Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Frugal Living, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Summer, Uncategorized, Wine

Bottling Summer

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com

The old tin bath has been taken down from the wall of the barn.

Used wine bottles are left to steep for a few hours in rainwater.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (3)Washed and clean, ready to be filled with home-made Blackcurrant wine.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (4)There is always at least one day during the Summer, when one feels enthusiastic enough to overcome the reluctance to get stuck into bottling wine…today, all the right chords were struck and the work began!

Cork stoppers were duly washed and left to soak and soften, till, finally…

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (2)the wine was securely bottled! All that remains to be done is labelling…Chateau Bealtaine!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (2)Outside the back door, Summer continues in layers of sheer abundance…Feverfew splurges on masses of tiny, daisy-like flowers.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (5) Midsummer has only just crossed over and the garlic is ready to pull, with the first batch of Garlic and Oregano Olive Oil infusing.

Summer just keeps on getting bottled!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (4)There is so much food and flowers, it’s sheer Heaven!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (5)Walking around the cottage is a feast for the senses!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.comEven the ancient Polygonum is covered with bright red flowers…one of the very few plants here that has nothing for the Bees…but a delight for me!  

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (6)Yellow Loosestrife stands tall in the casual cottage borders.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (7)Roses fall over in a drunken Summer stupor, heavy with scent and bees.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (8)Petals cascade onto stone steps, ivory wraps for blushing fairies.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (9)Valerian falls onto the gravel path, dropping seeds and heavy flower-heads onto the visitor’s shoe.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (10)And the Summer that was bottled today, will be brought out amidst smiles and raised glasses in the depths of Midwinter.

Posted in Abundance, Animals, Birds, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Food, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Growing Food, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Summer, Wine

A Year at Bealtaine…part 3

Poppies in Permaculture

2013 moved from Spring to summer with ease and Poppies jostled with one another for space in the beds.

potager beds at bealtaine cottage after the rainThe potager beds were extended and two more were constructed.

angel at bealtaine cottageAquilegia and Valerian ignored the seasons and came up together, surrounding the porch with delicate shades of pink and purple.

bealtaine cottage permaculture gardensIt was a frenzy of colour!

roses on verandaThe roses made their appearance on the veranda, more abundant than ever!

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodMy friends Terri and Lol brought me masses of seaweed from their beautiful Clifden in Connemara and it was spread all over the potager beds!

Sammy Bear and meSammy-Bear turned from a rather naughty kitten into an even naughtier cat!

Roses at Bealtaine CottageVisitors had to dodge the low-hanging flowers and…

Apples growing in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottageemerging fruit!

bird bath in pollarded Sycamore at Bealtaine CottageBird baths were sat into trees for the rather hot birds…

Car-boy of blackcurrant must for wineand Blackcurrant wine was started off in the glass carboy.

demijohn of blackcurrant wineThen transferred to a demijohn to sit out the next few months on the kitchen windowsill.

Roses at the back of Bealtaine Cottage todayThe heat of summer continued and the well ran dry!

Bealtaine Cottage signBealtaine Cottage basked in the sun and heat, as I carted water up from a spring well lower down the land.

Roses on veranda at bealtaine cottage todayRose petals fell like confetti all over the veranda…it was lovely!

bealtaine Cottage this eveningOx-Eye Daisies flourished everywhere!

Che Mousy Bear rolls over in the tunnel this morning at Bealtaine CottageSammy-Bear cooled off by rolling in the dirt path in the tunnel and getting absolutely filthy!

Cats in the shade at bealtaine cottageChe-Mousey found a cool spot in the shade of the laurel arch.

Bealtaine Cottage this morningIt was sheer abundance!

Bealtaine Cottage this morning.And the summer rolled on…

Gosh…almost there…part 4 methinks!

Blessings from Bealtaine XXX

Posted in Angels, Bats, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Summer, Trees

An Angel at Sunset

Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage

Sun and rain has enabled wonderful growth.

Rocket stove in action The rocket stove has allowed me free tea all day…just a few twigs to boil the water.

Potager beds of abundanceThe Potager beds are filled with plants and new growth, as the seaweed is watered in by the Atlantic rains.

Car-boy of blackcurrant must for wineLast year’s Blackcurrants are being emptied from the freezer to make this year’s wine.

demijohn of blackcurrant wineThe race is on to use the remaining harvest from last year as the summer promises yet more abundance.

sunset in Ireland

The brilliance of this sunset beckoned me out to capture it in photograph and share it with you!

Sunset at Bealtaine CottageThere is a mist descending on the mountain.

Sunset through the trees at Bealtaine CottageThe bats are beginning their night patrol.

Sunset in the window of Bealtaine CottageThe day is almost over.

Angel at sunsetThe sun is setting in the west.

It is 10pm.

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Posted in Garden, Home Made Wine, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Wine

Home Made Wine from the Permaculture Garden.

Checking out the demijohns of various wines yesterday, I realised that some were ready to either rack off-that means transferring them to another, clean demijohn, or bottle up…so I spent a couple of hours doing just that, as well as sampling each one…well, it has to be done!Making wine from the abundant harvest of organic blackcurrants is one of my favourite summer tasks.

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

I also use Strawberries, Redcurrants, Rosehips and Jostaberries, all grown here at Bealtaine.home made wine at Bealtaine Cottage

The wine here is Strawberry and Redcurrant.

Bealtaine Cottage redcurrants from the permaculture gardens

After bottling it needs to be laid down for about 3 months minimum.

This improves the taste and helps maturity.

Bealtaine Cottage wine makingMost of the flower and fruit wines I have made over the years have needed this, with the occasional wine being drinkable straight from the demijohn!

The big freezer in the pantry is still in the process of being cleared out.

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageKilos of Blackcurrants and Redcurrants remain, as well as the Rhubarb added this year.

Wines and jams will be on the ‘To Do List,’ for the coming week!Bealtaine Cottage wine making

Keeping everything clean is very important in wine making and bottling.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrant and Redcurrants

I use a baby equipment sterilising fluid and find this cheap and effective.

A bowlful is enough, making sure that lots of swirling takes place!

Dried herbs from Bealtaine Cottage

I use one pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. each demijohn takes about four pounds of fruit.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants

I add 1 teaspoon of wine yeast and fill with spring water, which thankfully comes out of the tap here!

I use a hand corker as you can see.

It is effective and works well in corking the bottles efficiently and completely.

Home made wine to celebrate Imbolc at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 005All in all the process uses absolutely no imported energy, as all the bottles are re-cycled from friends.

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