Posted in Country Living, Earth, Frugal Living, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Spirituality, Sustainable Living, Thrift, Uncategorized

A Sense of Purpose

This is a month of many visitors to Bealtaine.

It is also the month of midsummer.

The ascent towards the solstice is happening.

It is actually visible in the growth all around me at Bealtaine Cottage.

Grass has grown tall and is seeding.

Nettles are almost past their prime, for once the flower heads appear their culinary use is forbidden.

Blossoms are ready to harvest, especially the Elderflower, one of the most delicate and exquisite flowers to use for making cordial, jam and champagne.

Elderflower cordial, once made and safely bottled, will keep easily for a year or more…not that I have ever kept it that long!

It is one of the best tastes of summer, if not the best!

Many of the visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are as interested in the spiritual aspects of permaculture, as the practical aspects of embracing permaculture as a lifestyle choice.

I see both as intertwined, for as permaculture is practised, spiritual awareness deepens and religious thinking diminishes.

A transformation occurs that takes the participant to a higher plain of awareness and understanding.

For me, permaculture has led me quite naturally to a life of simplicity and increasing awareness of the natural world.

It has been a tuning in process that has reached a level of comfortable ordinariness.

In other words, I get it… I feel comfortable within the universe.

There is incredible peace of mind in a permaculture lifestyle.

Most of the time, the brain is in an alpha state, with virtually no anxiety.

There is little to be anxious about, as this lifestyle choice both empowers and disregards.

With little need for money, the desire to consume is abated and diminished.

The consuming society is fast consuming itself and mostly for greed, ego or other negative reasons.

So much of the negativity which once dominated thinking, is disregarded, thrown off.

Life is embraced as a series of sunrises and sunsets and all the day in between, noticing the natural environment, planting, harvesting and simply being.

Many who are unemployed can turn to permaculture as an unlimited resource, fractionalised only by one’s own imagination.

A sense of purpose is easily attained by working close to the Earth.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage, as the night draws in and the rain scatters nourishment upon the plants, I take a final walk around the cottage before reluctantly going in for the night…

Posted in Abundance, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Ireland, Permaculture, Summer, Uncategorized, Wine

Easy Permaculture Soft Fruit Growing

Growing food could not be easier than this!

Just a small part of last summer’s crop of Blackcurrants here at Bealtaine Cottage! 

Simply take a heel cutting from a Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Jostaberry, Gooseberry and plug it into the soil…

The girls enjoying the spent blackcurrants, left over from making Blackcurrant cordial!

Nature will do the rest…

Watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-8SMynuOgM&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

Posted in Abundance, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Food Freedom ~ Making Blackcurrant Cordial ~ Bealtaine Cottage

Blackcurrants are coming into ripeness.

With the potential of doubling the harvest from last year, I am looking at a possible 200-250 lbs of Blackcurrants.

These are some I picked this morning.

In previous years I have made jams and wines, but this year I have decided to make Blackcurrant Cordial.

After boiling with water, I strained them overnight by hanging a clean pillowcase from this upside down stool, filled with the stewed blackcuckcurrants and water.

It was left to drip overnight into a clean bucket.

This morning it was mixed well with the sugar, then bottled.

The bottles were all corked and topped…these will now keep all winter and through next Spring, ensuring a good supply of top notch blackcurrant cordial, with only organically grown fruit, spring water and sugar as the ingredients…the corporation food pales into insignificance!

The girls ate the leftovers…yum, yum! Nice eggs to come!

I washed the pillowcase out in a bucket of spring water outside and guess what was left in the water?

Lots of blackcurrant seeds, that when emptied over the garden, grow these…Blackcurrant bushes…a perfect permaculture cycle of life!

Almost forgot…here’s the recipe!

Blackcurrant Cordial

1 kilo Blackcurrants

600 mls water

Simmer together for 45 mins.

Strain juice, as above, overnight.

Next morning add 1 kilo of sugar to every litre of juice.

Stir in well.

Bottle.

(You can adjust the sugar, I have a sweet tooth)!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Wine

Wednesday 25th May @ Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

The Nursery

Where would any permaculture garden be without a plant nursery on site? The heart of the plan and always ready to be dipped into…and give away from!

Weather

The weather has been wet and windy over recent weeks, so much of the blossom that would be harvested, such as the Elderflower, is looking a bit raggy. However, there is an Elderflower cordial on the go at the moment, but I will have to get out today and top up with some more blooms. This cordial is made over the course of several days…

Back Online…

New technology has enabled this blog to get back online, but it continues to be applied and has some teething troubles, so please bear with it…oh, and many, many thanks to everyone who texted, emailed and called me over the past week of blackout…the concern you have shown has overwhelmed me, really!

Wine

This is a good time to make wine and if you look into any of the old books on wine-making there are a heap of lovely recipes to make wine from dandelions, flowers, even leaves…I once made an Oak Leaf Wine. Rose Petal Wine is on the plan for the next week or so…