Make It, Mend It.

As the Winter nights draw in, we have a sense of being confined to home. This is the time when many people feel there is little to do, often resorting to whiling away the evenings doing nothing much…and I speak from personal experience more’s the shame!

The reality is actually quite different from that which we first encounter, for this is not time we have to pass, but down time allowing us to catch up, prepare for the lighter days ahead and make plans.

There lies ahead of us a mere 5-6 weeks to that most busiest of holiday seasons, Yule…Christmas.

This is the perfect time to give home-made gifts…especially edibles!

I say especially edibles because much of what passes as Christmas food in the shops is really quite mediocre.

For real taste and great packaging, nothing beats home-made!

Jam, wine, knits, biscuits, bakes…the possibilities are endless!

And the other half of this title?

Mend it…the economy of home management. Sewing, knitting, darning, painting, upcycling…a good lamp to work by and work away!

Of course, all this is about skills, and no better time to learn a new skill than by joining an evening class and meeting like-minded people.

Come to think of it…there really is very little time over the course of one winter to get half of it all done!

If you’re short of ideas on sending gifts abroad, then have a peek on the Bealtaine Cottage Seed site.

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

I’m happy to act as Mother Christmas and despatch beautifully wrapped seeds, with a card including your message, to deserving recipients all over the world…

Preparing for the Collapse.

Spinning wheel and craft studio at Bealtaine Cottage Over recent months it has become more and more apparent that there is a massive problem rolling towards us in the financial markets.

Angel and Field Maple at Bealtaine CottageMaking money without production has been the mainstay of the economic markets.

Bealtaine Cottage February 2013The men in suits deal in commodities, pension plans, mortgages and hedge funds.

The standing stone at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013Money that is put into savings and pension plans is being scooped up and processed out of the country, to be invested in other, slave-labour nations of corruption and despotism.

The lower pond in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage in February 2013That money should be invested in our own economies, but, asking for integrity and honesty from the bankers and brokers is a useless and pointless exercise.

The Ash tree walk in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013So, it behoves us all to think and act in a prompt and practical way to avoid, as best we can, being a hapless victim in all of this.

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine CottageMy advice is simple and easy to apply.

1.Grow food. Edible gardens, allotments, containers, patios and window ledges…great fun too!

2.Build a pantry and stock it well. This will cut down on multiple visits to the supermarket.

3.Learn as many practical skills and crafts as you can. Knitting, sewing, carpentry…everything is treasured that is hand made.

4.De-clutter your home. Let the energy flow freely around your living space.

5.Teach yourself to cook and bake. This is a real chance to improve your health and become powered up!

6.Collect together a library of knowledge and interest. The internet may never be as reliable as a solid book of information.

7.Invest in the most comfortable bed you can afford. You do, after all, spend one third of your precious life in bed!

8.Make your home cosy and draught-free. Your home is your haven, your sanctuary, your blessed space…be comfortable and warm in it.

9.Bulk-buy local when available. This will enable you to turn food gluts into storable feasts.

10.Invest in a chest freezer and put it in your new pantry…don’t forget, even a spare room will double as a pantry, especially a north facing one.

bealtaine Cottage in February 2013*****************************

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Eight Ways To Live a Better Life

This is not a check-list.

It is not about ways to recycle or buy greener energy.

There is enough advice out there for you to check out.

Lists are good for remembering things in a hurry and ensuring everything is done, completed, bought…

This is simpler and permanent.

It is what I have learned about living as lightly as possible on this beautiful Earth.

These small bits of advice are not in any particular order, but as I think of them and how they have made a difference to my life…


*** Re-claim and nurture knowledge.

Talk with older, wiser people.

Keep a notebook of knowledge.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 013

I have tapes I recorded of my grandmother talking to me about her life and feelings on so many different and intriguing things.

I talked lots with my mother,  pictured above at Bealtaine Cottage.

Mum learned from me too…we exchanged ideas a lot.

Staying at Bealtaine enabled Mum to develop her love for Earth too.

***Develop a close and binding relationship with Mother Earth, through a closer contact with Nature.

www.bealtaine cottage.com

We are of the Earth and we will return to the Earth and are as much a part of the cycle of life as the seasons.

***Turn off the television, or even get rid of it, and nurture silence, peace, communicating, reading, listening…for all these will allow YOU to live instead of living life through a screen.


***Sow and plant food, flowers, trees…whatever your space allows and if space is limited, rent an allotment.

If allotments are in short supply or non-existent, pester your local council to provide them!

***Re-learn to love food!

Cooking, baking, tasting, canning, making wine and cordials, sharing…food is the one part of living everyone shares.

It is a great common denominator.

Food brings people together…it certainly used to!

Home made wine in demijohnsBealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Banish TV dinners!

Decorate your dining table, no matter how small, with a vase of seasonal greenery.

Use table mats and fine crockery for the beautiful food you make.

Xmas eve Dec 11 001

Light a candle on your table…celebrate the fruits of the Earth and reject the poisonous, tasteless garbage of the corporation!

***Practice kindness.

Kindness towards others and oneself.

I love the concept of “Random Acts of Kindness.”

***Our grandparents used their acquired skills to make their living environments easier and more beautiful…sewing, carpentry, kitting, painting…whatever you are good at, keep at it and teach others!

I have recently learnt to make willow baskets and will be able to pass this skill on.

***De-clutter your life!

This is a mantra I say to myself.

Less really is more.

************************************

Country Living and Gingham Curtains

New curtains, made from cotton gingham and hung on the newly cleaned windows, all ready for the festive season and visitors arriving on Christmas Eve…

There is a plethora of fabrics available to use in sewing, but many of them are produced as by-products of the petro-chemical industry and carry with them many pollutants infused into the fabric itself.

These pollutants then become infused into the very atmosphere of the home and part of the air we breathe…so, I choose natural fabrics for my sewing and decorating efforts.

Midwinter light, candles and greenery collected from Nature and placed on window sills as a reminder that life is eternal…

There is a soft beauty in the midst of winter. A quiet time of contemplation and renewal, re-charging the life force…

Paper stars, a simple form of decoration…
I read that the Beckhams had spent $35,000 on a tree and decorations for their home this month. Now, I bet that the Beckham children would have enjoyed making decorations, collecting their own tree and decorating it for themselves!

During the great sort out of the cottage recently, I came upon an unfinished jumper that started life as a cardigan…a natural evolution when you think about it!

The logs are burning well in the stove in the kitchen, warming the cottage, water, radiators, boiling the kettle, cooking and baking!

Sustainable Living and the Mystical Poets

May 2011 permaculture 018Social unrest is being driven by corporate greed, and the resulting societal chaos compounded by unemployment, mental trauma, & poverty!

 Energy and food, the two most basic
commodities of life on this Earth, are increasing in value as demand for both escalates.
May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 004This should alert everyone to the need
to prepare both individually and
collectively for the times ahead by becoming more self reliant.
May 2011 Bealtaine 002In this respect, Permaculture and the Transition Towns Movement have been at the forefront of thinking and policy development.
At Bealtaine Cottage the focus is on
creating an infrastructure for a lifestyle that is as practical and
self reliant as possible.

In doing this, one of the results is that it leaves a small ecological footprint. 

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 013Growing lots of  food and trees for energy, as well as crafting in many different skill areas, such as spinning, knitting, sewing, making clothes, soaps, creams…all go some way towards this end.

Home made country wine book,Bealtaine Cottage permaculture


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.  ~E.F. Schumacher 
www.bealtainecottage.comSustainable living attempts to reduce use of the Earth’s natural resources. 
www.bealtainecottage.comIn conducting one’s life in ways that are consistent with sustainability, and respectful of a symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles, you will find that the actual financial cost decreases!  
www.bealtainecottage.comTherefore, sustainable living is a continual action against the vagaries of the whole system…a system that is causing such problems for so many!
www.bealtainecottage.comIn choosing to live this way, you will be voting with every penny you spend…against the corporate greed that has caused so many environmental and humanitarian problems!

recycling tins at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars…
and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is
joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are
not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to
become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers –
for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  ~Osho

I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have
planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the
healing shadow of the woods.  Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and
pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.  ~Wendell Berry

Poetry and Nature – An Introduction To The Mystical Poets

  http://youtu.be/vjxZ-yD-AMg

 

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are almost 700 blogs in the archives on this site.


Permaculture Cottage ~ Knitting and Reading

The weather has forced me indoors a lot recently, encouraging a hive of activity that includes knitting and sorting cupboards and reading… I’ve just completed this scarf for someone who wanted me to knit for her in these colours and in natural wool. So hard to get a scarf knit in natural 100% wool these days apparently. So there it is, completed and ready for collection.

I enjoyed the task so much, I decided to use all the leftover wool and knit one for myself…

This is a great book I’m enjoying reading at present…picked up in a charity shop for 50cents. it’s amazing just how much info I’ve gleaned from this so far and Im only on the second chapter!

Finished reading this book a few days ago and again, so much info and fascinating facts that have been forgotten and yet are so useful for us today…simple things like the fact that a cobweb, placed over a cut, will stem the bleeding and help to heal the wound! Soldiers going into battle hundreds of years ago carried a tiny box with cobwebs inside to treat deep cuts inflicted by the sword!

As the weather has blown a gale outside, I’ve been in the kitchen making chutney and curries…freezing the curries for ready meals later on. Imagine having to light the stove in July, but the weather has really been that bad!

Bad weather means I get to sit and drink tea and read…so there are advantages to be had from the wettest day!

I picked these flowers from the garden last week and as you can see, the display includes Dill. Over recent days the scent of the Dill has changed from a liquorice smell to a very sweet coconut scent and it is gorgeous!