Posted in Abundance, agriculture, Uncategorized

Permaculture Potagers, Polytunnel and Gardens

Walk with me around the production gardens at Bealtaine Cottage on this May evening in the West of Ireland.

Potager beds and Peach trees, Polytunnel and Bees…all looking lush on this early Summer evening.

The soundtrack of birds is all around us!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, bog gardens, Cottage, First day of Spring, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, season, Uncategorized, Woodland, woods

Signs of Spring

Catnip Heart Toy made at Bealtaine Cottage

Life is stirring.

Light shines higher in the morning sky.

Thickening buds cast a haze over the land.

“But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.”
Thomas Hardy

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine Cottage

Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note.

Warm weather in January

We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk.

The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the photograph above.

The morning began very cold and in the space of minutes, the temperature had climbed by 18 F., causing the mirror on the veranda to steam up!

I recorded this as most of the only real information about climate and weather appears to be anecdotal evidence from social media! Cottage interior at Bealtaine, 2016

My favourite aspect of Spring is the way the light changes.

If one simply sat in this cottage and never ventured outdoors it would be possible to map the seasons in light play.

I expect birds, animals and even insects are similarly informed.

Living in the glare of artificial light can be dulling to our senses!

“She walks in the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water–
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.”
Vita Sackville-West, The Land

DSC08092

Elsewhere in the woodland gardens at Bealtaine, frogs have emerged from hibernation and busied themselves, as only frogs can in cold ponds!

Frogs in Bealtaine pond have the luxury of a shallow, sheltered, ancillary pond, hand dug by myself, just off the main one.

This water heats faster and earlier, ensuring maximum attention to the detail of frog mating and spawning…a sort of nursery pond!

Anyway, it works a treat and has done for the past eleven years.

As a consequence, the amphibian life force has healthily expanded!

“Woods were ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour – as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

 

Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016
Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2016

Diversity of planting not only has created resilience, but bestowed all year round colour to Bealtaine Cottage…so appreciated as Spring emerges…for with this rising of the sap, comes a much defined colour change!

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Pussy Willow at Bealtaine Cottage. Ireland

Catkins have appeared on the Willow…and there’s many different varieties in the Woodland. Pond and even Orchard gardens. Essential food for the bees emerging from a hungry winter hibernation.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Quince flowers, Bealtaine Cottage, Feb 2016

This Quince grows in the Bog Garden and has begun to flower!

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Margaret Atwood

DSC08097

Where would Spring be without the exquisite little Primroses?

Seen here in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine, surrounded by Spurge!

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Spurge at bealtaine cottage in the Fairy Wood

The Fairy Wood awakens!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

 

I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, YouTube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

http://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts Celtic Festivals, consciousness, goddess, Imbolc, religion, Uncategorized

Goddess Harmony

www.bealtainecottage.com 064“The symbol of Goddess gives us permission. She teaches us to embrace the holiness of every natural, ordinary, sensual dying moment. Patriarchy may try to negate body and flee earth with its constant heartbeat of death, but Goddess forces us back to embrace them, to take our human life in our arms and clasp it for the divine life it is – the nice, sanitary, harmonious moment as well as the painful, dark, splintered ones.

If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same. It will free us to be in a sacred body, on a sacred planet, in sacred communion with all of it. It will infect the universe with holiness. We will discover the Divine deep within the earth and the cells of our bodies, and we will lover her there with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds.”
Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

This quote from Sue Monk Kidd has served as a wonderful source of inspiration for me, as I move slowly on my journey through this world.

In working so closely with the land over the past years, I have come to understand the meaning of the holiness of every single living thing.

Last summer, for example, I came across a beautiful Wasp nest in one of the trees.

When I put the photo of it onto my Facebook site I was immediately alerted by several people to destroy the nest and kill the wasps.

Why, I thought, must this thing of beauty be destroyed if it not causing harm to me?

Wasps are pollinators and help keep a balance among pests too, such as aphids.

In the eleven years working the land here, I have never been stung, by bee or wasp. Creatures only attack when under threat!

“If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same.”…and nothing has been the same in this little three acre plot since becoming aware of the deep connectivity between myself and Mother Earth…call her the Goddess if you will…but the Divine presence for me is compassion itself.

“Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, ‘fertility cults,’ we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as ‘sterility cults.”
Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman 

Much of my journey has involved stripping away layers of religious and cultural imposed identity.

This is a hard task, as one tries not to alienate others.

At times this journey has felt like one is walking on eggshells, attempting to negotiate a path between questioning/understanding and simply being part of family and community.

In search of an understanding of soul… a communion with the sacred…and being unafraid of where that takes me.

Bealtaine in June 2011 046

This website is free for you, always.

Enjoy reading the 1,000+ blogs and seeing over 4,500 photographs.

To subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, the second website, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published each week.

                                                          Click on button below to join the website…

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Life, Permaculture

The Great Force

bealtainecottage.com 001

“One of the most important things about permaculture is that it is founded on a series of principles that can be applied to any circumstance—agriculture,urban design, or the art of living. The core of the principles is the working relationships and connections between all things.”
Juliana Birnbaum Fox, Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

bealtainecottage.com 009

Wise words from Juliana…I have discovered to be correct, for all is connected!

I would add, that in my view, we are all a part of a greater consciousness too.

bealtainecottage.com 014

As the eleventh anniversary of the founding of Bealtaine Cottage comes around in May, I have been reflecting on the changes experienced in my personal life and way of seeing the world, through connecting with the great force that is Mother Earth.

bealtainecottage.com 016

The impact of this connection has changed my life utterly, in every way…emotionally, physically and spiritually.

bealtainecottage.com 017

Those who have visited here have shared conversations in this frame and felt an impact upon their own lives too.

bealtainecottage.com 045

Recently I embarked upon a Juice Fast, drinking plants grown here at Bealtaine as well as others bought in, such as fruit.

I feel it important to share this with you, for I am now convinced that much healing can be found through the bounty of Mother Nature.

bealtainecottage.com 053

I have certainly found it to be so, as I move past the halfway mark in a sixty day Juice Fast and realise, day on day, how well I feel!

I intend writing about this in more depth in my next Bealtaine Cottage Good Life blog, for the effects of this have impacted markedly upon my health and well-being!

bealtainecottage.com 050

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
Juliana Birnbaum Fox

Join the good life at:

 Bealtaine Cottage Good Life

bealtainecottage.org

To subscribe to this blog, a small donation of 12 euros, will add your name to the subscriber list. You will then receive the full blog as published twice each week. This amounts to 104 per year at a cost of 12 cents each!

Click on button below to make your subscription. (The first three extended blogs are already on the site!)

Posted in Cats, Gardens, Permaculture, Spring, vegetable garden, Wild Flowers

Magical Days

003

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.

006

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.

011

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.

010

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…

020

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

018

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.

022

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

023

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!

025

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!

027

This Celery was planted and stem harvested last Spring.

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

028

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

029

Flowers on the Ribes bushes have opened.

These will be ready to feed early awakening bees.

031

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%!

034

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.

035

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!

Posted in Abundance, Country Living, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Spirituality, Summer, Thoughts, Wild Flowers

Otherworldly…

www.bealtainecottage.com

 Sunday afternoon…picking flowers in the gardens.

This feels like the full, quiet days before giving birth…

bealtainecottage.comThe force of the full moon can still be felt in the stillness of the late afternoon air.

bealtainecottage.com (2)There is an otherworldly feel to it all… Time appears to stand very still.

bealtainecottage.com (3)Bees continue in a frenzy of work on this side of the Solstice.

I have often felt a slowness as time ascends towards Midsummer…it’s as though Mother Earth is not yet ready to let go…

bealtainecottage.com (4)Evenings merge with night as daylight seems eternal in the west of Ireland…Ox-Eye Daisies reach up toward the sun, basking in summer.

bealtainecottage.com (5)Returning from Belfast and the soft hum of the city to this place of quiet solitude, this otherworldly paradise of sights and scents…

bealtainecottage.com (6)Far back from the lane, this little cottage nestles into silence, a place of tranquil tolerance, a timeless existence at midsummer.

bealtainecottage.com (7)Wood Pigeon and Cuckoo call a mantra of hypnotic sounds…a lazy Sunday afternoon…

bealtainecottage.com (8)Ground Elder, the bane of many gardeners, is allowed her magnificence here, frothy lace adorning a mantle of green. bealtainecottage.com (9)Ragged Robin dances by the wheels of an old bike.

bealtainecottage.com (10)Himalayan Musk stands sturdy by the wooden porch.

bealtainecottage.com (11)Astrantia unfolds it’s papery petals in an unending delight of pinky white and green.

bealtainecottage.com (12)Bees delight in Jacob’s Ladder as it ascends to heaven…

bealtainecottage.comAnd blue Jacob’s Ladder adorns the kitchen table in a cottage lost in time…

Bealtaine Cottage has a brand new website…it’s called Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…TO READ MORE, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW WEBSITE.

SEE:

http://bealtainecottage.com/2015/04/01/an-invitation/

To access the site once donation is confirmed just click on the message I send.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Earth, Food, Garden, Gardens, GM Food, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seed-Saving, Seeds, Sustainable Living

Know Your Seeds

August 2011 permaculture cottage 010There are basically four different kinds of seed you can purchase.

  1. Open Pollinated Seed.    Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland 001
    This is the most natural seed, simply because it has not been interfered with in any laboratory.Seed growing in the polytunnel in late April at Bealtaine Cottage
    This seed is pollinated by Nature…bees, insects and wind. Occasionally by us too as we brush up against flowers and accidentally get pollen on our clothes, carrying it to another flower and so on. Permaculture Cottage August 2011 007Sometimes we help Mother Nature a little by gently brushing the pollen from one flower to another. It’s all good! August 2011 permaculture cottage 024These seeds are what are commonly referred to more and more as “Organic” on the packaging. August 2011 permaculture cottage 010Organic seeds are fast becoming more difficult to obtain in Garden Shops etc. August 2011 permaculture cottage 008This is because the big seed companies are busy buying up the small seed companies, leaving the consumer with less and less choice!
  2. Gloria, me and FloHigh Yielding Seed.    These look attractive in the packet, with lots of blurb attached to get you to buy, but, these seeds thrive on chemicals and are sort of married to chemicals too! Definitely not organic and in many cases a danger to bees and insects.
  3. www.bealtainecottage.comHybrids.   These are actually designed not to be saved!
  4. www.bealtainecottage.com 006G.E. Seed.   Otherwise known as GM, GMO and all about genetic engineering Nature and patenting the result. These seeds are injected with chemicals and then patented by corporations such as Monsanto. Monsanto declares to be above God Almighty, by stating, and being supported by US Law, that it created the seed!

Bealtaine Cottage 2nd August 2011 Permaculture Cottage 007This is merely a guide for you to build on.

August 2011 permaculture 048Find out all you can about seed, for it is your future and that of your children.

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageVandana Shiva: The seed in its essence is all of the past evolution of the Earth, the evolution of human history, and the potential for future evolution. The seed is the embodiment of culture because culture shaped the seed with careful selection—women picked the best, diversified. So from one grass you get 200,000 rices.

That is a convergence of human intelligence and nature’s intelligence. It is the ultimate expression of life, and in our language, it means “that from which life arises on its own, forever and ever and ever.”

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

July permaculture 2011 008Here at Bealtaine Cottage in the West of Ireland I save seed…grown under Permaculture conditions which seek to protect both the integrity of the seed and the environment!

Open pollinated seed is available from Bealtaine Cottage.

Click on the link below to see the current list of seed.

http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Family, Garden, Imbolc, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Personal, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Celtic Spring

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

A weekend of storms has settled into sunshine and showers.

mum at Bealtaine CottageThe funeral of my darling Mother is over.

The future for those she left behind has re-started.

A lovely calm has descended upon Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com permacultureI returned on my own last night, preferring to spend time alone.

The evening was filled with lighting stoves, making tea and feeding pets.

My mother was a great pragmatist, being a war-child…she was adept at knuckling down, to doing what had to be done!

So, it’s easy for me to follow suit.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks are going to be very busy, as there’s masses of work to be finished in the gardens and much preparation for the growing season ahead!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks will see the Willow opening and bees beginning to emerge, rather tentatively, from hibernation.

www.bealtainecottage.comIf there is to be any good Willow for cutting this year, then the coppicing needs to be done now!

www.bealtainecottage.comOne lazy week will never be caught up with!

www.bealtainecottage.comImbolc is welcomed in on the 1st day of February.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThis marks the start of the Celtic Spring…always a month or so earlier in these far reaches of Europe. www.bealtainecottage.comThe earth begins to dry out and warm up…lovely days ahead!

Bealtaine Cottage frogs in the pondThe ponds will throng with frogs and toads, all making merry in the Springtime revelry!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe wheel turns.

www.bealtainecottage.comMother Nature never sleeps.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureSpring is on her way!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Family, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Personal, Summer, Woodland

The Closing Chapter

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens.

garlic harvest at bealtaine cottage permacultureHarvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled.

Blackcurrants almost ready for pickingThe glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even more added to the freezer.

free tea Open days and workshops seen a steady stream of visitors to the cottage and gardens.

The woodpile in the barn at Bealtaine CottageKindling for the winter stoves continued to be collected and stored in the barn.

Bealtaine Cottage Potager beds todayAnd the Potager beds kept growing!

Blackcurrant ChutneyThe recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney was added to a blog post that had runaway success!

Bealtaine Cottage ValerianValerian flowered…

Rambling Roses at Bealtaine CottageRoses bloomed…

The Lodge at Bealtaine CottageAnd all around, flowers showed off with total abandon!

poppies, poppy seeds and dried seed-headsI collected seeds…

Foxglove seed and more seeds…

harvesting seed at Bealtaine CottageDrying and labelling in every container I had to spare!

Poppy seed heads at Bealtaine CottageSeedheads were stored for winter flower arrangements.

Fairy cats in the fairy woodAs the boys played in the Fairy Wood.

A path from the Fairy WoodIt was a magical time for all!

006Summer never really went away, for the wine of that season kept bubbling with life.

cottage garden harvestAnd the harvest continued…

potato harvest at Bealtaine CottageAs potatoes were lifted…

misty morning at Bealtaine CottageAnd misty mornings began to appear.

hanging webCobwebs shimmied in the morning breeze…

Buddha at BealtaineAs the light and shadows began to change.

flowers for MichelleMy son got married and I designed and made the flower arrangements, on a lovely day with my new daughter’s mother, here at Bealtaine.

Dylan and Michellw wedding 031Everyone came to the west of Ireland for a three day wedding in a 500 year old castle. Here I am with my eldest daughter.

harvestAnd when all was over, the harvest continued.

wine, kitchenAnd the cottage fell silent…

Recycling in the permaculture gardensBut not for long, as friends delivered cardboard for mulching…

apples and sunflowersAnd helped with the harvest.

fairies 035Lords and Ladies made an Autumn appearance in the Fairy Wood.

open weekend bunting by the gateAnd the cottage and gardens were opened for a special fundraiser in aid of Leitrim Animal Welfare.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Raising a magnificent sum of money for a wonderful charity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Autumn continued into Winter…

www.bealtainecottage.com 012And logs were stacked in readiness for the stove.

www.bealtainecottage.com 008The days darkened as Midwinter approached…

cropped-029.jpgAnd candlelight illuminated the dark days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Bringing cheer to the silent grey…

www.bealtainecottage.com 025And soft light into the Midwinter Cottage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So few do, but if you choose to make a small donation, then Bless You! 

Posted in Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Crafts, Gardens, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Thoughts, Winter

Fairy Lights

www.bealtainecottage.com 009

Winter sunlight turns bare branches, that drip with rain, into fascinating fairy lights.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Silver prisms of fantasy, dangling precariously from thin Birch trees.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The days of light and dark are confused with bright full moons, illuminating the bare landscape…

www.bealtainecottage.com 015This is a delightful time of year, as the sun makes its steady progress downwards, ever down…

www.bealtainecottage.com 022Light is delicate and unpredictable, sometimes overwhelming in its glow, at others, just a whisper of the day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011Entire worlds are captured in water droplets.

Fitting too, as water and sun give life.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026The coppicing continues and long branches are hauled up from the gardens to the dry environment of the veranda.

This is next year’s fuel for the stove.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036Seeds continue to be sorted and packaged.

www.bealtainecottage.com 037These are special little packs requested for Yuletide gifts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 038Poppies are easy to sow…simply sprinkle!

www.bealtainecottage.com 029Most of the second run of Christmas booklets have been posted… all over the world! http://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

The few remaining will not sit here for long.

www.bealtainecottage.com 020It’s strange sorting seeds at this time of year, as it seems that summer was only yesterday…gosh but the time passes quickly!

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Discovery in the Fairy Wood…

fairies 021Yesterday afternoon and evening was spent down in the Fairy Wood, cutting back the paths and lifting the canopies on some of the bigger trees.

fairies 022My work was intensive and totally absorbing, as you can imagine.

fairies 023It wasn’t until several hours of hard labour had passed that I began to look around me…

fairies 026… for I had moved about ten metres through the wood, without taking much note, other than look at what I was sawing.

fairies 027Taking a breather, I stopped and looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings…I was in a place unknown to me in all the nine years I have worked and planted this land!

fairies 028This is the most amazing aspect of the Fairy Wood…that it had transformed itself as I planted, worked and took daily walks through this magical place.

fairies 029I walked around to the far side of this ancient Ash tree, one that had stood in among the briars and thorns, alone, for all the time I have planted here.

The tree looked totally different on the other side…

fairies 031The Ash tree has been coppiced at some point in the past and has grown into a multi-stemmed tree which now has an underground cave.

fairies 037Almost all kinds of trees found in the Celtic countries have been thought to have special powers, or to serve as the abode of the fairy folk, but especially the magical trio of the Oak, Ash and Blackthorn.

fairies 035The Ash was a sacred tree to the Druids and it’s wood was highly prized in making wands.

This a a very special tree and quite magical as you can see…

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

Hi Colette,

I just received this petition. Perhaps you can mention it in your blog and get other people to sign it.

Love and best wishes

Terri

Bayer has just sued the European Commission to stop the ban on its bee-killing pesticides — despite clear evidence its products are behind the massive bee die-offs.

We can’t let Bayer and Syngenta get away with this blatant threat while the bees disappear. Sign the petition to tell them to drop the lawsuits now!

Sign the Petition

Posted in Art, Bees, Country Living, Culture, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

A Simple Life

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 beach and stood up in the garden, surrounded by plants…

bee pollinating broccoliA simple life, is one where bees are appreciated for the work they do and not just seen as a source of honey.

There are several wild bee nests here in the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

I plant food for them, though have no hives.

I want nothing from them, but their labour…let them keep their honey, they deserve it!

apples at Bealtaine CottageA simple life is less cluttered, quieter, calmer.

With little in material goods, there is less to think about and worry about.

Posted in Abundance, Bees, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds

Growing Food in Cottage Gardens

Roses at bealtaine cottageIt’s a perfect day for being in the garden, with just the right amount of sun and shade as the voluminous clouds drift overhead, sun shines full in between and there’s just a promise of rain!

roses on verandaThe roses on the veranda are hanging so low that one has to limbo-dance under them to get in and out of the cottage.

roses at bealtaine cottageIn doing this manoeuvre, one gets smothered in the most heavenly scent.

weed suppressing with cardboardMy friend, Terri brought lots of cardboard and seaweed from Connemara and I laid the cardboard down in the new orchard yesterday.

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodThe seaweed is being spread on the Potager beds much to the disdain of the slugs…but they will move out, deeper into the gardens, where their voracious appetites will be welcomed!

bees and peas at bealtaine cottagePeas are podding…these are an Irish heritage variety and seeds will be saved!

Peas and Bees at Bealtaine CottageThe bees work hard here at Bealtaine Cottage to make sure I have harvests of abundance every year!

Young Kale in the Potager Beds at Bealtaine CottageKale and Broccoli are thriving in between herbs and flowers.

Potager bed at Bealtaine CottageGarlic stands ready to be harvested.

Young Pumpkins at Bealtaine CottageOnions are thriving and Pumpkins are finally rooting in and beginning to grow.

Roses at Bealtaine CottageCara, who now has Gloria, is delighted to report that the aforementioned hen adores slugs and eats 20-30 daily.

bealtainecottage.com (8)

Raspberries are coming into fruit.

Sweet Joe Pye at Bealtaine CottageSweet Joe Pye…food for the eye…soon to be in flower!

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (17)

Salads are continually harvested from the tunnel…mixed with much herbs and very tasty!

bealtainecottage.com (9)

Blackcurrants ripen towards a promise of Cordial, Wine, Jam and Chutney.

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 006

Mother Earth knows no austerity!

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

Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 1100 blogs, as well as over 16,000 photographs. There are no ads on this website or over on Bealtaine Cottage YouTube!

Thanks to all the friends of Bealtaine Cottage for subbing and supporting! In return I promise to keep filming and ensuring this channel and website remain FREE from Ads! Bealtaine Cottage Press publishes the following: 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

Become a Bealtaine Patron: 

https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage 

If you want to make a donation: 

https://www.paypal.me/BealtaineCottage

 

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

Posted in Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Celts, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, photography, Seeds, Summer, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

The Magical Garden

Bealtaine Cottage roses

The morning is hot and sultry.

The sky is clear blue.

Ireland basks in heat.

Roses on the verandaRoses on the veranda are making a spectacular show and the delicate scent fills the morning air

Columbine at Bealtaine CottageAs we ascend towards Midsummer plants have suddenly taken off and appear to have grown overnight.

Poppies self seed everywherePoppies have opened all over the gardens, even in the tunnel.

These self seed and come up more intensely year on year.

Herb bed in permaculture garden at Bealtaine CottageHerbs are filling the beds as bees buzz busily overhead.

Stone Circle at Bealtaine CottageThe grass within and around the stone circle has turned to meadow.

Cow Parsley and Ferns by the Stone CircleCow Parsley vies with Ferns for space around the Stone Circle.

Bluebells at Bealtaine CottageBluebells are just visible in the lushness of a June morning in the west of Ireland.

magical stone circle at Bealtaine CottageThere’s a sense of magic in the air around the ancient stones!

Posted in Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Spirituality, Summer, Trees, Wild Flowers

Defeating Monsanto…with the help of the Bees!

Part of the orchards and edible gardens
Part of the orchards and edible gardens

May 2013…This is an update on all that’s growing in the permaculture gardens today.

The season has been slow to get going, as the sunshine has been minimal, with rain and cold prevailing.

Apple blossom and blackcurrants at Bealtaine Cottage
Apple blossom and blackcurrants at Bealtaine Cottage

Despite the appalling weather here in the west of Ireland, Apple trees are laden with blossom and bees are buzzing around the gardens busily pollinating all the blossom.

Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables
Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables

The bees have been hard at work on the Blackcurrants, thus ensuring a good harvest to come.

Rhubarb in the permaculture gardens...pure abundance!
Rhubarb in the permaculture gardens…pure abundance!

Rhubarb is cropping well, due to the top-dressing of manure from the hen house it received last Autumn.

This was mixed well with compost and straw and was well rotted down.

Broccoli in flower in the tunnel...seed to come and share!
Broccoli in flower in the tunnel…seed to come and share!

Purple Broccoli is now flowering in the tunnel, so seeds will be available from Bealtaine Cottage later on in the season.

lots of seed to be harvested from the Lunaria later in the summer
lots of seed to be harvested from the Lunaria later in the summer

Valerian is coming into flower and the Lunaria is seeding well.

beautiful Columbine from seed scattered outside the door of Bealtaine Cottage
beautiful Columbine from seed scattered outside the door of Bealtaine Cottage

Aquilegia is about to make a show…lots of this beautiful flower this year, as I have been busily throwing seed all over the gravel.

More photographs of the gardens from today…

Kale in flower, ready for seed setting...always choose the strongest plant to save seed from...
Kale in flower, ready for seed setting…always choose the strongest plant to save seed from…
Thank you Eric from Oregon for sending me these Cedar seeds...and here they are, growing!
Thank you Eric from Oregon for sending me these Cedar seeds…and here they are, growing!
Roses,Willow and Jostaberry combine to make an edible archway in the edible gardens
Roses,Willow and Jostaberry combine to make an edible archway in the edible gardens
Happy Sunday Everyone!
Happy Sunday Everyone!

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…  http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 1,000 blogs in the archives on this site.

As an Ark for Nature, birds, bees, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no funding or support from the EU, Irish Government or any Environment agencies.

Your donation helps remedy that…

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Current Affairs, Fracking, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Wildlife

March Against Monsanto

No Fracking

The new sign at Bealtaine Cottage, alongside a more important one…”No Fracking!”

Time to advertise what it is we stand for!

The power of advertising is immense.

Free advertising at Bealtaine CottageCorporations and governments allocate massive amounts of money each year to get their messages of suppression and control across to the public.

However, we have the access to advertising ourselves, if we decide to use our windows, cars, front doors, entrances to propagate our messages…what a load of free advertising space!

Bee on Linaria flower at Bealtaine CottageOn Saturday 25th May, there is a worldwide March Against Monsanto, taking place in all major cities.

If Monsanto is allowed to pimp it’s wares, as it does so successfully to central governments, then pictures such as this, the bee on Lunaria in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, will be rare indeed!

Here in Ireland, marches are taking place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Clare…with more being added.

WE NEED EVERYONES HELP
WE ARE ASKING ALL ANTI GMO, ANTI MONSANTO, PRO NATURE, PRO HEALTH, PRO ENVIRONMENT, ANTI CHEMICAL POLLUTION, PRO ORGANIC, FACEBOOK PAGES WEBSITES, BLOGS, NEWS CHANNELS, AND NEWSPAPERS TO GET BEHIND THIS MOVEMENT. WE HAVE JUST A FEW WEEKS LEFT. LETS ALL WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS A HISTORY MAKING EVENT. THIS IS OUR MARCH, ALL OF US, THE WORLD UNITED AGAINST SELFISH GREED THAT WOULD DESTROY OUR HEALTH AND THE PLANET IN ITS PATH.
MAY 25th EVERYWHERE
THIS IS EVENT IS FOR ALL OF US
THIS IS OUR EVENT
OUR VOICES HEARD
EDUCATE ALL

All Events in this Link
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Ah7h2ApbBPnpdGhOMElaSVg1QUQtRlJQWm1FaUZISlE&toomany=true 

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria at Bealtaine CottageButterflies are making a welcome appearance here in the permaculture gardens, with this lovely little Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) making an appearance this morning.

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeriaIt settled for a little sunbathing on the Ribes hedge near the Fairy Wood.

apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine CottageThe apple trees continue to make a big show of blossom as it all opens to attract the busy bees.

bealtaine Cottage archwayIt’s sunny and bright this morning, but appears to be clouding over as the day progresses.

I will be marching against Monsanto in Sligo on Saturday 25th May.

The march begins with a rally at the corner of O’Connell and Grattan Streets at 1pm.

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 550 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Thank you for supporting this blog

 

Posted in Bees, Cats, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Planting for the Bees in a Permaculture Garden

London pride on the steps at Bealtaine Cottage

London Pride ready to open flower on the steps at Bealtaine Cottage.

Years of pushing and shoving by these delicate looking little plants have finally eradicated the creeping buttercup in the heavy clay soil.

Bees at Bealtaine Cottage

It’s at this time of year that bees are working hard and sometimes gardens are bereft of food for the bees.

Not here!

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 011

I have a policy that is enshrined in Bealtaine cottage gardens…plant for the bees, the birds and then myself, always in that order!

Cordyline at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandOne of the plants that was so severely damaged by frost several years ago has made a comeback!

This is the tropical Cordyline, growing here thanks to the Gulf Stream.

That means an early start to the growing year and bees follow the same pattern, sometimes emerging as early as late February!

bealtainecottage.com 017

So food at the ready is vital for them!

Ribes, or flowering currant, is a wonderful source of nectar for the hungry bees!

Missy and the wind spiral

The smallest bit of sunshine and the garden starts to look like paradise!

Missy passes a lush looking Comfrey.

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

The flowers of the Comfrey plant are truly Bee-Loved, as are the flowers of the humble and easy to grow Nasturtium!

The leaves of the Comfrey will be cut and scattered around the apple trees, creating a source of liquid feed as the rain falls…as it does frequently here in the West of Ireland!

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchard

These trees never disappoint, year after year, with heavy blossom and heavy crops of perfect apples that have never been sprayed…never!

The bees are busy into the night around the orchards.

So plant fruit trees for the bees too!

Apple tree underplanted with Blackcurrants in permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageThere are over 40 fruit trees planted throughout the permaculture gardens.

And here you can see the apple under-planted with blackcurrants…much Bee-Loved!

Honesty underplanted in the orchards of Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensVarious flowers are planted beneath these.

Here you can see Honesty in flower under the Blackcurrants…a delight for the bees and sweet-smelling too!

sustainable living at bealtainecottage.com 005
I plant for bees and this is why there are consistently abundant crops here at Bealtaine Cottage.

In the case of the Cotoneaster above, food for the bees and the birds!

bealtainecottage.com 008

The trick is to ensure there is succession planting for the bees.

Bee on Lunaria flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Hungry bees won’t hang around hungry gardens!

Do have a lovely weekend!

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Climate, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spring

April Snow, Bees and Butterflies

April  Bealtaine Cottage pond gardenApril weather is always unpredictable.

Snow fell this morning…in between rain and brilliant sunshine!

It was like a convergence of all the seasons in one morning!

April permaculture rhubarb at Bealtainecottage 016This time last year we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean down by Mullaghmore Pier.

Legs and arms, uncovered for the first time in months, looked a sickly white in shorts and T-shirts.

April 2011 permaculture cottage 022The apple blossom was fully out and the season was about a month ahead of what was expected.

This year, the season is late.

About 4-6 weeks in some parts of the garden!

April  Bealtaine Cottage PolytunnelHowever, the polytunnel is really paying for itself, as I have all the fruit and veg in pots, growing big and strong and ready for when the weather settles down and all danger of frost has passed!

April Bealtaine Cottage permaculture GardensI have been hauling more and more stone from the edges of the land, into specific areas, where the passive solar heat trapped in the stone will help growth in annual crops, creating micro-climates.

As the season is late, it allows more time for me to catch up with the bigger tasks here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Always looking for the silver lining!

Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001The Bats are out from hibernation and yesterday, as I walked down the lane-way, a butterfly fluttered just ahead of me, for most of the walk.

The bees are flitting from one heavily laden Ribes bush to another…their end of hibernation feast!

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

The EU are making it against the law to save and share seed…

This is not a petition asking the EU for anything, but one that sends a clear, sharp message…We Will Not Comply!

A shot across the bow!

Please sign and share…

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_Will_Not_Comply/?wCgoWbb

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you for supporting this blog