Posted in Cats, Garden, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Winter

A Good Barter

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The boys have lain on the sofa for much of the day, listening to music of one sort and another, as I have worked around them.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The sewing machine in the Lodge has been clicking away, as I sort and sew material into pillow-cases.

It’s difficult to find good cotton pillow-cases, unless one is prepared to visit the city and a shop like Laura Ashley…in my dreams, methinks!

www.bealtainecottage.com 007Living on limited means, far from any city, just about means making it oneself!

I prefer to sew anyway, as the quality of items can be more easily regulated.

As the light of day fades into evening, other work comes into focus…

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Making sure there are plenty of logs in the baskets for the evening, along with tidying up the woodpile to make it safe from collapse!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025This is just one of several, that keep getting bigger, as my friend brings me more logs, in return for home-made wine!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012I took a walk around the upper gardens just as the light was fading.

www.bealtainecottage.com 018The leaves have almost finished their drop and cover the earth with such colour, that I have no intention of tidying them up…anywhere!

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Back indoors it’s time to switch on the main lamps and make a cosy nest for the evening.

www.bealtainecottage.com 030My little headless Venus is complete with her autumn face of berries, as the light fades into Midwinter darkness.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031Stay warm this evening…Blessings X

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Just a few left of the second and last print run…

http://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Courses, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Weekend of Sustainable Living…

Kitchen at bealtaine Cottage

Many people are trying to make the transition into a more sustainable way of living.

courtyard at Bealtaine CottagePermaculture, growing food, making wine, spinning… are all facets of sustainable living that interest many people, as the economy continues to dwindle.

Willow arch and buttercupsVisitors to this blog and the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel continue to grow at an amazing rate…sparking an interest in what sustainable living is all about.

permaculture garden at bealtaine cottageThis is an opportunity to spend a full weekend at Bealtaine Cottage, immersed in sustainable living, experiencing first hand, a comfortable and permaculture lifestyle.

Roses at bealtaine cottageThe subjects covered in this weekend workshop will include wine-making, composting, soft fruit growing, raised Potager bed construction and planting, as well as growing/harvesting fuel for the stove.

 

Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageYou will get to use a rocket stove, shred harvested materials to make mulch, learn to take and plant cuttings and ask lots of questions about many aspects of sustainable living.
veranda at bealtaine cottageThis will afford you the time and space to ask  questions about the permaculture way of living, growing and developing a sustainable lifestyle…easily!

The Lodge at BealtaineYou will get to stay in the Lodge at Bealtaine, with it’s own wood-burning stove and veranda, with beautiful, peaceful views across some of the gardens.

veranda at Bealtaine CottageDuring the course of the weekend you will be able to explore the gardens at leisure, eat wholesome Vegetarian or Vegan food and enjoy home made wine!

herb gardens at bealtaine cottageThe dates for this weekend are: 2-4th of August.

Irish dresser at Bealtaine CottageThe sustainable living weekend is limited to two people sharing, so it helps if you know each other!

herb gardens at Bealtaine CottageFor further details, email: coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

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Oops…it’s gone…This weekend is now fully booked!

Posted in Angels, Climate, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Personal, photography, Spring

Looking Back at March 2012 in the Photo Album of Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Bealtaine Cottage march 2012 008The gardens came back to life with new leaves on the Photinia

Bealtaine Permaculture March  2012Blossom opened on the Nectarine tree in the polytunnel.

Sunday morning Permaculture garden mar 2012Rhubarb seemed to grow in spurts overnight!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture March 2012Home made Blackcurrant wine was started as I began to empty the freezer.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012Lichens opened up in the warmth of the Spring days.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012Beautiful, delicate colours of Spring.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012The warming sun began to work it’s magic on the north facing gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Permaculture March 2012Garden benches dried out and warmed up enough to beckon the visitor to stop awhile!

Bealtaine CottageSun, glorious sun…this old piece of driftwood stood up to it’s eighth winter of storms and winds.

Bealtain Cottage Permaculture 004As always, there was an early crop of herbs and greens from the tunnel.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012 Donegal Bay

Late March was so warm, we headed off to the beach for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean here in Donegal Bay.

You can see the Hills of Donegal in the background!

Posted in Abundance, Cottage, Eco-Living, Food, Herbs, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized, Wine

Permaculture Fruit and Salad Update

The same thing has happened this year as did last…

I am struggling with the fruit produced last summer and am desperately using it for wine-making!

Oh well, I hear you say, that’s alright then…

However, there is a real panic setting in as the blackcurrants are fast maturing and every time that I open the freezer, a realization of the immensity of what’s to come, stares back at me in the form of bags upon bags of frozen Blackcurrants!

A goblet of the red stuff from last year…a fine vintage!

Blackcurrants do make superb wine, a real taste of summer to open in midwinter!

The only real rule to follow is that everything is kept scrupulously clean…that’s all!

So, to today and the video I have uploaded from Bealtaine Cottage…

It’s all about how the plants are progressing…and they are doing very well indeed…

Enjoy watching…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqkWO6qHZv0&feature=g-upl

Posted in Art, Baking, Country Living, Frugal Living, Inspiration, sewing, Thrift, Wine

Simplicity, Frugality and Thrift…

Made today…

Frugality, simplicity and thrift…cutting down old curtains bought at a Boot Fair, to make new curtains for this window.

Hung on curtain wire…the cheapest and most effective way to hang light curtains.

And cafe curtains on the kitchen windows… These curtains are easy and fast to make, sewing in straight lines and no need for accessories of any kind!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Think twice before you throw away tins…they make wonderful pots for plants!

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Floral displays are easy to create from all kinds of cuttings.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Twisted willow wreathes require little or no skill to make and the materials are free and readily collected from the hedgerows.

Candle at Bealtaine Cottage
Candles for Midwinter, made over recent days, using candle scraps collected up over the course of the year.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

A string of hearts made from scrap materials…one of those curtain pattern sample books that shops find difficult to dispose of!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Home made biscuits to give as gifts, always treasured as they are unique and and can be wrapped in such beautiful ways!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Tiny pots of home made jam…

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Wrapped with home made scones, these make wonderful gifts!

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Or home made jellies with herbs added!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Be really adventurous and make fruit wine…

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Once in the demijohn, they make themselves!

today

The kindest and cheapest way to bleach your tea cloths…leave them out in the sun!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture home made soup

Make a big pot of soup, fill some Kilner jars with it and store in the fridge…it will keep for several days and is better than buying factory made stuff in plastic pots!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Happy making and baking…!

 

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Posted in celebrations, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Personal, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ Climbing Trees and drinking home-made wine…

Strange Clouds, Cold Evening and Dry Well!

Dinner guests, dry well and crazily cold…but a picnic was the best option given the circumstances…so Lough Key forest Park beckoned and off I went armed with the makings of a jolly good time…yep, you’ve guessed right…home made wine and a wide selection!

Cold, but really dry! And some magnificent trees!

Some of the party decided to try out the ZIPWIRE experience at Lough Key…and here’s Kate up a tree! A fantastic experience!

And Dominic waiting to career off down the wire!

TombRaider style descent…

So there you have it…a dry well and unflushable toilet is not the end of the world after all…we scale to higher heights…mmm, okay, I’ve had too much Strawberry vino de Bealtaine!

Posted in Abundance, Family, Food, Gaia, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Politics, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine

The Promise of Pumpkins, and Mum at 81…Permaculture on Friday

Surrounded by pots of everything, all grown from seeds, the Pumpkin…and don’t ask me what kind it is until it produces fruit…is sporting a big, fab., yellow flower! It’s happy! I’m happy!

Talking of happy, I was in Omagh on Wedneday last to help Mum celebrate her 81st birthday…what a girl! She manages to outstyle me, out-talk me and usually outsmart me as well! Not looking bad for a woman who told the doctors to back off over her diagnosis and operation for breast cancer late last year! “No more drugs or treatment, I ready for living my life not sitting in waiting rooms,” she quipped just before Christmas…yep, you can’t keep a good woman down! …And, talking of Alice Taylor, isn’t she a woman for our times? On board the Gaza Flotilla…more power to you Alice!

Continuing to harvest a magnificent crop of blackcurrants…Permaculture sown and grown…the BEST!

More wine ready to be bottled and fined down and cleared without the use of animal products, as used in the commercial wines! Still, if you want to eat and drink the finest than it’s always best to make it yourself!