Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Cats, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Health, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Wild Flowers

The Rise and Rise of Famine Farms

Before permaculture. Bealtaine CottageI describe monoculture  practice as creating “Famine Farms” for bees and wildlife…becoming places of slow starvation for all.

I recall thinking this when first beginning to plant out the permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.

As you can see from the place as it looked then, it was bereft of food for anything!

Bealtaine Cottage potage beds in the permaculture gardensWalking around the gardens of Bealtaine during the Spring and Summer, watching bees forage in the blossom, frogs delight in the ponds and listening to the birds sing out a mighty chorus, makes me think of the dire situation these creatures face in the monoculture world of modern farming.

Bealtaine Cottage barnThe average person knows little of bees and their importance to all life as we know it.

It forms part of the massive disconnect going right through the core of society.

Bealtaine Cottage Buddleia flowers for the butterflies and beesIn much the same way that medical doctors have a two week slot on diet and nutrition, during their four year medical training, farmers are unaware of much of the way in which the food chain operates around them and, in particular, the intricacies of Nature.

Bealtaine Cottage hanging baskets in the trees...a slug free zoneWithin western culture, religion teaches us that we are placed here to have dominion over Nature.

Such arrogance is reprehensible as we gather more and more knowledge of the decline and loss of habitat of life as we know it!

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds and BuddhaIt is widely held that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame for the continuing decline of the bees.

Many people point to the proliferation of  genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value.

The list of who and what is to blame goes on…

Bealtaine Cottage flowering Ground ElderHowever, from my own observations I have come to this conclusion: we are responsible for starving the bees; with loss of hedgerows; tree depletion; use of chemicals; growing of gaudy flowers with no pollen; proliferation of ridiculous lawns and constant demand for monoculture raised foods, to name but a few!

Bealtaine Cottage flowers and porchIt behoves us all to make it our business to know how to create and nurture bee habitats.

Bealtaine Cottage Missy and ValerianAnd that means looking at the natural world, not as a resource to be continually trodden on and suppressed, but as a wondrous gift from the Divine we all need to cherish.

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Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Butterflies, Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

The Magic of Life

I had no idea!

Reading about soil today has enlightened me…no, transported me…into another world, seriously!

The world beneath my feet.

I have always had a fascination with Fairies and the world of Nature, but was never fully cognisant of the facts about our soil…that deep, dark, rich matter that gives forth all we eat.

Facts like, a gram of soil contains about 100 million bacteria.

A square metre of fertile farmland can be inhabited by something like around 55 million worms and about 50,000 small insects and mites.

Monoculture diminishes all this, of course.

A monocultured ecosystem is very weak and may not be up to withstanding disturbance…hence the severe erosion and dust storms seen throughout places like the mid west of America.

A complex ecosystem, such as can be found here at Bealtaine Cottage, is better able to adapt to disturbance.

Permaculture has a healing effect in a very short time, allowing the soil to build up a strong ecosystem relatively fast…a few years in the case of this monocultured 3 acres!

Homo sapiens, means, Wise Man.

A Wise Man would not be sieving life out of our Eco-system, or interfering with our food chain and supply by patenting seeds.

A Wise man in Government would not allow that to happen.

Where have all the Homo sapiens gone?

Today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCIaK07EieY