Posted in Bees, Food, Growing Food, Spring, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

As the Bees Die…Our Role in Heaven or Hell

Bees at Bealtaine CottageKeeping Bees and making honey turned into Keeping Bees and making money…on a vast commercial scale, with hundreds of hives being transported all over the world, to ensure pollination of vast stretches of monoculture crops.

Roses at Bealtaine CottageThere is an Orwellian feel to this scenario.

Something feels so very wrong about this.

Alarm bells should have been triggered at this point, about 20 years ago…monoculture madness would end up consuming all that is sacred about our Earth.

Redcurrants at Bealtaine CottageTrusting our food security to corporations and governments has led us all to the edge of the abyss.

This is particularly highlighted with the recent, disgraceful episode of horse-meat found in the Beef supply chain all across Europe.

Wren in a basket at Bealtaine Cottage 012

(Can you see the little Wren in the hanging basket?)

The incessant greed for higher profits and the complicity of government departments in this money-making racket resonates with previous scandals.

Barn at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

We had regulators in place for the banking system…scandal!

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

We had regulators in place for the church…scandal!

Herbs in tyres at Bealtaine Cottage

We had regulations in place for politicians…scandal!

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine Cottage

Yet, all the time, the people we should have trusted, we ignored…ourselves!

Euphorbia in the front garden

We CAN do something to help ameliorate this disaster happening before our very eyes.

seedlings in pots in the permaculture gardens

There are a few simple steps we can take, starting this very weekend, the first weekend in March!

Valerian at Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 011The first is fun…sow flower seeds, flowers for the bees.

Columbine at Bealtaine Cottage Everyone can do this and be aware that as you make your environment a more beautiful place, so too, the world becomes a happier place for the bees.

Strawberries at Bealtaine CottageThe other action you can take, starting immediately, is to buy locally produced, seasonal, fresh food, not of the monoculture produced variety!

Look at it this way…Every cent or penny you spend is an investment in the world you want to see.

Home made Blackcurrant Chutney permaculture cottage 001

Local food is quality food with no air miles or massive profit included!

Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage

Be the change you want to see…

Podcasts will be linked from the new Podcast page listed at the top of the website…go there for the daily podcast or just to catch up.

Bealtaine Cottage YouTube Channel…is free from adverts, with over 100 videos from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-ASeeds and Willow  http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/  All open-pollinated seeds of flowers, vegetables and trees growing under Permaculture for 11 years.

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Posted in Country Living, Garden, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

The Easiest to Grow Vegetables and Fruit from Bealtaine Cottage

Potatoes.
Last year I grew them successfully on straw and manure spread on the ground on top of cardboard.
The ground was in perfect condition afterwards for digging in a new Rhubarb bed.

Swiss Chard.
A  cut and come again crop.
It just keeps on giving!
www.bealtainecottage.com 007Here it is growing outdoors during the winter.
The frost may set it back but it grows again quickly from the root.
Swiss Chard in the tunnel today...Ruby Chard
Swiss Chard in the tunnel today…Ruby Chard
Eat young leaves as salad or
cook.
You can sow directly into the soil, but I prefer to start almost everything off in pots to give them some strength to resist the slugs!
Dark Ruby Chard has over-wintered well in the tunnel
Dark Ruby Chard has over-wintered well in the tunnel

The stalks are marvellously coloured and can be white, as above, yellow, red, and orange, so they can look great in flower beds too!

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Beetroot grows easily and stays in the ground over winter, so can be harvested without fuss.
If left in the ground until the following spring, you will be able to harvest some young leaves from the plant too.
Great in Juices too!
www.bealtainecottage.com 029Parsley…a biennial, so will over-winter perfectly and not be set back by frost if protected just a little, like above, using an old bottom-less bread tin.
 

Pumpkins…grow the same as Butternut Squash…the more enriched the soil,  the bigger they grow…so, watch out! 

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash…I grew these from saved seeds from the previous year.
Just make sure that the soil is enriched with lots of well rotted manure, or good compost, for they are hungry plants!
www.bealtainecottage.com 001
Apples…invest in a few apple trees…fruit trees will never let you down! I have planted around forty fruit trees of all varieties here at Bealtaine Cottage.
permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage 019
When in blossom, fruit trees are a wonderful source of food for the Bees…
harvesting blackcurrantsBlackcurrants…the gardens at Bealtaine are infested with them!
I have grown all of my Blackcurrant bushes from seed or cuttings!
I have a surplus of Blackcurrant cuttings at the moment and these are offered for sale at this link…
http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/
 
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Bealtaine Cottage now offers a subscription website and seeds for sale at minimal cost to supporters, (this keeps me solvent, pays the mortgage and sometimes a little more)…keeping the main website free for all, along with a NO ADS Youtube channel, Podcast and FaceBook sites, all listed above.

 

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
Wendell Berry

Posted in Eco-Living, Ecology, Frugal Living, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

The Bed, The Sofa and The 5 Euro Throw…Recycling Permaculture in Ireland

The need for a decent bed has been uppermost in my thoughts recently…I had made a bed using pallets, but kept banging my feet on the wood, tripping and, the worst thing of all…could not shove boxes of old shoes etc., under the bed. So, I had a long hard think about the problem and came up with two possible solutions…Buy a new bed, a mere 300 euros, yes, okay, beam me up spotty! Or, dismantle the old sofa bed and use the bed part with a mattress on the top…so guess which one I went with then?

You guessed right…now I’m chopping up the remains of the sofa for the stove, composting the material and storing the foam for future cushions…cost, ahem, sorry multinationals…zero!

Every Sunday I visit the second-hand market, always on the lookout for bargains and objet d’art. Last Sunday was a lovely day and there were plenty of stalls selling lots of interesting items…and I bought this for 5euros! Handknitted and warm and colourful and beautiful, the perfect throw for another old sofa! Rather gorgeous, don’t you think?

Strawberry flowers are opening up in the tunnel today.

And the strawberry plants in the hanging baskets on the veranda are not far behind! I have planted up lots more baskets and have them hanging in the tunnel, this time with lettuce and lots of other edibles, including herbs.

The tunnel has certainly come to life over recent weeks. I shall move the baskets to the veranda once they are established.