Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Books, Cats, Country Living, Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Edible Permaculture Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

It is early evening as the clock shows and the day has been long.

I was up and working by 6am, so this evening will be early to bed!

Summer is like that here in the west of Ireland.

Much work is finished by early afternoon, so the evening is a time for gentle reflection on a working day.

One of the jobs I managed to get done today was that of polishing the stove in the sitting room.

It’s a long, messy job, but gives the stove such a mighty face-lift that it’s worth it!

Oh…is that one of the cloths on the mantle-piece…?

I walked out into the garden at the back of Bealtaine and was surrounded by Valerian, which is heavy with flower and as long as the seed-heads are picked, will stay in flower until September.

And as I turned around from the Valerian, there was Missy, sitting regally on one of the benches under the Cotoneaster, enjoying the sun as only cats seem able to do, despite their fur coats!

Most of the lettuce in the first vegetable bed is ready for eating and there’s some Chard growing alongside it, ready to occupy the empty space…

Rosa Rugosa in flower behind one of the sheds…Such a vivid Cerise Pink!

An abundance of young apples on the trees in the orchard…hard to believe that this was planted 6 years ago and has fruited every year!

And several hundred pounds of Blackcurrants almost ready for harvesting!

More visitors to the Permaculture Smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage tomorrow.

There are so many people now into growing food and living sustainably.

Permaculture is the ideal way to do both in Ireland, as they are linked into a living circle.

A recent visitor brought me some interesting books and C.D.’s so I shall curl up into a cosy bed to read and listen, earlier than usual!

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Posted in Abundance, Animals, Cats, Country Living, Ecology, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized

Beds of Abundance in a Permaculture Garden

Missy manages to climb to the top of the barn and nestle herself into the barley straw…high enough to keep a watchful eye on all!

This is one girl who takes no prisoners…just look at that expression!

A good sprinkling of lettuce seeds and within a few weeks there is more than enough to harvest for weeks to come.

Most people can manage to be self-sufficient in salad for at least half the year!

This is a potager style bed, with Lavender and Thyme nearby.

There are several varieties of lettuce here, in amongst the Nasturtium and Borage.

Sedum and Poppies continue to push their way up through the compost!

Moving compost from last year’s heap over to the new raised vegetable bed today.

A bed of abundance outside the tunnel today.

And here’s the new raised vegetable bed…coming along…

Posted in Abundance, Cats, Country Living, Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Waiting for the Storm…

 The weather is about to break…we are expecting thunder storms!

The earth is dry and the well is low.

Thunderstorms and rain, lots of rain, will be very welcome indeed!

It’s eight years since I laid this floor, bit by broken bit and I decided to give it a facelift of sorts, by simply colouring in the cement using some green masonry paint, sponged on and then wiped off the tiles…it has made the floor look good and the cost was zero!

The garden is sheer abundance at the moment!

Everything is growing and flourishing.

The vegetable bed I started on Sunday, is now extended even further and planted up as I go.

I can pop out with a torch and remove slugs…easily.

Having vegetable beds near the cottage, makes taking care of these precious plants easy!

This is how permaculture works…easy!

The Willow hoops are working great, keeping the cats away…they scowl as they pass!

Planting lettuce, which grow fast and have a short time in the bed, between plants like cabbage and cauliflower, makes perfect sense, helping to keep the weeds down.

I will whitewash the stones when the bed is completed.

The Valerian has grown up around this old bicycle, affording it an arty look…sometimes the natural evolution of a piece of junk takes on a beauty all of it’s own!

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 Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Cottage, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, PermaGoddess, Smallholding, Uncategorized

And then the rain came…Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Smallholding

And the lettuce in the hanging baskets perked up…

And the strawberries held a promise of fat, juicy, red ripeness for midsummer and maybe before…

And the roses on the veranda drank deeply and opened…

And the logs got wet!

 Oh, Happy Day!

Posted in Abundance, Current Affairs, Family, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized

How Permaculture Helps Us Re-Connect…Notes from a Cottage in Ireland

The beautiful Kilronan Mountain…

Rubbish dumped over a bridge into the Mountain Stream Bed below…How we perceive the world around us depends largely on how we connect with it, if at all. Most dog owners will know this to be true, because an otherwise dull morning can be transformed by simply walking the dog…getting OUT into the natural world. Walking and connecting with Nature is tremendously uplifting and inspiring…the Romantic Poets and Artists did a lot of walking in Nature and we have their legacy of work to prove that uplifting feeling.

 Walking out to the tunnel in the morning is enough to make the heart happy!As I write this I am listening to the radio and am shocked to hear that Ireland has the 2nd highest alcohol consumption per capita, (that means per person), in the world, spending on average 2000euros per person.

 Drinking large amounts of alcohol depresses the body, causing bio rhythmns to move chaotically, eventually causing depression. The suicide rate here in Ireland is also fairly high with many deaths from suicide not being reported as such. Playstation users in Ireland rank amoung the highest users in the world. There are many signs that the disconnect from the land is causing unhappiness. Litter is a big problem here also. How we treat the land can be a reflection of how we view ourselves…we are connected but are more often than not in denial about this.

 Re-connecting with Gaia is the best one single action to make/take for personal health and wellbeing…

The north facing bank which protects the cottage  from the worst of the weather is filling out as the trees and shrubs come into flower and leaf. The variety of planting gives all year round colour.Lettuce and Oregano growing together in a home made planter box. This sits on the veranda and so is close by for quick and easy salads…usually an add-on thought at any meal, so I don’t have to go far!Conditions have been exactly right over the past nine months or so for the germination of Blackcurrant seeds and these tiny Blackcurrant seedlings are all over the gardens here at Bealtaine.

Posted in Ecology, Food, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture

Growing Off the Ground ~ Permaculture Ways at Bealtaine, West Ireland

The birds are nesting again in this little bird box. They come and go with little fear of people walking close-by.Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding has been free from all chemicals for seven years next month. May, or Bealtaine in Irish, will be the seventh anniversary for this permaculture paradise. This Saturday will be the last time to visit, for a while… Bealtaine will be open for all to come and see a permaculture smallholding in real time. Visitors are welcome from 10am until around 6pm. Buds are continuing to develop on the climbing Rose. Lettuce and strawberries continue to grow well in the hanging baskets, high above the ground in their slug-free zone!

Posted in Eco-Living, Ecology, Frugal Living, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

The Bed, The Sofa and The 5 Euro Throw…Recycling Permaculture in Ireland

The need for a decent bed has been uppermost in my thoughts recently…I had made a bed using pallets, but kept banging my feet on the wood, tripping and, the worst thing of all…could not shove boxes of old shoes etc., under the bed. So, I had a long hard think about the problem and came up with two possible solutions…Buy a new bed, a mere 300 euros, yes, okay, beam me up spotty! Or, dismantle the old sofa bed and use the bed part with a mattress on the top…so guess which one I went with then?

You guessed right…now I’m chopping up the remains of the sofa for the stove, composting the material and storing the foam for future cushions…cost, ahem, sorry multinationals…zero!

Every Sunday I visit the second-hand market, always on the lookout for bargains and objet d’art. Last Sunday was a lovely day and there were plenty of stalls selling lots of interesting items…and I bought this for 5euros! Handknitted and warm and colourful and beautiful, the perfect throw for another old sofa! Rather gorgeous, don’t you think?

Strawberry flowers are opening up in the tunnel today.

And the strawberry plants in the hanging baskets on the veranda are not far behind! I have planted up lots more baskets and have them hanging in the tunnel, this time with lettuce and lots of other edibles, including herbs.

The tunnel has certainly come to life over recent weeks. I shall move the baskets to the veranda once they are established.