Third Workshop of 2017 at Bealtaine Cottage

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  • The third one day workshop of the year at Bealtaine Cottage is happening on Saturday the 24th of June.
  • There will be a maximum of four people only accepted for this day.
  • The day will begin at 10am and finish at 4pm.
  • Tea/coffee and home made vegan cake in the morning and afternoon, with a full lunch in the middle of the day.
  • This workshop will cover all aspects of sustainable and regenerative living here at Bealtaine Cottage. We will also look at planting and maintaining a Food Forest. You will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about this lifestyle.
  • The cost for the day is 75 Euros, payable when booking.
  • To book your place, use the link below. (Workshops at Bealtaine Cottage are filled quickly, so early booking is essential to avoid disappointment…the second  Workshop was fully booked by 4.30pm on the day of posting!)
  • Once payment is received I will confirm with you.
  • PLEASE email first to ensure there is a place available on the day!
  • coletteoneill2010@hotmail.comIMG_1146
  • “Working with Nature to create a seamless environment where everything is connected.” ~Colette O’Neill, A Cottage and Three Acres

Sunday 14th May Update: 8:30am: 2 places available only.

Monday 15th Update: All places now taken. Workshop fully booked.

 

 

To book and pay, use this button… but please confirm with me first to secure your place! coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

 

The Pivotal Point

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The west of Ireland has been drying out over recent weeks, as the drought continues to make it’s presence felt in streams, rivers and, most importantly for Bealtaine Cottage, Spring Wells…mine in particular!

Those attending yesterday’s workshop noted the now empty rain barrels!

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There is rain promised for Friday the 12th of May…the day when a visitor from America flies in to take up a week long course at Bealtaine Cottage…so rain will be greatly appreciated on this occasion in order to facilitate shower facilities in the cottage!IMG_0873

On the plus side, there’s a new wooden veranda to enjoy sitting out on…the lodge is where visitors get to stay, in comfort and, to some degree, independence and privacy…that is unless SammyBear, Beauty or, indeed, Jack, try to barge in, as oft they try!

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Over recent years, this early summer drought has become a feature of our evolving weather systems.

Who would have ever imagined this to become a pattern here in Ireland, but it has!

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More water butts are needed and will be put in place at the end of this year in preparation for next!

Planning and implementing are both important tools in dealing with what appears to be deepening climate change.

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Putting in place as many practices and resources to ameliorate the worst effects of climate change are important to building resilience.

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It is no longer practical to plant trees and shrubs in Spring, as the reliability of previous planting times are now in question.

Autumn and winter are now the only times to plant and be assured of the conditions needed for healthy rooting.

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The dense planting schemes I introduced at Bealtaine Cottage at the beginning of this project thirteen years ago have served the land well!

Plentiful shade and supporting growth has helped establish real resilience!

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What we carry in our hearts and nurture, is either an image of the beauty of Mother Earth, or, one of darkness, and the horror, we, as a species, have cultivated.

To this end, the image of light and joy, I created the stone circle which sits on the outer edge of Bealtaine.

I say this because a recent visitor asked me why I made it.

It is sad to forget the joy of imagination and magic.

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That question asked of me, helped remind me of this beautiful quote, so apt in these times of awakening…

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“I thought that you would be frozen in awe when you found the sequence, when you heard a bird’s song repeating my Morse code, my cry for help, my S.O.S, when you saw the same numbers in the petals of a flower and the structure of a pine cone, when you saw with your own eyes the interconnectedness of all things.
But I was wrong.
You searched for a male god, a creator, an intelligent designer, or you banished the beauty and mystery of the world beneath the cold concrete grave of closed-eye scepticism. The few of you who could still hear my music felt tortured and misunderstood; you reached out for any conspiracy theory large enough to explain your alienated despair, your sense that the Earth was dying and no one cared.
But listen to me — you are not alone.

Run your fingers through the grass and grab it in your fists, feel my pulse echoing through your blood.

You.

Are.

Not.

Alone.

And I —

I am not dead yet.”


~ Sarah Warden, Blood of Earth

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The above quote from Sarah Warden sums up, for me, the reasons for my optimism…or in part at least!

I have witnessed the surge of life across this once derelict, sad and lonely place!

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In a way, my building the stone circle encapsulated the joy and magic I often felt and continue to feel on this land.

Mother Earth is like Sleeping Beauty, simply waiting for love!

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I am a great proponent of technology, as it is through the medium of the internet and a good camera, that the beauty and promise of Mother Earth can be celebrated worldwide from this little piece of her, here in the remote west of Ireland…and using a phone hot-spot as my connection!

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The ancient peoples who built this cairn atop Kilronan mountain would have been  intrigued!

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I am in the process of writing another book, one that may further express the magic and wonder I feel living here.

Added to this the decision to embark on a second print run for “A Cottage and Three Acres,” a book I never imagined would be as successful as it is!

It is wondrous for me to see how many are encouraged and enriched by the story of Bealtaine Cottage.

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Sitting by the stone circle this morning, Jack at my side, snapping photographs as I sipped my coffee, seems so personal, yet this is how many of you tell me you feel when looking at the images on your phones, tablets and computers…now that is magic!

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I believe that we have evolved to this point where Mother Earth can be seen, in detail, close-up, by all for the first time!

This is the pivotal point in our own evolution…we either fall in love with Her or keep to the path of egotistical destruction that is the corporate madness of the latter part of the twentieth century and the utter stupidity of the twenty first!

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I will leave you with these photographs.

No doubt you will look at them and admire the beauty of our incredible Mother and the joy she exudes.

But there is something I have come to understand that I want to share with you…

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Just because mankind has wreaked havoc and destruction upon her, does not mean she is dead or dying, despite the images of the horrors we often see.

Indeed, the arrogance of many is verbalised in their dire predictions for Earth!

Even Stephen Hawking recommends that mankind move to Mars!

I say no!

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Bealtaine Cottage is proof, if ever there was needed, that she sleeps below us, waiting, waiting patiently to be awoken with love, tenderness and joy.

In our arrogance and hubris, we have been led to believe that we can destroy Mother Earth!

It’s time we grew up and left our spoiled and petulant childhood behind us and, instead, start to take care of our Mother!

Mars indeed!

Look at the photographs…

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The book “A Cottage and Three Acres,” is now available to purchase…with 71 colour photographs!

 

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you. I will acknowledge your order ASAP.

To order and pay, use this button…

 
 
 You can also pay by cheque, made out to Colette O’Neill and posted to:
Bealtaine Cottage
Ballyfermoyle
Keadue
Boyle
County Roscommon
Ireland
 
(Don’t forget to include your name, inscription if wanted and full address.)
 
 

2nd One Day Workshop at Bealtaine Cottage

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  • The second one day workshop of the year at Bealtaine Cottage is happening on Saturday the 17th of June.
  • There will be a maximum of four people only accepted for this day.
  • The day will begin at 10am and finish at 4pm.
  • Tea/coffee and home made vegan cake in the morning and afternoon, with a full lunch in the middle of the day.
  • This workshop will cover all aspects of sustainable and regenerative living here at Bealtaine Cottage. We will also look at planting and maintaining a Food Forest. You will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about this lifestyle.
  • The cost for the day is 75 Euros, payable when booking.
  • To book your place, use the link below. (Workshops at Bealtaine Cottage are filled quickly, so early booking is essential to avoid disappointment…the May Workshop was fully booked by 4.30pm on the day of posting!)
  • Once payment is received I will confirm with you.
  • PLEASE email first to ensure there is a place available on the day!
  • coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

11:55am UPDATE…Only two places remaining

12:50pm UPDATE…All Booked! No places remaining.

To book and pay, use this button…

 
 
Bealtaine Cottage Valerian

Like Noah

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no
difference what people
think of you.

Rumi

IMG_0387Another five days.

IMG_0385Bealtaine.

IMG_0386The beginning of Summer.

IMG_0388This Bealtaine is the celebration of thirteen years of the Bealtaine project.

IMG_0384A project once considered the silly dream of a ridiculous woman.

IMG_0383Against all financial advice it was conceived and against all horticultural wisdom it was planned.

IMG_0382Planned, planted and grown!IMG_0381

The Bealtaine Project is now complete.

IMG_0389This land is both resilient and regenerative…it can grow abundance without me.

IMG_0390I am now free to observe and delight, potter and sit, all the while simply ensuring the gentle maintenance of the edges and paths, free to harvest and raise plants for the Potager Beds which provide some of my food and much of my pleasure.

IMG_0391I have embarked on writing my second book, happy with the good reception of the first, “A Cottage and Three Acres.”

IMG_0392I recently read this quote by W. H. Murray and found it to be true to my experience at Bealtaine Cottage over the past thirteen years…

IMG_0393“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. “

W. H. Murray 

IMG_0394Wise words…live your life!

IMG_0396Click here to purchase the book… “A Cottage and Three Acres…One Woman’s Return to Ireland in Her Quest for Eden.”

My Wildest Dreams

IMG_0096Bees are declining all over the world, for multiple reasons.
The most serious one in my estimation is habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation…in other words… Homelessness!
IMG_0097This is not a problem at Bealtaine Cottage, as Bee habitat and food source creation was implemented in the early years of the Bealtaine project.

IMG_0087As a direct consequence of this, the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage are thriving!

This is a part of the new Lughnasadh Garden, created especially for the bees and butterflies.

IMG_0046One only has to plant it and they will come! One only has to be a little untidy and they will create a home!

IMG_0085Sadly, many gardeners are not aware of the ways in which habitat and food source can be secured and managed for wildlife.  Here I’ve planted Blueberry bushes, and heaped mulch around them…a possible habitat! The flowers are pollinated by bees and in return I get masses of fruit!

IMG_0098However, some time spent observing Nature can be very empowering and planting near the cottage means I get to sit and watch the bees and butterflies as well as discover more about their feeding habits.

IMG_0089 In planning and planting this new garden, I observed a quiet respect for “nooks and crannies,” …stones, logs, small mounds…all areas of potential habitat. When cutting back the Jostaberry, above, I stacked the cut wood underneath the bush as potential habitat. Some species of Butterflies can over-winter, (leaf piles are particularly good!) and guess what…I got to see two butterflies in the garden at the end of March!

The sight of new and first butterflies in spring is a joyful, reaffirming vision of hope.

IMG_0080Water availability, layers of plants, trees, shrubs, a succession of flowers for the majority of the year…and much more was taken into the planning and planting of the garden. Habitat and food are the main drivers in my planning and planting.

The trending emphasis, when it comes to bee-decline, seems to be on bee-keeping rather than bee-habitat…the latter being something that each of us can do something about.

bees and peas at bealtaine cottageFor my part, I don’t keep bees…they keep me…and all are wild and free!

A Cottage and Three Acres…the book, available now.

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The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

I am happy to inscribe and sign your copy.

To order and pay, use this button…

Spend a Day at Bealtaine Cottage

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  • The first one day workshop of the year at Bealtaine Cottage is happening on Saturday the 6th of May.
  • There will be a maximum of four people only accepted for this day.
  • The day will begin at 10am and finish at 4pm.
  • Tea/coffee and home made vegan cake in the morning and afternoon, with a full lunch in the middle of the day.
  • This workshop will cover all aspects of sustainable and regenerative living here at Bealtaine Cottage. We will also look at planting and maintaining a Food Forest. You will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about this lifestyle.
  • The cost for the day is 75 Euros, payable when booking.
  • To book your place, use the link below. (Workshops at Bealtaine Cottage are filled quickly, so early booking is essential to avoid disappointment).
  • Once payment is received I will confirm with you.
  • PLEASE email first to ensure there is a place available on the day!
  • coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

To book and pay, use this button…

 

Sorry, as of 4:30 pm today, 5th April, the places on this workshop are fully booked.

There will be a workshop day posted for the month of June…date to be confirmed!

 

A Cottage and Three Acres…The Book

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This is a brief post to give a link to buying the book, “A Cottage and Three Acres“, the first book from Bealtaine Cottage,

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

To order and pay, use this button…

Permaculture Fruit Garden

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Lots of planting today before the Spring begins to merge into Summer, as often it does! Working in the fruit gardens by the Lughnasadh Garden is a joy as it affords me an opportunity to cast glances across at the new garden from quite different angles!

DSC06802Last year i grew lots of Blackcurrants from seed saved right here at Bealtaine.

I gave away many of these sturdy plants and so decided to plant the excess here in the new garden.

As you can see I am planting directly on top of the mulched area of cardboard and straw.

DSC06800I used compoost from the bins to give them the very best feed for the coming growing year. This is two years old and sweet smelling compoost.

DSC06801I also planted a Mulberry tree in the corner.

DSC06799Near the bottom of the path was planted the other Crab Apple.

Bees should certainly enjoy these new gardens!

I shall cardboard and straw mulch the area around this tree in the coming days so as to suppress all weeds.

DSC06803I added a shallow dish to the Lughnasadh Garden so Bees and Butterflies may drink water without drowning…it is such a sad sight to witness! The area to the right is simply cardboard and chippings from the garden shredder.

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Elsewhere in the garden I have moved this home made wood shelter into place to store all the cut willow for use next winter.

DSC06816This gives a fantastic heat and is great for baking when I need higher temperatures in the stove.

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This gives an over view of what I’ve done so far.

(Oops, there appears to be a rain drop on the lens!)

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The tunnel is fast becoming my favourite place…I will set up a rocket stove nearby for making tea!

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My book, “A Cottage and Three Acres,” can be purchased by clicking on this link…

https://bealtainecottage.com/2017/03/16/book-launch-at-bealtaine-cottage/

This is a link to the video I posted today…

Mother

“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.”

~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

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Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went…

DSC06686As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches…

DSC06687Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women!

DSC06694“The Irish presidential election of 1990 was the tenth held in Ireland and the first to include a female candidate. Independent politician Mary Robinson would go on to hold office for the next seven years. In the 1990 election, the Labour Party let it be known that it would run a candidate for the first time and nominated Robinson, a former Labour Party senator, and liberal campaigner. The renegade had been involved in the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and is widely regarded and respected as atransformative figure in Ireland for liberalizing and revitalizing what was a conservative and low-profile political office. She was a remarkably popular president.” ~ http://www.irishcentral.com

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And so the transformation of Ireland and Irish politics began.

The patriarchal system of state and church had been given a bit of a shake down, but the real change began as we all began to feel more confident about questioning the world in which we lived.

DSC06672My own questions formed around the environment in which I lived, most importantly the Earth and our relationship with her.

I dreamed about returning to Ireland and challenging the status quo of land stewardship. Was it possible to do the seemingly impossible and recreate the Ireland of my deepest dreams?

A land of trees and woodlands, abundant wildlife, flowers and rich, seasonal colour?

A land of abundant food and shelter?

A land dedicated to the Great Mother…Earth?

Moreover, to even attempt to do this on some of the poorest land in Ireland?

DSC06682I felt empowered by Mary Robinson, as many women at home and abroad felt and continue to feel empowered.

DSC06683The opportunity to fulfil my dream came over a decade later, when, throwing all caution to the wind, I embarked on what was to become known as the Bealtaine Project.

DSC06685The book, “A Cottage and Three Acres,” picks up the story…

As I worked, sometimes into the night, planting and tending a hopeless looking land, I felt continual waves of compassion for Mother Earth.

I coaxed her, talked to her and sometimes even sang to her, the way one does with a seriously ill patient whose doctors have all but given up hope.

DSC06695I was not the only one though, for many, many others were embarking on a similar path all across Earth.

DSC06698I spoke with all who visited Bealtaine Cottage about Mother Earth, when few people seemed to recognise her plight.

But, something very incredible was happening…

DSC06699There was a distinct sense of energy rising from the very Earth herself…a form of communication at the most deeply intuitive level.

DSC06708 After years of feeling outcast because of what I sensed and felt, there happened a mighty shift in perception.

DSC06714As I began to write and photograph what was happening at Bealtaine, so many of you tuned in…often in the most serendipitous of ways!

DSC06715But, it was not accidental, for all is connected and often in ways we do not understand.

DSC06717And so the website began reaching  people all over the world.

DSC06718What began as an impossible dream, became a reality of hope for many…that nothing is impossible!

DSC06723That the doors of perception are not locked and barred!

DSC06724We are all, each and every one of us on an incredible journey, each one unique, yet deeply connected to all and everything.

We may live alone, but we are never alone.

DSC06730We are beautiful souls experiencing a human journey with the greatest Mother of them all…our own Mother Earth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

**********************************************

A Cottage and Three Acres by Colette O’Neill

Book Launch at Bealtaine Cottage

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The long awaited day has arrived!

DSC06634I received a delivery from my printers in Dublin, of my book, “A Cottage And Three Acres”. DSC06635It is three years since I put the first chapter on the website and waited for feedback from you, dear supporters of what has become the Bealtaine Project.

DSC06637I recall being  both surprised and elated at the positive response to my writing and your encouragement to continue writing the book.

DSC06638I decided to follow permaculture ethics and have the book printed here in Ireland.

DSC06639I also decided to post the book from Bealtaine Cottage, making full use of my local Post Office which, like many rural Post Offices here in the west of Ireland, is under threat of closure!

DSC06640This way, all the benefits of my effort, go to support rural Ireland, a place I love and care for!

DSC06641One’s decisions in life have rippling effects on all one cares for…and evident that Permaculture can make a difference…

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The book is being posted out from my local post Office here in the west of Ireland, as a most practical way of trying to keep my rural Post Office open…for the government has threatened closure on many! This is Pascal McKenna who runs my local Post Office in nearby Drumshanbo.

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The books are packed here at Bealtaine Cottage…I have employed a friend to oversee this, who comes in each morning. As you can see, there’s a lot of work underway here!

DSC06642The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

To order and pay, use this button…

Bealtaine Cottage…the Book!

 

Finally…on the home run as they say, working on the cover of my long-awaiting book,

“A Cottage and Three Acres”.

There’s a few bits on the cover (shown below), to be tweaked, such as the colour of the text and white stitching around the photo on the front (this is it laid out flat!)…but these are the tiny details. (See above for the final version, just updated!) The book will be printed in the next week or two, all going well!

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The timeline should see books being posted off from Bealtaine Cottage by the middle to end of March. 14436-23-02-17-cover-a-cottage-and-three-acresNow that I have come this far, I feel confident enough to accept pre-orders!dsc06302

I am happy to inscribe your book and also happy to post it as a gift with a card attached. You can email me whatever message you want written on the card.dsc06296

I’m delighted to be able to include 71 colour photographs, although it has incurred a higher cost for me, but so many of you favoured the addition of colour photographs. dsc06298

Here’s the final book cover laid out flat…

14436 07.03.17 COVER A Cottage and Three Acres (1)

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

To order and pay, use this button…

Homemade Bread and Book Update

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As promised, here’s the recipe for my easy to make/bake and life-sustaining bread…

For this recipe you’ll need a heavy cast iron saucepan and lid. I use a Le Creuset one, but any cast iron one is good!

I use the cup method of measurement since my daughter Cara bought me some stainless steel measuring cups for my birthday

dsc062672 cups organic wholemeal flour…spelt flour makes for a lighter bread!

2 cups organic white flour

2 cups mixed pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, linseed and poppy seeds. You can choose your own mix to taste!

1 & 1/2 tsps dried yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp herb salt…any one will do.

1 tsp fresh finely chopped herbs…Rosemary or Thyme is good!

Mix well together, then add 2 & 1/3 cups of tepid water.

Using a big spatula, mix well for a few minutes.

dsc06264Now cover with cling film and set aside for 3-4 hours in your kitchen…room temperature is good enough!

dsc06263Pre-heat your oven to 450F and put your pan with lid in to heat.

dsc06262When hot, remove from oven, sprinkle a little flour into the bottom of the pan to prevent bread from sticking, pour in mixture, cover with lid and pop back in oven.

Bake for 30 mins.

Remove from oven, remove lid, then return to oven to bake for a further 15 mins.

dsc06261Remove loaf from pan and leave to cool.

 

Book Update…

The proof returned from the printers today, so I am busy reading and re-reading…

I expect the cover through in the next day or two. At that point I will feel confident enough to allow purchase of advance copies, knowing that the book will be off the presses and delivered to me by a certain date. I’m delighted with what I am reading and seeing so far. I’m happy also that I chose to go with printers here in Ireland, although this makes the book more expensive…the alternatives are not in keeping with what Bealtaine Cottage represents, works for and most importantly, cares for.

I hope to be back on this site with good news before the end of the week!

Blessings to you XXX

Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

Trump and The Power of One

Primroses at the Spring Well in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensAs many of you know, I am in the final stages of completing my first manuscript and so have been busy since early December in preparing this book for the printers in Dublin…no tax-dodging Amazon corporation for me!

That’s not how I roll!

The Spring Well in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageAs I began this final incubation, I  was reluctant to venture into the world of news, website or indeed have my attention diverted.

However, I may have reluctantly refrained from communication, but lots of you have remained in contact via email…please excuse the brief, if any, replies I have provided, but then you know how busy I have been.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage Laurel arch023The communications have come mainly from the U.S. and have been most concerning to read!

Fear appears to be the main thread linking what you have written to me.

Fear of the government; fear of the future; fear for the environment; fear for healthcare…housing…jobs…I could go on, but I think you get the drift.

March 2014I am not interested in politicians, nor do I have any respect for them or what they peddle, so there is no need for me to use the T word more than in the title of this blog, nor do I want a comment list oozing the “T” word…no thank you!

Suffice to say that the world of man is in turmoil and has been for a very long time! March 2014Have you not noticed the endless war on a noun?

Hatred and fear have been stacked against us all for a very long time!

willow Bealtaine Cottage March I googled the word “Fear” and it came up with 547 million results!

  1. 1. noun
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
    “I cowered in fear as bullets whizzed past”

verb

  1. 1.

    be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or harmful.

    “I hated him but didn’t fear him any more”

    synonyms:

    be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, go in terror of, be terrified of, be terrified by, cower before, tremble before, cringe from, shrink from, flinch from;

    Bealtaine Cottage permaculture March 2011 013For as long as power-seeking individuals have existed, their energy has fed of fear, each one of them a version of Nosferatu, be them less or more acceptable! Spring in Ireland at Bealtaine CottageWe must, each of us, decide how we come to terms, if any, with a most disagreeable and at times, painful system that appears to control our lives. Fear and loathing changes little.

    Bealtaine Cottage permaculture march 2011 006“I don’t think that anything happens by coincidence… No one is here by accident… Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason”…”
    James Redfield

    Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001The wisdom in what James Redfield  had to say, translates to me in this way:

    That there are some people whose worst actions can propel us towards our best…and some leaders who unite more than what they divide…in very strange and surprising ways!

    Some of the greatest movements for change have emerged out of dark and menacing times!

A Time of Hope

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

Imbolc is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and the return of Spring.

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Imbolc marks the seasonal change, where the first signs of Spring and the return of the sun are noted.

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A festival of light, to celebrate the return of the sun, now gaining power in its’ ascent from its’ low travail across the horizon.

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I walked out across the gardens today, recording in image the day of Imbolc.

The rays of the sun, felt warm upon my face and as I walked away from it, warmed my back.

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This renewal that is Imbolc has cast its’ energy upon the land and myself…here I am re-sculpting the beds near the veranda and creating more of a movable pot garden.

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The hens in the hen-house are sitting against one wall of the building where the sunlight falls warmly upon them.

Even they are aware of Spring and have begun to…

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Easiest Ever Compost

Composting is not an imitation of nature. Cold composting is. Hot composting is a far different process and is not normally a naturally occurring thing.

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

Compost is made in two ways here at Bealtaine Cottage.

new compost heap bordered with willow at Bealtaine CottageThe first is what most people would imagine is the only way…certainly the one favoured in all the gardening books…where everything is kept neat and stacked and covered and turned and generally fiddled about with!

Bealtaine Cottage compostYes, I have one of those heaps on the go and yes it works great…if one is in a hurry for the finished product; rich, crumbly, dark and nutritious food for plants!

Bealtaine Cottage wheelbarrow to compost heapHowever, I have just begun to uncover my lazy compost…where I have done zilch in terms of work, throwing all the garden wastes into an ever-expanding mound of general untidiness!

Lazy Compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensPushing back the top layer of waste and flinging it back into the mound on the far-side, I uncovered this superb compost yesterday!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensVegetable beds are being topped up as wheel-barrow after wheel-barrow is pushed around the gardens.

seedlings in tunnel at Bealtaine CottageLooking at the amount of…

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