Living in a time when the cost of food is rising day on day, it might be time to re-think the lawn! This is what Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement has to say on the subject:
“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.
The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…
Over the past few days I have been busy converting this little shed into a new hen house and run…food to swap and share…fresh eggs! it is going to be a simple enough barter, swapping a sack of logs for nine eggs. Most logs are traded at 3.50 a sack, so that’s a fair swap!
That makes a good swap as eggs are getting more expensive by the day and the logs will be delivered to my door! I just have to ensure that the hen house and run are secure against Mr ans Mrs Fox and family!
As Spring moves across the land, a drying wind is working its magic on the earth. The greening is under-way.
The view from the sitting room window is being filled in like a ‘Painting By Numbers,’ canvas. Ash trees are the last to get their leaves and so stand proud in all their silver glory against temperamental Spring skies.
This is the beautiful Field Maple to the front of the cottage.
Continuing my lifelong passion for trees…this is a wall tile I made from clay…complete with tree, a fairy tree.
The lone Fairy Thorn one often sees growing in the middle of fields here in Ireland served as my inspiration. They are often windswept and leaning away from the west.
This sits upon the dresser in the kitchen…a time when preserves were sold in stoneware jars. All containers were re-cycled, in that they were re-used…even milk bottles! Lemonade bottles had a money deposit attached to them and children would collect them up to return to the shop, as a way of earning pocket money!
Even cream came in little stoneware jars like this, as it kept cool in the pantry in the days before every home had a fridge!
It could be the way the light hangs in the sky this evening…
Or the stillness of the air as a mist starts its’ way up the valley…
Or may even be the predominance of moths fluttering in the still air down in the Fairy Wood, in the gardens below the cottage…
I’m walking the gardens in search of the Fairies.
Although most people here in the West of Ireland will tell you they’ve left the fairy faith in the past, there is a lingering moment, between asking whether or not they believe in the Fairies, and the reply in the negative.
That moment of hesitation is all one needs to be aware of!
Fairy faith is the belief in fairies, of course.
When the Milesians, the mythical race described by an 11th century scholar in Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions), came to Ireland they banished the natives to the underground and they became the Sidhe, the fairy folk.
They reside in old ring-forts, stone circles and inside and under magical trees like the Hawthorn, or Fairy Thorn as it is known here in Ireland…particularly one growing alone in a field.
No farmer disturbs the Fairy Thorn, for to do so brings almighty bad luck!
There is a Fairy Thorn in the wood below the cottage, hence the name, Fairy Wood or Dell, as it lies in a hollow, well below the cottage.
And so I ramble the gardens, quietly, patiently looking here and there for movement or unexpected light.
I would really appreciate if you’d take the time to vote for me in this Irish award…