I made a short video to show you some of the beauty… you can click on that below.
The apples have all set and are developing well.
There promises to be a magnificent crop this year, so all the recipes for apple wine, chutney,butter, cider and more will be perused and debated…will I make this or that or…
The Willow is now in leaf, as are most of the trees, with the Ash being the last to leaf.
The scent as I walk around the gardens from the blossom on the Hawthorn trees is heavenly!
Work in the kitchen is almost finished and the task of stencilling will start later in the week.
I thought that an Ivy stencil would be lovely, so will cut one out when I get the chance to sit down!
Anyway, here is today’s video, with love from Bealtaine Cottage…click and enjoy…
Plums from the one of the Plum Trees here on the land.
Plums are easy to grow in Ireland as they are related to the Blackthorn tree, the one that fruits Sloes.
Rowan berries, collected from trees near my local town, Carrick. Foraging can be a very fruitful and worthwhile undertaking in the country, bringing in a bountiful harvest!
Hips from the Rosa Rugosa growing at Bealtaine Cottage…these are brimming with Vitamin C and make a delicious syrup, as well as magnificent wine, which has the body of a good Sherry!
Home-made wines are very easy to make…simply observing the “clean” rule. Mind you, if you do have a slip-up, the wine can be turned into a delicious fruit vinegar…which makes lovely and unusual presents at Christmas!
Apple jellies and Rowan jellies…delightful garden produce!
The Apple harvest at Bealtaine has been consistently good, producing more apples than what I can use!
Pumpkins and Tomatoes grow well in the tunnel. Pumpkins will store for 6 months and more in a cool pantry, as happens here.
The so-called “poor,” land produces hundreds of pounds of Blackcurrants…which I turn into jams, chutney, wine and delicious cordial.
These are just some of the wonderful foods that can be grown on poor land, on a north-facing slope, in the west of Ireland, using Permaculture!
Unlike so many of the books that tell you what can and cannot be grown, I simply plant it and see…and have yet to be disappointed!
All the ingredients to make Autumn Chutney are in the pot and heating up on the stove. The apples are from the trees here at Bealtaine. Onions were grown here as well. The stove is burning wood grown here also…which all adds to the sustainability of living…and living well.
I posted the recipe for this last night…so you can easily find it on the previous day…just scroll down and click on the link to go back…
I have been reading a lot of stuff on Twitter recently about how pointless it is to plant trees and the importance of protecting our woodlands and forests! Well, the latter I do agree wholeheartedly with, but as for the pointessness of planting new trees…that’s just damned silly! Anyone who has planted a tree in their lifetime will testify to that!
Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn
them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
Seven years ago there were NO trees here on this land…just some in the rather neglected hedges that skirted the land. All you see on the blogs I post are trees that I have planted…over 600 to date. the willow I am harvesting in this photo is a catch crop, planted inbetween the actual trees.
However, there is another very important reason to plant trees and willow and anything else you can think of…biodiversity and wildlife!
It is amazing just how much we can create from nothing with the magic of Gaia. This was a rod of willow I just stuck into the ground…
We are Change http://youtu.be/ji8iYgLx8G0 Listen with your Heart…
Jack is my beautiful rescue dog…I usually introduce thus to strangers as a way of excusing his enthusiasm for life…jumping up to greet people!
Jack loves walking, so we go out at least twice a day along the laneway where I live, here at Ballyfermoyle.
I took these photos this morning for you all to see soem of what Jack and I see…
Recipe for Autumn Chutney…easy and you get to choose the fruit!
- 1.5kg apples, chopped up in small pieces
- 80g chopped dates
- 100g raisins
- 450g onions, fine chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 350g soft brown sugar
- 550mls malt vinegar
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- half tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients into a large pan over a gentle heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for one and a half hours. Stir a few times during cooking.
Pot immediately, but leave to mature for at least a week for the flavours to infuse.
I had some on bread whilst still hot and it’s yummy!
I will save some of the corn seeds for planting next year…
The evening sun floods the flowers in the East Garden at Bealtaine Cottage. The Pear in the foreground was wind damaged back in the late Spring, but I have left it to grow as it will do nicely for Chutney!
Recycled of course!
A great book shop up there also and by the looks of the cars in the car park, most of the population of North Roscommon and Leitrim were shopping there too!
What a relief! It rained yesterday and rained really heavily overnight. All the water butts are spilling over and the tunnel has had an early morning drink…6am! I love the way that the rainwater is held in jewel-like drops on the Ladys Mantle!
A tiny Oak seedling being nurtured in the tunnel. This will be ready to plant out next year. It will be potted on once more before then.
These have been late this year, but hopefully there will be an Indian summer and easy ripening.
Pumpkins I grew last year stored really well and I was able to use them right up until just recently!
Successive harvests this year have been excellent!
Earlier there was a great crop of Blackcurrants and before that, Rhubarb, as well as the other crops in between.
It’s a shame that so very few people in North West Ireland bother to grow food.
Much of the complaint is that the land is not good enough for that purpose…well, it would appear to be far from that, don’t you think?
It is a fact that if the supermarkets closed their doors tomorrow, people living in the countryside in Ireland, would be very hungry indeed, so little food is grown here!
Eggs, jams, chutneys, potatoes, fruit, vegetables and all other home grown and home made produce has given way to poor quality supermarket food.
Country gardens in this area and beyond consist mainly of suburban type lawns, prolific use of weed-killer and a few chosen plants.
This is normally put into place, at huge expense, by the local garden centre.
The weather has forced me indoors a lot recently, encouraging a hive of activity that includes knitting and sorting cupboards and reading… I’ve just completed this scarf for someone who wanted me to knit for her in these colours and in natural wool. So hard to get a scarf knit in natural 100% wool these days apparently. So there it is, completed and ready for collection.
Finished reading this book a few days ago and again, so much info and fascinating facts that have been forgotten and yet are so useful for us today…simple things like the fact that a cobweb, placed over a cut, will stem the bleeding and help to heal the wound! Soldiers going into battle hundreds of years ago carried a tiny box with cobwebs inside to treat deep cuts inflicted by the sword!
As the weather has blown a gale outside, I’ve been in the kitchen making chutney and curries…freezing the curries for ready meals later on. Imagine having to light the stove in July, but the weather has really been that bad!
I picked these flowers from the garden last week and as you can see, the display includes Dill. Over recent days the scent of the Dill has changed from a liquorice smell to a very sweet coconut scent and it is gorgeous!
Valerian grown from seed continues to flower and will do all summer and into the autumn all the time that the seedheads are removed…
Blackcurrants and Sage in the Nursery area, again grown from seeds, so 100% permaculture at Bealtaine plants to come. Both of these plants grow very easily from seed scattered into limestone gravel and left to overwinter, before being pricked out and potted on…how simple is that?
Through a glass darkly…April Fool in the garden, reflection from a mirror.
Today is the first of April and the radio is talking about economic growth, again, and will continue to do ad infinatum…the only growth worth talking about is what happens here, on earth, on terra firma and there is so much growth it can be difficult keeeping up with it. The government’s economic growth for Ireland is only to pay back ginormous debts to Europe! Growth here, at Bealtaine is about food, fuel, wildlife, love and happiness…permaculture paradise.
No money…but, no poverty…I look around me at abundance, on this, the first day of April.
Flower buds on the redcurrant promises an abundance of fruit, which in turn promises an abundance of wine and puddings and jam and jelly and…no money, but no poverty!
Fruit trees and bushes, interspersed in hedges promise abundance, fruit for chutney, freezing, fruit butter, pies, cordials…no money, but no poverty…abundance!
No need to buy peanuts for the birds at Bealtaine…no money for peanuts, but, abundance of food to sustain a wide and varied bird population. Spindle in the foreground…