An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

The promise of peaches growing outdoors in the west of Ireland, another Bealtaine Cottage first! Blossom on these home grown trees, grown from seed, is looking good. So far, with only the first month behind us, this has been a remarkable Spring! New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres. The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather! Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world! The plastic has been washed inside and…

The Hunger Game

“Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it…

My Wildest Dreams

Bees are declining all over the world, for multiple reasons. The most serious one in my estimation is habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation…in other words… Homelessness! This is not a problem at Bealtaine Cottage, as Bee habitat and food source creation was implemented in the early years of the Bealtaine project. As a direct consequence of this, the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage are thriving! This is a part of the new Lughnasadh Garden, created especially for the bees and butterflies. One only has to plant it and they will come! One only has to be a little untidy and they…

Microbeads…A Call To Action!

You may never have heard of them… Microbeads. Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic that have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world. Microbeads are hardly visible to the naked eye and flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are NOT designed to filter out Microbeads! You may have heard of the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans? Well, Microbeads make up a large proportion of that TOXIC brew! Sea creatures absorb or eat Microbeads. These Microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at…

Easy Family Food Vegan Style

This is a photo blog of food…Vegan food made especially for my family, yesterday and today. The recipes are all simple and easy…like this Sweet Potato and Caramelised Red Onion Pate! The food in the first photo consists of a Green Salad with Olive Oil and Basil dressing; Spicy Roasted Veg., Bulgar Wheat and Ginger sauce…all home made in a short space of time…a delicious lunch! I hosted a dinner party on Sunday, for my grandson who is off to Canada tomorrow, (Tuesday). And baked some very easy bread! Then baked the same recipe again today! I also made a…

Home Grown and Home Made Food

  The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped. Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food! Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw. The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared…

From the Fringe…

The start of the week in this sacred place, where edges meet and overlap…a cooling, calming morning.  Yesterday was a day of visits and creating bouquets to take with me. The gardens are flourishing and birthing beauty all around me, so there was much to gather and choose from. This is the tenth year using the roll of cellophane bought for me by my eldest daughter all those years ago as a leaving London present! Small investments can and do go on giving! Walking the gardens this morning, after the rain, with the earth scents rising all around me, it…

Angels and Animals in an Irish Cottage on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at Bealtaine Cottage. Snow has fallen. The air is cold and a bitter wind blows. It rained hard last night and the streams are in flood. The blackbirds are hungry and have taken to stealing cat biscuits from the bowls on the veranda! The blackbirds are clever creatures and have watched both cats enter the lodge through the cat door, where they now sleep away the day, their bellies filled with food and milk. Jack stays by my side, in and out of the cottage, as I work. Jack looks out for me and is a wonderful friend…

Winter Solstice Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage

Fires are lit and food prepared for this, the longest night of the year…the Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage. Loved ones meet again to join the celebration from as far away as Canada, London, Belfast and Dublin. A night to gather around the fire and light the candles around the home. Missy has found her warm spot and will not be moved…we celebrate around her! As preparations for the winter feast are under way, we join together in toasting the year and the time to come. In Latin, solstice means sun set still. This is the still night, the silent night,…