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Happy to announce that the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel has not died and gone to Heaven…for Heaven is a place on Earth! The first video of 2016…enjoy…and don’t forget to leave a comment, like, or even SHARE!
Of all the little things we happen upon in our daily lives… those whose hearts we touch and all who touch our hearts. It is indeed, all the little things, which really matter!
Lots to do indoors and sorting through boxes of “things,” I was happy to find these lovely Yuletide cards.
Doesn’t she look gorgeous in the snow?
As I am receiving orders for the Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book, I thought that I would add these lovely cards, as a way for me to send the book to someone you love, with a card inscribed with your message.
Missy continues to make a steady recovery, though has refined her taste-buds to a rather expensive prescription cat food, available only from Suzy the Vet, in Boyle.
When I refer to Missy as a “high maintenance gal!” …I’m not kidding!
Please ignore the clothes drying all over the stove today…it is rather wet outdoors!
Makes it really “Shabby Chic” style!
Jack loves travelling in the car and tries to snap every other vehicle he sees on the road!
Which is why he can only ever be walked on a lead!
Dodging in and out, to collect up the logs, my friend Marian delivered to me yesterday, I still managed to get wet!
I’m stacking them under the shelter of the veranda by the lodge.
As you can see, the potager beds continue in their abundance, producing herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Tree coppicing continues along the north bank, in front of the cottage, opening up the view just a little, as well as supplying the stove with kindling and small logs.
The fact is, no matter what the weather is like, it is simply wonderful to be outdoors in the gardens, working here and there!
Last night the rain fell hard, in fact it rained in a thunderous fashion for around four hours.
Somewhere in the midst of the downpour I went to sleep, safe in the knowledge that with the heavy rain came the assurance of a snow free morning…I was wrong!
How this happened is weird to say the least, but then the weather systems across the world have descended into chaos…nothing is as it used to be!
She is making protesting meows each time I open the back door, as though to say, “Shut the door, it’s too cold!”
Would you contemplate crossing her?
She bites those who attempt it!
Flo, on the other hand, takes her wilful self for as many walks as she decides to!
As always, I have lit a candle for those I pray for. It’s also a good way of being mindful of concerns and wishes.
I hope you’re warm and cosy wherever you are!
Bealtaine Cottage seen through the camera in 2012
Jack, January 2012
Beech and Bamboo January 2012
The girls on the veranda January 2012
The Mighty Ash tree against the stormy January sky of 2012
The full moon over Bealtaine Cottage in January 2012
First snow of 2012 settles on the permaculture gardens.
A well-mulched bed in the fruit gardens
Sorting and tying Willow in the shelter of the veranda, January 2012
The polytunnel in January 2012
Cutting back the willow in the forest fruit garden today, allowing the willows archways space to develop more.
The cut willow is shredded and spread around the fruit bushes as an autumn mulch.
This will compost down over the winter months and provide food for the soil which in turn will feed the bushes…cycle of life completed with a bountiful harvest nest summer.
I have cleared some of the potager beds today to make room for an autumn sowing of garlic and onion sets.
It makes good sense to plant out the garlic bulbs before the soil cools down…same for onion sets.
This is the sure way to grow good-size onions to harvest next year!
This is my favourite time of year to work outdoors.
It’s not too hot nor too cold…and the autumn scents are so evocative.
Meanwhile, indoors, Jack and Flo have spent the morning fighting over who gets the biggest dog basket…Flo has lost this time, so has decided to make Jack as uncomfortable as possible by sitting on his back!
Isn’t it amazing how little dogs can be so bossy?
The paths around the garden are so overgrown that some are no longer navigable.
The word “jungle,” springs to mind!
However, the sheer volume of prunings is adding enormous bulk to the compost heap, which is now the biggest ever!
I have grown some mighty pumpkins in the potager beds this year that have had only compost in them.
I think that the sheer biodiversity of the plants here at Bealtaine is the basis of some great compost!
Clearing the paths and cutting back is a lovely way to spend quiet time on the land…being outdoors on a fine autumn day is hard to beat!
The storm has raged all day.
Wind has tossed garden debris around and every so often the heavens opened casting a deluge of rain upon the cottage.
Thunder has brought Jack and Flo rushing to my side…
Yet, through all of this, Che Mousy has lazily surveyed the scene from the comfort of his executive chair.
Missy has slept the storm away in the tunnel.
I was over there earlier clearing out weeds and harvesting parsley and seeds and she followed me, making camp on the potting table.
In between the showers I have managed a bit more pruning in the upper gardens.
Yes, I know…balanced atop a step ladder in a storm is rather silly, but single-mindedness is an integral part of my nature and has been my driving spur always!
There is an abundance of Pumpkins coming into harvest at the moment, as you can see…this one is growing outside and appears more than happy in the mad Irish weather!
I placed an old log alongside it to create warmth and a suitable micro-climate for growing.
True to form, the weather brings sunshine too…well, this is the West of Ireland!
I even managed to drink my afternoon tea whilst walking through the gardens!
I lit the fire in the bedroom yesterday evening as there was a chill on the night air. This is a deceptive time of year, when the evenings can end up being much colder than during the winter!
It wasn’t long before Jack snook in and laid his head against the bed in a pleading sort of way… “can I just hang around and enjoy the fire too?”
Now, it is hard to resist this friendly mutt, even though he yawns and makes scary, and sometimes funny, noises!
I gave him a bath today, as the sun was shining and the air was warm, for I noticed he was a bit pongy as he warmed himself in front of the fire…
What a difference a bath makes!
I am in love with the green earth ~Charles Lamb
Living in the country is a never ending adventure in Nature…
I love writing about this life in the west of Ireland…
However, everyone who lives on this beautiful Earth has a deeply rooted connection with it’s spirit.
The spirit of Gaia!
The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase
these things with money.
And this is true for all!
Bringing in the harvest, bit by bit and cooking it, bottling it, freezing it, jamming and pickling it… And the thing is, there is a huge harvest in the hedgerows this year due to the brilliant Spring we had here in Ireland…so there’s food for all, just waiting…
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is
to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone
with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace
in all troubles. ~Anne Frank
This is a good time to divide and plant up house-plants…they make fantastic Christmas/Yuletide gifts and are imbued with all the love you have given them! What better gift?
Sunlight floods in…I love mornings like this!
The less clutter around the better life you find, especially in the simple things…at least that’s what I’ve found to be true!
Find peace and joy and contentment in the Natural World! Go out walking…
GROWING THE BEALTAINE PROJECT ONE UPLOAD AT A TIME…
Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.
Jack is my beautiful rescue dog…I usually introduce thus to strangers as a way of excusing his enthusiasm for life…jumping up to greet people!
Jack loves walking, so we go out at least twice a day along the laneway where I live, here at Ballyfermoyle.
I took these photos this morning for you all to see soem of what Jack and I see…
Recipe for Autumn Chutney…easy and you get to choose the fruit!
- 1.5kg apples, chopped up in small pieces
- 80g chopped dates
- 100g raisins
- 450g onions, fine chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 350g soft brown sugar
- 550mls malt vinegar
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- half tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients into a large pan over a gentle heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for one and a half hours. Stir a few times during cooking.
Pot immediately, but leave to mature for at least a week for the flavours to infuse.
I had some on bread whilst still hot and it’s yummy!
Jack has settled into Bealtaine very well and now runs around the cottage playing with anything he can steal…usually one of my socks, scarves or shoes…
Highly scented Buddleia, drooping under their own weight, hang down after the storms of recent days.
No butterflies as the weather has been so bad recently…hoping all that will change at the weekend when warmer days are promised!
Intense permaculture planting of Bamboo, Spirea, Horse Chestnut, Buddleia, Dogwood and Greengage, bullying and pushing weeds away from them…
The permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage have lots of rain and like to pretend to be a rainforest!
Hypericum, Sedge, Pine and Beech, with Michaelmas Daisies coming slowly into flower, rather too early I think!
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!
Drove to the ocean yesterday.
Rosses Point in Sligo on the west coast of Ireland.
It was beautiful.
Took Jack and he loved it too!
Jack approves of the sea and the sand…he got really excited!
And he even found friends on the sand…
Tonight is the Eve of Bealtaine, the eve of summer, SummerEve…
A jet in the evening sky heading into the west, probably to America.
The setting sun has illuminated the trail in the dusk.
Returning home…The lane-way at Bealtaine, now densely planted with trees and shrubs and other living things.
It is almost impossible to see the cottage!
Just returned from the Animal Rescue Centre in Leitrim with the latest addition to the family…Jack!
Never a replacement for The Tomster, but in need of a home and Bealtaine is just that! he’s wandering about the cottage at the moment and sussing everything out!
He is a little bit nervous at the moment as you can see, but I expect he will settle in quite rapidly. It’ll take time then for us to bond and become trusting of each other…time will out!
Harvesting Rhubarb yesterday evening, just as the moon was rising…this is some of the crop, now sliced and in bags in the freezer, waiting for the wine and jam making process. The problem with permaculture is just keeping up with the abundance…
This is a plant box I made several years ago from reclaimed timber and driftwood. Planted out with edibles it will be really useful on the veranda, growing within easy reach of the kitchen…especially when it’s raining!
Irusan the cat has gone home to allow Jack to settle in without being continually glowered at…Irusan is pretty good at making a dog feel very uncomfortable…except for those he likes!
It looks like I’m in for an eventful weekend!