Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Fairies, Food, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture Blog, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ Food and Fairies

Mulching is really important once the dry weather sets in! It keeps the moisture in the ground as well as suppressing weeds. The fruit trees and fruit bushes were all mulched heavily during May. This helps to produce a good harvest as the fruit plumps out according to the amount of moisture they receive.

In gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors.

This is the tunnel today. Courgettes, Pumpkins, Fennel and Corn are all producing well. As crops come to fruition, the ground is cleared, fresh compost is spread and new plants set out. Compost is rich in nutrients and used for all planting at Bealtaine Cottage. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus  and as a natural pesticide for soil.

Courgette flower today and small fruit underneath. Courgettes are one of my favourite veg, especially cooked as fritters and served with a homemade, tomato salsa sauce…mmm! Courgette is also known as Zucchini!

When used for food, zucchini are usually picked when under 20 cm in length, when the seeds are still soft and immature. Mature zucchini can be as much as three feet long and known as Marrows. These are delicious stuffed and baked! Jam can also be made using Marrows…Marrow and Ginger jam is delicious!

Courgettes can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques, including steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as soufflés. It also can be baked into a bread, zucchini bread or incorporated into a cake mix. Its flowers can be eaten stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.

Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, baked into a bread similar to banana bread.

A place of calm and quiet contemplation…

The path that leads out from the Fairy Dell…

And deep within the Fairy Dell, Cow Parsley reaches up towards the sky…

Posted in Baking, Food, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegan

Funky Friday Fotos From…The Permaculture Cottage

Bealtaine this morning…

Got a mega-curry under way…vegan, of course and destined to be consumed over the course of the weekend!

The Red Jewels…

in the garden are redcurrants…to be made into one of the best fruit wines around!

The Kitchen…

has been a hive of activity this morning, with curry, soup and bread all made and stored for the weekend. This will be a ‘no-cook,’ weekend!

Paths…
of Lysimachia Punctata are closing in…not good when it rains…and it’s raining a lot!

Have…

a great weekend everyone. Maybe plant a tree? Be happy!

Posted in Baking, Food, Growing Food, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Another Attempt at Sourdough Bread…Perfect Starter…Bealtaine Permaculture Ireland

Water drops on Lady’s Mantle…one of the reasons why this perennial is so beautiful and loved here at Bealtaine.Picked all this beautiful Chard in the tunnel this morning to juice with some apples and kick-start my day…and it did!Pulling and stretching the sourdough is really therapeutic! I’m using the recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall…It’s looking good…now to wait for the rise…The bread has spread…oh dear! I have a feeling that either the starter is too powerful or I needed to add more flour…I’ll get there eventually!