Many people are trying to make the transition into a more sustainable way of living.
Permaculture, growing food, making wine, spinning… are all facets of sustainable living that interest many people, as the economy continues to dwindle.
Visitors to this blog and the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel continue to grow at an amazing rate…sparking an interest in what sustainable living is all about.
This is an opportunity to spend a full weekend at Bealtaine Cottage, immersed in sustainable living, experiencing first hand, a comfortable and permaculture lifestyle.
The subjects covered in this weekend workshop will include wine-making, composting, soft fruit growing, raised Potager bed construction and planting, as well as growing/harvesting fuel for the stove.
You will get to use a rocket stove, shred harvested materials to make mulch, learn to take and plant cuttings and ask lots of questions about many aspects of sustainable living. This will afford you the time and space to ask questions about the permaculture way of living, growing and developing a sustainable lifestyle…easily!
You will get to stay in the Lodge at Bealtaine, with it’s own wood-burning stove and veranda, with beautiful, peaceful views across some of the gardens.
During the course of the weekend you will be able to explore the gardens at leisure, eat wholesome Vegetarian or Vegan food and enjoy home made wine!
The dates for this weekend are: 2-4th of August.
The sustainable living weekend is limited to two people sharing, so it helps if you know each other!
For further details, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pumpkins take pride of place on my dresser back in 2010.
There is a brilliant Pumpkin season underway here in the west of Ireland, with some of the biggest and best being grown outdoors, despite the lack of sun this summer.
There was an almost full moon in the southern sky last night and the sky was clear and blue this morning.
However, rain and storms are forecast!
The moon last night was strong enough to light up the back of the cottage.
It waxed and shone brightly.
I am busy harvesting onions, garlic, herbs, potatoes, chard and loads of Apples.
Nights are closing in and there’s even a little frost on the grass some mornings.
This is my favourite season!
I wanted to integrate re-cycling as a theme in my cottage.
I feel strongly about the amount of waste that happens every day in our lives…”throw it away”…but where is ‘away?’
We all live on this finite planet.
We share the oceans…they’re all connected.
We share the air, good grief, we share everything on this planet, though some are greedy beyond belief!
These broken tiles were going to be buried in a landfill site…I needed a floor…and so a connection was made between some like-minded people.
This is the result, much admired by visitors to the cottage…my floor, a statement of permaculture fusion, permaculture art maybe?
Making a Rose Arch in the garden needn’t cost a penny!
This Rambling Rose is supported by a Ribes hedge and a couple of lengths of Willow.
There are several different kinds of flowering shrubs on either side to support wildlife and biodiversity, which is probably the reason why my Apple Harvest this year and every other year is so bountiful!
Observation is a key element in Permaculture.
It is also a great friend of any gardener, for observing one’s garden allows one to continually create small and interesting places from what grows and shapes itself.
Archways will form naturally and give a good indication of what is possible in that space.
A kind of evolutionary gardening if you like!
According to the Irish Calendar which is based on ancient Celtic traditions, autumn lasts throughout the months of August, September, and October, or possibly a few days later, depending on tradition….so the first month of autumn is almost over!
There is a heavy harvest of all berries this year…sign of a cold winter to come…but the birds will be fed well as there are simply tons of berries here at Bealtaine Cottage.
I began my work here providing nuts for the birds in feeders all over the gardens, but the shrubs and trees planted are all producing more than adequate food for the birds and all wildlife, so the bird-feeders have all been passed on.
The land approaches Lughnasa, (Lughnasadh), August and the beginning of Autumn.
Looking at the apples today on the trees at Bealtaine Cottage, it is easy to see how this is.
Harvests continue to be gathered and develop, ripening to plumpness and fullness.
Tomatoes, like the ones above, grown outdoors in areas of micro-climate warmth and shelter, continue to flower and produce.
The weather is promised good for the week ahead, as grass moves in the gentle breeze of a July afternoon…the only missing part of this picture is the beautiful Butterflies, so decimated by rain last year and almost finished off with rain and cold this summer.
There is little I can do to help this situation, other than continue to grow and plant out Buddleias and other shrubs and flowers much beloved of these fairy creatures with coloured wings.
Herbs are harvested, tied into small bunches and hung to dry in the warmth of the tunnel, with lots of air circulating, as both doors remain open day and night during summer.
Lughnasa is a harvest festival, marking the end of the period of summer growth and the beginning of the autumn harvest.
This is the time to save seed…as you can see, seed-heads have formed beautifully on the Leeks in the tunnel today.
I will save the seed of the strongest plant, for sowing next year.
Jostaberries are almost ready to harvest.
They come into season just after the Blackcurrant.
Many people think that Lughnasa was a fire festival, but it was not.
Lughnasa was associated with water and earth, as seen in decoration of wells, making of corn-dollies, decorating and adorning with flowers, and climbing mountains.
Many of the most beautiful flowers come into flower at this time…the Crocosmia by the door of the tunnel will flower over the next week or so, as will the gorgeous Shasta Daisy!
The plant just peeping into the tunnel is Lemon Balm.
Wonderful scents arise as one brushes past it!
Wood cut last winter will be ready for the barn by Lughnasa.
It dries well when stacked like this!
Lughnasa is a Celtic cross-quarter festival, meaning it is not a Solstice or an Equinox, but falls between.
Perhaps this Lughnasa you will climb a mountain, visit a Holy Well, collect Bilberries, bring in the first potatoes…all celebrations of this special, magical, Celtic Festival!