Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Culture, E.U., Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Thoughts, Trees, Wild Flowers, Wildlife, Woodland

In Search of Sanctuary

Barn at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

“Sanctuary” refers to a place set aside or designated as a protected spot.

Under EU Agricultural Policy there is a “Set Aside” plan for farmers to fence off small, protected areas for biodiversity.

However, this does not apply to Bealtaine Cottage, as the holding is too small to be significant!

Plant diversity at Bealtaine CottageI plant and protect for the love of Nature, not for the money from the EU!

Maybe that is why there is such diversity packed into these three acres!

Protected plants at Bealtaine CottageThe more well-known forms of sanctuary are areas set aside by humans for the protection of land wildlife, sea life, or ocean life.

Plant sanctuary at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandHere at Bealtaine there are areas of woodland, fresh water ponds and wetland, as well as other significant areas.

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, IrelandBealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens is, in essence, a wildlife and unique sanctuary.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageWithin these three acres exist a flourishing ecosystem, as well as  areas set aside to maintain functioning natural habitats.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThese ecosystems act as refuges for species, whilst maintaining ecological processes that cannot survive beyond Bealtaines’ boundaries in most intensely managed landscapes.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensProtected areas act as benchmarks against which we understand human interactions with the natural world.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageToday they are often the only hope we have of stopping many threatened or endemic species from becoming extinct.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

In the midst of EU sponsored monoculture, Bealtaine Cottage is an Ark for Nature.

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Posted in biodiversity, Ecology, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spirituality, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Food Forest at Bealtaine Cottage

Here at Bealtaine Cottage, the use of layers are one of the tools used to design functional ecosystems that are both sustainable and of direct benefit to the creation of a truly functioning permaculture food system..

As the ecosystem matures, the developing relationship between its component parts: trees, bushes, plants, soil, ground-cover, animals, birds and insects is integral to the high productivity of the area.

Because plants grow to different heights, a diverse community of life is able to grow in a relatively small space, as each layer is stacked one on top of another.

(One of the many apple trees last year)

This becomes recognized as a Food Forest.

In this short video, I explain a little of how it works…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE_ul8JBTPA

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Gaia, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage Daily

Your Daily Permaculture News from Ireland

Plant propagation and Increasing your stock.

Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, bulbs and other plant parts. This is a great time of the year to engage with this way of increasing your garden/smallholding for free.

Now is the time to…MULCH!

In agriculture and gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination.

This is the best time of the year to do that…before the soil begins to cool off as the Autumn sets in. That way, the soil is warm as it is mulched and this keeps in the heat to a fair degree, which is good for the plants and life forms.

Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors.

Making Compost

As you progress through permaculture, you will find you have access to more and more compostable materials in your garden/smallholding/farm. This is, simply a golden opportunity for your land to benefit from compost!

Compost can be rich in nutrients.  The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.

In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation and wetland construction.

Compost  is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment.

Compost is a key ingredient in Permaculture. At its most essential, the process of composting requires simply piling up waste outdoors and waiting a year or more.

Perennial Crops

Perennial crops are crops planted and grown to reduce inputs necessary to produce food. By greatly reducing the need to replant crops from year-to-year, perennial cropping can reduce topsoil losses due to erosion and increase biological carbon sequestration within the soil. Rhubarb is a great example of perennial cropping, though division every 4-5 years is necessary. This is also a perfect way of increasing the crop yield and spreading the planting base.

And Flowers to feed the bees and the soul…

And…one ab fab simple permaculture idea!

The idea was pioneered by Brazilian Engineer Alfredo Mozer in 2002 –

Check this video out —  Solar bottle lights in the Philippines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBWi3NtND68&feature=share via @youtube