Stormy weather has given way to a sunny evening.
The Red maple has caught the glow, offering glimpses of days to come, for summer seems close at hand.
One day it’s flooding and the next there’s a hurricane blowing!
I heard someone say to expect frost at night this week…I hope not, as I’ve planted a lot of seedlings out!
This is a perfect ground-cover, as the root system is very delicate and shallow, so doesn’t take much from the earth.
He was very lonely before Sammy-Bear joined us…
If you look closely, you can see the seed-heads and a beautiful bee doing her work!
These will expand to become “Moon-Pennies”
The lovely thing about Lunaria is that once you introduce it into your garden it will spread year upon year…it is a most generous flower and so loved by bees.
This is Lunaria growing by the laurel arch today.
The heavenly scent is trapped in the archway and makes a visit to the herb garden and tunnel a joy!
Both are growing freely by Buddha…neither one planted, but self-seeded in the gravel.
It’s 8pm as I finish writing and the sky outside the window by the desk is a perfect summer blue, making it hard to believe that frost lies ahead!
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.
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Those who follow this blog will know that I grow grapes in the polytunnel, very successfully.
This recent experiment is about growing a fruitful grapevine outside, in Ireland.
The first thing is to try to emulate the conditions most favourable for grapes and a recent visitor to Bealtaine cottage spent some time giving me lots of good advice to this end…thanks Sigi!
Sigi grows lots of vines in Austria and is very knowledgeable indeed on this subject.
First, the vine detests wet feet…so ensure that the soil is very well drained.
Well in this case I replanted the vine onto the gravel at the back of the cottage, which faces south, banking it up well.
Stone collects the heat of the sun and holds it well…thermal mass! I added lots of stone around the plant.
Sigi advised me to keep to one main stem, so I cut it back and will cut some more too.
Recycling tins…this one has been serving the Sedum for about 3 years now!
Just punch a few holes in the bottom using a hammer and nail!
The experiment with the tomatoes outdoors as opposed to the tunnel is good so far.
This one is cropping earlier than the several in the tunnel!
Everything in the raised bed is growing fast and furious…less than a month after the first stone was set in place!
Plenty of time yet for sowing seeds…I started these off on Saturday.
The Rudbeckia on the left were transplanted from a small pot.
Harvesting seed from Parsley…save seed, it’s our independence and our future!
Borage flowers adorn the water in the tunnel…ensuring lots of bees visit the plants in here, there’s lots of Borage!
Today’s video…and yes, Missy has barged in!
Lots of Parsley and loads of eggs…yes, it’s summer and the food is in plentiful supply here on this Permaculture smallholding.
An easy way of preserving food for the leaner times is to use it to cook and freeze, or bottle or…anyway, you know what I mean…just don’t let it go to waste!
Here is one of my favourite fast foods, devised by Rose Elliot, my favourite Vegetarian Cookery writer…Parsley Burgers.
I made these on the Cook and Dine Evening I hosted on Monday evening at Cleen Hall, Knockvicar, and, they were very well received!
Anyway, here’s the recipe…
2 eggs / 6 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs / 1 small onion, chopped / 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley / salt and fresh ground black pepper / oil for shallow frying.
Add the breadcrumbs, onion and parsley to the beaten egg and season to taste.
Pour oil into pan to cover the base thinly and heat.
Spoon the mixture into the pan and fry for about 3 minutes on either side, until crisp.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve with salad or baked beans!
As they freeze really well and there is a glut of all the ingredients here at Bealtaine, I have made dozens of them to freeze and save as a fast food…
AN UPDATE ON THE GRAPEVINE…I planted outdoors…it’s doing really well, so far!
It had over-wintered at Bealtaine and endured being frozen in its pot for weeks on end, survived well and is now set to be a successful outdoor grape…
Lots of logs continue to be stockpiled for what is going to be a very cold winter indeed.
Seriously, now is the time to prepare!
If you live in the British Isles, try to get hold of a wood burning stove now and start your woodpile.
Ash can be burned without seasoning!
The grapevine, grown from a cutting about four years ago, has produced well this season. This was pruned hard at the end of the winter and then lightly at the end of spring. Well developed bunches of grapes have set and continue to thrive.
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!
There is little space left in the tunnel…plants and seedlings jostle for what is there and the grapevine is setting lots of fruit. Nectarine and Peach trees in here have already set an abundance of small fruits, so the harvest is looking fruitful!
Each year for the past four years of the seven Bealtaine has been growing I have siad that this would be a bumper harvest for Apples. I have to say this again…a bumper crop is expected! I will post regular pics to update you on this! You can see some from last harvest, when the trees were heavy with fruit! No sprays, no chemicals, just permaculture!
Living in Ireland where few trees are planted,( except the dreaded Sitka Spruce for money!) Bealtaine is fast growing to look like an Oasis in a desert. Intense planting, as per permaculture, makes this small 3 acres look exceptional. Most farmers in Ireland get financial subsidies and don’t plant trees…I have planted almost 600 and receive zero reward…well, not in financial terms, but you can see the immense rewards here for Gaia, birds, insects, animals, visitors and me! PLANT MORE TREES!