Seed the Future!

Propagator at Bealtaine CottageIn my small attempts to stand up to the Ecocidal Monsters of this world, I often feel like David (of Goliath fame), and then I am reminded of the massive opposition to Government and Corporate plans to control our planet and all the life therein!
Polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in April 2013Amazing people like Elena from Greece, who posted seeds to me  last year…one of many subscribers to Bealtaine Cottage who is doing incredible work in protecting our Seed Sovereignty, without which we have NO future at all! home made polytunnel at Bealtaine CottageElena has written to me to inform us all about what is happening in two days time!
veranda at Bealtaine CottageElena writes:I am writing now to tell you that on January 20th there will be a big demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels about the forthcoming seed laws (maybe you already know this, of course). Activists from all over Europe  are coming to Brussels to be there, and events are being organised around Europe on that day. I will be coordinating the Athens events – a demonstration outside parliament, all urban farms open and giving away seeds/seedlings/information packs, hopefully some media coverage, as well as Greek blogs posting something relevant to seeds on that day (a movie, a small piece of text, etc)…
I thought that maybe you could also write something specifically for seed freedom on that day, as well – although I know that you have written so much already!
have a very happy new year
with blessings from Athens
xxx
Elena
Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 003Our struggle to keep our Seed Sovereignty is ongoing, despite the small successes we have had in various government buildings.
Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008The problem is there is so much wealth tied up with seeds, food and food production, the Corporations are seeking total control!
April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 004Understand that this struggle is an ongoing battle to keep the seed!
Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008I have harvested seed, like this Leek seed, here at Bealtaine Cottage for almost ten years.
Green fennel at Bealtaine CottageI allow all the plants to seed themselves and I harvest seed every year…No government will stop me!
July permaculture 2011 008No law will prevent me posting this seed to all the world.
July 2011 Permaculture Cottage 014This is the year for you to take your future into your own hands and save seed, share seed, gift seed and talk about the seed…it is your future, it is my future.
Without it we are slaves to tyranny!
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There is a wide selection of seeds available here at Bealtaine Cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.com 030If you would like some Bealtaine seeds for your own garden, then click on the link at the very top of the page.

Growing Food in Cottage Gardens

Roses at bealtaine cottageIt’s a perfect day for being in the garden, with just the right amount of sun and shade as the voluminous clouds drift overhead, sun shines full in between and there’s just a promise of rain!

roses on verandaThe roses on the veranda are hanging so low that one has to limbo-dance under them to get in and out of the cottage.

roses at bealtaine cottageIn doing this manoeuvre, one gets smothered in the most heavenly scent.

weed suppressing with cardboardMy friend, Terri brought lots of cardboard and seaweed from Connemara and I laid the cardboard down in the new orchard yesterday.

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodThe seaweed is being spread on the Potager beds much to the disdain of the slugs…but they will move out, deeper into the gardens, where their voracious appetites will be welcomed!

bees and peas at bealtaine cottagePeas are podding…these are an Irish heritage variety and seeds will be saved!

Peas and Bees at Bealtaine CottageThe bees work hard here at Bealtaine Cottage to make sure I have harvests of abundance every year!

Young Kale in the Potager Beds at Bealtaine CottageKale and Broccoli are thriving in between herbs and flowers.

Potager bed at Bealtaine CottageGarlic stands ready to be harvested.

Young Pumpkins at Bealtaine CottageOnions are thriving and Pumpkins are finally rooting in and beginning to grow.

Roses at Bealtaine CottageCara, who now has Gloria, is delighted to report that the aforementioned hen adores slugs and eats 20-30 daily.

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Raspberries are coming into fruit.

Sweet Joe Pye at Bealtaine CottageSweet Joe Pye…food for the eye…soon to be in flower!

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Salads are continually harvested from the tunnel…mixed with much herbs and very tasty!

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Blackcurrants ripen towards a promise of Cordial, Wine, Jam and Chutney.

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Mother Earth knows no austerity!

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A Perfect Little Potager Garden.

Pumpkin flowers are open wide in the brilliant sunshine this morning at Bealtaine Cottage.

The bees appear to be basking in the golden petals as they flit from one flower to another, pollinating as they go.

It’s a truly beautiful morning for the sky is blue and the sun is climbing high into a Lughnasa sky over the west of Ireland.

These modest little raised beds, constructed in an afternoon or so of work, a mere eight weeks ago, are giving a magnificent harvest.

So far we have enjoyed tomatoes, salads, sugar snap peas, greens for the juicer and herbs.

There are onions, chard, pumpkins and courgettes to come…a proper little Potager.

And all outside the back door!

A potager garden is a vegetable garden which is designed to be attractive as well as functional.

The idea is French!

A Potager Garden possesses beauty,  practicality and can fit into a wide variety of spaces and climates.

A well-planted Potager garden can satisfy a lot of the vegetable needs for a household, as well as being pleasing to the eye.

In France, where the Potager garden was first conceived, there is a long tradition of laying out practical gardens in a way which is also aesthetically pleasing.

In a Potager garden, gardeners often increase  yield, utilizing advantageous plant pairings which help deter pests and enrich the soil.

By contrast, the traditional kitchen garden tends to be more stark, laid out with a purely practical eye.

The focus of a potager garden is vegetables, herbs and edible flowers…a truly edible landscape!

 Potager gardens can also be quite ornamental in design, to include vines on trellises, bright, colourful flowers, and water features.

Garden visitors are encouraged to eat the landscape!

Meanwhile, indoors, there is knitting going on as lots of leftover and recycled wool is being put to good use in the form of a winter shawl…nothing nicer to curl up inside as the nights draw in.

While in town yesterday, I called into the local charity shop and found this beautiful Michael Kennedy teal-light holder for two euros.

I adore Michael Kennedy’s work, for as an Irish potter he is second to none and have been lucky to have come across so many pieces such as this for very little.

Missy was rolling about in the sunshine as I walked to the tunnel this morning, loving the heat of the morning.

It looks set to be a lovely weekend…have a good one!

Abundance in the Edible Gardens Today.

Cloud and rain, interspersed with brilliant sunshine as the gardens move into their total abundance period as we approach midsummer.

A cold wind is blowing from the East, but the edible gardens are well sheltered with the warm micro-climate protected by the abundance of growth in the trees, hedging and shrubs.

These are the plants near my desk inside the cottage, on a north-facing window ledge.

I’m heading outside to embrace the morning, armed with tea and camera, followed by two cats…Jack and Flo have already been out for their walk!

Looking back at the cottage before I move through the Laurel Arch and into the Edible Gardens.

I love the colours on the Purple Beech as the leaves collide with the Rosa Rugosa, Sedge and vibrant, lime-green Crocosmia Montbretia!

Willow archways continue to strengthen as the new growth develops.

There are masses of Blackcurrants and Jostaberries growing all around the Willow…appearing to enjoy the company.

Both tolerate shade and damp, in fact, thriving on it!

And then the sun explodes onto the gardens, making everything appear in glorious technicolour!

Lush and abundant, Nature puts forth her expression of sheer joy.

Birds sing and Bees buzz.

No Monsanto here, or Dow or any other enemies of Nature…they are banished!

Apples and soft fruits are plentiful, as they were before the invention of odious chemicals.

No sprays or any other form of ecocide.

Nature is well able to look after herself, for at Bealtaine Cottage, she is officially off the critical list and life support machine that is corporate greed!

Bees find their way from flower to flower in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Archways of roses that have cost nothing more than encouragement of a slip from a rose.

And paths of wild flowers and herbs that lead one towards the deepest and most intimate recesses of Nature…

Walking in the Edible Garden This Morning…

It’s amazing what a little rain manages to achieve in a growing vegetable bed.

This is the new raised bed constructed less than a week ago and already settled into the garden.

All plants were grown on in trays, then pots to give them a fighting chance against the all-invasive Irish slug…so far, so good!

Potatoes are all growing well in the old compost area from last year…the ground is full of nutrients. I move the compost area each year as a way of bringing fertility to as much of the ground as possible.

Comfrey is growing to grand heights, majestic and abundant in the days before harvesting.

Walking around the edible garden this morning was a heavily scented experience as the rain last night pushed up earthy perfumes from the garden.

This is a tiny fraction of the berry harvest growing here, this morning, at Bealtaine Cottage.

These are Jostaberries, a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry…they are delicious!

The path to the tunnel is bordered with foxgloves, beautiful in their ascendency this morning. You can see the Oregano and Blackcurrant cutting growing happily underneath.

And look what was waiting for me in the tunnel…

And on the way back from the tunnel, stopping by the shed, I spotted this beautiful Valerian growing single-mindedly against the side of the building… wilful and independent…