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! 

An Ancient Recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney

Evening kitchen at Bealtaine CottageFinally, finally coming to the bottom of the freezer and the last of last years Blackcurrants…so many of them…over 150lbs!

I have eaten Blackcurrants every day since last summer.

kitchen at Bealtaine CottageI have a very simple meal that I make with them…raw food vegan!

It’s simply putting a handful of sunflower seeds in the blender with 3 or 4 big handfuls of organic oats.

Blend.

Add soya or other vegan milk, or dairy if that’s your choice.

Blend.

Add 1/4 lb of frozen Blackcurrants and some Maple Syrup to taste.

Blend.

The result is a cross between an ice cream and a smoothie…spoon it out and enjoy!

Blackcurrant ChutneyThis evening I have made four pound pots of delicious Blackcurrant Chutney. Blackcurrant ChutneyThe recipe is quite ancient…passed down to me from someone very close.

The taste of this chutney is unique and delicious and not to be compared to any other!

Here’s the recipe…

1 lb Blackcurrants

 1 lb moist brown sugar

1/4 lb chopped seedless raisins

1oz crushed mustard seeds

1oz chopped onion

1/2 oz  ground ginger

1 heaped teaspoon salt

1/2 pint distilled white vinegar

Cover the currants with the vinegar, and cook them gently until they are tender.

Let them cool, then mix in all the other ingredients.

Stir well together, boil up for about ten minutes, and bottle and cover tightly when cold.

Lysimachia Punctata on the table in the kitchenMost delicious and you can adjust the ingredients to taste and to suit…not too much though!

This recipe was handed down from my great grandmother, Mary Ann Higgins-Baxter, who grew masses of Blackcurrants on her small farm on the Derry Road in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThis was the thatched cottage owned by my great grandmother.

bealtainecottage.com (9)It was recommended by Mary Ann that the Blackcurrant Chutney be served with Goats Cheese, which she made herself from the many goats she kept and milked.

If you enjoy Bealtaine Cottage, please consider subscribing to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

Click on the link below

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

Easy Permaculture Soft Fruit Growing

Growing food could not be easier than this!

Just a small part of last summer’s crop of Blackcurrants here at Bealtaine Cottage! 

Simply take a heel cutting from a Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Jostaberry, Gooseberry and plug it into the soil…

The girls enjoying the spent blackcurrants, left over from making Blackcurrant cordial!

Nature will do the rest…

Watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-8SMynuOgM&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Changing Colours of Autumn.

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!

Maddy Harland, from Permaculture Magazine, has published a post from Bealtaine Cottage this morning. here’s the link… @PermaGoddess thank you! it’s up http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/2809111143/ancient-ireland-our-ancestors-original-permaculture-forest