Posted in Climate, Current Affairs, Gaia, Garden, Gardens, Growing Food, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Carbon Taxes Won’t Save Us!

Back door of Bealtaine CottageToday, I was feeling just a teensy bit down.

It’s a rare experience for me.

Back door at Bealtaine CottageLife is so full on here at Bealtaine, that positivity fills the day, running from one task to the next and looking forward to a brief sit down and a cup of tea.

But today, something caught up with me…a growing feeling of fragility that I had suppressed for a long time.

A jingle bell heartWeakness in the face of disaster.

Fear.

Dog Daisy benchI have spent much of my life suppressing fear.

To be honest, most people have too.

table on the verandaCarrying life, caring for life, creates a deep fear…of birth and death, and one that we know we  must resist.

Not just resist, but train ourselves to regard this feral fear in as dispassionate a way as we can muster.

Family on the dresserWe as adults cannot display fear to our young or those in our charge or care…we must be brave, pretend, laugh in the face of fear.

kitchen windowToday I was desperate for water to ensure the plants in the potager beds did not die.

The well had stopped flowing.

The heat of the day was oppressive, as the cloudless sky framed a burning hot sun that evaporated what little moisture was left in the soil.

Petunias in pot on veranda tableI drove the car to an ancient spring, lower down the valley, and spent the morning bucketing water back up to the cottage.

It was exhausting, but successful…the plants are still alive tonight, as I write this blog in the cool of a full moon.

Church bench and tribal drumThe fear has hung over me all day, as I realise how terribly vulnerable we all are, in the face of these persistent, extreme, weather events.

The first sunflower opens at Bealtaine CottageIn this state of vulnerability lies a growing awareness of the fragility of life.

We have to do everything we can to protect that life.

Carbon taxes won’t do that…only we can…each and every one of us!

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Posted in Climate, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seed-Saving, Seeds, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Always an Upside!

Feverfew and stained glassIt is very hot and very, very dry.

sedum in a tin canThe well has dropped low and trickles down to the cottage, threatening water supply to the tank in the loft.

Feverfew and DriftwoodPlants are thirsty and the rain barrels are empty.

Lysimachia Punctata and willow archA potential disaster ensues if the clouds don’t spill the rain soon!

Meadowsweet and Vetch in the Bog Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage todayHowever, there is always an upside…sometimes one just has to search around a little.

Perlagoniums on the Cable Table at Bealtaine CottageI found it!

Poppy seed heads at Bealtaine CottageThis is perfect weather for harvesting seed that is ripe and there are lots of it!

Foxglove seed The seed is dry and the air is dry…that makes for perfect harvesting in my experience!

harvesting seed at Bealtaine CottageAnd so I harvested…

Bealtaine CottageThere is always an upside!

Posted in Country Living, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized

How a Disaster was turned into a Triumph!

Disaster!
Today was going to be about planting potatoes…

It started off with digging the chosen patch in preparation for the sowing of the seed potatoes.

Towards the end of the dig, the spade hit something rather tough…

It turned out to be the water pipe which leads from the spring well on the hill above the cottage, down across my land towards the back of Bealtaine.

Oh dear!

(The Rhubarb this morning.)

An emergency trip was made to Ballyfarnon, a village about three miles away, where there is a local hardware store.
The connector was bought to mend the pipe.

At this point, a brainwave had caught up with the disaster…why not use this opportunity to connect a tap to the tunnel?

Why, every summer the carrying of buckets of water to the tunnel from the cottage was time-consuming to say the least! This was a golden opportunity, as the broken pipe was just a couple of metres away from the tunnel…so, the necessary components were duly purchased!

One of my five brothers, Hugh, was visiting from Omagh, so the expertise was there and willing to help!

Hugh and I returned with the gear and set about the task…
A channel was dug to release the water, which by this time had the potato patch looking more like a rice-paddy field!

After almost eight years of carrying water to the tunnel, I am delighted with my inside tap!

As you can see the Rhubarb is coming up really fast and will be ready for harvesting in the next 10 days or so. One of the joyous tastes of Spring…a Rhubarb Crumble and egg custard!

Although this morning is dull and grey, the garden is illuminated with colour…blossom, buds and leaves, like this Photinia near the apple trees closest to the cottage. Good shelter and colour!