Food in the Midwinter Garden

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It’s surprising just how much food is growing in the gardens of Bealtaine at this time of year, the time of scarcity…but far from it!

dsc05673dsc05672dsc05671There’s the makings of a decent salad, with Fennel, Japanese salads like Mizuna and others as well as a lovely edible garnish in the form of Pansy flowers.

dsc05670dsc05675In other parts of the gardens, where little micro-climates exist in the form of stones and shed walls, there’s Flat-leaf Parsley and Thyme.

I used Thyme in roasted potatoes yesterday…delicious!

dsc05664Purple Sprouting Broccoli is giving lots of florets…delicious raw or cooked and full of goodness! dsc05663Then there’s Leeks…all grown from saved seed and the stronger for it!

dsc05662Elsewhere in the gardens I found stands of Kale…shred this in salads and roast as chip dips!

dsc05669dsc05668Here and there in the flower beds and in pots…lots of Sage and Rosemary…great herbs to add taste to root vegetables at this time of year!

dsc05666Bay is growing in abundance, quite acclimatised to the Irish climate.

dsc05674Golden Oregano continues to thrive past Midwinter.

All of this is growing outdoors, not in the tunnel and these pics were snapped today, 26th of December!

dsc05651Even the Rhubarb is beginning to produce!

dsc05642There’s lots of other food in the garden…for birds and small mammals, in the form of berries.

Seeds are available from the link below…

 

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

To join the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

Excavating the Past…

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Easy to grow salads, almost ready to eat from the box!

This mixture of seeds, mostly saved seeds, so the cost is minimal, has taken about 3 weeks to germinate and grow, outdoors.

Coriander, Parsley, Lettuce, Spinach, Leeks, fennel and more, all jostle together.

These will be cut and cut again for several harvests.

Some of the bigger, stronger seedlings will be pricked out and planted on.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (23)I want to thank all of you who commented and liked on yesterday’s blog…this has really energized me!

Living on one’s own can be quiet at times and it was so great to get such lively and uplifting feedback…bless you all XXX

bealtainecottage.com permacultureI love to forage and dig about at old dump sites, many of which can be found around old Irish cottages.

Nothing was ever thrown, but rather placed in the ditch or bank, so when people like myself excavate decades later, much of what we find remains intact.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (2)This is a selection of old bottles dug up and cleaned.

Some of them are really beautiful, don’t you think?  

Among other things, the practice of excavating old sites is directly linked to antique bottle collecting and glass-making. 

This hobby is so very interesting as it allows a picture of the past to be slowly unraveled and a new tapestry created of past lives.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (24)As I write there is a light spray of rain in the air…it is barely falling!

The ground has been dry and water levels in wells have  dropped in recent weeks.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (4)A week of rain would be very welcome.

The  rain-water barrels have served me well, but are now empty.

Close planting has helped preserved the moisture in all of the beds.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (3)The dry weather has also been great for seed collection.

I have hung Mizuna and Purple Sprouting Broccoli in the barn to dry off.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (7)This Parsley seed will be ready to hang very soon.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (5)Hover-flies buzz endlessly around the flower-heads of the Cotoneaster.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (6)Leycestria Formosa grows like a weed here in the west of Ireland and the flower-heads transform into chocolate-scented berries much loved by the Blackbirds.

In between, it makes a beautiful bush…

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (8)Summer prevails and may continue long into September, making a seamless merge into late Autumn.

Enjoy every day in some small way…Blessings X

Bealtaine Cottage has a brand new website…it’s called Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…TO READ MORE, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW WEBSITE. SEE:

https://bealtainecottage.com/2015/04/01/an-invitation/

To access the site once donation is confirmed…

https://bealtainecottage.wordpress.com/

Bealtaine Cottage and Permaculture Gardens Photo Album 2012…February!

Looking back at the year…February photographsBealtaine Cottage Feb 12 005

February was mild and the Daffodils in the gardens of Bealtaine came up without damage

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 12 004

Ribes bushes throughout the gardens filled the air with a heady scent, enticing the Bees out from hibernation.

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Mizuna flourished in the tunnel, providing a green salad for the table throughout the winter months.

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Missy showed her first signs of being unwell and began a course of steroid treatment.

We thought we would loose her, but her spirit stayed strong.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 018

Weaving baskets from willow began in earnest at Bealtaine Cottage, putting newly acquired skills into practice.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 022

The water barrels kept filling and filling as the rain poured from the skies…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 034

We had sunny days too…all the more appreciated for the previous rain!

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Thornhill

We went out walking and found old ruins from past lives, now stark and dramatic against the bright, February sky of 2012.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Permaculture Bog Garden

The greening of the Bog Garden started in mist and frost.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012

The heavily misted mornings were a beauty all of their own.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb Morning 2012

And the early sun of 2012 crept into the cottage…

Sustainable Food: Easy Grow Vegetables and Fruit

Some vegetables and fruit are so very easy to grow it seems ridiculous not to do so!

1. Chard. Simple to start from seed. Full of vitamins and minerals. Cut and come again…it just keeps giving!

This Ruby Chard has grown in the tunnel and given successive crops since last summer!

2. Parsley. In this case, curly parsley, but in fact any variety is great to grow, providing endless supplies of vitamin C and Iron for a healthy diet, as well as being simple to grow.

Parsley will grow for 2 years easily before it dies back!

Another great Chard is this beautiful yellow variety, bringing colour and taste to the table!

3. Purple-sprouting Broccoli.

These pics were snapped today in the tunnel, so you can see how far advanced this great vegetable is…ready to harvest in January.

The joy of these vegetables and herbs I have here is that they have all self-seeded, in true permaculture fashion!

Again, one of the benefits of cold-composting, allowing seeds to survive and continue on their merry way!

4. Mizuna. The great little winter salad crop…cut and come again!

These are just some of the crops in the tunnel today.

Bealtaine Cottage Apple tree

Apple, if you have space for a tree, are very easy to grow…what would life be like without the Apple Pie?

Bealtaine Cottage Pumpkins

Pumpkins in a sunny spot will provide you with easy to store and save fruit.

Bealtaine Cottage rhubarb

Rhubarb is another plant that just keeps giving and all one has to do is to manure it well once a year!

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants

I grow masses of Blackcurrants here at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardens and they are incredibly easy.

permaculture at Bealtaine  cottage

Part of the Bealtaine Cottage ethos is to harvest and save seed.

All seed at Bealtaine Cottage is open-pollinated, mostly by Bees.

This is offered for sale at a minimal cost…2 Euro per pack which includes P&P to ANYWHERE in the world!

This is a link to the site.

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

For subscribers to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, I will be posting a blog today that includes the easiest ever recipe for Brown Soda Health Bread…and I mean, the easiest!

Subscribing to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows me a small income…enough to pay the mortgage and a little more to live on…bless you…here’s a link…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/