Posted in Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Gardens, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees

Letter From Christine…

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I often receive letters and emails from those who have visited Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens.

DSC02042I treasure them as the words therein inspire me to keep on this busy path of sharing Bealtaine and caring for the Earth.

DSC02041This evening I have taken more photographs to share with you, as I share the words penned by Christine, who visited Bealtaine some days ago.

DSC02040Thank you dear Colette for the wonderful time with you in Bealtaine Cottage yesterday.

DSC02039We felt so nourished and inspired, your inspirational company, wise words and delightful home so full of beauty, vitality, and a healing presence. 
DSC02038Almost like a dream for me waking this morning and feeling – wow – I was actually sitting with you yesterday in your garden, stroking Jack, enjoying our conversation, my eyes feasting on the plants, flowers and trees, the sounds of the light rain, the chimes, the birds and your soothing voice…a real treat. (Of course eating your gorgeous vegan brownies too).
DSC02037We all feel very grateful to you.

DSC02036It’s a total inspiration having you create and share Bealtaine Cottage and being not far from us here, a ‘wake-up’ and an eye opener! 

DSC02035 We each felt so comfortable, at ease and at home…of course many questions bubble this morn inspired from our visit. 
DSC02034And also some grief…some of what you shared about deep sadness for how we are living as a civilisation, how we have lived with such lack of respect for the earth, the animals and plant kingdoms and also each other.

DSC02033Such disconnection…and some of that being reflected in the challenges we have to face…
DSC02032We went up to the Queen Maeve Cairn at Knocknarea after leaving you…such breathtaking views…

DSC02031I felt very grateful and blessed for good souls like yourself, living from the heart, soulfully, passionately, the warrior energy to follow one’s own heart-calling and live it, a real warrior path…takes courage tuning into one’s own heart, not that of the tribe or the need to be accepted and fit-in.
DSC02030So thanks again dear Colette. Much love to you, to Jack and Sammy Bear and of course your beautiful space and it’s healing spirit. 
Christine x (Nick and Raphael xx)” 

DSC02026On this night of the first new moon of Lughnasadh, I am content to be compared to a warrior.

DSC02025For, in so many ways, my journey to this point has been a battle at times…not with Mother Earth, but over the twelve past years, on my own, when I have had to motivate myself to stay with the project.

DSC02024There have been times along the way, when I have felt nurtured by others, the kindness of strangers on the internet who have supported me when I have needed it most.

DSC02023Serendipity has played a huge part in the Bealtaine Project!

You know who you are…and my blessings are many and often as I think of you!

DSC02022This year has witnessed a beautiful maturity in all I have planted and continue to love. I, in turn, feel nurtured by Mother Earth… There is a lot still to be done as we move into uncertain times. 

DSC02021There are important messages to share that empower us to act in support of Mother Earth, such as I share on my Twitter and FaceBook accounts…

DSC02020Digging Mother Earth releases into the atmosphere…and why I don’t dig! DSC02018Likewise… absorb from the air, through the small holes (stomata) present on the lower side of

DSC02016We are putting out double the amount of that can be absorbed by plants on Earth…Plant more!

DSC02015Carbon is a gaseous food absorbed by plants…so let’s plant more!

DSC02014Social Media is a powerful tool and can be used for great good in getting simple messages like these out there!

DSC02013 And, like all old warriors, I’ll just keep on keeping on!

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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 agriculture, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, care for the earth, climate change, Collapse, Earth, EU, Trees, Wildlife, Woodland

Developing a Woodland from Zero

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From monoculture rushy land to woodland in under twelve years.

Not just any woodland, but a food forest woodland, as you can see from one of the thousand plus trees planted above…a Greengage!

This is the only lawn here, enjoyed by Jack!

DSC01549There follows a series of forty plus photographs taken here at Bealtaine Cottage in July 2016.

DSC01548DSC01494DSC01547 The Bealtaine Cottage Land Restoration Project was started in late 2004.

DSC01495It was a challenge for one woman with zero resources to restore what was deemed by the EU as “Poor Land”…a term I vehemently challenge!

DSC01496DSC01497There is no such thing as “Poor Land”  just ABUSED EARTH!

DSC01498DSC01499DSC01500As with all EU projects that entail putting Mother Earth first, there was zero funding for this!

DSC01501DSC01503DSC01504Not to be deterred…(I never am!) at the age of forty eight, I took on a mortgage to help buy this bereft, sad-looking little place, with the dream of returning it to Eden.

DSC01506DSC01507DSC01508I believe the Earth is sacred.

DSC01510DSC01509DSC01511The rest of the story is told here in these photographs…

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The fact that I have planted this entirely on my own, growing much of what you see from seeds and cuttings, makes this a workable model for anyone to follow…

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Posted in Abundance, Earth, Eco-Living, forest gardens, Gaia, Garden, Lough Allen Basin, Mother earth, Permaculture, Trees, Woodland

Garden to Visit in Ireland…Unique…Permaculture!

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

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

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

I continue today and will share pics later on!

Love and Blessings XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

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

https://bealtainecottage.com/visiting-bealtaine-cottage/

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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 Thrift, Trees, vegetable garden

A Simple Life

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

a real sofa bedThis is a real sofa bed.

It’s a bed, with a cover and lots of cushions.

sitting roomI needed another sofa in my sitting room.

Simple.

No fuss.

Looks good and is inter-changeable.

Cost: zero!

Mosaic mirrorMost of what I have in my home cost zero.

Like this fancy mirror above the mantle piece…born from broken mirrors and turned into a mirror mosaic.

Cost: zero.

The mantle piece cost 50 euros in a second-hand furniture shop.

mosaic floorThe simplicity of living, almost cash free, is liberating and allows one to appreciate everything that comes ones way.

Like this mosaic floor, created from broken tiles, throw-a ways from a consumer driven society.

mosaic floorLife within the shop-till-you-drop, over-burdened, corporate-controlled madness that passes as culture, is beginning to wane.

mosaic floorMore people are awakening to the liberation of simplicity…a simple life.

Bog Oak garden sculptureOne where culture is developed and creativity valued.

A piece of Bog Oak, found on the…

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Posted in ancient, Fairies, Garden, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland, woodland walk, woods

Magic in the Fairy Wood

On such a morning as this, there can only be one place to gently go…come with me as I venture down into the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage. Nature spirits are in evidence in the lush new growth. Magic abounds…

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Economy, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees

The Economy of Resilience

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During 2014, much of what we assumed to be reality was turned on it’s head.

The great recovery of the economy turned out to be a case of a great slump in China, the economic barometer of the western world.

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For, if we are not buying consumer goods, it reflects in China’s economic growth.

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It became apparent, early on in the year, that China had cut back on it’s imports of raw materials…as for the rest, it does not take a room full of economists to work it out!

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Through all of this, for my part at least, growth excelled here at Bealtaine Cottage.

 Mother Earth, now in full recovery in this little portal, happily gave of her best and settled into her annual rest.

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It was a year of proof.

Proof that resilience is our greatest ally!

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Resilience and the building of this great economy, is possible for all, through the application of basic Permaculture principles.

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To begin with, waste does not exist…everything has a value.

This cottage and three acres used to have a septic tank.

It now boasts a compost toilet.

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The thousand plus trees I planted are grateful for the waste that myself and visitors produce.

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In return to the economy of the cottage, the stove benefits from timber, my purse benefits from not having to pay a septic tank inspection charge and the soil is improved year on year.

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That, in a nutshell, is an example of applied Permaculture, shielding both myself and Mother Earth from the vagaries and demands of an economic model which is killing us all.

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We invented waste as part of the economic model we follow in the west…now fast encroaching on all other countries.

This was not how people lived before the 20th century.

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Read history…even the bed Shakespeare slept in formed part of the estate bequeathed in his will.

For that matter, his coat and garments also formed his estate!

In other words, nothing was considered to be waste!

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Building resilience into one’s life is creating revolution against a system we know to be destroying the future.

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For my part,  Vive La Revolution!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, mountains, New Year, Permaculture, Trees

Voices in the Mist

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The day has changed in a matter of hours.

Sunshine and mist blankets cover the mountain opposite Bealtaine Cottage.

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Then the mist grew in huge swathes, quickly covering the mountain.

The valley became still and silent…so silent that small noises and voices began to travel in echoes.

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I darted in and out of the cottage clutching my camera.

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I never really thought about a planting scheme here at Bealtaine, other than an urgency to plant trees, but it now seems that some sub-conscious force was at work, for there appears to be a plan…

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This garden has a magnificent backdrop, now framed by the trees I planted.

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Especially on a day like today.

The mist has moved quickly.

There is a very cold night ahead according to the weather.

I have chopped wood and filled the basket in the kitchen and one by the back door.

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The mountain has now disappeared.

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As it disappears, I walk around the side of the cottage and notice the increased colour in the hedgerow.

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The colour is rising in the humble Fuschia, grown from cuttings stuck into the ground.

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This reminds me to take lots of cuttings and continue this guerilla gardening in other parts of the land and out onto the roadway.

 I should love to see this beautiful shrub growing as it does here in the west of Ireland…wild!

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I see the Birch trees are hanging onto their decorations…DSC00594

and behind me, voices are calling in the mist.

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 best camera, food forests, forest gardens, gardens in winter, Ireland, new camera, Permaculture, sustainability, Trees

Forest Garden in Winter

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A new camera…thanks to you, who so kindly donated to this little site…and here’s to all the much improved pics to come!

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This is what’s termed a “bridge camera,” that is one between what I had before and a professional camera.

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It is of course a pre-loved model…very loved from the excellent condition and not costing the earth!

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It’s so great to be able to finally capture on film what it is I see in life around Bealtaine Cottage.

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This has given me such a great lift in the depths of Midwinter, that I could sing!

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I hope that as more and more people see these pictures, they will feel inspired to plant trees and maybe even turn lawns into forest gardens!

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The gardens continue to produce food even in the cold, short days of December. Here the Purple Sprouting Broccoli grows amid the freshly added seaweed.

The seaweed was left in the rain to flush out the salt for a few months first.

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These are the colours as you can see, in a garden of trees and shrubs, brightening up the dullest day!

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A forest garden like this only needs work in the form of harvesting, once the planting is complete.

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Though, to be honest, I love to plant and so continue growing from seed and finding room to pursue my passion.

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Much of what I grow from seed I have given away to the hundreds of garden visitors each year.

The colours of the cottage are better illuminated with this camera, as you can see…

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…and all these pics were snapped this morning, on what is a very dull and grey day in terms of the light. 

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Isn’t she lovely?

I am continually followed around the gardens by little Robins, all of whom live here.

There are several breeding pairs in various parts of the smallholding and are all very territorial!

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Looking north this morning…

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The beautiful Elder tree is covered with equally beautiful moss.

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This camera allows for a much wider view of the garden, picking out fine detail too.

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I have often looked at this fern underneath the young Sycamore tree and wished I could show you as I see it…and here it is!

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And the little brass dish that is being enveloped by the tree.

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The eerily empty seed-heads of Lunaria…seeds dispersed, work complete and just the beauty to admire.

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And the plump seed-heads of the May roses continuing to delight!

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And again, thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart…it is your kind donations that keep the website from this little cottage flowing out to the world, a small reminder of the great living beauty that is Mother Earth …bless you X

If you would like to see more, visit Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens, where new images are uploaded each day…

Thank you for supporting, sustaining and developing this site.

                                                                         

 

Posted in Autumn, forests, Trees, woods

A Place To Be Endured

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As a species on this Earth, we are separated from other life forms by consciousness, in that we are aware of our own existence.

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In being aware, we are able to make conscious choices every day, as we proceed through the maze of miracles and events that makes up our lives. Autumn in permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 012

“Live like a tree, giving, forgiving and free.”
Debasish Mridha M.D.

The best choices we make are those that involve, in some way or another, a generosity of spirit, for in those choices we give. Autumn in permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 013

I was walking the gardens this morning…really I should say, woodland, for that is what it has become, and pondering on the way in which all this manifested.

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It began with an unblinking, unfettered generosity of spirit…a conscious choice to simply plant trees into a land bereft of habitat.

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Growing and planting trees from seed has been my work over the past ten years.

Growing trees has been the work of Mother Nature for hundreds of thousands of years.

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However, at this point in time, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, needs our help…for she is so badly damaged by humankind!

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For my part, I continue to sow seeds of mighty trees in small pots…to give away with a generous heart, to the hundreds of annual visitors to Bealtaine.

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So many of you have made this sacred journey with me, planting trees wherever you live, in countries all over the Earth.

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“I have come to the conclusion that imperialism and exploitation are forms of cannibalism and, in fact, are precisely those forms of cannibalism which are most diabolical or evil.”
Jack D Forbes

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“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the Earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’

But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
Chief Luther Standing Bear

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To plant and restore the sacred Earth means that it will never be “a place to be endured…”

We choose!

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“We return to you, O Earth, the things which you have given us willingly and most graciously; with our hearts, hands and minds, in the best way we know how.”
Taj Mahal

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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 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!

Posted in Baking, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, Life, Permaculture, Thrift, Trees, Uncategorized

Home Grown and Home Made Food

 

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The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped.

Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food!

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Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw.

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The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared and tidied.

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Elsewhere in the gardens, the burgeoning beds await their turn to be harvested.

This Golden Oregano will dry nicely and ensure tasty tomato sauces all winter!

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This is a sheltered part of the fruit gardens to leave the potatoes in the ground for a while to come.

Those at the back of the picture will stay where they are.

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You may remember how I mulched this ground last Autumn, using cardboard, straw and shreddings…now you can see the value of this exercise.

The earth is in good condition and any weeds that did grow were very easy to pull.

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This gives you some idea of how permaculture works…a forest garden with lots of shelter, biodiversity and ultimately, resilience!

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Lots of leaf drop feeds the soil, building a much needed fertility.

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Meanwhile, indoors, one of the few electrical items I own is ready to do a lot of sewing.

I also have a hand sewing machine for less labour intensive tasks.

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And in the kitchen I’ve been baking bread and making Houmous Dip.

There really is no comparison to home made and home grown food!

Posted in compost, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Nature, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees

Easiest Ever Compost Toilet

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The post you’ve all been waiting for…the Bealtaine Cottage Compost Toilet.

Easy to install and simple to use.

No running outside on cold mornings to tramp across wet grass to use the toilet!

Permaculture@ bealtainecottage.com 004This is located in the bathroom…not quite a bathroom though as I took out the bath and installed a shower instead! 

There’s still a little bit of tweaking to be done to finish the project off to a high standard, like decorating the wall where the cistern used to be and making a wooden surround with a small door, but as you can see, it is simple and attractive.

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This is the material used for covering one’s toilet.

It is grown here at Bealtaine Cottage, shredded in the shredder and smells nice and pine fragranced, as it is cut from evergreen trees in the gardens.

This material is also anti-bacterial.

Permaculture@ bealtainecottage.com 005There is absolutely no bad odour! 

So what happens next?

compost loo 001The bucket is taken to a corner of the garden, tucked in behind a Willow fedge, and then emptied into a large bin. The bins have holes in the bottom so all liquid is drained out slowly.

compost loo 003This system uses five such bins on a rotation basis. 

After about a year, the contents have turned into sweet-smelling compost that I use around trees in the lower gardens. 

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 002This compost is not used in the productive gardens as I have adequate vegetative compost on site in the vegetable and fruit gardens. 

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 004Besides…the trees thrive on the waste produced here at Bealtaine and in return, I have plenty of wood for my stove…cycle complete!

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 011…and the Arum Lilies seem to like it!

In the course of life here at Bealtaine Cottage, there is really no need for a septic tank…flush it away?

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 009There is no away!

If you liked reading this, why not Like, Comment or share with others on Twitter, FaceBook or email to a friend! Blessings XXX

If you enjoy all the stuff shared from Bealtaine Cottage on FaceBook, Youtube, Podcast, Twitter and this website…

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Climate, compost, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Seeds, Sustainable Living, Trees, Woodland

Little Pots of Magic…She Stirs…

www.bealtainecottage.comThe decision, once made, gathers energy and slowly, slowly begins to move…like a baby discovering it can crawl!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd so it begins…the first small movements of the Forest of Bealtaine, barely perceptible, but felt and experienced.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe Forest of Bealtaine is emerging through seed…seeds collected, saved and sown into pots of Bealtaine compost, that will travel with them, to their final destination, here, somewhere, in Mother Ireland.
www.bealtainecottage.comWhere in Mother Ireland I do not know, but, somewhere on this land bereft of the comfort of cover and canopy, open to the growing harshness of rain, that once fell soft like dew…for the changing weather patterns and climate are taking their toll!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd so She grows!
www.bealtainecottage.comToday the rain falls heavy and my visitors from Dublin have gone.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe heavy rain assures me we need forest…for we are the rocky outcrop of a failing empire
www.bealtainecottage.comThere is no mistake in that word…for it is She with a capital letter, She with a need to grow and nurture.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe land we have collectively failed…our governments collecting carbon taxes whilst fracking the bowels of Mother Earth! www.bealtainecottage.comThe failing Empire of the EU paying Irish farmers to rip out trees, so land can be mapped out for Google Earth Maps!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd all so politicians and bureaucrats can peer and measure and post out cheques…
www.bealtainecottage.comBut what use is money to a people living on a land being ravaged by Climate Chaos?
www.bealtainecottage.comBut here at Bealtaine, the Goddess, the Mother, our Earth is nurtured for in her womb is cradled Eden, waiting to be birthed.
And Bealtaine is one of many birthing places, for the Mother is us and we are her…there is no separation.
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd in these little pots of hope, She grows, and slowly, barely noticeable to visitors, the magic begins to manifest.
www.bealtainecottage.comShe stirs, awakens and is…
Posted in Bees, Cottage, Ecology, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, photography, Summer, Trees

Gardens in Early May

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Growth in the gardens has really taken off!

Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech
Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech

I was away for the weekend in Belfast and returned last night.

Euphorbia and Purple Beech
Euphorbia and Purple Beech

Making coffee and doing my early morning stroll of the gardens, coffee in one hand and camera in the other, it was a revelation…everything has grown and spread since Friday!

Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady's Mantle
Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady’s Mantle

No wonder, as a mix of rain and warmth has created the perfect conditions for plants.

Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage...ready to bloom!
Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage…ready to bloom!

It’s always a pleasure to walk out on a May morning.

DSCF1441It is primarily because of the growth as we ascend towards Midsummer.

By the east gable wall this morning.
By the east gable wall this morning.

The days continue to stretch before us and the promise of Summer holds sway.

Aqilegia under Fuchsia
Aqilegia under Fuchsia

Nights are shorter and days grow longer…

DSCF1460Enjoy the rest of the pics!

Blessings XXX Colette

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It's easy to believe in Fairies...isn't it?
It’s easy to believe in Fairies…isn’t it?

 

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, compost, Cottage, Culture, Current Affairs, E.U., Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Trees, Wildlife

EU Pimping Monoculture Failure!

Bealtaine Cottage March Ribes blossomMist prevails as the earth slowly heats, releasing some of the water absorbed during the wettest winter on record here in Ireland.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March 2011 047The air is still and birdsong echoes through the foggy dew…

The first of the seeds are now sown in a big fish box in the tunnel, made from thick, white polystyrene, once marked out for the dump but rescued and up-cycled here at Bealtaine Cottage…perfect for seeds and young plants!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture march 2011 006There’s a digger at work on the hill of Ballyfermoyle, I hear it’s machinations echoing through the misty morning.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March primrosesYoung trees and bushes are being torn up and tossed aside, in an effort for land to be measured by the EU on Google Maps.

cobwebs Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March Less tree cover shows more grass and it is grassland that the EU are paying farmers here in Ireland to grow.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March 2011 004More grass, more meat, more export, more globalization…you know the story!

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012And so, the Earth is losing more habitat in a land that cannot feed it’s own people…Ireland is heavily reliant on imported food!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture March Another famine lurks around the corner, as monoculture food systems are the order of the day, financed and controlled by the EU bureaucrats, blinkered up to the eyeballs with bullshit!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture March 2011 021In this land of plenty there is little food grown around this area.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture march 2011 004EU sponsored, subsidized and pimped Monoculture prevails!

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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…the donation remains the same no matter where you live, even Outer Mongolia!

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!

Your donation helps remedy that…

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, E.U., Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Seed-Saving, Seeds, Trees, Woodland

This Could Change the World!

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 002Real Crisis in the Economy, Economic Forecasts, Economic Recovery, …the list of headlines, news and political in-fighting over the economy seems endless.

september 2011 bealtaine cottage 012However, the figures that are collected year on year, collated and spun out to us all, regarding the state of our country’s economy, are referred to as GDP or Gross Domestic Product.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 009GDP is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 016This includes trees. 

Dead trees.

Only dead trees!

Trees that have been cut down and transported out of the country, or sold.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage Bealtaine 005Now, imagine this…

May 2011 Bealtaine 005What if living trees were included in GDP?

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 039For, after all, a tree is of more value to us all, alive than dead! 

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008A tree is worth $193,250…

According to Professor T.M.Das of the University of Calcutta. A tree living for 50 years will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, control soil erosion and increase soil fertility to the tune of $31,250, recycle $37,500 worth of water and provide a home for animals worth $31,250. This figure does not include the value of fruits, lumber or beauty derived from trees. Just another sensible reason to take care of our forests.

From Update Forestry Michigan State University

cropped-november-2011-018.jpgGDP is one the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy.

It represents the total dollar value of all goods produced by that country

November 2011 018But, surely, the health of an economy is as much predicated on the health of it’s people, land, air and soil, as it is on exported dollar goods?

May blossom at Bealtaine CottageCan you begin to imagine how the inclusion of all living trees could change how we regard economic health, wealth, growth and progress?

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 018This small step could change the world!

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

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

 

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

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

Posted in Abundance, Badgers, Bealtaine Cottage, Gardens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Trees, Woodland

Free to Install, Renewable, Clean Energy

www.bealtainecottage.com

Coppicing has taken up much of the day.

It’s remarkable just how much wood can be grown from scratch on a small amount of land.

It’s safe to say that there is a surplus of wood here, much of which will continue to grow until next winter.

Coppicing increases the amount of wood growing, as each cut tree will produces up to half a dozen more trees and so the stock increases.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe logs are easy to cut, no chainsaw is required and the cut wood dries out quicker.

The brushwood makes excellent kindling!

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the most environmentally friendly energy on the planet, totally renewable and beneficial to wildlife, water and air!

Can it get any better?

Then why, oh why are governments not rushing to plant deciduous trees and develop wood-burning stove systems in homes? 

 

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Cutting back hedging and dead growth continues apace…I can see the steps once more!

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Spurge has come up early, carpeting the Fairy Wood with soft green.

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There is a gradual movement of green through the land from this Spurge, all the way through to the Mosses and Lichens of Autumn.

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The badgers will come through the wood soon and disturb some of this Spurge in their quest for food, but that disturbance will help in the spreading of this lovely carpet.

As it begins to die back a little, the primroses will make their appearance…and so the succession continues.

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Clouds have maintained a westerly sweep, in from the Atlantic Ocean, heavy with rain.

The wind has calmed down, thankfully…I worry that my cottage roof may get blown away.

It’s old and in need of replacement!

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 More rain is on the way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe forecast is simply that, more rain to follow!

www.bealtainecottage.comStill, living on a hill is a bonus, for as I turn around and point the camera at the  wide expanse of sky, it is blue…and there’s the moon!

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, compost, Crafts, Dogs, Edible Gardens, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, photography, Spring, Trees

A Day in Early Spring

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Juicing is a great way to ensure one has the maximum of vitamins and minerals and this is something I do every day.
It’s also a reason to keep greens growing all the year around, as even small bits can be added to the juicer and vital vitamins extracted.
I’ve used some small bits of Kale that have escaped the frost and storms.
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There is no waste in Permaculture, just compost and more vegetables growing! Compost is the food needed to grow food!
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Slowly, slowly the Willow is cut and stacked…time is running out as the buds thicken! Baskets, Fedges and Obelisks are standing here!
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These beds are fairly sheltered and continue to produce Kale, which is processed in the juicer.
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Fine Willow used in basket weaving waiting to be harvested. The gardens look colourful all the way through Winter, as the stems of Willow, Dogwood, Ash and Birch are revealed.
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So much rain has fallen here in Ireland this Winter and now, in the early days of Spring, the flooding has begun to dominate the landscape. Here at Bealtaine cottage I spent much time in the early days digging out drains and water channels, as well as keeping them maintained over the past ten years…and it has paid off, as you can see from the lower pond. The water runs free, out into the streams and rivers that take it to the Atlantic Ocean. 
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In sheltered areas all over the gardens the ferns have remained green, though a little bit droopy. The winter was mild and warm, with plenty of rain!
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This is the beginning of the wood pile for next winter. It comprises of coppiced logs of Birch, Ash and Hazel. The twiggy bits are thrown into the back of the pile as they make wonderful kindling! These logs may be small, but are perfect for a small wood-burning stove!
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I’ve been stocking up on straw recently, as this makes great mulch around the garden helping to suppress weeds and line paths.
www.bealtainecottage.comGreen Beech hold their leaves right through Winter, adding even more colour and shelter to the gardens! 
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And look who’s keeping an eye on me as I type…my loyal Jack!
Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, New Year, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Woodland

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine Cottage

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

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

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…or two…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensWillow…

willow arches, dogwood and beechWillow…

crossing the pondAnd more Willow!

bog garden of bealtainePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottagePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottageAnd more paths!

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

The postbox at Bealtaine Cottagethe post!

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

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

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

Happy New Year from Bealtaine XXX

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Life, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Trees, Woodland

A Room with a View

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“All our wisdom is stored in the trees.”
― Santosh Kalwar

Continuing this love affair with trees…

www.bealtainecottage.com 004…the view from every window in Bealtaine Cottage…

www.bealtainecottage.com 001trees, trees, beautiful trees!

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“When trees burn, they leave the smell of heartbreak in the air.”
― Jodi Thomas, Welcome to Harmony

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“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

www.bealtainecottage.com 011To plant a tree is to make a statement of faith in the future.

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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake

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“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy…

https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings from Bealtaine X

Posted in Buddha, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Garden, Life, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

The Wood in the Willows

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This is when the coppicing begins…early winter as soon as the leaves have fallen.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011This Willow will make excellent logs for the stove, once properly seasoned.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The thinner bits will be added to the kindling pile and left to dry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Coppicing allows for continual regeneration of woodland and is an excellent way to help young woodland get established.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036This is a selective process and involves wonderful interaction with Nature, as it is slow and steady work.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003This is the interface of the young woodland, colourful and vibrant!

www.bealtainecottage.com 044The warmth of Bealtaine Cottage on a Winter’s night, is fast becoming dependent on this most under-appreciated of all our natural resources…trees!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012As I work through small areas of the gardens, it allows me time to tidy up some of the paths…though allowing the leaves to stay where they fall, as this helps to build soil and define pathways.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Buddha sits among the leaves…

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Meanwhile, down in the Bog Garden, little Che-Mousey enjoys the November sunshine and temperatures of 14 oC!

www.bealtainecottage.com 032Spindle continues to hang onto its berries…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048And the Potager beds, at the back of the cottage, continue to deliver food for the table…

www.bealtainecottage.com 039So far its been a beautifully mild early winter, making the season seem much shorter!

A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy…

https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings from Bealtaine X

Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Frugal Living, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Recycling, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized

A Fireside Chat

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There is much talk about energy and the best way to keep warm.
Last night I arrived back from visiting my mother in Omagh, to a cold cottage.
After walking Jack and feeding the boys, I set about lighting the stove in the Lodge.
Within ten minutes the Lodge was warm and cosy.
I could take off my coat and think about a pot of tea!
www.bealtainecottage.com 001This has got to be the most efficient, and gentle on the planet way, to warm a home, especially using wood from nearby…in my case the land around the cottage.
Why even setting a fire with cardboard is effective and warms the cold air very quickly indeed!
When I lived in London, I was a perpetual Skip Hunter…forever foraging for wood and never disappointed, for the amount of waste in the cities is incredible!
www.bealtainecottage.com 003The kettle sits atop the stove and will be ready for making tea shortly.
Not many gas or oil central heating boilers can do this…for free!
This wood is stuff I collected from the hedgerows.
There is a lot of wood lying around following the storm of last night and it’s just a matter of picking it up!
www.bealtainecottage.com 006Elsewhere in this little Lodge, coziness abounds!
I have started to use the top of the little stove for making soups upon.
The heat is equivalent to that on a gas or electric hob and can be adjusted with regulation of the air-flow.
www.bealtainecottage.com 008The place is toasty warm in a very short time!
Talking of which…making toast by an open fire is the height of luxury!
www.bealtainecottage.com 007This stove only needs a metal chimney and can be installed in a day.
If you can’t install a wood-burning stove, then ensure you make one room in your home as cosy as you can, with a little bed that doubles as a sofa, where you can sleep on especially cold nights.
Here in the Irish countryside there are a lot of splendid looking mansions, all recently built over the past decade.
I doubt if many of them are as cozy and welcoming as this little Lodge.
 
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A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy… https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings X

Posted in biodiversity, Birds, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Gardens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Trees, Woodland

Permaculture Woodland

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Isn’t he lovely?

www.bealtainecottage.com 015This little Robin followed me around the gardens today as I walked Jack.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029I say the gardens, but after spending time walking all the paths, I am now of the opinion that I have 3 acres of woodland…and am delighted at the ongoing transformation from bare, barren, rushy fields, to magical, thronging-with-life, woodland!

www.bealtainecottage.com 032The trees have dropped a huge lot of leaves this year and the paths have taken on a woodland feel,  as I walk, kicking up the colourful debris.

www.bealtainecottage.com 045Such an amazing amount of wood to be cut this winter…and that’s only in tidying up, as the real harvest is ongoing and spans the year.