An Act of Defiance from the Edge of Empire!

It seems as though governments all over the western world are colluding with big corporations and the energy companies to deliberately destroy our environments, and, in the face of much opposition from those who elected them into power…the people. I have yet to meet the person who supports war, fracking, privatisation of utilities, or GMOs. Yet, politicians have, and are, engaged in the pursuit of all of these. As we approach a global food crisis- and all the warning signs are there, such as rising food prices, oil and the effects of extreme weather- we are in desperate need of…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

The gardens in snow. Yesterday was a day for visitors who spent two and a half hours walking around all the different gardens. The photo above was taken in the winter of 2010…cold but very beautiful. Permaculture is about planting and planting without chemicals, but using Nature’s way of mulch, mulch, mulch. It works incredibly well, for this approach feeds the soil, our food lifeline! I mulch with shreddings; clippings; wool; compost; manure; grass and leaves, as well as any other biodegradable material I come across, including cardboard, straw etc. I also collect silt from both ponds as the stream…

The Colours of the Celts

Creativity was associated with orange, as well as sexuality and fertility. Think of the egg yolk…only a deep orange yolk is really healthy and full of goodness. Invoke this colour in areas of your home where you want to express these elements. Green is infused with beauty and fertility, but also prosperity. In Feng Shui, it is advised to paint the front door of one’s home red so as to attract prosperity, but my door is painted green and the real prosperity is quite tangible at Bealtaine Cottage. As for beauty, well, that speaks for itself, for what is not…

Stonehenge, Newgrange and the Cycle of Life

The autumn continues to progress through it’s mellow display of earthy colours. Tomorrow is the Equinox and the beginning of the descent towards midwinter. The time of year denotes the slowing down of all that is life as we know it. Time to sort out the winter woolies and hang the heavy curtains to keep out the drafts. One of the big tasks I have lined up here at Bealtaine Cottage is the coppicing of the majority of the trees that were planted eight years ago, in the first flush of restoring the fertility of the land. Trees are one of the…

Abundant Harvest at Bealtaine Cottage…seeing is believing!

Despite the problems with weather and lack of sunshine, this  is turning out to be one of the best years on record for the harvest at Bealtaine Cottage. Continual adaptation to climate change is paying off, as the Potager Beds have excelled themselves in little over ten weeks since construction and planting. Designed and built in the truly vernacular style, using stone sourced on site, these beds have been a blessing in production and style. Blessed with continual warmth and shelter at the back of the cottage, the plants have excelled themselves, doing better than those planted in the tunnel! Bees…

Permaculture is…

Permaculture is… a design system…  It’s a simple and effective way to apply  the principles of ecology in the design of sustainable human habitats. Building a veranda on the south side of Bealtaine Cottage was a practical and sustainable  way of applying the principles…there is now an all-weather area in which to shelter and store humans, plants and fuel.  Permaculture is not just about growing things. Although permaculture focuses on food production, it is more than just food, as it embraces every aspect of living holistically on this Earth…with this Earth! All aspects of living well, such as health, and…