Magical Days

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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!

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This Celery was planted and stem harvested last Spring.

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

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

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Flowers on the Ribes bushes have opened.

These will be ready to feed early awakening bees.

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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%!

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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.

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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!

A New Way of Living

DSCF1520Food production can be a problem for many people who have little or no access to land.

DSCF1521There are many who live in conditions where even a balcony is a precious space.

DSCF1532I have spoken before about the ways in which access to growing space can be achieved, through allotments, community gardens and the like, but here is something which may prove to be an inspiration, a new way of looking at food, both growing it and eating!

DSCF1527As an aspiring Vegan, (sometimes I miss the mark!) and dedicated grower and lover of all life, I have recently been converted to “Micro Greens.”

DSCF1526The concept is extraordinarily simple!

DSCF1525Seeds such as lettuce, peas, beets, etc., are sown and grown for about two weeks or less, before being harvested and added to dishes.

DSCF1519These Micro-Greens, it is said, contain up to 40% more nutrients than older, traditionally grown and harvested vegetables.

I can believe it!

DSCF1524Yesterday evening, I had a dish of cooked brown rice, mixed with Micro Greens, seasoned and drenched with the juice of half a fresh lime and this morning I feel a surge of energy!

DSCF1530Micro Greens can be grown on a window ledge, balcony, hanging basket…anywhere they can get a decent dose of light!

DSCF1538Growing Organic is easy to manage in small areas too!

DSCF1541Little or no problem with slugs and availability all the year around!

DSCF1540For me, the days of packaged salad of any kind are over and the tiresome task of cooking greens are almost over…adding raw makes more sense in every aspect of preparing and eating food!

DSCF1544All you need is a tray, or pot of compost, seeds and water!

DSCF1545So, there you have it…a new way of living…simple, easy and kind to Mother Earth!

And the fun part? Now you can enjoy seeing some of your vegetables run to seed, like this Mizuna in the Potager Bed!

DSCF1546Here are just some of the seeds you can grow Micro Salads from…
Arugula
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Kale
Mustard greens
Radish
Red cabbage
Turnips
Watercress
Basil
Chervil
Chives
Coriander
Fennel
Lemon Balm
Mizuna
Rocket
Sage
Chard
and many more…
DSCF1547(Both the Light Catcher and the Bird Box were gifts, made by Nick O’Neill…aren’t they lovely?)
Happy growing!
Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage XXX




 

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.

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Raspberries are coming into fruit.

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

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

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

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Mother Earth knows no austerity!

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Sustainable Food: Easy Grow Vegetables and Fruit

Some vegetables and fruit are so very easy to grow it seems ridiculous not to do so!

1. Chard. Simple to start from seed. Full of vitamins and minerals. Cut and come again…it just keeps giving!

This Ruby Chard has grown in the tunnel and given successive crops since last summer!

2. Parsley. In this case, curly parsley, but in fact any variety is great to grow, providing endless supplies of vitamin C and Iron for a healthy diet, as well as being simple to grow.

Parsley will grow for 2 years easily before it dies back!

Another great Chard is this beautiful yellow variety, bringing colour and taste to the table!

3. Purple-sprouting Broccoli.

These pics were snapped today in the tunnel, so you can see how far advanced this great vegetable is…ready to harvest in January.

The joy of these vegetables and herbs I have here is that they have all self-seeded, in true permaculture fashion!

Again, one of the benefits of cold-composting, allowing seeds to survive and continue on their merry way!

4. Mizuna. The great little winter salad crop…cut and come again!

These are just some of the crops in the tunnel today.

Bealtaine Cottage Apple tree

Apple, if you have space for a tree, are very easy to grow…what would life be like without the Apple Pie?

Bealtaine Cottage Pumpkins

Pumpkins in a sunny spot will provide you with easy to store and save fruit.

Bealtaine Cottage rhubarb

Rhubarb is another plant that just keeps giving and all one has to do is to manure it well once a year!

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants

I grow masses of Blackcurrants here at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardens and they are incredibly easy.

permaculture at Bealtaine  cottage

Part of the Bealtaine Cottage ethos is to harvest and save seed.

All seed at Bealtaine Cottage is open-pollinated, mostly by Bees.

This is offered for sale at a minimal cost…2 Euro per pack which includes P&P to ANYWHERE in the world!

This is a link to the site.

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

For subscribers to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, I will be posting a blog today that includes the easiest ever recipe for Brown Soda Health Bread…and I mean, the easiest!

Subscribing to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows me a small income…enough to pay the mortgage and a little more to live on…bless you…here’s a link…

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