Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Food, Growing Food, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wine

Permaculture Harvests in Ireland

Plum Harvest

Plums from the one of the Plum Trees here on the land. 

Plums are easy to grow in Ireland as they are related to the Blackthorn tree, the one that fruits Sloes.

Rowan berries, collected from trees near my local town, Carrick. Foraging can be a very fruitful and worthwhile undertaking in the country, bringing in a bountiful harvest!

mushrooms and rosehips 002

Hips from the Rosa Rugosa growing at Bealtaine Cottage…these are brimming with Vitamin C and make a delicious syrup, as well as magnificent wine, which has the body of a good Sherry!

Home-made wines are very easy to make…simply observing the “clean” rule. Mind you, if you do have a slip-up, the wine can be turned into a delicious fruit vinegar…which makes lovely and unusual presents at Christmas!

Apple jellies and Rowan jellies…delightful garden produce!

The Apple harvest at Bealtaine has been consistently good, producing more apples than what I can use!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture pumpkins

Pumpkins and Tomatoes grow well in the tunnel. Pumpkins will store for 6 months and more in a cool pantry, as happens here.

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The so-called “poor,” land produces hundreds of pounds of Blackcurrants…which I turn into jams, chutney, wine and delicious cordial.

These are just some of the wonderful foods that can be grown on poor land, on a north-facing slope, in the west of Ireland, using Permaculture! 

Unlike so many of the books that tell you what can and cannot be grown, I simply plant it and see…and have yet to be disappointed!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Food, Growing Food, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Sligo, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Not enough food in Ireland…

Tea after Enniskillen and a shopping expedition for another camera.

Recycled of course!

A great book shop up there also and by the looks of the cars in the car park, most of the population of North Roscommon and Leitrim were shopping there too!

What a relief! It rained yesterday and rained really heavily overnight. All the water butts are spilling over and the tunnel has had an early morning drink…6am! I love the way that the rainwater is held in jewel-like drops on the Ladys Mantle!

A tiny Oak seedling being nurtured in the tunnel. This will be ready to plant out next year. It will be potted on once more before then.

Pumpkins continue to set in the tunnel and around the garden.

These have been late this year, but hopefully there will be an Indian summer and easy ripening.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture PumpkinsPumpkins I grew last year stored really well and I was able to use them right up until just recently!

Another bumper harvest at Bealtaine Cottage, Ballyfermoyle!

Successive harvests this year have been excellent!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture RhubarbEarlier there was a great crop of Blackcurrants and before that, Rhubarb, as well as the other crops in between.

It’s a shame that so very few people in North West Ireland bother to grow food.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture hensMuch of the complaint is that the land is not good enough for that purpose…well, it would appear to be far from that, don’t you think?

It is a fact that if the supermarkets closed their doors tomorrow, people living in the countryside in Ireland, would be very hungry indeed, so little food is grown here!

eggs and pumpkins at bealtaine CottageEggs, jams, chutneys, potatoes, fruit, vegetables and all other home grown and home made produce has given way to poor quality supermarket food.

Country gardens in this area and beyond consist mainly of suburban type lawns, prolific use of weed-killer and a few chosen plants.

This is normally put into place, at huge expense, by the local garden centre.

November 2011 312The disconnect with the land is a sad reflection of today’s society.