Posted in Abundance, compost, Country Living, Eco-Living, Edible Gardens, Food, Growing Food, Herbs, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Summer

Post Midsummer Polytunnel Gardening at Bealtaine Cottage

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Second-phase food production is under way as from this week.

Midsummer has passed and many harvests are home or under-way.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 009This week has seen me clear the tunnel, spread lots of compost afresh on the beds and begin planting for the next phase of crops.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 010As I cleared the tunnel and collected masses of seeds and seed-heads, I was thinking about the crops I would plant.

Number one on my list is Kale; one of the great foods, especially in juicing.

Regular intake of Kale juice keeps health at a peak.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 013 Soil is the most important aspect of good food.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 007The food takes up the essential minerals and goodness in the soil and turns these into health-giving good food.

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This was a good time to prune the Peach Tree and remove about half of the Nectarines and feed the tree.

I left some of the herbs in place and moved the rest into pots and outside beds.

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell BerryThe Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture 

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 016“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 019“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.”
― Maria RodaleOrganic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

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All the Poppy heads are now harvested, providing a massive amount of Poppy Seed…great in cooking and baking!

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 011“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”
― Jane GoodallHarvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 022“All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Posted in Books, Cats, Climate, compost, Current Affairs, Dogs, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Summer, Sustainable Living

The Great Disruption

Flo and JackPlanet Earth is a closed system.

Flo and JackMost politicians and all governments simply do not understand that fact!

Bealtaine Cottage interior designThere cannot be infinite economic growth!

view from a window at Bealtaine CottageThe world has limited resources, yet humankind is governed by an extractive mentality, encouraged by those in power to continue extracting the Earth’s resources, regardless of the cost to the next generation…never mind future generations!

roses at bealtaine cottage Ireland June 2013The problem is so big, that it requires one to change everything about the way one thinks, lives and interacts with the world.

compost bucket at Bealtaine CottageThe problem with our current thinking and those who lead us further into the mire, is that denial is the natural response.

Potager garden at Bealtaine Cottage June 2013Those young enough now will look back on this era when food and energy prices soared, as the world population surged.

Morning at Bealtaine Cottage gardens, June 2013The time when tornadoes ploughed through cities, killing and devastating people and homes and sometimes whole communities.

Lunaria in early June 2013 at Bealtaine CottageA time when  floods swept away life and homesteads, as droughts wrecked harvests, while governments aided and abetted the corporations that sought to control our food.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in June 2013A time when populations were displaced by continuous disasters that those in government did little to avert or help communities recover from!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThose alive will ask, “what were they thinking?”

Missy Cat at Bealtaine cottage June 2013”The only answer can be denial,” argues Paul Gilding, Australian environmentalist and former executive director of Greenpeace International.

Trees at Bealtaine CottageGilding writes about this crisis in a new book called The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in June 2013”We are heading for a crisis-driven choice…

The Lodge at Bealtaine Cottage June 2013We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model…

Poppy at Bealtaine Cottage June 2013We will choose the latter…

Roses on the verand at Bealtaine CottageWe may be slow, but we’re not stupid.”

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Country Living, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Wine

The Rain-Sodden Lushness of Midsummer in Ireland

Harvests are looking good despite the lack of sunshine.

Today, Sunday, is overcast and still.

If the weather is fine tomorrow I shall begin to harvest the Blackcurrants.

It looks to be a mighty harvest…certainly in excess of last year, when over 100lbs were picked…and the birds had their feast along the way!

Redcurrants are cropping well also and most of these will go in the freezer, as I enjoy fruit yoghurts throughout the winter.

The Redcurrants give the impression of jewels hanging on bushes.

I often wonder why more of these delightful and easy to grow fruit bushes are not planted in borders in the garden.

The leaves are a lovely vivid green and look really attractive!

I bought this lovely lamp in a Charity shop in Enniskillen, on my way to Omagh, my home town.

 I was up visiting my Mum on her 82nd birthday last Friday!

She is in great form and looking fantastic!

I must post a pic of her soon!

Happy Birthday Mum! (I’m saying this because she has recently started looking on the net and perusing the Bealtaine Cottage blogs!)

I notice that the flowers are all in bloom on the St John’s Wort bush…they are all open despite the lack of sun!

The Bealtaine Angel silently surveys the Valerian…

I have been gathering big bouquets of Yellow Loosestrife to fill vases in the cottage.

Everywhere the lushness of midsummer continues to hold sway…

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Ecology, Gaia, Ireland, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Spirituality

Celtic Mysticism, the Goddess and Permaculture…

Autumn permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 017Perlagonium continues to flower.

The nights are drawing in.

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Autumn begins to harvest the land of leaves and green, as Winter waits in the wings…

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The culture of the West, and its reliance on centralized government, has lost its way regarding Nature, seeing her only as a resource!

Woodland at bealtainecottage.com 005Politically, governments have aligned themselves and us with the world of big business.

The madness of the policy of continued economic growth amid finite energy sources…and all to create more and more wealth for a very few, including themselves.

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This smallholding of 3 acres continues to give up her harvest.

It is incredible to think that gardening and growing food, as we know it today, has only been operative since World War One and the use of chemicals on the land.

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Rarely is Nature now regarded as sacred, valuable in itself and in any way seriously considered.

This has happened in less than three generations.

Bealtaine Cottage water barrel

The heart of the Celtic understanding of Nature is to regard the female, the Goddess and the Divine in all living things.

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The king, or ruler, is assumed to marry the land in the persona of the sovereign Goddess.

Thus they become partners.

Marriage was regarded in this culture as a joining of equals…

What would Earth look like today if we regarded the environment as our partner instead of our servant?

sustainable living at bealtainecottage.com 020Permaculture is about working hand in hand with Nature and recognizing her sovereignty in all that lives.

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For many, this brings a remarkable sense of the Divine and the sacred nature of Gaia.

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Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Hothouse Flowers in a Permaculture Environment. Evening @ Bealtaine Cottage

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!