Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Blessing, Cottage, Country Living, Growing Food, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Wildlife, Woodland

The Days Between Light and Dark

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Bright sun illuminating the garden, gave way to the gentle, patter-drip-patter of rain, as it slowly enveloped the cottage.

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The great change is steadily colouring the sights and sounds of Bealtaine Cottage.

Curly Kale can tolerate the changes well, needing much less light than many other vegetables…this is a good Winter green to ensure health and vitality as the daylight lessens.

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The days between light and dark merge as we approach the Equinox…the balancing point before the descent towards Midwinter.

Spiders busily spin and weave and everywhere the light dances playfully.

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Green turns slowly in the mixing pot of early autumn colours that inspire dreams of drifting through woodland, kicking up leaves in a playful, seasonal dance of joy.

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What lies beyond this Equinox is a time filled with darker evenings, not to be scorned, but embraced as a time to rest, nurture and be nurtured.

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As we enjoy this late Summer glory, the days of “mist and mellow fruitfulness,” lie ahead…what a beautiful time of year this is!

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Walking the gardens here this morning is sheer Heaven on Earth.

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The air is warm and still.

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Birds call out to one another. 

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

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“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

 

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Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage

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Much appreciated! 

 
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Country Living, Eco-Living, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Winter

A Day Indoors at Bealtaine Cottage

It is cold and windy…quite an icy wind at that! maybe the predictions for snow are coming true…brrr!

An indoors day at the cottage…just a quiet time with some thoughts, reflections and maybe a little painting…

watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPaDutKYC6M

Posted in Inspiration, Nature, Permaculture, Recipes, Spirituality, Trees, Uncategorized

A Life in the Country ~ Sunday, Food and Autumn Colours

Thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall… A fabulous and easy recipe…

Chickpea and pumpkin salad

Chickpeas go very well with sweet, roasted squash, adding a little bite to contrast with the silky flesh. Serves three to four as a starter, two as a main course.

1 butternut or other squash
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled but bashed to break the skin
1-2 small red chillies, deseeded, membrane removed, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
150g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked as above (or a 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large bunch parsley, stalks removed, leaves chopped
1 large bunch coriander, stalks removed, leaves chopped
1 small bunch mint, stalks removed, leaves chopped
20g pumpkin seeds, toasted

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Peel the squash, if you like (I usually leave the skin on), halve it, scoop out the seeds, then cut it into 4cm chunks. Put these in a roasting tin with the garlic, chilli, thyme, bay leaves, some salt and pepper. Trickle over three tablespoons of oil and mix with your hands until well coated. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until the squash is softened and beginning to char around the edges. Add the chickpeas, toss and cook for five minutes to warm through. Add the lemon juice and toss with the herbs, pumpkin seeds and a bit of sea salt. Serve warm, with a little oil trickled over the top if you like.

The colours on the trees are simply amazing..

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Eco-Living, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Changing Colours of Autumn.

Splitting logs of Ash for use in the stove this winter. This wood is easy to grow and easy to harvest if continuously coppiced. Ash, if coppiced, can grow steadily for 2,000 years and more. Ash can be burned in the green, that is, on the day it is cut. It is the perfect the perfect permaculture fuel!

Michelmass daisies and almost ripe pears heralds the middle of Autumn. Both pear trees are heavy with fruit. This winter I will plant more fruit trees, definitely plum and pear among them!

As the season progresses and the harvest is gathered in, the recipe books are opened and real saving of the harvest begins. So far I have made Autumn Chutney, apple chutney, various pickles and jams as well as a most unusual Blackcurrant Chutney.

Colours of Autumn simply absorb the whole landscape. This picture from today at Bealtaine Cottage says it all!

And more colour…

Grapes in the tunnel this morning. This is the best harvest so far. These are sweet and juicy. I am attempting to grow a vine outside here in the west of Ireland and will keep you posted!

Maddy Harland, from Permaculture Magazine, has published a post from Bealtaine Cottage this morning. here’s the link… @PermaGoddess thank you! it’s up http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/2809111143/ancient-ireland-our-ancestors-original-permaculture-forest

Posted in Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Summer, Wild Flowers

Days of Wine and Roses…West of Ireland Permaculture.

Continuing to empty the freezer of last summer’s huge harvest of black and red currants…so, it’s more wine on the make!

Colours in the gardens continue to develop with very little need for flowers…and those that are in bloom are strong perennials that are here to stay!

Roses hang heavy around the veranda. Valerian comes up through the gravel, astounding me year after year…where does it get its food from?

The colours and shadows of summer begin to play with the light on the window ledges.

I now add the yeast to the must and it makes a real difference in the fermentation process of the wine…speed it ip considerably!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Politics, Sligo, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized, Woodland

Extreme Weather in Ireland…AGAIN! Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 010The weather has been extremely dry over recent weeks.

Bush fires are raging in counties Donegal and Mayo as I write.

There can be no more wavering on the issue of climate change…it is real!

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 010There are very low levels of water in my spring well so I have to ration water use in the cottage.

Rain is promised for the middle to end of the week…bring it on!

Colours of the Copper Beech trees are deepening along the bank at the back of the cottage.

Planting deciduous trees like these will ensure that soil is not eroded and the land is protected from monsoon type rains which are becoming more frequent here in Ireland.

May 2011 Bealtaine 013Ireland, once known for its soft rain…

There is a distinct canopy emerging at Bealtaine, a forest garden is taking shape, and with it a magical landscape.

I see permaculture more and more as the only real solution to the massive environmental devastation that is happening across the globe.

The Earth needs to be re-forested…fast!

There are 60 fire engines out across N.Ireland this evening fighting wild fires on the hills.

Some homes in Donegal have already been evacuated.

May 2011 Bealtaine 006It is difficult to come to terms with this freakish weather on May 1…except that extreme weather in Ireland is no longer freakish and more and more the norm., Worrying!