Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Books, care for the earth, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Permaculture, photography

Morning

The first week of July and there’s a feint scent of Autumn in the air this morning.

The morning brings a quiet and gentle beginning to the day, untouched by the continuing perplexities of man.

IMG_2384IMG_2385“Man has drawn artificial lines on the chest of the Mother Earth, which have no significance, except for the sake of war and clashes between countries. The soil seems to be the same, the trees the same, the grass the same, and the fragrance of the air, the smell of the earth the same.”
~ Girdhar Joshi

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Yes it is…all the same…at most times hard to believe when one watches the circus of life on MSM.

IMG_2388Bread and circuses, but we all know and recognise real life.

IMG_2417It has a colour and fragrance all of its own.

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“The earth is a mosaic, and most fail to notice the gossamer tesserae floating down from the realm of the mind that form its images of beauty and horror.”
~ Lawren Leo

IMG_2423If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how…
The Book… https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

or…

 

or…

The book: “In Search of The Goddess Rising,” by Colette O’Neill…to be published in early September. You can secure your copy here…

Price 13.00 Euros plus 6.00 Euros P&P (worldwide)

Total 19.00 Euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you.

I will then acknowledge your order ASAP.

To reserve your inscribed copy, use this button…

 
 
 You can also pay by cheque, made out to Colette O’Neill and posted to:
Bealtaine Cottage
Ballyfermoyle
Keadue
Boyle
County Roscommon
Ireland
Posted in Autumn, environment, healing, magic, mother, woods

The Magical and The Sacred

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It is a rare thing…to be lost for words.

A day in Autumn that changes one perspective on life and the meaning of it all.

Where shall I begin?

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Perhaps where I started, this morning, camera in my dressing gown pocket and mug of hot coffee in my hand, traipsing out in rubber clogs onto grass saturated with morning dew.

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Or maybe, a little earlier, as this year began, immersed in deep sadness, as my mother made her own journey back to the Divine.

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But the Wheel, as they say, turns and the beauty of the Sacred overcomes the grief of the mortal…I stepped out…

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What magic lies in Nature that transforms barren into life again and again?

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The gardens have emerged this year as Woodland…and my mother loved walking in the woods.

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Come walk with me…

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Blessings X

Posted in Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding

Move to Higher Ground

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We are facing a multitude of crises at this time.

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War, austerity, climate change, environmental disaster…the list goes on. 

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Each month seems to bring a stronger cumulative effect in how we are perceiving the world around us…many feel threatened and some even feel doomed.

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It has been quite some time now since the cost of petrol at the pump has dropped, in fact the opposite has happened, as the cost has climbed steadily, week on week.

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This tells us, in no uncertain terms, that we have reached Peak oil and there will never again be affordable car travel for the masses.

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This is difficult to take on board, as we see more and more new cars on the road, but that too should sound the warning bells, for it means that the reality of the problem is not being faced up to!

Even governments are pushing car sales with various trade-in offers every so often!

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Reaching Peak oil has serious knock-on effects for us all.

Everything we buy is predicated on oil in some way or another, some direct, most indirectly.

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Most food production is reliant upon oil and artificial fertilizers.

Our lives are based upon consumptive behaviour.

Our society has been degraded by our inherent need for more!

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Considering the implementation of serious lifestyle changes will be the only beneficial way of getting to higher ground to face the storms ahead.

Higher ground in terms of sustainable living and building community.

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If there is madness, mayhem and destruction in the world, we have to own it before we can begin to bring change.

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The best, most enduring change happens slowly, building upon small changes.

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 I urge each and every one of you to consider small changes you can implement in your lives, homes, community, workplace…just wherever one can do it, get on and do it!

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Waiting for our governments to act is really a waste of time…they are trapped in the paradigm of economic growth on a finite planet!

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Please, empower yourself and others to begin the shift to a world where we are not killing and warring for what little resources remain!

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Our earth is abundant and capable of working with us in an interactive, not extractive, way.

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The future belongs to the children whose faces we will never see…keep them in mind in all we do!

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Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

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Link to Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop…just opened…

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Featuring hand-crafted Ancient Bog Oak Pendants…

http://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Current Affairs, E.U., Ecology, GM Food, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds

A Grievous Sin

midwinter cottage 012The biggest threat to our food security lurks in the shadowy depths of the Halls of Power…the buildings housing the European Parliament in Brussels.

www.bealtainecottage.com 037You may or may not be aware of something called The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

www.bealtainecottage.com 002TTIP is a trade agreement presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006In my estimation, this will allow full and unfettered access to our food production, from multi-national corporations, such as Monsanto, that carry the weapon of GMOs.

Polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in April 2013I call this manifestation of utter madness, GMOs, a weapon, because that is precisely what it is…and a weapon that will cause more devastation to the environment than anything concocted in laboratories ever before!

An early bee in April 2013 at bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThis is already the case in the US, as small farmers, producing Organic food, are hauled before courts accused of property rights violations by Monsanto.

April 2011. Permaculturecottage 001Monsanto claims ownership of any plant material infected by their GMOs!

April 2011 Earth Day at bealtaine cottage permaculture gardensOnce this insidious and odious polluted seed of mass destruction is unleashed into the environment of Europe, supported in Law by the TTIP, then the takeover will be fast-tracked by our own governments, who are mandated by us to protect us, not US Corporate interests!

April  Bealtaine Cottage PolytunnelThe countdown to the ultimate weapon of mass control and destruction is under way.

April 2011 Bealtaine 001You need to know what is happening.

April 2011 Bealtaine 011Knowledge is power.

April 2011 Bealtaine 003For my part, I will not comply with any law that says a corporation controls and profits from the very essence of life itself…seed.

April 2011 bealtaine Cottage 042For their part, all they have done is take the seed of the Divine Creator and pollute it.

April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 004That, in my eyes, is a grievous sin.

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there… http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

No More Seed Available At Present!

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              Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
                                                    There are almost 800 blogs in the archives on this site.

I write, photograph and film, in a small way, to give a voice to Mother Earth.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Cottage, Current Affairs, Earth, Frugal Living, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spring, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Why It Matters!

www.bealtainecottage.comExtreme weather is fast becoming normal.

Another storm is on the way.

This storm, according to the radio, will unleash a massive amount of water in the form of heavy rain.

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This morning was beautiful, as the photographs testify, today is one of extremes…or is that normal too?

www.bealtainecottage.comApart from the predictably unpredictable weather, there is a lot of work getting done here at Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.comI have been moving around the gardens with my secateurs, nipping and cutting here and there, followed by sticking and stamping in other places…inserting cuttings straight into the earth!

www.bealtainecottage.comMost of the shrubs I cut from are serious proliferators, given half a chance!

Ribes, Spirea, Senecio, Willow, Fuschia, Rubus…the list goes on.

www.bealtainecottage.comI was totting up all the energy saving so far in slowly divesting myself of electrical items…it’s substantial indeed.

Many say that one person cannot make a difference.

My acquired wisdom says the opposite…one person can make a difference.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mindset of mindfulness and care for our great Mother, Earth, is a growing consciousness.

Each one person adds to that.

www.bealtainecottage.com A hero of mine, David Holmgren, co-founder of the Permaculture movement, urges us all reduce consumption and be domestically responsible.

I heartily agree with David, in that if enough of us scale down our impact on the planet, then one becomes many and a real shift starts to take place.

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few decades humanity has committed acts of great violence against its home, Earth. Now we see acts of great violence being reciprocated in extreme weather.

If we love our home, we will do all we can to protect it and all life therein.

This, I believe, is what connects us to the Divine, in life and after.

Love is all.

Love for all Creation, every last nano particle of it.

www.bealtainecottage.comTo switch off a light is to love and appreciate the environment that has to produce that power.

Love is all.

It’s time we really loved and appreciated this incredible home.

It is the only one we have.

Posted in Bees, Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Earth, Fracking, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Politics, Thoughts, Wildlife

Be The Change!

Garden shed at Bealtaine CottageI was listening to a radio show host, Roy of Hollywood on PRNfm radio from New York, tell a caller that change begins with government policy and one person on their own can do little to make a difference…paraphrased, but the essence is true to form.

bealtaine Cottage gardenThis philosophy is way off mark, for the reality is very, very different.

Bealtaine Cottage GardenEvery action we take, everything we buy, consume or share, is part of the reality WE make, every minute, every hour, every day…

permaculture gardensI oppose fracking and therefore refuse to use gas…

I also refuse to call it ‘natural!’

There is nothing natural about fracking!

cottage gardenI support organic growing methods, so use what little money I have to buy organic, and, for the rest, I ensure that I grow organic.

HypericumI could make of list of the actions I take, as one person, to ensure the outcome that I consider to be best for the environment in which I live and the planet we all inhabit, but the real point I want to make is that real power rests with each one of us!

Cable table displayThis is the single, most important truth, we are denied access to, by media, government, corporations and those who we allow to tell us what to do and how to live!

Bees at Bealtaine CottageThe philosophy is simple and determined.

Be the change you want to see.

Flower display in Bealtaine CottageBe the Change.

From here on in…

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, E.U., Food, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds, Smallholding, Uncategorized

The Seed, the Whole Seed, and Nothing but the Seed!

Evening Primrose seed germinating at Bealtaine CottageI used to think there was little hope for the lovely Earth we live on…that people did not care and governments would take us all to Hell…on Earth!

That was in the past.

The Lodge at Bealtaine CottageFor several years, since the beginning of this blog, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of people on-line.

potager raised beds at Bealtaine CottageHundreds have made their way here to Bealtaine Cottage to meet in person, share some food and drink and, converse.

Missy Approved Baby Pixie Bootees handknitted at Bealtaine CottageIf these walls could talk, there would be an endless stream of uplifting words and energy, that would be capable of drowning out the drivel of political leaders, all of whom have let us down and worked furiously to steer our home, Earth, towards damnation!

Bealtaine Cottage Seeds from David in the USThe movement to save and protect our environment is growing with such intensity, that many governments are rushing to instigate laws to try to stop us.

Bealtaine Cottage barnThe EU Seed Law, as I shall call it, is just one example…and oh, how the people have risen against it, and, the ecocidal maniacs behind it!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture tunnelThis is the year to save seed, share seed, nurture seed, plant seed, scatter seed, put seed inside Christmas and Birthday cards…for it is the great gift of the Divine and cannot be taken from us through unjust laws, or greedy corporations!

Bealtaine Cottage Valerian by the LodgeThe EU will continue on their Agenda 21 to control Nature.

Bealtaine Cottage Ox-Eye Daisies in the gravel at Bealtaine CottageMonsanto continues to hang around the back door, pimping it’s obscene ware to those who use the back door in Brussels.

Bealtaine Cottage laurel Archway The back door is the place for them, for they know the might of the people and now they also know our resolute determination to ensure they shall not pass!

Not on our watch!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_Will_Not_Comply/?cCgoWbb

Today’s video…

Monsanto and EU Pimps…

Important! Message from Terri:

On Saturday 25th May, there will be a March against Monsanto in Dublin starting at 2.30p.m in the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square.

Come along and add your support.

I will be attending a March Against Monsanto in Sligo, with speeches starting at 1pm.

People will gather on the corner of O’Connell and Grattan Street.

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 102 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 535 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, E.U., Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Fracking, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, News, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

In Violation!

Bealtaine Cottage spinning wheelOver the past few thousand years, humankind has regarded Nature as property.

Pond in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage 015This concept is rooted in biblical text and has spawned generations who have regarded themselves as having dominion over the Earth.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThe feudal system was based on dominion and continues today as a land-grab mentality, based on the principles of ownership and extraction.

Bealtaine Cottage verandaWhere we are at this point in time is the evolution of that concept, that biblical teaching, where we are now forced to try to manage degradation of the environment rather than prevent it.

Bealtaine Cottage standing stone in permaculture gardensWe blow the tops off mountains to extract minerals.

Bealtaine Cottage porchHundreds of chemicals are injected into the Earth to extract gas.

Bealtaine Cottage permacultureThe filth of Tar Sands is hailed as our energy saviour!

Bealtaine Cottage kitchen windowSeed is wrenched from us to be “owned” by corporations like Monsanto.

Bealtaine Cottage JackPresidents enact laws to protect these creatures of destruction from the very courts that are there to protect you!

Nine days ago I started a petition.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_Will_Not_Comply/?cCgoWbb

Bealtaine Cottage re-cycled tin cansNine days ago I drew my line in the sand, deciding to refuse to comply with laws that violate Mother Earth and the abundance she so generously bestows upon us.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMy own line in the sand has been confirmed this morning as the decision to refuse to comply with all laws that violate Mother Earth has been made.

Bealtaine Cottage recycled broken tile floorThe days of fence sitting are over.

The gloves are off

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 102 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 535 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Food, Growing Food, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Vegan

A Little Something About Me…I’m…

Vegan.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureJust a little bit of information I thought I would share with you.

For me it’s not just the kindest way to live, but the most environmentally friendly way to live.

It’s also the cheapest way to live.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureVegan means no meat, fish or dairy products.

I was watching this great video on the subject, from 1976!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureI think it’s one of the best on the subject so far…a little dated, I know, but really informative!

Take the time to watch it…it’s in 3 parts…

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Bloom, Ecology, Garden, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Permaculture Flowers and Food for the Bees!

NAMA to Nature – an idea thought up by Andrew Legge and Serena Brabazon – has a Facebook page which records its work with the message:

“Ireland has over 600 ghost estates & 40,000 empty dwellings. Rather than watch government procrastinate let’s help nature take them back.”

This is the kind of direct action for the environment I love…don’t you?

A link to an article about them…do click on and read, it’s fascinating!

Nama to Nature: Why we are planting trees on ghost estates   (via@thejournal_iehttp://jrnl.ie/384378

I thought that was worth sharing with you!

Today I made a short video all about easy flowers for your garden…the easiest, for all you have to do is shake!

Yes, just shake the seed around and wait!

Simplicity is the key to happiness! Make every aspect of life as simple and uncomplicated as possible! De-junk home, life & food cupboards!

Throw those seed around in a display of wanton abandonment!

The Bees will love you for it and Nature will smile upon you!

Here’s the link to today’s video… click and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2eAB_OKop0&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

And, for your entertainment…Bealtaine Life…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IZFpcjIDH4&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=2&feature=plcp

Posted in biodiversity, Buddha, Culture, Current Affairs, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Confronting Empire and Laying Siege…

Revolution starts with self…making personal decisions and changes.

“Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left”~ Chris Hedges – Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist

Dark as the hour may appear, we exist in a dimension of greater opportunity, freedom and possibility than has ever been. ~ 

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 12 005“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it.
To deprive it of oxygen.

To shame it, to mock it with out art,
our music, our literature, our stubbornness—our ability to tell stories.

Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling—
their ideas, their version of history, their wars,
their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. 
Another World is possible, she is on her way.

On a quite day, I can hear her breathing.”
~ Arundhati Roy.

 “Fundamentally, sustainable development is a notion of discipline.

It means humanity must ensure that meeting present needs does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.“
Gro Harlem Brundtland

“We have created an industrial order geared to automatism, where feeble-mindedness, native or acquired, is necessary for docile productivity in the factory; and where a pervasive neurosis is the final gift of the meaningless life that issues forth at the other end.”
Lewis Mumford

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“We must go through a natural revolution if we are to survive on earth. We need to change people’s perceptions. If there’s no environment, there’s no human race. We are in a state of global denial. “
– Ted Turner

Making small changes is the beginning of revolution, whether personal or on a bigger scale!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Gaia, Life, Permaculture, Uncategorized

A Life in the Country ~ A Permaculture Landscape under a Full Moon

Full moon rises over Bealtaine Cottage. The night air is clear, so the moon lights up the land as in a fairy landscape.

Understanding Permaculture…

“The only basic and comprehensive answer to the colossal harm that our present industrial system is causing to the global environment – harm that could lead to the extermination of all life on earth – is to replace it with a sustainable system – geared largely to the non-polluting, life-enhancing products of the living world”
Robert A de J Hart ‘Forest Gardening’

“It is our collective responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live”
Dalai Lama

Have you ever gone for a walk in the light of the full moon?

 

“Is it all worth it? If we do our best to heal the Earth and make our place in her a sustainable one, is there a good chance that we will succeed?…to my mind that’s the wrong question. Even if we could answer it – and we can never know anything about the future for certain, it would beg the question How do I want to live my life? So my answer to the question..is that I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem”.
Patrick Whitefield ‘Earth Care Manual’

“It is time for all of us to make changes about how we live our lives and to follow a path of the heart. By following our intuition and inspiration we encourage our own acts of heartfelt genius and boldness. This makes us feel alive and vital, gives us a great purpose and harnesses parts of ourselves we may have neglected or didn’t even know we had. We no longer feel overwhelmed by the way the Earth’s resources are managed, but recognise that change is in our hands, yours and mine, the hands of extraordinary people who have made a leap of understanding and are determined to make a difference. We become part of the change by becoming part of the solution.”
Glennie Kindred ‘Earth Wisdom’

“Permaculture, a design system that reconciles human communities with the ecological imperatives of a living planet.”
Ben Haggard
Walking in the gardens it is possible to feel the strength of the full moon…it’s awesome!

“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent and agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive for long without a sustainable agricultural base and landuse ethic. On one level, permaculture deals with plants, animals, buildings, and infrastructures (water, energy, communications). However, permaculture is not about these elements themselves, but rather about the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape.  ~ Bill Mollison

Under such a sky the air is chilled.

“Permaculture is also a world wide network and movement of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents. Largely unsupported by government or business, these people are contributing to a sustainable future by reorganizing their life and work around permaculture design principles. In this way they are creating small local changes but ones which are directly and indirectly influencing action in the wider environment, organic agriculture, appropriate technology, communities and other movements for a sustainable world. After 20 years Permaculture may rank as one of Australia’s most significant ‘intellectual exports’.”
~David Holmgren

“Adopting permaculture in your garden could be the first step towards limiting your personal consumption and planning your life to become more creative as time goes by”
Graham Bell, ‘The Permaculture Garden’

Posted in Abundance, Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Frugal Living, Garden, Gardening, Permaculture, photography, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized

A Life in the Country ~ Today at Permaculture Cottage

The hens are out foraging today.

Autumn is a good time to let the girls out to roam freely all over the smallholding…and roam they do!

And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  “Look at this Godawful mess.”  ~Art Buchwald, 1970

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Beech planted with Bamboo. 

Close planting is one of the ways to keep unwanted weeds at bay!

If you look closely you can see Cotoneaster planted to the right.

It is easier to thin plants out than wait for them to grow!

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In the true style of the Economic Terrorist I grew all these trees from seed.

That’s what I love about growing and gardens and Nature…there is no consumerism and everything continues to grow.

The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have – and that is a moral problem, not an economic one.

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other.  It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.  Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied… but written off as trash.  The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.  ~John Berger

Testament to Dad…

My father died in April of last year.

Dad loved this smallholding and bought me a sack full of bare-rooted saplings to plant here.

All the Beech trees, including this Purple Beech are a testament to his love for Nature and the environment we make within.

As these trees turn marvellous shades of reds and browns, I smile and remember my father…

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Forethought and temperance are the virtues which produced thrift, and with thrift the economic progress of society.  And those are the virtues which today are gravely compromised.  ~Adriano Tilgher


Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Ecology, Gaia, Ireland, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Spirituality

Celtic Mysticism, the Goddess and Permaculture…

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 017Perlagonium continues to flower.

The nights are drawing in.

Woodland at bealtainecottage.com 078

Autumn begins to harvest the land of leaves and green, as Winter waits in the wings…

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The culture of the West, and its reliance on centralized government, has lost its way regarding Nature, seeing her only as a resource!

Woodland at bealtainecottage.com 005Politically, governments have aligned themselves and us with the world of big business.

The madness of the policy of continued economic growth amid finite energy sources…and all to create more and more wealth for a very few, including themselves.

September 2014 bealtainecottage.com 040
This smallholding of 3 acres continues to give up her harvest.

It is incredible to think that gardening and growing food, as we know it today, has only been operative since World War One and the use of chemicals on the land.

Vintage Chest 016

Rarely is Nature now regarded as sacred, valuable in itself and in any way seriously considered.

This has happened in less than three generations.

Bealtaine Cottage water barrel

The heart of the Celtic understanding of Nature is to regard the female, the Goddess and the Divine in all living things.

 sustainable living at bealtainecottage.com 012

The king, or ruler, is assumed to marry the land in the persona of the sovereign Goddess.

Thus they become partners.

Marriage was regarded in this culture as a joining of equals…

What would Earth look like today if we regarded the environment as our partner instead of our servant?

sustainable living at bealtainecottage.com 020Permaculture is about working hand in hand with Nature and recognizing her sovereignty in all that lives.

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For many, this brings a remarkable sense of the Divine and the sacred nature of Gaia.

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Folklore, Gaia, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Root of Our Unhappiness…from 2011

It’s a wet evening.

It’s a cold evening too.

I’ve lit the stove and the kettle begins to sing on the top.

It’s a tea and toast kind of evening.

I was thinking about Fairies today as I walked through the Fairy Dell Woodland.

It lies below the cottage, in a natural dell and is a very special place.

There’s a Fairy tree in the centre of the woodland with a huge stone underneath it’s branches.

I’ve often wondered about the history and meaning of that tree and stone.

I have been told that such a tree planted by a stone can mark the resting place of a person whose body was not allowed to be interred in the graveyard…the churches had all sorts of rules regarding who could and could not be interred in so called sacred ground…unbaptised babies, suicides etc…all of great sadness and shown little mercy…


And so, while Jack plays with his football…for some reason he believes I want to steal it…I think about this tree, the Fairy Dell and…fairies…

Fairies are widely regarded as magical spirits who can help humanity get closer to Nature and embrace harmony in the natural environment.

To the Celts, nature embodied the sovereignty of the Goddess.

In comparison, within the church view, Nature is widely regarded as something amoral and fearsome, needing to be dominated and put to service.

All this has led us away from our deep relationship with Mother Earth…we are now in a state of flux and near abandonment and we feel this deeply, with some more aware of the root of our unhappiness and others less, or in severe denial.

My cardigan dries on the back of a chair this evening…

Maybe we need to think again about Fairies, for until we respect the natural world and our precious environment, we are doomed to be cast aside as Gaia struggles on her own…

Posted in Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Trees, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland

The Fear of Trees ~ Why Our Environment is Sick!

If we understood the need for trees on our planet, we would be out planting for our very lives!

This is a realisation being brought more and more to the fore of my thinking.

All that is wrong in our world today can be traced back to our reckless and insane treatment of the environment.

The cost of economic growth in our world has been paid for by Gaia herself.

And yes, I know I sound passionate and maybe even upset, but, then, I am!

The E.U. and Trees!

I once held out hope that Ireland’s participation in the European Union would create a sense of joined up thinking about the state of our sick environment and how we could start to create instead of continually destroy.

That somehow, policy and directives from Brussels would create enlightenment and lead to the wholesale planting of trees on our monocultured island…but recent discussions with someone in receipt of E.U. grants for tree-planting has led me to be very concerned indeed!

Grant to Plant!
In order to qualify for a specific grant to plant deciduous trees, my friend has to agree to plant 2,600 deciduous trees on 3 acres…and I’ve tweeked these figures…DOWN!
Now for those of you who don’t know what 3 acres looks like, have a closer scan of some of the 500 or so posts put up from Bealtaine Cottage.

Sitting on 3 acres, the cottage is surrounded by trees, planted over the course of the past 7 years.

Somewhere between 500-600 trees have been planted, with plans for a further 100-200 in the future.

Can you identify much room for a further 2,000 or so trees?

I conclude that the E.U. does not have a clue, not even an iota of one!

Monoculture Monsters

The state of tree planting here in Ireland can be summed up as inadequate, with the emphasis on monoculture plantations of Sitka Spruce, planted for harvesting, in long, tight rows, where only a huge machine could possibly access the nightmare of environmental sickness.

These trees are planted for money and regarded only in fiscal terms.

Monoculture is the order of the day because the environment is tied into the “Merchants of Greed,” as John Seymour called them…the institutions now viewed as the great destroyers of our country!

And, This Fear…?

Where does it come from?

What is it that makes so many people frightened of Nature?

Where does this desperation to control Gaia come from?

To see trees reduced to gangly, over-crowned sticks that need staking in order to stand up, is a sad reflection on our lack of understanding of our world and Mother Nature.

Trees don’t need stakes if the WHOLE environment in which they are planted is taken into consideration.

There are no staked trees at Bealtaine other than some of the smaller fruit trees that become heavy with fruit and need supporting during this time.

It is this continual need to dominate Nature and control her that causes humanity to fear the environment.

We must awaken to the possibilities of living with her, or, well, I don’t want to go there!

Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Hothouse Flowers in a Permaculture Environment. Evening @ Bealtaine Cottage

Laburnum and Ferns, hastily picked, make a casual, summer bouquet for the sitting room window of the cottage. I never buy flowers and don’t support the polluting, hothouse methods involved in growing shop bought arrangements. The seasonal look is more in keeping with caring for the environment as well as being much more stylish.

The rain has passed over for the day as the evening sweeps in from the East. Hoping for a lot more if the wells are going to resume full flow! I still haven’t moved the logs as the rain has continued unabated for most of the day. Added to this is the task of clearing out the barn in order to stack the logs, which is pending…ahem!

Jack has been having a ripping time, literally…nothing is safe around him! I got him some massive bones from the butcher yesterday and he has been crunching and chewing away to his heart’s content! I can’t quite get over just how intelligent he is! I would advise anyone thinking of getting a pet to visit their local animal sanctuary first…you might be as lucky as myself and come away with a gem like Jack!

Looking out the window onto the veranda is uplifting when the roses are in bloom. I planted a grapevine further along, into a couple of tyres and have big expectations for equally bountiful harvests of grapes!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Current Affairs, Ecology, Gaia, Growing Food, Herbs, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized

Monday Morning at a Permaculture Smallholding… Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Roses are out in bloom on the veranda this morning. The air is warm and dry and the drought continues…

Considering the state of the environment in the north west of Ireland this morning, the gripe of no well water is a small one for me here at Bealtaine, for as I write this there are wildfires raging in areas of Ireland, burning tracts of land and causing some devastation!

What has happened in this part of Ireland recently has contributed towards the perfect conditions that have led to these appalling fires taking hold…heat, drought, then intense wind from the east! It is very hard to extinguish a wildfire in these conditions!

The hens are happy…no loss on them at all in this weather. It helps that they have plenty of shade! Visitors to the gardens of Bealtaine yesterday remarked on the way the hens will sit still to allow being picked up…they are very tame!

The mighty Angelica continues its skyward ascent, soaring upwards, taller every day!