Posted in Angels, Cottage, Current Affairs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Winter

The Power Within Us…

Voting is not something we do every so many years to change the world around us.

Nothing much changes.

We continue to live in a state of unhappiness with the apparent status quo.

All that is power seeks to continually remind us of our lack of power….but, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Dis-empowerment is something we can choose whether or no to embrace.

We can  be victims or not.

We can refuse to acknowledge, becoming what we are meant to be…free human beings on a sacred journey.

Or, we can vote with our wallets, every time we consume, every day, every week of every year of our lives!

All those special bargains on shelves have their origin in factorized food, bland and impoverished products of the systematic destruction of Mother Nature.

Each individual purchase fuels that destruction!

Do we support corporations we loathe?

If so, why?

How often do we take the time to realise the power we actually have?

The power of the flickering flame draws the mind into other-world realms, the land where all is possible and hope is eternal.

There is a rhythm to the land that dictates how we should live.

People working away from home should take more time to communicate with fellow workers, share tea, coffee, bring cakes into work to share.

It is in the act of sharing that we are one.

The winter is time to come together.

Have you ever spent a whole evening in candlelight?

If you have then you will understand…if not then look forward to doing just that.

It will illuminate a whole new world for you…imagination!

One of the most delightful aspects of Winter and the ensuing darkness is the magic that is light, especially candlelight.

I prefer this gentle form of lighting to anything else!

Glowing, flickering, delicate light that warms the air and beckons the soul, it is quite magical.

There was a saying here in the west of Ireland during the 1950′s when electric light was finally wired into the homes of rural communities…’the light that drove away the fairies!’

Consider the meaning of that realization: electric light diminishes the imagination, illuminating all areas but those of the spirit…is that why candles are continually lit in places of worship?

Posted in celebrations, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Winter

Mosaic Mirror ready to reflect the Midwinter Light

Creating a Mosaic Mirror from broken mirrors has been a work in progress for the past few weeks.
it was finally completed this morning!

Mirrors reflect light, bouncing it around rooms where light is at a premium.

The preparations for Christmas continues. Now that the mirror is finished, time to move onto finishing the firebreast wall around the mirror. I am going to paint it a bright colour…well, whatever is the brightest from what I have in leftovers out in the shed.

The mirror really comes into it’s own once the candles are lit on the mantlepiece. The candlelight is reflected, creating a visual warmth in the room, even without the stove being lit!

Candlelight is restive and calm.

Enjoy the midwinter light tomorrow…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Permaculture Cottage ~ Dividing Rhubarb, Growing Trees and Composting!

Lots of the rhubarb has been lifted and divided recently and planted into the new beds, all loaded with fresh compost from the heaps stacked last year.

Rhubarb is an easy and early fruiting plant to grow. Although the leaves are toxic, various parts of the plants have medicinal and culinary uses.  In culinary use, fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong tart taste; most commonly the plant’s stalks are cooked and used in pies and other foods for their tart flavour. Personally, there is nothing equal to a Rhubarb Crumble, or, one of my absolute favourites…Rhubarb Jam!

Did you know that in England, the first rhubarb of the year is harvested by candlelight in dark sheds dotted around the noted “Rhubarb Triangle” of Wakefield, Leeds, and Morley,a practice that produces a sweeter, more tender stalk?

The New Vegetable Beds

The new beds are coming along well…planted out with Chard, Cucumber, Parsley, Tomato and Chives…for starters! I have spread wood ash recently on the beds and continue to build up with compost.

Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity, when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Raw chard is perishes quite fast, so it’s best to pick only when about to be used!

Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked  or sautéed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked Spinach. I use Chard a lot in my home made soups and curries and as a replacement for Spinach.

Flowering Oregano and Chives

Both grow like weeds here at Bealtaine Cottage, with lots of Oregano now coming up in the gravel driveway. Great for drying and using in sauces and soups and breads!

More Trees Please!

Trees are planted all the year around here at the smallholding. Many are grown from seed and potted on several times before eventual planting out. Many are rescued from the roadside verges and gravel paths. Lots of these trees are given away to those who show an interest in planting. There is one thing for sure though, the Earth needs more trees. Trees protect her.

Compost this morning at Bealtaine

Now working through the second heap and already filled up the first again, so am busy as you can see!

Composting as a recognized practice dates to at least the early Roman Empire since Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79).

Traditionally, composting was to pile organic materials until the next planting season, at which time the materials would have decayed enough to be ready for use in the soil. This is the method I follow and it works every time as you can see!  The advantage of this method is that little working time or effort is required from the composter and it fits in naturally with agricultural practices in temperate climates. Personally I see no disadvantages in this technique. There is no real exposure to excessive rainfall, as the heaps are thatched with lots of straw to overwinter in peace and harmony with all the hibernating insects and frogs!

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

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