Hens, Compost and St Patrick’s Day at Bealtaine Cottage

 

Collecting fresh laid eggs from the hen house on the morning of St Patrick’s Day at Bealtaine Cottage.

Step inside the Hen House with me to see where the girls have laid… then over to the tunnel to check on the seedlings.

I explain how the compost toilet system is so simple and easy and essential!

Finally, walking around the front of the cottage to delight in the quickening growth of the season! 

 

 

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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!

Permaculture Place to Stay in Ireland

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Bealtaine Cottage is a Permaculture Smallholding in the West of Ireland that has been developed from barren land over the past ten years.permaculture B&B Ireland 003

As a way of spreading the permaculture message of hope and regeneration, the gardens and cottage have remained open to visitors from all over the world during this time.permaculture B&B Ireland 006

Many visitors have spoken of their wish to be able to stay at Bealtaine Cottage and have invariably had to seek accommodation at local B&B homes.

This is the Lodge,  dedicated for anyone who wishes to stay and spend more time than just a visit to Bealtaine Cottage. (Sammy-Bear is an optional bed-mate!)permaculture B&B Ireland 007

The Lodge has a comfortable double bed and small single sofa-bed…as well as lots of pull-out floor cushions!permaculture B&B Ireland 008It also has its own door to the garden and a sheltered veranda attached. This is the view of the gardens from the door.permaculture B&B Ireland 009All four windows in the Lodge open onto sheltered gardens, as you can see.permaculture B&B Ireland 010The connecting door to the cottage leads towards the shower-room and compost toilet…yes, this is a permaculture home and all the facilities are based on sustainable principles of living!permaculture B&B Ireland 011With over a thousand trees planted here, the gardens boast shelter and a wonderful array of wildlife and birds.

This is indeed a sanctuary in the true sense of the word.permaculture B&B Ireland 012With a great little wood-burning stove installed, the Lodge is cosy and warm throughout the seasons.permaculture B&B Ireland 014

There are modern, luxurious places to stay all over Ireland…Bealtaine Cottage is different, in that it is part of the landscape and unashamedly connecting into Mother Earth!permaculture B&B Ireland 013You can park your car right up alongside the Lodge by this window.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (16)Breakfasts are Vegetarian or Vegan, sitting around a cosy stove in the old-fashioned kitchen.bealtainecottage.com permaculture (18)You can find all the details of cost and booking by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

Please note that B&B is no longer available at Bealtaine Cottage…Sorry!

Easiest Ever Compost Toilet

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The post you’ve all been waiting for…the Bealtaine Cottage Compost Toilet.

Easy to install and simple to use.

No running outside on cold mornings to tramp across wet grass to use the toilet!

Permaculture@ bealtainecottage.com 004This is located in the bathroom…not quite a bathroom though as I took out the bath and installed a shower instead! 

There’s still a little bit of tweaking to be done to finish the project off to a high standard, like decorating the wall where the cistern used to be and making a wooden surround with a small door, but as you can see, it is simple and attractive.

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This is the material used for covering one’s toilet.

It is grown here at Bealtaine Cottage, shredded in the shredder and smells nice and pine fragranced, as it is cut from evergreen trees in the gardens.

This material is also anti-bacterial.

Permaculture@ bealtainecottage.com 005There is absolutely no bad odour! 

So what happens next?

compost loo 001The bucket is taken to a corner of the garden, tucked in behind a Willow fedge, and then emptied into a large bin. The bins have holes in the bottom so all liquid is drained out slowly.

compost loo 003This system uses five such bins on a rotation basis. 

After about a year, the contents have turned into sweet-smelling compost that I use around trees in the lower gardens. 

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 002This compost is not used in the productive gardens as I have adequate vegetative compost on site in the vegetable and fruit gardens. 

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 004Besides…the trees thrive on the waste produced here at Bealtaine and in return, I have plenty of wood for my stove…cycle complete!

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 011…and the Arum Lilies seem to like it!

In the course of life here at Bealtaine Cottage, there is really no need for a septic tank…flush it away?

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 009There is no away!

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Living Lightly

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It’s amazing how much one can live without.

And how much criticism one gets for daring to leave the accepted standards for today’s society!

I made this poster less than 24 hours ago and posted it on Facebook and Twitter.

 The reasons why people feel the need to denigrate such a poster are very interesting indeed.

www.bealtainecottage.com 067There is an overwhelming need, in most people, to conform to what they imagine to be the accepted normal in society, be that politics, religion, diet, dress…etc.

laying a mosaic floor at Bealtaine CottageStepping outside of this normal can be an uncomfortable experience for most.

Mist and trees in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageMaking the decision to live outside of it, however, is the opposite!

It is truly liberating!

The Craft room at Bealtaine CottageIf we are to progress in living on this little planet, then stepping outside of the current mainstream and taking the time to look back in, can only be beneficial in planning a way forward.

A way that will not cost the Earth.

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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

I appreciate your comment, liking, sharing, or even leaving a small donation. Blessings X