Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Country Living, Ecology, Folklore, Garden, Herbs, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Bealtaine Eve in Ireland

It is the eve of Bealtaine at Bealtaine Cottage and so I am celebrating 8 years of permaculture here at the cottage!  Summer is upon us once again and the Earth is busy producing the harvest of the coming season… The flowers of the Chives have already made an appearance and these are just so gorgeous in salads. Chives is also very easy to grow, forming lovely clumps as above and producing edible leaves and flowers that replace the traditional Spring Onion for me!

Yesterday afternoon was spent cutting the grass, regarded as a harvest and used in compost and as mulching. The by product of all this harvest is neat grass paths upon which to walk!

Lots of beautiful “weeds,” …what do you think? Here is today’s video…focusing on the woodland and what grows down there!

Click on the link to watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYqQaxZLPl0

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Folklore, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees

Permaculture Cottage ~ Many Magical Trees

The Life Force of Trees

It was a common belief, long ago, that many conditions could be cured by bringing the patient into contact with the powerful life force or MANA represented by trees…

Nearly 800 trees have been planted here at Bealtaine and there is something so awesome about trees that makes me want to get more land and keep on planting. 

Today has seen the transplanting of another 20 or so Birch trees, seedlings rescued from the road verge before the tractors mow the grass.

More Buddleias for FREE!

Managed to pull up 3 tiny Buddleias from the gravel around the cottage…gravel makes an ideal seeding ground for many plants and trees.

These too have been potted on and will make fine specimens for planting out next year.

Birch Trees

This is a little Birch sapling planted only a few weeks ago and already grown over a foot in height and spread.

Grass cuttings have been spread around the base to deter weeds and provide food for the fast growing tree.

Apple Trees and Verbascum

Apple trees under-planted with Blackcurrants and perennial flowers…here is the Verbascum in bloom with Geranium  and Calendula amongst others.

Many Magical Trees…

Willow, Birch, Copper Beech, Twisted Willow, Oak and Pine, all planted in very close proximity to one another…this is the permaculture way and very quickly excludes weeds and provides an excellent source of coppiced wood for the stove.

Ash trees were traditionally used in Folk Medicine against poison and evil. Lightning runs to the Ash…’Avoid the Ash, it courts the flash!’

Long ago, in many parts of the Highlands of Scotland, on the birth of a child, the midwife would take a green stick from the Ash tree and hold it in the fire. As the heat worked on one end of the stick, the sap would ooze from the other. This was administered to the newborn baby as the first liquid to pass its lips!

I write about, film and photograph Mother Earth, for Mother Earth, opening little portals of healing energy all over the world.

Blessings and thanks for your support.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Eco-Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, News, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

50,000 Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Smallholding , West Ireland.

Thanks to all the visitors to Bealtaine Cottage! Through this blog I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great friends and welcome some of those as visitors to Bealtaine in the flesh so to speak! I hope that in the coming weeks and months to welcome many more!

Each year the gardens grow a little more and after seven years there is a sense of maturity at Bealtaine, which is quite noticable. Some trees now reach thirty feet and more and shrubs have more than filled the spaces they were planned for.

All the Mother Plants remain in situ and many of their children have spread out into new areas of the land. There are now fifth and sixth generation plants dotted around the smallholding.

Even the verge on the public road is planted with Bealtaine plants that are all the more hardy for being raised organically here on site. These are planted straight into grass using the no-dig method where only a slit is opened in the ground to receive the rootball, then closed and mulched with grass clippings to keep the plant free from pressure of grass and weeds.

Some of the blackcurrants harvested here yesterday…

Sunset through the window of the porch. Up-cycled window, up-cycled stained glass, continuously re-cycled sun.

Posted in Ecology, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Saturday Morning in the Permaculture Garden

These are the pears in one of the orchards this morning, continuing to develop. Good rainfall has helped enormously and the days are healthily damp!

The No-Dig Method of Growing.
It is possible for one woman as myself to look after 3 acres of poor land and make it productive, using the No-Dig method which is in itself an integral part of Permaculture.

Mulching…the Magic!
Making compost…the most important work you can undertake in the garden, for whatever you don’t want growing will be turned into this rich food for all you want to encourage. Start a compost heap today, don’t wait! I practise the cold-composting method, which is the easiest one to do…just heap it up!

Easy Potatoes…
These were planted onto a thin layer of cardboard that was placed directly onto grass. However, you could dispense with the cardboard, as I have done in the past and it works perfectly well! Used straw from the hen run is spread on the top.
As the potatoes push up compost is added on a weekly basis…I have 4 huge compost heaps, so no shortage of good organic food!

Animals and Bedding
I keep 4 hens. Their bedding is barley straw. This is changed often and regularly, giving the garden a continual supply of nitrogen impregnated mulch and fertilizer. I also spread generous amounts of barley straw around their outdoor runs as they love to scratch and I continue to collect the used straw. It’s a good method and works very well for me!

Mulch to Grow, Mulch not to Grow!
Srtaw is placed on the top of cardboard as a way of excluding growth and preparing the ground for the following year. This can also be planted into and is super for trailing plants such as pumpkins!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Fairies, Garden, Permaculture, photography, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Woodland

Live Your Permaculture Self-Sufficient Dream in Ireland…

Re-forest Gaia…from monoculture to permaculture!

The tree in the middle is a Purple Beech.

It’s hard to believe that this place was just rushy monoculture land 7 years ago.

Yet, it is just this possible to turn poor land around and re-invest fertility to the soil.

Trees are Nature’s way of doing that.

Permaculture intensive planting is the way forward.

Pots and old bits of pipes filled with Sedums add interest to a little corner.

The Pine tree is only 7 years old, from a seedling and it is giving cones already!

Three acres of poor land have been turned around in a relatively short space of time to create a very productive, edible landscape  and sheltered habitat.Perennials are the ones you don’t have to bother about too much…Michaelmas Daisies on the right, Sedge to the left and a self-seeded perennial coming up in the middle…Birds, bees and insects all benefit from the transformation from monoculture to permaculture. Yellow Loosestrife and Blue Geranium, perennials that push their way into beauty every year, never mind the grass and weeds, they will do their thing regardless!Roses are in bloom on the veranda…it really amazing just what will grow in this once desolate looking place…have a look at the “before” pictures on this blog.

When I first seen Bealtaine Cottage in May 2004, I did not see desolation, I saw abundance…the first step in living one’s self-sufficient, permaculture dream in Ireland!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 500 blogs for you to peruse in the archives

Enjoy your visit to Bealtaine Cottage

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Country Living, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

From Monoculture to Permaculture…Beyond Organic in Ireland!

From monoculture grass and cows to Pear blossom on an April evening…Permaculture.

Where once was a field covered in grass and rushes, there is now an orchard and…permaculture.

Blackthorn blossom through the arch…

The barbed wire that once bordered this area by the cottage is gone, replaced with a new border…of plants and trees…permaculture!

And permaculture paths where you have to duck to avoid the swooping birds…