Posted in News, Planet earth, sustainability, Thoughts

The Greatest Peace Initiative of Our Time

DSC00242This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the “chaotic” powers of nature and woman…is what ultimately lies behind man’s famous “conquest of nature” – a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth’s ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.

Riane Eisler
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I was aware from an early age, through extensive reading and observation, that women have long been associated with Nature.
DSC00173Even the metaphor we use for our planet, ‘Mother Earth’, for instance…our nurturing Earth!
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The language we have become over familiar with says it all.. a ‘virgin’ forest is one awaiting exploitation, as yet untouched by man.
DSC00176I have lived through the greatest exploitation and destruction of ‘virgin forests’, ever seen.
DSC00175It is something I would love to be able to wish away and part of the reason I have grown and planted over one thousand trees to co-create Bealtaine Cottage, with, Mother Earth.
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Working with the land, in much of the world, is women’s work.
DSC00178Apart from the violence of war and the destruction of the planet, women have been associated with the physical side of life.
DSC00182Even in biblical terms, women are ‘closer to nature’, and so to be kept controlled.
There is a real fear of Nature and all that She imbibes.
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Of course, when one takes a long look at how mankind has viewed Nature down through the past several thousand years, it becomes apparent that fear is the driving force.
DSC00185Nature is more powerful than human life.
DSC00186The control over Nature allows a fleeting feeling of control and empowerment…but, never for long, as we all know.
DSC00188So, in my own small way, recognising these truths, I embarked on a journey of making peace…with Her.
DSC00190The ultimate and final Peace Initiative.
DSC00192I come from one of the most devastated towns in Northern Ireland…Omagh.
DSC00193A town that endured such violence and suffering in the worst bombing witnessed on a quiet day in August of 1998.
DSC00198DSC00199DSC00200I mention this as it helps to contextualize my own life and motives for what I do…a complex study in itself!
DSC00202The only end to violence comes when people make peace with each other, or a situation.
DSC00205DSC00206DSC00207Peace and happiness is never birthed from subjugation and control.
DSC00208As a society that has both witnessed and endured these past two world wars, we should be in full receipt of that information!
DSC00213For twelve years now I have striven to make peace with Mother Earth. DSC00215The results are here for all to see.
DSC00216She is not to be feared.
DSC00222DSC00221She is not to be controlled.
(Can you see the little bird in flight from the box?)
DSC00217She is who we live WITH!
DSC00218I learned, to my shock, the other day, that Ireland relied heavily on the importation of Chemical Fertilizer from America during the years of World war Two!
DSC00219That was over sixty years ago, so one must assume that grass has only grown green from chemicals ever since!
DSC00220One must further conclude that alongside this continued abomination has come the loss of topsoil, for one goes hand-in-hand with the other!
DSC00223The ultimate Peace Initiative is working with Mother Earth to create topsoil, as evidenced here.
DSC00224Peace is to be nurtured and worked through.
DSC00237Peace comes with levels of compromise and sacrifice.
DSC00238Peace in our own life comes with persistence and negotiation and keeping the vision with us.
DSC00231Peace comes from the refusal to abuse, the refusal to not live ON Her, but WITH Her!
DSC00236The greatest war of all time is being fought in every garden, allotment, field, woodland, forest, river, ocean and all that makes up Mother Earth.
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The future of our children’s children lies within the reflection of our love for Mother Earth today.
We either make peace with Her or forfeit the lives of those whose faces we will never see!

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Posted in Angels, Cats, Current Affairs, Earth, Fracking, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Fracking the Homestead

Recycled bags and containers at Bealtaine Cottage
Recycled bags and containers at Bealtaine Cottage

Home used to be a place where everything that was needed to live well was grown or made on site by family and neighbours.

Michael Kennedy Mug and Westport Potteries bowl on locally made chopping board
Michael Kennedy Mug and Westport Potteries bowl on locally made chopping board

A place in which food was prepared several times each day and shared by all present.

Many basic necessities were stitched or nailed together by those who used them. 

Perlagoniums and cats on the window sill
Perlagoniums and cats on the window sill

Home used to be a vibrant, thriving project in self-sufficiency, with what was needed to be bought in, purchased on a rare trip to town, or ordered several times each year, to be delivered and stored.

Missy relaxing on a hot water bottle to ease her tumour...it works well!
Missy relaxing on a hot water bottle to ease her tumour…it works well!

Home included a pantry or larder, a cold-store and a well used and scrubbed kitchen table where food was prepared and eaten.

Valerian growing in the gravel around the cottage
Valerian growing in the gravel around the cottage

Today, as part of the massive disconnect  from our lovely Earth, we have fitted kitchens which are made from chemicals and constantly cleaned with chemicals.

Orange waste infusing the air with beautiful aroma on top of the stove
Orange waste infusing the air with beautiful aroma on top of the stove

The emphasis is on keeping a show-house type of environment, where these expensive kitchens are not used to their full potential.

A great cure-all...hot water bottle for Missy Cat
A great cure-all…hot water bottle for Missy Cat

Our lives are chemically infused…with clothes, bedding and bodies immersed in chemical solutions on a daily basis.

Washed in soap, rinsed in rain water and blowing in the wind
Washed in soap, rinsed in rain water and blowing in the wind

Washing machines pound the clothes we buy with chemicals that are washed out into our rivers and oceans, killing life on the way.

The Bealtaine Cottage angel ponders it all...
The Bealtaine Cottage angel ponders it all…

We wonder how cancer, autism, asthma, allergies and depression are so rife within our communities? 

Harvest at Bealtaine Cottage

We seek doctors and drugs to help us live and be well, without paying too much attention to our living state and what the corporations are doing to our environments.

Recycled floor
Recycled floor

Pharmaceutical companies are the most powerful corporate bodies on our planet.
In the US alone in 2011, the pharmaceutical industry spent nearly $29 billion on drug promotion with most of that money targeted at doctors!

Herbs drying naturally
Herbs drying naturally

We are taught not to question, but to accept the status quo of a controlled demolition of society…

A government sponsored controlled demolition of our society!
A government sponsored controlled demolition of our society!

We are viewed by corporation and government alike, as mere consumers. Passive receivers and worker drones.

Awakening and refusing to comply!
Awakening and refusing to comply!

The realization of this state of affairs is the beginning of our personal journey to freedom and a good life.

Wonderful July 2017 Update!

Our Irish Government has passed the bill to ban Fracking in Ireland!

This was signed into law by President Higgins in July 2017!

If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how…

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/BealtaineCottage

Some links for you to use should you wish to comment on any of the videos on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

The Website… https://bealtainecottage.com/

The Goddess Gardens…
https://www.facebook.com/GoddessGardens/

Twitter… https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess

The Book… https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

https://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage

Posted in Bats, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Current Affairs, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife

It’s Not Just About Bees…is it?

Bees have been dying off at an alarming rate.

Moths are no longer fluttering around this cottage at night.

The Bats have left Bealtaine Cottage.

This is big, a very big issue and we have to look at what’s really happening…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoxitKEp2QA

Posted in Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Ecology, Gaia, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

Healing our Environment and Saving our Earth.

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The weather has been mild and very damp, ideal for mushroom growing. Polytunnel this morning at Bealtaine Cottage with Che Mousy Bear strolling through!There are lots of these growing in the tunnel.

Though it’s not actually mushrooms I want to talk about today.

You see there are things on my mind that are troubling me…

jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 009

Biting the Hand that feeds YOU!

For if we are to live in the world as we know it, then we have to make changes…

veranda at Bealtaine CottageMother Nature gives, and we take. Most of the time we give nothing back…nothing!

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 004For the past hundred or so years we have demanded and taken more and more!

Bealtaine Cottage midsummer morningThe killing fields of World War One left mountainous mounds of dead
and gave us our agriculture of today,
…chemicals!

We are what we eat.

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 008

Chemicals

From that day to this we have almost drowned Gaia in chemicals!

wild honeysuckle on the table at bealtaine cottageChemicals to force food from the ground.

Chemicals to kill Gaia’s workforce; bees, insects and bacteria.

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Chemicals poured in relentless fashion into her rivers and oceans to make our clothes whiter, cleaner and our homes chemical waste grounds.

Cats in the shade at bealtaine cottageWhere babies are reared in exclusion zones that make them weak and sometimes ill…for the good bacteria that aids children in developing strong immune systems, is no longer allowed!

Rain on Nasturtium in the Permaculture GardensWhen we become ill, we then require stronger and more aggressive pharmaceuticals.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageAnd so we are trapped within a complex ecocidal system of living that is doomed!

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A Better Way

Yes, there is a better way!

I am exploring aspects of it in whatever small way possible.

But, overall, the solution is simple…

Summer shed at Bealtaine CottageMostly, the solutions require little more than common sense, some small effort and a willingness to keep an open mind and ask questions!

Astrantia by the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage this morningFor therein lies solutions…millions of them! Each one suitable for our immediate environment.

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageSolutions that empower us and make us integrated, part of the healing, not part of the illness!

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The words of Albert Einstein resonate more today than ever before…

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”
– Albert Einstein

Posted in Animals, biodiversity, Cats, Country Living, Lifestyle, Permaculture

Self-Sufficient Living and 145,000 Cats

Bealtaine Cottage Christmas CatA Salutary Lesson

To treat a malaria outbreak in Borneo in the 1950s, the World Health Organization (WHO) sprayed DDT to kill mosquitoes. 

But the DDT also killed parasitic wasps which were controlling thatch-eating caterpillars.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture As a result, the thatched roofs of many homes fell down, and the DDT-poisoned insects were eaten by geckoes, which were in turn eaten by cats.

The cats perished, which led to the multiplication of rats, and then outbreaks of sylvatic plague and typhus.

Bealtaine Cottage 008To put an end to this destructive chain of events, WHO had to parachute one hundred and forty five thousand  live cats into the area to control the rats.

And?

So, what has this little story got to do with self-sufficiency, I hear you ask?

Bealtaine CottageWell, it’s all about circles and loops and asking oneself questions…

For to be self-sufficient it is important to engage with the World, Nature and develop awareness of consequences.

What will happen to this packaging?

Where does my waste water go?

Bealtaine Cottage 022Can I ameliorate the senseless pollution being washed down into the rivers and seas by choosing NOT to use chemicals?

In other words, make it your business to engage and understand why things are as they are! 

Bealtaine Cottage 015The clock ticks on our world.

Not the Earth, for that will go on, but humankind teeters on the brink of destruction…SELF-destruction.

And we are  part of it all the time we fail to engage fully with our state of living.

Bealtaine Cottage 013We cannot throw it away, for there is no ‘away!’

I listened to a woman berate a caller to a rather mediocre radio show here in Ireland.

The woman was stating that if people stopped killing animals, we would be over-run with rats…Veganism was being held up as a possible curse upon the country!

Bealtaine Cottage 009This is the kind of ‘closed-thinking,’ that the corrupt media has brain-washed us with for decades.

More and more people are trotting out banal statements without engaging with the problem they talk about.

Bealtaine Cottage 008As Rachel Carson once said…”The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists solely for the convenience of man…

Bealtaine Cottage 030It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators.

But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead.

And because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.”

Rachel Carson

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Missy, the ginger cat, has become a Bealtaine Angel…sadly missed in life, but a huge presence all around!

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If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how…

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/BealtaineCottage

Some links for you to use should you wish to comment on any of the videos on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

The Website… https://bealtainecottage.com/

The Goddess Gardens…
https://www.facebook.com/GoddessGardens/

Twitter… https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess

The Book… https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

https://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Ecology, Gaia, Ireland, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Spirituality

Celtic Mysticism, the Goddess and Permaculture…

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 017Perlagonium continues to flower.

The nights are drawing in.

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Autumn begins to harvest the land of leaves and green, as Winter waits in the wings…

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The culture of the West, and its reliance on centralized government, has lost its way regarding Nature, seeing her only as a resource!

Woodland at bealtainecottage.com 005Politically, governments have aligned themselves and us with the world of big business.

The madness of the policy of continued economic growth amid finite energy sources…and all to create more and more wealth for a very few, including themselves.

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This smallholding of 3 acres continues to give up her harvest.

It is incredible to think that gardening and growing food, as we know it today, has only been operative since World War One and the use of chemicals on the land.

Vintage Chest 016

Rarely is Nature now regarded as sacred, valuable in itself and in any way seriously considered.

This has happened in less than three generations.

Bealtaine Cottage water barrel

The heart of the Celtic understanding of Nature is to regard the female, the Goddess and the Divine in all living things.

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The king, or ruler, is assumed to marry the land in the persona of the sovereign Goddess.

Thus they become partners.

Marriage was regarded in this culture as a joining of equals…

What would Earth look like today if we regarded the environment as our partner instead of our servant?

sustainable living at bealtainecottage.com 020Permaculture is about working hand in hand with Nature and recognizing her sovereignty in all that lives.

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For many, this brings a remarkable sense of the Divine and the sacred nature of Gaia.

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Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Gaia, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Spring Wells, Wisdom and the Hopi Indians…

First of all a BIG TA VERY MUCH for all who have visited my blog over the past year. I began in the middle of August 2010 and in little over a year, 70,000 of you have made the journey to Bealtaine Cottage at Ballyfermoyle, here in the beautiful West of Ireland…well, actually, a very great many of you have visited many times over and subscribed to the blog.  Hopefully in the next year the blog will expand even more in some exciting ways…ssshhh, it’s still a secret!

Fuschia and Fedges grow side by side. Both are grown from slips or cuttings. It will soon be time to harvest the willow and plant more cuttings, which is really the story of these gardens. Planting has been ongoing now for seven years, since day one of Bealtaine…

So much rain and so much water gushing along the stream beds in the Bog Garden…the rain brings music!

Walking up towards the woodland that is the Fairy Dell, through new plantings of Willow and Ash…

Spring water gushes up from the well in the woodland.

Deep within the Fairy Dell…has midsummer really passed that quickly?

Perfect apples…never ever sprayed, no chemicals and a bountiful harvest every year!

The Wisdom of the Hopi Indians…something to share with you, just click on the link…http://youtu.be/zNlNUJcEcoY

Have a great weekend! Plant a tree for the Mother…Gaia… x

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Thursday Photo-Diary

A Celtic emblem on my back door. The paint on the door is well scratched and there is a definite patina of life therein. Dogs and children, all attempting to enter the cottage with little patience and no time to wait! I know I have to paint it soon, because the weather demands it, but then this testament to life and laughter and fun and games will be erased…

Moving the tyres in the vegetable garden is a milestone reached this week…converting all to log, deep beds and narrow paths…easier to mulch and now that the soil has improved, I can do this. It has taken 7 years of work and patience, but it has finally paid off!

Apples continue to swell and grow and are, each one, quite perfect. These trees have never had any sprays or chemicals of any kind at all, yet continue to give perfect harvest every single year. Nature knows best!

The beautiful flowers of the remarkable Comfrey plant. This generous herb is not just a pretty face!

Look how well this tiny spider manages to camouflage itself on the Cotoneaster bush…Nature is so very clever!

Flowers have opened on the Fuschia…almost an adopted native plant here in the west of Ireland…

Posted in Abundance, Beltane, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Summer, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Growing Fruit and Vegetables the Permaculture Way

Apples

Apples today in the gardens at Bealtaine.

No chemicals.

Lots of mulching.

Sheeps wool mulched around base.

Regular feeds of manure tea.

Maximum biodiversity planted around the trees.

Trees well spread out.

Hedges and shrubs to protect from the wind.

In other words, intelligent planting, thought-out and planned along  permaculture lines…

Planning Permaculture

Just a few shots of empathy for and with Nature, alongside good, basic common-sense, realising that Nature is poly-cultural and loathes monoculture in any form, so, be diverse!

Plant for maximum biodiversity, with pockets of plants everywhere in your garden…and don’t try to dominate!

Us humans seem to have an innate desire to dominate Nature, an idea supported by so many of the world religions!

Use Local Resources

Raised beds can be made from most materials.

Local is best.

I continue to use some tyres in my gardens, but am replacing them gradually with stone, local stone, as and when I uncover it or come across it.

Wood is good and sustainable.

All my compost heaps are made using old doors, up-cycled to a new use!

Look at what you have as a local and preferably free resource and start using it!

No-Dig

By far the easiest and best way of growing I have ever encountered…this is my template for a great garden.

These are the potatoes this morning, growing mightily on a no-dig potato bed.

Have a look at previous blogs to see how this was started…

Collect and Save Seed!

Fennel in the tunnel this morning, flowering and soon to seed.

Save seed…any seeds and grow them on and share them out and value this above all else that you do, for without seed we have nothing!

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

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are welcomed free.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Tuesday 18 May @ Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding

It’s raining this morning and the plants that self-seed in the gravel are continuing to drink. This is Valerian, which loves the limestone gravel and grows from seed scattered into the stones. It’s beginning to flower and will continue to flower all the way through the summer.

Columbine is coming through the gravel around the Valerian. Seedlings like this usually do very well when potted on.

The Phototinia on the driveway suffered badly during the severe weather last winter, but it’s making a good recovery, with lots of new growth making a show.

Lots of berries are coming through on the Ivy…and there’s lots of Ivy all through the gardens. Possibly the sign of a cold winter ahead?

Gunnera Manicata grows easily under the Cherry tree, with no loss on the Cherry production. Dense planting is an essential part of permaculture…with definitely NO chemicals to control ANYTHING!

Posted in Ecology, Food, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture

Growing Off the Ground ~ Permaculture Ways at Bealtaine, West Ireland

The birds are nesting again in this little bird box. They come and go with little fear of people walking close-by.Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding has been free from all chemicals for seven years next month. May, or Bealtaine in Irish, will be the seventh anniversary for this permaculture paradise. This Saturday will be the last time to visit, for a while… Bealtaine will be open for all to come and see a permaculture smallholding in real time. Visitors are welcome from 10am until around 6pm. Buds are continuing to develop on the climbing Rose. Lettuce and strawberries continue to grow well in the hanging baskets, high above the ground in their slug-free zone!