Posted in Abundance, Buddha, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized, Wine, Woodland

A Life in the Country ~ Buddha, Permaculture and Growing…

What we think, we become. Buddha

Thinking plants and gardens and growing…I suppose I have become a person who is in love with the Earth!

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. 

 Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. 

 Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. 

 Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. 

 Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. 

 But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.  ~Buddha

Permaculture wine…because, all the fruit is grown here at Bealtaine Smallholding using permaculture methods and every aspect of the wine making process is carried out in a sustainable way.

Even the demijohns have been sourced as recycled/upcycled.

I’m reading ‘Blackberry Wine,’ by Joanne Harris at present and one of the central characters, ‘Joe,’ is definitely a permie!

It’s a great read!

A reminder from a few months back…and yes I planted trees and a lot more than 50.

As for the Blackcurrants, I have taken to planting them along the ditches here and into the hedges…planting a slip at a time!

Trees are very precious to me.

I have lived here for 7 years and planted over 600 to date with plans for more!

Plant as though your life depends on it…because it does!

 We could not exist as we do if there were no trees.

 A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

 Forests  act as  giant filters  that clean the air we breath.

 Trees Shade and Cool

Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for.

Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer.

 In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs.

 Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be “heat islands” with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Food, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Recipes, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Permaculture Cottage ~ Funky Scarf and Chunky Cake!

Friday afternoon at Bealtaine and despite the rain work between showers has contiued throughout the day. I hung this plaque on the kitchen door earlier, a present from a friend. It’s simple, colourful and evokes a sense of what lies beyond the door…the pantry!

Talking of which…there’s several demijohns of wine waiting to be bottled and laid down in here!

Knitted a scarf recently and was thinking about the edging…and after considerable searching around in the craft boxes stashed under beds and other forgetful places, I found these wooden beads, which I’ve threaded onto the edges of the scarf with wool and a big darning needle!

A big and bold arrangement in the vase on the mantlepiece in the sitting room, using some quickly cut pieces from the upper garden…just two varieties here! Simple is best and looks fab!

Simple and easy chunky cake…

  • 12 ozs SR Flour
  • 6 ozs  Margarine
  • 4 ozs caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • buttermilk
  • home made Rhubarb Jam
  • Organic oats
  1. Weigh all the ingredients.
  2. Put all ingredients into the mixer.
  3. Whizz.
  4. Add eggs
  5. Whizz
  6. Add a little buttermilk
  7. Whizz.
  8. Line a cake tray, add half of the mix.
  9. Dollop jam on top and add remaining mix.
  10. Sprinkle with oats and demerara sugar.

Bake at 190 c for about 20 minutes or so.

And for a wet Friday evening…what can be nicer than a hot vegetable stew, with big chunks of fresh bread?

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Garden, Home Made Wine, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Wine

Home Made Wine from the Permaculture Garden.

Checking out the demijohns of various wines yesterday, I realised that some were ready to either rack off-that means transferring them to another, clean demijohn, or bottle up…so I spent a couple of hours doing just that, as well as sampling each one…well, it has to be done!Making wine from the abundant harvest of organic blackcurrants is one of my favourite summer tasks.

Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables
Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables

I also use Strawberries, Redcurrants, Rosehips and Jostaberries, all grown here at Bealtaine.home made wine at Bealtaine Cottage

The wine here is Strawberry and Redcurrant.

Bealtaine Cottage redcurrants from the permaculture gardens

After bottling it needs to be laid down for about 3 months minimum.

This improves the taste and helps maturity.

Bealtaine Cottage wine makingMost of the flower and fruit wines I have made over the years have needed this, with the occasional wine being drinkable straight from the demijohn!

The big freezer in the pantry is still in the process of being cleared out.

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageKilos of Blackcurrants and Redcurrants remain, as well as the Rhubarb added this year.

Wines and jams will be on the ‘To Do List,’ for the coming week!Bealtaine Cottage wine making

Keeping everything clean is very important in wine making and bottling.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrant and Redcurrants

I use a baby equipment sterilising fluid and find this cheap and effective.

A bowlful is enough, making sure that lots of swirling takes place!

Dried herbs from Bealtaine Cottage

I use one pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. each demijohn takes about four pounds of fruit.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants

I add 1 teaspoon of wine yeast and fill with spring water, which thankfully comes out of the tap here!

I use a hand corker as you can see.

It is effective and works well in corking the bottles efficiently and completely.

Home made wine to celebrate Imbolc at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 005All in all the process uses absolutely no imported energy, as all the bottles are re-cycled from friends.

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