Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens.
So few do, but if you choose to make a small donation, then Bless You!
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!
Walking around the land gives me an overall perspective of work to be carried out this coming winter.
This is an eight year old Birch tree, that was coppiced in year one, to produce multiple stems.
Trees are holding onto their leaves and flowers continue to bloom.
I was shopping in a supermarket in town the other day and noticed a sharp increase in the cost of food.
I really thought that the assistants had made genuine mistakes in the pricing tags on some of the shelves.
I knew this was coming and have in fact warned about it, but to see the jump in overall food costs is quite scary…it appears to be all of a sudden!
I am aware that the cost of seeds have doubled in some cases…that was the precursor to the food price jump!
Corn is up 92% and corn syrup is in a lot of foods!
The Times of India reports an overall food price rise of 157% between 2004 and 20013
Even the collection of this bundle of kindling saves vital cash…a bag of kindling at the shops costs on average 3-4 euros!
Just cleaning up the lane-way to the cottage will produce an excess of kindling and wood for the stove!
Last month The Daily Express UK newspaper reported that, “Rising food prices are causing stress for four in ten consumers, while a third say they are struggling to feed themselves or their family.”
According to “The Mirror,” newspaper, Sep., 2013:
“Food bills rising nearly FOUR times faster than wages, figures show.”
After all, in the depths of a cold, dark winter, what sustains us better than a warm home, hot, home-made soup and pots of preserves, chutney and pickles in the pantry.
Warmth and good food remains within our grasp if we plan for it now!
The austerity that is being enforced upon us all makes me very angry indeed…for I know how manufactured it all is!
As an act of rebellion against the banks, government and rotten corporations I have turned to the land, one of the last vestiges of freedom that we, as a people, have.
Creating food, from what is supplied in abundance from Nature, is as defined an act of rebellion, in these dark days, as can be found.
Food which will last long past the fruitfulness of summer and autumn…canning is a skill worth learning!
Stewed Rhubarb for crumbles, ice cream, yoghurt, pies and cakes!
Spending a little time yesterday canning some of the Rhubarb harvest has given me the impetus to save and store as much as possible this year.
Foraging will play a role in this Resistance too, ensuring that all walks will allow a little something to be added to the store.
The store includes all that will be of benefit, including fuel, as the hedgerows are littered with dead wood ideal for kindling.
The more food that can be produced for ourselves, the less money flows to the corporations…is this why the EU tried to ban us saving and sharing Heritage Seeds?
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 102 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
Over 535 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.
Thank you for supporting this blog
Over the last few months I have been gradually clearing the compost heaps…5 in total.
The ground under the heaps is in lovely condition, as you can imagine, so I decided to use this area to plant potatoes into tyres.
The chitted potatoes are pushed deep into the earth and the tyre place on top, then gradually filled with compost, from, you guessed right, the nearby heap.
It’s a bit like growing potatoes in the heap, but they’re much easier to find!
There’s quite a few chitted potatoes left, so I am doing the same thing in whatever spaces I can find!
Last year, many of my neighbours lost potatoes to the blight, but mine came through just fine.
I think this may be due to planting the potaoes irregularly…here and there, with no uniform rows, so blight does not get the chance to spread!
Crops in the tunnel are coming along well, with all the sunshine!
The stone edges hold the heat of the sun and release it at night…the perfect passive solar collectors.
As I walk in the gardens, there is the most tremendous hum of bees and insects…going in a mad frenzy around all the Ribes blossom!
As you can see from the pics, the weather today is marvellous! The temperature is 21c…!
Just a small section of the Ribes…this grow like a weed here and is a stunning bush, windbreak, source of kindling for the stove and, of course, restaurant for the bees!
Early summer! It’s hot in the gardens, so lunch will be served outside!
Permaculture gardens and growers shy away from bare earth.
The introduction of a layered system simply emulates Nature herself, allowing seed to spread and drift onto open land where pioneering species are allowed to take hold.
There is a plant for every place, even here on the limestone gravel…Valerian nestles into whatever spot a seed lands upon.
In this way, this beautiful flowering plant has made the gravel driveway of Bealtaine Cottage it’s home…
Buddleia is another pioneering plant that will nestle into stony and inhospitable places.
Have you ever seen this flowering shrub, beloved of Butterflies, growing out from old buildings, between the cracks in the mortar?
From the introduction of two shrubs, the natural cultivation of hundreds has followed on at Bealtaine Cottage.
Harvesting is simple…pull the seedling out from the gravel path and pot on, ready to replant the following year in it’s new home.
An example of the Valerian along the west wall on the gable end of Bealtaine Cottage.
When flowers appear to grow effortlessly, like weeds, you know they have found their perfect home…let them be!
Wild Orchids here, growing on a land that is allowed to breath free from chemicals…Nature knows best!
Michaelmas Daisies…make great ground-cover under trees and grows in almost any conditions from my experience here.
This is growing under a pine tree in the Bog Garden on the lower slopes of Bealtaine Cottage.
Spiraea, a most beautiful summer flowering bush.
Easy to grow…all here have been started as slips simply pushed into the soil.
Hard pruning will give you lots of kindling for the stove as well as bulk for the all-important compost heap!
Columbine, or Aquilegia, another hardy self-seeder here at the cottage.
This made itself at home in the early days of establishing permaculture at Bealtaine and has thrived and spread ever since!
This purple Columbine comes up each year at the front of the cottage.
Permaculture flowers are easy to grow and take good care of themselves!
There are hundreds of photographs showing the flowers that grow here…feel free to look up the summer calender of last year…just click on Calender and hover the mouse over dates for that month, then click to go in…
If you enjoy the free content of this blog, please consider making a donation using the button below. My PayPal account can receive your donations and will convert from your local currency, and you don’t need a PayPal account to make a donation. Thank you!
Thank you for supporting this blog