Posted in Consumerism, Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Food

Unweaving

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With my camera in one hand and mug of coffee in the other, I set off with jack for an early morning stroll around the garden and down as far as the end of the driveway.

DSC09753As you can see it’s a beautiful morning!

DSC09761My mind, as ever, began to focus on the beauty of all around me…for I live in a constant state of disbelief that all this has manifested from such barren land in little more than a decade!

DSC09760We live in unprecedented times.

DSC09720In what was promised as a post-war era of plenty on this abundant and beautiful planet, deceit and greed have overtaken and consumed the dream.

Mother Earth has been harnessed and shackled to the corporate nightmare.  

DSC09754War appears to be never-ending.

As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
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Jane Goodall, a wise and compassionate woman if ever there was, speaks and writes about the issues facing us today, in a world where little makes sense…

“Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs.
The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel.
If the factory farm does indeed unravel – and it must – then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy.
The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.”
Jane Goodall

DSC09719There are some main differences between the times we live in and a few decades ago here in the western world.

DSC09755Do you remember?

Do your parents recall?

Have you ever had this conversation…the one that begins with “consumption of food and acquisition of material goods never used to be like this!”

DSC09750My diet as a child consisted of tiny amounts of meat two or three times per week.

DSC09749Milk was limited to what was given out free at school.

DSC09747Ice cream only ever was a Sunday treat during the Summer months.

DSC09748Sweets were literally a treat…very rare indeed and brought by visitors to our home!

DSC09746Clothes were handed down and rarely bought new!

DSC09745Toys and games were what one got at Christmas or birthday if one was lucky!

DSC09741Compare all that to now…

We have a consumer society gone mad!

We are devouring our world!

DSC09738Our happiness levels have plummeted.

Seasonal food and life is unrecognizable to the majority of younger people.  

DSC09729“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”
Jane Goodall, Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

DSC09726Oh Jane Goodall, what a wise woman you are…but I hope that day comes soon!

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, compost, Country Living, Culture, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Gaia, Lifestyle, Permaculture

Your Power, Your Choice!

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Solar panels!

Many permaculture garden visitors ask me why I have no solar panels?

My stock answer is that I cannot afford them…but that hides all the other reasons why solar panel are not high on my wish-list of add-ons to Bealtaine Cottage!

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I see the issue in much more simple terms…frugality!

Over the past ten years of developing Bealtaine Cottage, I have successively scaled back on my use of electricity.

From getting rid of many of my original electrical appliances and refusing to replace those that have given up along the way, I have the equivalent of a roof load of solar panels!

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We are a wasteful society that is easily swayed towards consumerism, failing to take responsibility for our waste, when there is NO AWAY…just Mother Earth!

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Studies in America, for example, have shown that 20% of all electricity produced is wasted. (Dr Helen Caldicott)

This is interesting as Nuclear power represents 20% of all the electricity produced!

The correlation between what we waste and our environmental concerns can be very revealing!

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According to statistics produced by the WWF “Power plants typically only turn about 30% of the energy input into usable electricity.
We are losing up to 75 % of the energy in the fuel at the start of the process. Energy companies could do much better – combining power and heat production can lift efficiency to over 70%.”( http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/cause/wasting_energy_eff/ )

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In a detailed study in 2001, the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that from 3% (Switzerland) to a scarcely credible 13% (Australia) of residential electricity used in OECD countries was standby.

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“I was amazed when I first learned the dimensions of standby power,” said Robert Priddle, IEA executive director. “In my own home, appliances that I thought were ‘off’ were actually consuming considerable power.”

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 You have immense power…the power to choose!

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Your power to consume is there as a choice.

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It is MY DESIRE  to have a wind turbine and solar panels, but it is MY CHOICE to live lightly with Mother Earth. permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 001

Understand power…but more importantly, understand YOUR power!

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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 2011, Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts

The New Age

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We are living in a time of flux…All is change.

Many of us are seeing the potential in this continuous change and regard it as an awakening to The Age of Ecology.

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The Age of Corporatism continues in its most ugly form, sucking in souls to its relentless mantra of buy/consume, buy/consume…

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Economic growth in a finite world?

What was has almost destroyed our world, as more and more of humanity come to realise.

As many move away from the corporate model we once embraced, the world appears different to our eyes…we are living, alive, sensory deprived human beings.

Bealtaine Cottage kitchen window

How much does one person need in order to feel happy?

Old Irish dresser at Bealtaine Cottage

We used to inherit items we treasured thereafter…

Bealtaine Cottage white buddleia

Economic growth?

MORE pollution, consumerism, ill-health, war, alienation, depression…

We need a new model for life, something better to aspire to…

To live a better life, with fewer products.

Bealtaine Cottage rhubarb

To leave some of the raw materials in the Earth.

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To stop taking and grabbing and wanting…

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To consider the people yet to live.

Realising our present path is leading our precious Earth to TOTAL Ecological Collapse.

There has never been this amount of consumer goods on our planet.

The Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

There has never been this amount of sickness, despair, depression and anxiety.

Conscious living.

Being fully aware of what we do, buy, eat, share, give and…think.

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We are in transit from the Age of Pisces.

This began with the birth of Christianity and is represented by the fish.

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Much of what has been experienced over the past two thousand years, has been shadowed and darkened by patriarchy, in its most virulent form.

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This is a time to leave behind what we now see as futile!

We are entering a new age… An Age of great change

The Age of Aquarius…

Posted in Abundance, Bloom, Country Living, Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Food, Frugal Living, Gaia, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Life, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Destroying Self-Sufficiency is ALL About CONTROL…Thoughts from a Permaculture Cottage

The Lower pond at Bealtaine this morning.

As I walked around the smallholding I thought about what it is we do to be self-sufficient and ultimately free from tyranny!

Yes…tyranny, because that’s what being at the mercy of the market and banks and importers of food is all about…tyranny!

The world today is governed by commerce, that means banks and business.

These institutions want us to be consumers.

Nothing else!

Just consumers!

In order to be a good consumer it is necessary to have money.

This paper trail enslaves us all.

That is why ‘bartering,’ is referred to as the ‘black market economy.’

Self-sufficiency is about providing as much as one can for oneself, family and wider community.

Is it any wonder that this is not taught in schools?

But then, the ‘make do and mend,’ philosophy does little to support any of the above…

I am not a good citizen.

I did not buy this flowering perennial, the Euphorbia above.

I got a cutting from a friend and propagated it, planted it, allowed it to spread and continued to give this plant forward to other people.

That makes me an economic terrorist.

Yet this is my philosophy for life.

To share.

I am not part of any religion.

Sharing is a human thing to do.

This is a pumpkin grown from a seed saved in Canada, planted yesterday in the tunnel.

I have grown dozens of plants this year  and given most away…because I could and I wanted to.

Growing seeds is an amazing experience as all tenders of Gaia know.

Sharing is liberating.

Why shop when you can share?

Oh dear, am I talking revolution again?

Ha! Ha!

Sharing is a human trait, beaten out of us in this competitive world we are submerged in…

Maybe it’s time to have a major rethink on that, for hard times are here…