This morning the sun shone on a new year and all the possibilities therein… The first day. A clean slate. A chance, an opportunity…all things good! Cupboards to be cleared out. Fresh paint to be applied and each day, the sun that little bit higher in the sky.
Now is the time to dig and plant…trees, borders and divide plants as a way of providing the borders with even more food for the bees and butterflies. Don’t forget to plant garlic…lots and lots as it dries and keeps wonderfully well!
The water levels in the ground and the aquifers are unseasonally high. The land is seeped in water. Both ponds and the stream gush on overload.
As I write this, the sun has disappeared behind rain clouds as more water descends from the January sky.
Storms are sweeping in from the west, as the silver grey of the Ash trees are illuminated against the storm skies.
Bealtaine Cottage on the first day of 2012
Sun streams through the trees.
There is a tangible heat from the sun this morning.
Ivy and branches hang low…the birds sing out…it really is a lovely morning and a good start to the year!
Splitting logs of Ash for use in the stove this winter. This wood is easy to grow and easy to harvest if continuously coppiced. Ash, if coppiced, can grow steadily for 2,000 years and more. Ash can be burned in the green, that is, on the day it is cut. It is the perfect the perfect permaculture fuel!
Michelmass daisies and almost ripe pears heralds the middle of Autumn. Both pear trees are heavy with fruit. This winter I will plant more fruit trees, definitely plum and pear among them!
As the season progresses and the harvest is gathered in, the recipe books are opened and real saving of the harvest begins. So far I have made Autumn Chutney, apple chutney, various pickles and jams as well as a most unusual Blackcurrant Chutney.
Colours of Autumn simply absorb the whole landscape. This picture from today at Bealtaine Cottage says it all!
And more colour…
Grapes in the tunnel this morning. This is the best harvest so far. These are sweet and juicy. I am attempting to grow a vine outside here in the west of Ireland and will keep you posted!
Moon in the sky last night over Bealtaine, lighting the way back from the tunnel. the Cuckoo was still calling, even in the dark of the night and light of the moon. as we ascend towards Midsummer, the Cuckoo barely sleeps. I have heard him call in the middle of the night!
The garden becomes a jungle as the rain falls and the sun shines inbetween. Willow is shooting up and all of the trees are rapidly assuming a look of maturity, though they are far from it, being 7 years old and younger!
Permaculture is about connections, keeping mindful of our connections to the Earth, so walking the land is very important. Walking the land at dusk is an uplifting experience, hearing the Blackbird sing the last song of the day. Thousands of years ago our ancestors kept mindfulness of the seasons and the rivers and all that lived thereon. my ancestors, the Celts, believed that all living things had a spirit and God dwelt within all! It is easy to believe that same wonder of understanding…should not the creator be in all creation? An artist paints a picture…ask the artist how much of herself can be found therein?
The logs continue to be stacked in the barn in preparation for winter. Most of the wood is Ash and Sycamore and burns well, providing a good source of heat for the cottage which is sustainable and carbon balanced. I am aware that more and more people here in Ireland are returning to a multi-fuel source of heating for their homes, which can only be a good thing. For too long there has been a reliance on oil and a devaluation of our own resources!