Easiest Ever Soup Recipe!

Soup, especially home made soup, is the mainstay meal of the Winter, providing healthy nourishment every day. I decided to get a big pot of Vegetable Soup going today. The stove was hot and I was sorting out the kitchen cupboards. Here you can see the remainder of a wonderful bouquet of flowers I received last weekend on my birthday. I sorted through the vase and immersed them in fresh water…they should stay good for at least another week! As I write this blog, the cottage is filled with the aroma of the soup cooking on the stove. Home made soup…

Easy Family Food Vegan Style

This is a photo blog of food…Vegan food made especially for my family, yesterday and today. The recipes are all simple and easy…like this Sweet Potato and Caramelised Red Onion Pate! The food in the first photo consists of a Green Salad with Olive Oil and Basil dressing; Spicy Roasted Veg., Bulgar Wheat and Ginger sauce…all home made in a short space of time…a delicious lunch! I hosted a dinner party on Sunday, for my grandson who is off to Canada tomorrow, (Tuesday). And baked some very easy bread! Then baked the same recipe again today! I also made a…

Stop Criticizing and Do Something About It!

“Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF” ~The Guardian This shocking truth has been sinking in over recent months! “Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.” ~ The Guardian Half of the animal life on the planet has been lost to human consumption. Greed, gluttony and sheer arrogance have brought the world we inhabit to the brink of destruction. Any time I…

Be The Change You Want To See!

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. 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. 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…

A New Way of Living

Food production can be a problem for many people who have little or no access to land. There are many who live in conditions where even a balcony is a precious space. I have spoken before about the ways in which access to growing space can be achieved, through allotments, community gardens and the like, but here is something which may prove to be an inspiration, a new way of looking at food, both growing it and eating! As an aspiring Vegan, (sometimes I miss the mark!) and dedicated grower and lover of all life, I have recently been converted…

Food Harvest 2020

Small farms in Ireland are in a steady decline and have been for several decades now. In fact farming is now referred to as an “industry”…a most illuminating use of language! The pressure on small farmers to produce more and more, (mostly meat), is driving many off the land, as they find it difficult to compete with the bigger landowners and thus meat growers! The countryside is fast losing vital habitat, as hedgerows are pulled out, trees felled and field size increased. There is a government initiative behind this, of course…”Food Harvest 2020!” The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the…

Lifting the Spirits

Midwinter is over. For many the celebration of Christmas has begun. Last minute frenetic shopping today and tomorrow… The days here at Bealtaine are beginning to lengthen. Not tangible as yet, but optimism for more daylight has taken hold and sometimes that is enough…simply knowing that the darkness has passed. The cottage remains in a post-midwinter party state, with chairs pushed back and floor-space revealed. It may be a day or two before this is sorted, for I want to escape outdoors, despite the stormy weather! The lush greenery on the mantelpiece will stay in place for as long as…

The Permaculture Loop of Plenty!

Harvesting continues from the Potager beds. It’s worth noting that theses productive little beds, built near the back of the cottage, straight onto gravel, have no soil in them whatsoever! Soil is precious here in North Roscommon and the land is rushy and wet, so I filled the beds with home-made cold compost and shredding…I continue to build up the structure with shredding, made in my little electric shredder! The beds carry a lot of food in them still, due to the close planting system I use…as food and flowers are harvested, other plants spread themselves out and the gaps…