in countries around the globe, people continue to look after their children, grow food, make food, wash clothes and generally get on with life as best they can.

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For all the negative and dreadful news we are battered with on a daily basis, remember there are real people around you doing good things!

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The mainstream media rarely reports on good people.

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The next time you share a conversation with someone, compliment them on a little thing to lift their spirits, for it will be paid forward, it will!

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I can say, with absolute certainty,  there are many more good people on this Earth than bad…and sometimes, those we perceive to be bad are just hurting.

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The world is as beautiful, peaceful and abundant as each of us are prepared to make it!

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Blessings for a wonderful weekend XXX

As a member of the other website you get to see another 95 blogs not available publicly. The latest one, “Radical Changes” has been posted today, 29 November 2016. Here’s the link…

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

Posted in ancient, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Folklore, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Woodland

Transition

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The transition has begun.

Knitting has been brought out from hibernation.

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The final seeds have been sown.

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And  the flowers and herbs continue to thrive in the potager beds, the warmth of the gravel and stones keeping them in a summer state.

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Seasonal adjustments are happening all over the northern hemisphere, as the days draw close to balance and equinox. 

 

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Berries are in abundance this year, some say a sign of a harsh winter, but that’s to be seen.

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Cotoneaster, Hazel, Blackcurrant and Fuschia all here together.

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The changing colours are so very gentle and subtle, but they’re there if one looks…

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Blackberries ripen near the stone circle, as the leaves mottle and turn towards Autumn.

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The Sloes on the Blackthorn are ready to pick…these will make some fine Sloe Gin for Midwinter.

The Sloes are pricked with a pin and pushed into a bottle half-filled with Gin.

The bottle is then sealed and buried in the earth until Yuletide celebrations, when it is ceremoniously dug up and partaken of!

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Deep within the Fairy Wood, Autumn creates some more magic…

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These tiny mushrooms are growing on a dead branch of Goat Willow.

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Crocosmia Monbretia in all its Autumn glory.   

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Woodland

Co-Creating With Nature

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Being brought up, as a child in a terraced house without a garden, I have often wondered where my passion for Mother Earth, growing, gardening and the environment emerged from.

I’m still thinking about that!

What I wanted to share with you today encompasses an afternoon’s work here at Bealtaine Cottage.

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Well, this afternoon I opened up a completely new path through the trees and shrubs planted over the years, into a beautiful world created by Mother Earth and nurtured by me through many seasons.

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Today, the inner voice I share with her drew me down into the Fairy Wood, slowly cutting a path into a very special part of this land.

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She has been left alone, protected by brambles and branches to create something very beautiful and exquisite.

The tree is an old ash which had been coppiced.

When a tree is coppiced, not only does one get a massive amount of wood for the stove, but the tree sends up multiple shoots, which in turn become trees, like this.

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The stones around the base are now deep in moss.

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Primroses and Ferns have naturalized in the woodland earth.

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Lords and Ladies adorn the base of the tree in red jewels.

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I just had to share this amazing little path with you.

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Mother nature is just amazing and re-generative!

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Ten years from rushy, monoculture field to magical, permaculture woodland! 

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Frugal Living, Garden, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Trees

A Permaculture Day Out

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As we begin to embrace the beauty of early Autumn, I am getting requests about the availability of B&B at Bealtaine Cottage over the coming cooler months.

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Lots of you want to visit Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens and they will remain open all the way through the year! bealtainecottage.com 006

For those who want a little bit more than just a visit, I am offering a Full Day Experience which includes Lunch and Dinner. bealtainecottage.com 076

This affords the opportunity to spend a full day here, asking all the questions about permaculture and Sustainable Living you ever wanted to!

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See how it all works first hand!

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The cost remains the same as before.

Lunch…15 euros.

Dinner…20 euros

Garden Visit…10 euros.

So a full day is only 45 euros, with all the food you can eat!

Oh, and that includes lashings of tea and home-made cake!

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If you’d like to book a day, that will change how you see the world and your own life, contact coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 012

For more details and booking.

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Days are limited to a maximum of 4 people only per day…this is a cottage after all!

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I look forward to hearing from you!