Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Frugal Living, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized, Winter

Money…Lots and Lots of Money!

midwinter cottage 013The New Year party dust has settled.

People have returned to work and credit card bills are dropping on doormats all over the  world.

The reality of living has dawned, after a long party season, where many have struggled to just buy necessities.

midwinter cottage 006Recent figures released have stated that the rich have got richer and the poor poorer, with the severest erosion of the middle classes ever witnessed.

Profits announced by corporations defy any understanding of mathematics.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011I read the other day, that Bill Gates earns more profit on his investments, than himself and Melinda can insert into their foundation.

Bill has not actually worked in 14 years.

All this as many workers, already working overtime,  are having to apply for welfare and charity to keep their families out of extreme penury.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004I do not understand this form of economics and am not ashamed to say so…I really do not understand!

Here at Bealtaine I have lit the stove, on a grey, wet and windy day in early January.

As the fire roared up under a spitting kettle, my thoughts turned to those who rely solely on fossil fuel or electricity for warmth.

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Escalating costs for fuel is now prohibiting many from keeping a warm home.

Governments have failed, to put in place any substantial remedial action, that may help alleviate the burden of fuel costs.

There have been small measures, like attic insulation offered to those on minimum income…little indeed as the energy costs spiral.

www.bealtainecottage.com 022The cost of wind-generated energy must be very small indeed, compared to say, Nuclear.

I say this because I witness the one man in a white van, who services the Wind Turbines on the mountain opposite Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 030He attends to these as and when they need attention…not on a daily basis, by any means.

I imagine  the maintenance costs, say, compared to power stations, are very minimal!

So where does the escalating costs of that electricity, generated by those turbines, actually go?

www.bealtainecottage.com 004There appears to be a lot of money in the world, with but a few holding the purse-strings…and that makes no sense at all!

We are surrounded by solutions to the most grievous and pressing poverty.

We are surrounded by wealth, held tightly by the few.

Posted in Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Gardening, Growing Food, hens, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Eggs For Swap and other interesting ideas!

Despite the worst of the weather over the past two months, the raised beds planted out about eight weeks ago are producing abundantly!

Continual rain has not deterred production.

Even the grey skies have not stopped or slowed down growth…could this be anything to do with the stones used in constructing the beds and the white gravel which reflects whatever light there may be?

It certainly is a most unusual micro-climate that has been made here in the west of Ireland.

The beds themselves sit atop gravel, so are really well-drained.

They are lined along the bottom with sheep’s wool, which deters slugs and feeds the plants.

The area is well sheltered and south facing.

No harsh winds manage to invade this micro-climate area as the surrounding trees and bushes offer maximum protection.

Today’s video takes you around what is growing in the two beds.

You can click on the link at the bottom of this blog to access the video on YouTube!

I have plans to build another raised bed in this same area very soon…perhaps this week.

On another note entirely, I went along to the Boot-Sale in Carrick this morning and bought a fine addition to the kitchen, as you can see above, for a mere 20 euros!

Recycling at it’s best!

I am planning to get some hens this week and my dear friends Anne and Simon have offered me a fine cockerel to chaperone the girls.

I am making a sign to hang at the end of the lane…it will read, “Eggs For Swap” as swapping is much more beneficial than money!

I’m thinking, perhaps a bag of logs for some deliciously fresh eggs…or whatever is offered within reason…anyway, it should be much more fun than boring old money!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmg9_FJspwE

Posted in biodiversity, Climate, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Life, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

A Few Minutes of Truth…are you ready for this?

Rio+20.

The truth is more terrible than we could have imagined.

The truth hurts.

The truth will set us free.

Yes, that is true…for it will set us free, but only after a terrifying journey headlong into the abyss.

That is what I encountered after listening to Dr Vandana Shiva say a few poignant and awfully truthful words outside of the Rio+20 Summit.

I am not going to paraphrase any of what this mighty woman had to say.

It has touched me deeply and I am still in shock.

Take the few minutes to listen to her.

Please.

Let me know what you think?

I feel upset and even terrified.

It is the truth, but so very hard to come to terms with!

Click on the link below…

Her name is fitting. She is a destroyer of lies and a preserver of truth.

http://current.com/technology/93815835_dr-vandana-shiva-on-rio-20.htm

Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Winter

A Life in the Country ~ The Growing Disaster of Impoverishment!

Early winter and the weather is brilliantly sunny with clear skies above the cottage and moonlit nights that are bright and cold!

It’s worth enduring the rain and grey for mornings like this…

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008Colours continue to develop in the densely planted gardens. This palette of colour continues all the year round…

Dense planting as is undertaken in any permaculture plan, lends itself well to the enrichment of the soil.

 Permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage. The verandaImpoverishment of the soil is no natural disaster, in fact it is the result of nothing less than greed…for money!

Henhouse at Bealtaine  Permaculture Cottage Cash crops and monoculture are both killing the soil, which is an integral part of our lifeline.

permaculture at Bealtaine cottage  In the past seven years since the beginning of Bealtaine, this land has gone from rushy monoculture half  life to enriched, protected earth and being continually enriched and protected due to planting.

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 013Poly-culture, which is the opposite of monoculture is of maximum importance for the survival of Nature as we know it.

This high level of biodiversity provides all year round food for the Natural World.

Diverse planting with permaculture at Bealtaine cottage  Peanuts, imported and therefore carrying a huge carbon footprint, are not a sustainable source of food for the birds and wildlife.

Diverse and enriched planting is.

We should therefore stop trying to re-invent the wheel and plant our gardens and urban spaces to this end.

A beautiful garden becomes a paradise when Nature is placed high on the list of important horticultural demands!

At the top!

This is one of the many delights of a garden that embraces maximum biodiversity…silky spider webs woven through Cotoneaster on a winter’s morning.

Light is important at this time of year as we descend towards the Midwinter Solstice and within it, the shortest day of the year.

Mirrored cottage of Bealtaine Permaculture Cottage Light is also very beautiful during this time…silver streams filtered through landscape hedgerows and trees.

 

In the words of Saint Columcille…”It is peaceful and it is delightful.”

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Fracking, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Beyond Consumerism…Life after Debt.

Friday…always a good feeling!

The weekend lies ahead and there lies the potential for something happening and all sorts of possibilities.

Many people look forward to going out and many go shopping, as a form of retail therapy!

However, change is happening…and it is good!

This is a time of change.

The Equinox is upon us and the day itself is changing as we enter the descent towards Midwinter.

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator.

The day and night are equal…

Consumerism is slowing down.

People are buying less and are turning more and more towards growing and foraging food.

The social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts has failed us all.

This may appear to be a bad thing to some people, but the Earth has been given a break…the first real break in a very long time.

The flowers at the front gate are beginning to replace the  concrete walls, iron gates that are closed and an intercom service that you have to speak into in order just to drive or walk up to the house!

The idea of neighbours and helping one another is slowly catching on…

Today has seen several visitors to Bealtaine Cottage, including a neighbour concerned about ‘Fracking’ and wanting more information.

The times we live in are all about change…

Change is happening and happening fast.

We either embrace the change in our living circumstances, taking time to evaluate our lives, or we continue on as mere consumers, or in the present scenario, unhappy people without the money to keep consuming.

The choice is ours.

 Today is the actual Autumn Equinox…the descent towards Midwinter begins…a time to nurture, bake, cook, sew and…rest a bit!

What was it that Bob Dylan sang about…oh yes…

The Times They Are A Changin’

http://youtu.be/9vou4qUu5YY      Go on…

Posted in Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Family, Gaia, Inspiration, News, Permaculture, Politics, Spirituality, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

~ If Governments Can Finance BOMBS, Then Finance This!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Bombs.

How much money is spent on bombs each year?

Cluster bombs. Hmm…they’re nasty.

Apparently, when it explodes, smaller bombs fly out and scatter exploding and causing mayhem…what an incredible thing for the human mind to invent!

september 2011 bealtaine cottage 012Explosive shock waves can cause situations such as body displacement (i.e., people being thrown through the air), dismemberment, internal bleeding and ruptured eardrums.

Hmm…don’t want to think about that, do you?

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 007What a lot of money and imagination to spend on KILLING.

What happens when a bomb is dropped?

Well, a thermal wave is created by the sudden release of heat caused by the explosion.

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 008Military bomb tests have documented temperatures of up to 2,480 °C (4,500 °F).,  capable of inflicting severe to catastrophic burns!

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 018Military development of thermobaric weapons,  employ a combination of negative shock wave effects and extreme temperature to incinerate objects within the blast radius.

So lots of incineration…sounds like HELL!

Bealtaine Cottage in September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 001And the millions of people who have NO access to healthcare remain sick and dying… Even in the countries where these bombs are manufactured, millions of people go WITHOUT adequate access to any form of healthcare…now, that IS sick!

We can grow, or we can kill.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 020We can mend, or we can destroy.

September Permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 027We can heal, or we can pollute…THE CHOICE IS OURS.

We should not allow the criminally insane Politicians to keep making these choices for us!

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 007If you would like to support the Bealtaine Project by becoming a member, donate 12 euros for year membership and private website access to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life

 

Thanks for your support!

 

 

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Baking, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Daily News from Ireland…Bumper Permaculture Harvest!

The first day of Autumn in the Celtic calendar and the harvest continues. Blackcurrants are being picked at Bealtaine, along with masses of herbs, including Oregano, Chives, Dill and Fennel…though the Fennel in the tunnel is seeding and will be dried and stored for baking purposes later on.

The Plum trees are bearing up well with the wight of the fruit and this will be used for jam and wine. I have planted four Plum trees so far and am also growing some trees from seed.

Yes…it’s hard to believe, but there have been bumper harvest every year at Bealtaine and this is set to continue as the land moves from monoculture in year one to wonderful biodiversity in year seven, with shelter developing and compost heaps bursting…

This is the Fennel in the tunnel this morning, with a good crop of seeds developing.

Apple too are plumping out well…juice, chutneys, pies and crumbles here!

Remember the immense power as a consumer you have…and ultimately, your ability, with others, to control the market…buying Fairtrade and supporting local producers is one way to control the market for the good, rather than giving your precious money and support to the global corporations who wreak havoc on our world…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Fairies, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, News, Organic Garden, Permaculture, photography, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Wildlife, Woodland

Permaculture Health, Wealth and Abundance…May the Force be With You!

Apple blossom this morning at Bealtaine.

As I write this I am listening to Irish Radio…talking endlessly about money, economics, making people spend money, kick-starting the economy! They just don’t get it! The wealth of a country must be measured in the health and wellbeing of its people…

Rhubarb waiting for me to turn it into jam…bumper harvests have begun again!

Apple blossom open today. the bees have feasted on the Ribes and are ready to continue the party on the fruit blossoms.

Irusan in the Fairy Dell this morning. He loves to walk the land with me each morning when he is staying at Bealtaine. Irusan is a Bombay Black Cat, whose mother was feral, living almost wild in London. he is extremely perceptive and interactive with people he chooses to like.

Growth over recent days has begun to impact on the paths that connect the permaculture zones at Bealtaine Cottage. Where monoculture fields around this smallholding are waiting for chemical fertilizer to green them, the grass and herbal pathways do the greening for themselves, for underneath lies a healthy soil that now pushes forth abundance!

Violets have emerged in the Fairy Dell…woodland abundance!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Food, Frugal Living, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, News, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Permaculture Ireland, Politics, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Wine

No Money, just Abundance! Permaculture @ Bealtaine Smallholding, Ireland

Through a glass darkly…April Fool in the garden, reflection from a mirror.

Today is the first of April and the radio is talking about economic growth, again, and will continue to do ad infinatum…the only growth worth talking about is what happens here, on earth, on terra firma and there is so much growth it can be difficult keeeping up with it. The government’s economic growth for Ireland is only to pay back ginormous debts to Europe! Growth here, at Bealtaine is about food, fuel, wildlife, love and happiness…permaculture paradise.

No money…but, no poverty…I look around me at abundance, on this, the first day of April.

Flower buds on the redcurrant promises an abundance of fruit, which in turn promises an abundance of wine and puddings and jam and jelly and…no money, but no poverty!

Fruit trees and bushes, interspersed in hedges promise abundance, fruit for chutney, freezing, fruit butter, pies, cordials…no money, but no poverty…abundance!

No need to buy peanuts for the birds at Bealtaine…no money for peanuts, but, abundance of food to sustain a wide and varied bird population. Spindle in the foreground…