Kitchen Garden in May

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Between the Potager Beds, shown here, and the tunnel, there’s lots of food being harvested, even in these early days of Summer!

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Masses of Carrots here in the shelter of the tunnel and thinning them out is such a tasty task, as I get to eat the smaller ones, complete with vitamin B12. Maybe that’s something you didn’t know…but B12 is found in the soil and why red meat has it in abundance, for cows and sheep are herbivores! If we ate more homegrown veggies, lightly rinsed and raw, our B12 intake would be taken care of!

I ran out of Russian Kale seed, (posted it all of to many of you!), but no need to worry, as it’s come up on it’s own accord in the tunnel!

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Pumpkins are planted in the Potager here in a bottomless pot, (more room to grow roots!), surrounded by Celery, Lettuce, Beetroot, Beans, Cauliflower, Tomato, and Chard.

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Here’s a Leek opening to flower and seed and lots of baby Leeks around too!

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli is seeding nicely too, so there’ll be lots on the seed site!

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I’ve wrapped some raw wool around the Courgette to protect her from slugs, as well as provide a feed.

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Cauliflower and Kale seem happy enough together in this sheltered Potager.

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The tasty leaves of the Bronze Fennel are essential in salads! This perennial is growing near the veranda.

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Lemon Balm near the back door is another essential salad ingredient.

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There’s lots of Thyme in the tunnel, but this one is in a pot by the new veranda…great added to chopped Garlic and fried with mushrooms!

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Another quirky pot, with Lavender, lettuce and Leeks!

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More Kale…I’ll be on a slug hunt tonight!

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Kale, Peas, Beans and Tomatoes…and a tiny Feverfew coming through!

Lots more to plant and sow…but it’s all underway!

 

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I am charged annually at this top rate because of the sheer volume of photographs on the site…over 15,000 at last count.

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Today at Bealtaine Cottage

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Rain fell last night and continues this morning.

There will be no lack of water in the well for the next few weeks!

DSC00663 I have finally given away my hens…as I no longer eat eggs and there was a lovely home ready and waiting for them where they would be more useful, as they are good layers and their eggs will be anticipated and appreciated where there is a family of people to eat them.

DSC00662I shall miss them, but as with life at Bealtaine Cottage, the void is quickly filled and the hen-house will be re-purposed and appreciated further.

DSC00661In the past, their manure was a part of developing the fertility of the land at Bealtaine, but this is no longer needed.

The compoost system is now working very well and far exceeds what any animal manure could bring to three acres.

DSC00659Seed production is well under way, with some of the harvest already collected and much more coming to fruition.

DSC00660We are now one week away from Midsummer, as evidenced in the lush growth seen here! 

DSC00655We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans.  They are part of our own body.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC00658The fruit trees and bushes were pruned back quite hard over the course of last Autumn and Winter and they are happily producing yet another bumper harvest.

DSC00656 …no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.  

~Vaclav Smil 

DSC00657Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.  

~Charles Cook  

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“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee

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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Seedlings, Slugs and Political Shenanigans

On this beautiful day in the west of Ireland…Potting on seedlings, dealing with slugs and enjoying a bit of a rant! When something is not right, then it’s just not right!

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Magical Days

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Gardens in Spring are one of Nature’s great delights.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage the back door remains open and the sun streams in.

My grandson, Dylan sips tea, whilst nearby, Charlie sleeps on the rocking chair.

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It is days like these that are idyllic to recall, as the days of Spring and Summer stretch out before us. 008

Sammy-Bear sits by the open door, enjoying the strong sunshine.

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Somewhere in the scheme of things, as the days lengthen and the early morning birdsong touches our souls, a deep sense of optimism pervades the humdrum of everyday life.

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Animals react to Spring with displays of joy.

The image of the Spring lamb are there for all to see, but look at the behaviour of other animals…

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And the Earth itself…I can smell the grass growing…it’s an earthy, green, living smell that intoxicates!

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As I walk among the Potager beds in the garden, I notice how the Purple Sprouting Broccoli is regenerating, almost as fast as I can pick the small sprouts.

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In the tunnel, Calendula flowers on last Summers plants…a welcome reminder of the flowers to come and oh, they smell so sweet!

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Buds on the Peach tree are beginning to thicken.

This was a broken tree I rescued from the waste of a big store.

It’s taken four years to nurture it into a strong tree and this year, maybe, just maybe, I shall have some fruit!

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The Kale has over-wintered well, keeping me supplied with plenty of this rich food through the dark months.

Now, as almost all the leaves have been harvested, it begins to sprout abundance all over again.

Time to feed and water well!

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This Celery was planted and stem harvested last Spring.

It has regenerated and will provide yet more nutrients for juicing!

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Spring flowers, beauty to behold…feeding the spirit as I work in the kitchen.

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Flowers on the Ribes bushes have opened.

These will be ready to feed early awakening bees.

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Wood, stacked in Wigwam shape to air dry before being cut and moved to the barn.

There is so much wood here at Bealtaine that I am never going to get around to coppicing more than about 25%!

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Taking the time to bend down and look closer to the Earth, sights like this remind one there is another world below our view, reacting to the energy of Spring.

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I hope you make time to go out into Nature and find repose with her, for these are days of Spring magic…Magical days indeed!

Preparedness

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Midwinter has passed, and with it, the counting down of the days towards the light.

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Visitors have now left and the cottage seems eerily quiet…somewhere in the stone walls I can hear a mouse scrambling about.

The cats are sleeping off their party food, including creamy custard from the sherry trifle, and are ensconced on top of the straw bales in the barn.

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This was my first opportunity to get out into the gardens and observe the flow of the water through the ponds after all the heavy rain of recent days.

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The weather has been very warm with heavy rain.

The temperature has stayed around and above 55F day and night.

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Despite the midwinter, there remains plenty of colour in the gardens.

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Dogwoods of red and lime green, willow and evergreens merge to make a colourful picture, especially in the winter.

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The weather experts are fore-casting possible snow and hard frost after Christmas and before New Year.

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The worst of the weather is yet to come, as so often is the case in December.

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The warm weather has seen the continued growth of Fungi, one of the beautiful aspects of decaying wood.DSC00261

I have watched the cost of food escalate this year, so am mindful that this is a good time to start preparing food-grow areas, such as raised beds.

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The small potager beds here at Bealtaine continue to give food through these darks days of winter.

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If you have not yet started a compost heap, then section off a corner of the garden for that too.

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There’s masses of leaves still on the ground, so just bagging these up will give you precious leaf mould in the growing season!

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I want to take this opportunity to say a huge “Thanks” to all of you who have posted cards, presents and donations over the past week.

I am overwhelmed by your love, kindness and generosity.

Bless you XXX