Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Economy, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees

The Economy of Resilience

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During 2014, much of what we assumed to be reality was turned on it’s head.

The great recovery of the economy turned out to be a case of a great slump in China, the economic barometer of the western world.

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For, if we are not buying consumer goods, it reflects in China’s economic growth.

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It became apparent, early on in the year, that China had cut back on it’s imports of raw materials…as for the rest, it does not take a room full of economists to work it out!

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Through all of this, for my part at least, growth excelled here at Bealtaine Cottage.

 Mother Earth, now in full recovery in this little portal, happily gave of her best and settled into her annual rest.

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It was a year of proof.

Proof that resilience is our greatest ally!

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Resilience and the building of this great economy, is possible for all, through the application of basic Permaculture principles.

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To begin with, waste does not exist…everything has a value.

This cottage and three acres used to have a septic tank.

It now boasts a compost toilet.

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The thousand plus trees I planted are grateful for the waste that myself and visitors produce.

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In return to the economy of the cottage, the stove benefits from timber, my purse benefits from not having to pay a septic tank inspection charge and the soil is improved year on year.

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That, in a nutshell, is an example of applied Permaculture, shielding both myself and Mother Earth from the vagaries and demands of an economic model which is killing us all.

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We invented waste as part of the economic model we follow in the west…now fast encroaching on all other countries.

This was not how people lived before the 20th century.

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Read history…even the bed Shakespeare slept in formed part of the estate bequeathed in his will.

For that matter, his coat and garments also formed his estate!

In other words, nothing was considered to be waste!

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Building resilience into one’s life is creating revolution against a system we know to be destroying the future.

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For my part,  Vive La Revolution!

Posted in Food, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Organic Garden, Roscommon, Sligo, Uncategorized

Permaculture Notes from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ), a member of the sunflower family, has been used for centuries in European folk medicine.

This sweet smelling flower is commonly associated as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers.

The name Feverfew is derived from the Latin word for fever…febrifugia, meaning, fever reducer!

It grows really easily from seed, self-seeding all over the gravel here at Bealtaine Cottage.

This is growing in a pot near the back door of the house, on the southern side.

These are rambling roses, climbing and pushing their way across a willow arch I made to help support them last year.

Roses are best known as ornamental plants grown for their flowers in the garden.

There are several different varieties here, though I don’t really know the names, as I have grown them from slips, mostly purloined from other gardens!

Roses are  used for commercial perfumery and commercial cut flower crops.

Some are used as landscape plants and for hedging.

Although Roses have minor medicinal uses, the fruits, or Rose-hips tell a different story altogether, most famous for the syrup made from them and fed to babies!

This is a little apple tree bought by my mother and planted into a quiet little spot on the land behind the cottage.

The apple is from the species, Malus domestica, in the rose family (Rosaceae).

It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits.

The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found today.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples.

Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.

This particular cultivar is a miniature apple tree.

At least 55 million tonnes of apples are grown worldwide, annually. China produces about 35% of this total.

The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production.

Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy and India.

Plants in pots and tubs at the back of the cottage today.

I noticed the birds coming down to feed on the flowers of the pansies.

The red and pink plant at the front is the little plant, Herb Robert.

Another rose growing here at Bealtaine…