Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spring, Uncategorized

Keeping Hens, in the Town or Country

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 The hens have settled into their new home and are all laying.

Happy clucks and soft singing emanates out from the hen house.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe secure enclosure promises to keep the Fox family away…for I have lost too many of my lovely hens to Mr and Mrs Fox. www.bealtainecottage.comInside, the house is spacious and comfortable, with an upstairs and five windows in total!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe system is similar to the one I used in London for over a decade.

It is known as a deep litter system, using lots of straw.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe dirty straw is then used in the gardens as a mega-mulch!www.bealtainecottage.comThe deep litter system allows the girls foraging in a limited space and I collect greens for them on days when they are stay at home.

www.bealtainecottage.comDays when I am in the garden, the girls are allowed out under my watchful eye!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mulching continues unabated, as the grass paths are mowed…grass clippings are piled onto cardboard as a weed suppressant, allowing newly planted trees to get a footing!

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the system I have used for ten years and all the fruit trees are producing well.

www.bealtainecottage.comHonesty is in full bloom now and being enjoyed by the bees.

www.bealtainecottage.comMost of the early bees are bumble bees and are most prolific here at Bealtaine Cottage, where succession planting keeps all visitors fed from February through to the end of November.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe painted stone Cockerel stands guard by the front door of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comNewly mown paths allows everything alongside to look lush!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe Cherry tree, grown from seed, stands covered in blossom,  with the promise of lots of Cherries, some high for the birds and some low for me!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe Bealtaine Feast has begun!

www.bealtainecottage.comSeedlings are flourishing in the late Spring sunshine.

Posted in Birds, Bloom, Cats, Food, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Spring, Uncategorized

Hens in the Permaculture Garden

Hens in permacultureSix hens have come to live at Bealtaine Cottage.

They arrived on Saturday, looking rather bedraggled and grungy.

With their new lifestyle, here at the permaculture gardens, an overall improvement in their appearance and well-being is guaranteed.

hens in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageIt was lovely to take my cup of tea outside and simply watch the hens as they explored their new home.

I can get quite lost just watching them…I think they may be hypnotising me!

Amethyst Horn at Bealtaine CottageThe morning is sunny, though interrupted with showers of rain, sometimes quite heavy too!

Flowering Currant at Bealtaine CottageWe had about a month without rain and so the earth was more than ready to receive the heavy showers.

Seeds in the permaculture gardensSeeds are doing amazingly well as the temperatures rise!

Bealtaine Cottage plants in tinsAnother week or so and it’ll be difficult to keep up with the progress…so all the more important to get everything into shape now in terms of preparedness.

I have made a short video so you can see the girls settling into their new lives here at Bealtaine.

There is also some footage of the seed progress and the flowering Lunaria.

This is the video I’ve posted today…

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