Posted in ancient Ireland, Cats, celtic festivals, Celtic Mythology, Celts Celtic Festivals, Gaia, Garden, Lughnasa

To The Mountain!

DSC01770I’ve been spending much of this week catching up with a great many tasks that were backing up around me…cork-tiling the bathroom floor and part of the Lodge floor, clearing the tunnel for the winter crops and all the usual stuff such as clearing and mowing the paths in the gardens!

DSC01861I have got a lot done because I made the decision last week to come off Facebook…and have shared my thoughts with you on this…

DSC01860I posted a number of pics on FB this morning, as so many people delight in seeing Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC01859It is, however, almost impossible to respond to comments left on FB as I simply do not have the time and am resolved not to negate my commitment to this blog and the second website at bealtainecottage.org

DSC01853Those of you who have followed this blog for any amount of time will be aware of the enormous workload I carry and will, therefore, totally understand this.

DSC01852Recently I came across this quote by Joseph Campbell and was deeply moved to meditate upon it for a while. 

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. –

Joseph Campbell

DSC01850It has inspired me to “go with the flow” much more and to simply get on and do whatever tasks need doing, rather than planning and then becoming despondent at what I have not achieved…I can be my own hardest and most severe taskmaster!

DSC01846I am determined to come away from this driven approach and relax into life more!

DSC01784DSC01787I could do with taking lessons from Sammy-bear, seen here by the Catnip in the tunnel, out of his mind!

DSC01786DSC01785DSC01781Cats remind us all how we should relax…frequently and often!

On the other hand…looking at his spaced-out expression…maybe not!

DSC01846There is another quote I wish to share with you. It is on a slightly different note, but one that you may find meaningful at this time…for I am aware of the events in our world recently…

DSC01845This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, because these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.

Joanna Macy

DSC01844I have found this to be comforting as I attempt to make sense of the chaos!

There is so much to rejoice in when out in Nature…

DSC01837DSC01836This is a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland, and also the great festival of Lughnasadh!

DSC01835DSC01834DSC01832 I will stride forth on Lughnasadh Eve to a high point on a nearby mountain to welcome in the new season and pay tribute to Mother Earth and in particular, Mother Ireland.

DSC01829DSC01823DSC01820DSC01818To celebrate the season is to turn one’s back on the machinations, arrogance and hubris of Man, seeking instead, the warmth and generosity of the Great Mother…Earth, in all her beauty!

DSC01777DSC01772Before I go, just to let you know, I am writing a blog on the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website, all about using sheep wool in the tunnel as I prepare it for the Autumn/Winter sowing and planting.

I am still clearing, but once I begin using the wool I shall take lots of pics and post them in the blog, along with detailed explanations of how and why.

You can become a member of the site here…

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

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See you on the other site tomorrow!

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

 

 

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Hope, Permaculture, sanctuary, Simple Living, Smallholding, Thoughts

Not Drowning, but Waving!

DSC01749It was some time coming…but those of you who have followed the Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens site on Facebook are aware of the proliferation of material I posted on there.

DSC01748I was so passionate about spreading a message of optimism and love for Mother Earth, that I ended up with little or no time for the work I need to do here at Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC01747I write and photograph for two blogs, upload to FB and Twitter, make a video and upload that as often as possible…the most recent one was almost an hour long!

DSC01746I haven’t been able to find time for Soundcloud, and, as for enjoying the occasional day out or weekend away…not possible with such a busy schedule.

DSC01745Something had to give!

DSC01754So I decided to take a break from FaceBook and Twitter and have left a small statement on both sites informing my followers.

DSC01735My page on FB quickly built up to almost 14,000 Likes, so I do feel a sense of abandoning so many good people, but do hope that they remember where I am and that I have not gone away!

DSC01750Yesterday and this morning, following my decision, I have felt a lovely calm descend here…a sort of ability to breath deeper and exhale longer!

DSC01755The story of Bealtaine Cottage began 12 years ago.

DSC01756No-one in this part of Ireland was much interested in what I was trying to do…so I began writing and blogging about the generosity and energy of Mother Earth, in fact I felt compelled to do so.

DSC01757“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” 

Anne Lamott

DSC01758So, life at Bealtaine has come back in a circle, as I find myself happily snapping pics., eager to share them with all of you through this website. 

DSC01752“I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world; I belonged to her, Mother Earth.”
Raquel Cepeda

DSC01762DSC01760I know that the best way I can be of service in these troubled times is to share Bealtaine Cottage with those who seek to reconnect with Mother Earth and develop a deeper understanding of the real world…not the one hurled at us by the mainstream media. 

DSC01759“The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth. So instead of only focusing on trying to save the earth, which operates in congruence to our vibrations, I think it is more important to be one with each other. If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures.”
~Suzy Kassem

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

 

Posted in compost, Eco-Living, Ecology, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Nature, Uncategorized

Using Seaweed in the Garden

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After so much rain during the past few weeks, it was a relief to have a relatively dry day! DSC01293You may remember that last week I visited the Atlantic shoreline to harvest some seaweed to use on the garden. DSC01292The strands to the south of Sligo town have piles of loose seaweed here and there along the beaches.

DSC01291Always only ever take the loose stuff…don’t pull seaweed from stones as these form habitats and are essential to the ecology of the seashore!

DSC01290In the end I managed about three big bags of seaweed and headed home with my foraged booty!

DSC01289The first thing I do is to spread it on the gravel around the cottage and allow the rain to wash out excess salt.

DSC01288After about a week, I start to spread the seaweed around established plants in the garden and tunnel.

DSC01287 The seaweed acts as a wonderful feed and a weed-suppressing mulch!

DSC01285One of the best things about growing food in the garden is the opportunity to use local and near resources that are free to be foraged or collected…seaweed is an organic fertiliser! DSC01286Seaweed is washed in by the tide, so is easy to forage!

DSC01284Only ever take what you need!

It can be used straight away too by the way!

DSC01283It’s packed with Potassium and Nitrogen, bot wonderful for the garden!

In the next blog, over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, I will explain how to make Liquid Seaweed Manure…along with lots more pics of the vegetable beds mulched with seaweed and how this feeds the plants!

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

 

 

Posted in awakening, Earth, Gaia, Hope, Sustainable Living, Thoughts

Evolve or Revolve…It’s Time to Choose

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I don’t know about you, but for the past decade or so I have felt a powerful force at work all round me.

DSC01063I have seen it too!

DSC01064It is a Universal force of such incredible energy that at times, I feel overwhelmed by it.

DSC01065This force has made governments tremble and grown men cry.

DSC01067It is unstoppable, all-consuming and, at times, can appear very frightening indeed.

DSC01066Mankind has tried to tame it, harness it, even destroy it.

DSC01068All to no avail.

DSC01069She abides… Have you heard her call?

DSC01070Are you listening?

DSC01071Her name is Earth.

DSC01072She is our Mother, our home, our future.

DSC01073Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world. ~ Jonathon Porritt

DSC01074If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature–even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe–has to change. ~ Janine M. Benyus

DSC01077Our little Spaceship Earth is only eight thousand miles in diameter, which is almost a negligible dimension in the great vastness of space.  ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

DSC01075DSC01076DSC01078DSC01079DSC01080The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. ~  Rachel Carson

DSC01081DSC01082DSC01083DSC01084The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its wellbeing–all of this [is] the integral community in which we live. ~ Thomas Berry

DSC01085DSC01086We can do nothing and keep revolving, remaining perfect fodder for governments, corporations and empires, or…

DSC01087DSC01088DSC01090DSC01091 we can connect with Her and begin to evolve into what we are meant to be…part of Her.

 

Blessings XXX  Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

Posted in Abundance, consciousness, cosmos, Gaia, Garden, Lifestyle, Permaculture Ireland, Spirituality

Envisioning the “Impossible”

DSC00742Envisioning the end is enough to put the means in motion.  ~Dorothea Brande

DSC00745Many people ask me, time and again,

“Where did you begin planting, Colette?”

“Did you have a plan?”

DSC00747The answer is simple, as is much of what I do and how I live my life…no plans, just a vision!

DSC00746The power of envisioning is just beginning to be understood.

DSC00748Much has been said about this process and, as yet, we have only a small level of understanding how it works, but the process of manifestation is a powerful one indeed. 

DSC00749Dreaming is the first step to becoming. 

To dream of the time ahead is to welcome an inner fold of reality we long for but have not yet realized. 

It is an act not just of hope but of inspiration. 

~Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson

DSC00750At a time when hope seems to be marginalized, almost cast aside, as the grim reality of the world today pervades our lives, creating a vision of a better world can be a powerful beginning.

DSC00751I don’t have a television in my home…that leaves a wonderful void to be filled, and I fill it with imagination and creativity. 

DSC00752Simply unleashing our imaginations can be empowering. 

~Paul Rogat Loeb

DSC00753We really have such little understanding of the power of our imaginations.

DSC00754Yet most of us are aware of the ways in which a troubled mind can manifest and create chaos and unhappiness!

DSC00755If one, then the other (opposite), is equally possible! 

DSC00756If we cannot envision the world we would like to live in, we cannot work towards its creation.  If we cannot place ourselves in it in our imagination, we will not believe it is possible. 

~Chellis Glendinning

DSC00757My vision was always one of co-creating with the Goddess, a Garden of Eden.

DSC00758One of abundance and beauty.

DSC00759A tribute to Mother Earth.

DSC00760I veered away from straight lines, squares, harshness that implied dominance.

DSC00761I wanted to coax Her into life, reassure Her that this would be Her garden.

DSC00763Everything seems to indicate that we must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality. 

~Václav Havel

DSC00762And so it is…

The Bealtaine Project is a full-time labour of love for Colette O’Neill, aiming to encourage and support those wishing to live more sustainably “with” rather than “on”” Mother Earth.

To this end, Colette writes, photographs, films and podcasts regularly every day in multi media form.

Your support is appreciated

Blessings X

Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

 

 

 

Posted in awakening, change, Earthing, Garden, Nature

Like Children

DSC00479For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world.  Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine. 

Janine M. Benyus

DSC00480As an integral part of the global awakening that is happening, humankind are being called back to the earth, to reconnect with Gaia.

DSC00478Not everyone is feeling this at the same time…as each one of us on our own sacred journey comes to experience in own time.

DSC00477This morning, awakening around six thirty, I ventured out into the gardens to experience the early morning mist, which, as I type at almost 11am, prevails.

DSC00475 Ireland has been experiencing some incredibly good weather in recent weeks and so it goes on.

DSC00474In other parts of the world, devastating storms have wreaked havoc!

DSC00473Yet, in all of this uncertainty and upset, the advance of those seeking to connect with Mother Earth increases.

DSC00472We are like lost children in need of the comfort of a parent.

DSC00471 And perhaps this is a good thing, for to be like children on this Sacred Earth will connect us much easier than any other way.

DSC00470So what is it about children that gives them the advantage in understanding their place in the Universe?

DSC00468Could it be that they are naturally curious?

Is it our loss that we accept so much and question so little?

DSC00465Have we allowed our lives to become subsumed in the detritus of the material world?

DSC00463I often pass gardens where all is so perfectly straight and neat that I actively squint in attempting to see Mother Nature…and often I do not see Her at all!

DSC00462 Yet I know that control of Nature brings unhappiness and discontent…the sort of feeling where frustration begins to eat at one’s very soul!

DSC00461So what are the tools we need to enable us to reconnect with Mother Earth.

DSC00460 I have the privilege to be able to observe small children when they visit Bealtaine with their parents and it is nothing less than a joy to behold!

DSC00417They hold the keys to the kingdom! 

DSC00415What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!  

~Helen Keller

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Posted in News, Planet earth, sustainability, Thoughts

The Greatest Peace Initiative of Our Time

DSC00242This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the “chaotic” powers of nature and woman…is what ultimately lies behind man’s famous “conquest of nature” – a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth’s ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.

Riane Eisler
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I was aware from an early age, through extensive reading and observation, that women have long been associated with Nature.
DSC00173Even the metaphor we use for our planet, ‘Mother Earth’, for instance…our nurturing Earth!
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The language we have become over familiar with says it all.. a ‘virgin’ forest is one awaiting exploitation, as yet untouched by man.
DSC00176I have lived through the greatest exploitation and destruction of ‘virgin forests’, ever seen.
DSC00175It is something I would love to be able to wish away and part of the reason I have grown and planted over one thousand trees to co-create Bealtaine Cottage, with, Mother Earth.
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Working with the land, in much of the world, is women’s work.
DSC00178Apart from the violence of war and the destruction of the planet, women have been associated with the physical side of life.
DSC00182Even in biblical terms, women are ‘closer to nature’, and so to be kept controlled.
There is a real fear of Nature and all that She imbibes.
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Of course, when one takes a long look at how mankind has viewed Nature down through the past several thousand years, it becomes apparent that fear is the driving force.
DSC00185Nature is more powerful than human life.
DSC00186The control over Nature allows a fleeting feeling of control and empowerment…but, never for long, as we all know.
DSC00188So, in my own small way, recognising these truths, I embarked on a journey of making peace…with Her.
DSC00190The ultimate and final Peace Initiative.
DSC00192I come from one of the most devastated towns in Northern Ireland…Omagh.
DSC00193A town that endured such violence and suffering in the worst bombing witnessed on a quiet day in August of 1998.
DSC00198DSC00199DSC00200I mention this as it helps to contextualize my own life and motives for what I do…a complex study in itself!
DSC00202The only end to violence comes when people make peace with each other, or a situation.
DSC00205DSC00206DSC00207Peace and happiness is never birthed from subjugation and control.
DSC00208As a society that has both witnessed and endured these past two world wars, we should be in full receipt of that information!
DSC00213For twelve years now I have striven to make peace with Mother Earth. DSC00215The results are here for all to see.
DSC00216She is not to be feared.
DSC00222DSC00221She is not to be controlled.
(Can you see the little bird in flight from the box?)
DSC00217She is who we live WITH!
DSC00218I learned, to my shock, the other day, that Ireland relied heavily on the importation of Chemical Fertilizer from America during the years of World war Two!
DSC00219That was over sixty years ago, so one must assume that grass has only grown green from chemicals ever since!
DSC00220One must further conclude that alongside this continued abomination has come the loss of topsoil, for one goes hand-in-hand with the other!
DSC00223The ultimate Peace Initiative is working with Mother Earth to create topsoil, as evidenced here.
DSC00224Peace is to be nurtured and worked through.
DSC00237Peace comes with levels of compromise and sacrifice.
DSC00238Peace in our own life comes with persistence and negotiation and keeping the vision with us.
DSC00231Peace comes from the refusal to abuse, the refusal to not live ON Her, but WITH Her!
DSC00236The greatest war of all time is being fought in every garden, allotment, field, woodland, forest, river, ocean and all that makes up Mother Earth.
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The future of our children’s children lies within the reflection of our love for Mother Earth today.
We either make peace with Her or forfeit the lives of those whose faces we will never see!

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Posted in Abundance, ancient Ireland, biodiversity, Bloom, Celts, forest gardens, Growing Food

Natural Gardening and No-Dig Growing

DSC00027DSC00032Ireland is the richest source of Celtic  myths and legends.

DSC00029Down through the Ages, Ireland remained remote and cut off from mainland Europe, holding onto its rich folklore and spirituality.

DSC00030DSC00031It’s peoples worshipped all aspects of the natural world in which they recognised the Divine, in much the same way as I do here at Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC00034The reason for the wealth of myth and legend that pervades Ireland, today and it’s people lies not just from its isolation from mainland Europe for much of its history.

DSC00035Ireland remained free from pressures exerted by other cultures such as the Roman Empire.

DSC00036So much so, that the great writer, John B. Keane referred to his people as having only a “thin veneer of Christianity…” in that they merged their pre-Christian practices with their newly inducted Christianity.

DSC00037 And so I offer this up as a simple explanation for the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage having evolved through a similar understanding of the natural world and the supreme forces of Nature.

DSC00038This is no ordinary Permaculture garden as you can see, but one deeply nourished and inspired by the Goddess.

DSC00039For me there is a spiritual, otherworldly, ethereal force at work and play here.

DSC00040This is the rational (for me) way of explaining the extraordinary growth and extreme revving-up of biodiversity that has happened at Bealtaine.

DSC00041All beyond my control…not that I ever wanted to control this magnificent force!

I leave that to the Planet-Wreckers!

DSC00042As I re-emerged through my journey with Mother Earth, I came to an intuitive understanding of the need to stop digging Her…to let Her be!

DSC00043So I mulch and cover Her with as much tenderness as befits the Great Mother.

DSC00044You will never see any of Her precious skin exposed.

DSC00045Her mantle remains in place.

DSC00046And so this brings me to the second part of this story…

DSC00047The wonderful success of No-Dig Gardening…

DSC00050And here is the first of over twenty photographs and the story of growing success at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…continued over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life… bealtainecottage.org

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Posted in Good Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Summer

The Simplicity of the Morning

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“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
Henry David Thoreau 

DSC00013Half light and shadows as the morning comes into view.

DSC00012Reflections and sunlight as the day rises.

DSC00011The silent beauty of the morning is a template for us all to follow into day…quiet simplicity.

DSC00010Gazing around the cottage as I follow through on early morning rituals.

DSC00009Checking where Sammy-Bear spent the night, opening the door for Jack to go out…

DSC00008Lighting the stove to boil the kettle…

DSC00006Looking for where I put my camera last evening, for I should record this ethereal beauty of the early morning…

DSC00005Finally, making my pot of coffee and stepping out to embrace the day…

DSC00004The morning, the blessed morning…where all is possible.

DSC00003May the Goddess of the morning touch your heart with delight.

DSC00002May you be released into day, free from negativity and matters you do not control.

DSC00001Embrace your day…it’s a blessing! 

“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.”
Sydney Smith

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Country Living, Earth, Edible Gardens, Gardens, Nature, Permaculture, Summer

Summer in the Garden

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Being able to upload 31 photos is a real treat for me, and, I hope you will get a taste of Bealtaine Cottage today.

DSC09767I have snapped these minutes ago and come straight in to upload and write this blog…taking time en route to give Jack a cracker treat.

As you can see he’s fully engrossed with chomping!

There is an abundance of Poppies this year…these are just outside the back door and almost ready to burst open!

DSC09773Thanks and blessings to my dear friends and supporters of the Bealtaine Cottage project.

It is so very heartening to read the wonderful feedback and special messages of support.

DSC09774There was enough rain overnight to half-fill the water barrels and all is looking lush this morning! DSC09775Aquilegia is in full bloom and has grown well from an extra scattering of seeds I did last Autumn. DSC09776Here is the perennial Yellow Poppy.

This seed sold out fast last year, so I shall be harvesting as much as I can this summer.

It’s a much smaller, more delicate bloom, but strong and hardy!

DSC09777I’ve moved potted seedlings and more robust plants out of the tunnel.

Planting will be wherever I can find a space! 

DSC09778The symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father.
The Goddess does not rule the world…She is the world!
Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent glory.
~Starhawk

DSC09779The Permaculture design and planting at Bealtaine is not just inspired by the Goddess, but is the Goddess manifest…as natural and intuitive as the energy that flows from Mother Earth herself.

DSC09780This is the difference between Permaculture and Goddess-inspired Permaculture.

The spirit is fed as much as the stomach! 

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Each Summer the harvest grows more abundant. Redcurrants hang in droplets waiting to ripen and reveal their jewel-like qualities.

DSC09786Hawthorn has opened…

DSC09787Garden paths become enclosed, dark, shady places…

DSC09788The Spindle bush sits covered with blossom yet to open…

DSC09790“I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.  My bank of wild grass is majestic
and full of music.  It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.”
– Violette Leduc 

DSC09791To meet it — nameless as it is —
Without celestial Mail —
Audacious as without a Knock
To walk within the Veil.”
–   Emily Dickinson

DSC09792Lilac is open…

DSC09793“That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
–   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

DSC09794DSC09795DSC09796“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
–   Bev Adams 

DSC09802“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most
beautiful words in the English language.”
–  Henry James 

“The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther,
and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds – rich chocolate
earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jeweled with the purple globes
of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.”
–  Doris Lessing

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Posted in Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

A New Beginning for Bealtaine Cottage!

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Today is an exciting and very uplifting day for Bealtaine Cottage and me! DSC09687For the past year or so it’s been utterly frustrating not being able to share on this website.

DSC09689Restrictions were placed upon me in relation to upload space for photographs, as I had used up virtually all of the allocated space of 13GB, which is that allowed on the Premium Plan from WordPress.

DSC09691Well, today I paid for an upgrade which allows me unlimited upload space…a treat for myself and, I’m hoping one for you too!

DSC09693As I type there is a lovely soft rain falling outside, refreshing and renewing the earth.

DSC09694The same has happened here for me on the website…I feel a sense of renewal and excitement!

DSC09696To be honest, writing and photographing Bealtaine Cottage and Mother Earth constitutes my first love!

DSC09695Much as I love the interaction on social media, it can be very time-consuming and ultimately takes away from the work I do here!

DSC09684The payment of an extra 200 Euros was necessary for the extended plan, but this liberates me from the strictures of what I can put out there for everyone to enjoy.

DSC09697I will continue with the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website and am working on a plan to do a sort of “joined-up”daily blog…watch this space! DSC09698And so the story of Bealtaine Cottage continues, moving onwards and upwards!

DSC09699“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
Esther Meynell

DSC09700And so I hope to continue bringing the country to you!

DSC09701Sharing this little sacred space in the west of Ireland, with the world…

DSC09702 The seasonal changes, garden, wildlife and Mother Earth…

DSC09703The song of the Goddess and her inspired Permaculture…

DSC09704Thanks for staying with Bealtaine Cottage…

This is a new beginning…Welcome back!

 

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Posted in Abundance, agriculture, Uncategorized

Permaculture Potagers, Polytunnel and Gardens

Walk with me around the production gardens at Bealtaine Cottage on this May evening in the West of Ireland.

Potager beds and Peach trees, Polytunnel and Bees…all looking lush on this early Summer evening.

The soundtrack of birds is all around us!

Posted in Earth, Earth Day, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Spring, Uncategorized, Woodland

Earth Day at Bealtaine Cottage

DSC09083Photographs (18 exclusive photos taken today) from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on EarthDay 2016.

Words from the Earth Day network…on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with ground-breaking ideas and by the power of our example.

And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016.

This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. 

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April 2011 Ballyfermoyle 013The paid subscription website, Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows you to support my work in return for some extra special blogs and photographs…and allows me a small, but much needed, income.

Here’s where you can sign up…

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

Yes, I have a mortgage and some bills to meet each month and this is my only source of income. The free website, Bealtaine Cottage, has almost reached maximum capacity at 97.8% of 13 GB allowance at a cost of 199 Euros per year. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life has the same 13 GB allowance, but with only 18% used, so you can see why I now publish new blogs on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life! My total expenditure on both sites and internet maintenance now exceeds 700 Euros.

I will continue to write about, and photograph, Mother Earth whether you subscribe/donate or not…but I so appreciate those who do!
…blessings to all XXX Colette

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, E.U., Garden, Ireland, Uncategorized

What If…?

poster tree

A reasonable question…why, some would even say, a good question!

Isn’t it about time we asked it?

Isn’t it about time we stepped out of the ridiculous matrix we have trapped ourselves in?  

Question more…

Poster Bealtaine Cottage trees

Today’s video from Bealtaine Cottage…

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Posted in Garden, Growing Food, hens, Permaculture, Permaculture Ireland, polytunnel gardening, ponds, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Garden in February (Part One)

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The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Bronze fennel, that most vigorous of herbs and also a brilliant addition to the flower garden, starts to produce tasty leaves that can be added to early Spring salads.

Rocket has over-wintered well in the tunnel and forms the base ingredient.

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Daffodils are now up and beginning to flower.

Daffodils on the hill above the cottage, around an old abandoned dwelling are in full bloom!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Reminders of Winter come and go, but not for long, sometimes just an hour or two of a light dusting of snow.

Never enough to hold back the advance of the seasons!

But beware the wind chill factor that comes with early Spring and wrap up warm when venturing out to work in the garden!

Rhubarb in a permaculture garden

When the sun does shine, it is truly glorious and plants like Rhubarb spring into exuberant life!

A very hungry plant, Rhubarb eats up a generous dressing of well-rotted manure.

Euphorbia at Bealtaine Cottage

Euphorbia comes into life in the flower garden…here it shares a half barrel with a Fig Tree and both like each other’s company!

In fact, the Fig has fruited well year on year since getting a new bed fellow!

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An old but treasured book is always at hand to delve into for advice on seasonal food, gardening and outdoors work!

I wonder if this little gem is still in print?

Bealtaine permaculture gardens

Beautiful catkins on the Hazel trees…flowers in fact!

Bealtaine Cottage frogs in the pond

The pond is filling with frogspawn and clumps of frogs celebrating the turn in the year as only frogs can!

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Out in the hen-house the girls are in touch with the growing of the light as they come back into lay!

Fox in the garden at Bealtaine Cottage

Mr and Mrs Fox are hungry and on the prowl! I often lay out food at night for the foxes, for the way I see it is simply this: we have interfered with the food chain by removing the animals that would have predated upon foxes.

This is my way of attempting to live in harmony as best I can…and ensuring that the girls in the henhouse are well protected!

Part Two  of THE GARDEN IN FEBRUARY can be found on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

To subscribe, see the link below…

 

I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, YouTube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

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You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

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

 

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts Celtic Festivals, consciousness, goddess, Imbolc, religion, Uncategorized

Goddess Harmony

www.bealtainecottage.com 064“The symbol of Goddess gives us permission. She teaches us to embrace the holiness of every natural, ordinary, sensual dying moment. Patriarchy may try to negate body and flee earth with its constant heartbeat of death, but Goddess forces us back to embrace them, to take our human life in our arms and clasp it for the divine life it is – the nice, sanitary, harmonious moment as well as the painful, dark, splintered ones.

If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same. It will free us to be in a sacred body, on a sacred planet, in sacred communion with all of it. It will infect the universe with holiness. We will discover the Divine deep within the earth and the cells of our bodies, and we will lover her there with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds.”
Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

This quote from Sue Monk Kidd has served as a wonderful source of inspiration for me, as I move slowly on my journey through this world.

In working so closely with the land over the past years, I have come to understand the meaning of the holiness of every single living thing.

Last summer, for example, I came across a beautiful Wasp nest in one of the trees.

When I put the photo of it onto my Facebook site I was immediately alerted by several people to destroy the nest and kill the wasps.

Why, I thought, must this thing of beauty be destroyed if it not causing harm to me?

Wasps are pollinators and help keep a balance among pests too, such as aphids.

In the eleven years working the land here, I have never been stung, by bee or wasp. Creatures only attack when under threat!

“If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same.”…and nothing has been the same in this little three acre plot since becoming aware of the deep connectivity between myself and Mother Earth…call her the Goddess if you will…but the Divine presence for me is compassion itself.

“Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, ‘fertility cults,’ we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as ‘sterility cults.”
Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman 

Much of my journey has involved stripping away layers of religious and cultural imposed identity.

This is a hard task, as one tries not to alienate others.

At times this journey has felt like one is walking on eggshells, attempting to negotiate a path between questioning/understanding and simply being part of family and community.

In search of an understanding of soul… a communion with the sacred…and being unafraid of where that takes me.

Bealtaine in June 2011 046

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Enjoy reading the 1,000+ blogs and seeing over 4,500 photographs.

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Posted in Celts Celtic Festivals, change, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Uncategorized

Metamorphosis

DSC08018

2016 is a year of transformation for Bealtaine Cottage.

Changes are being put into place this month in preparation for the year ahead.

Last year was the busiest year ever for visitors to the cottage…I lost count somewhere around June and with almost every day welcoming new visitors, work on my writing and gardening began to suffer as a consequence.

DSC08019I was guilty of what many enthusiastic people are guilty of…spreading myself too thinly! Already I have many requests from would-be visitors, so have made the decision to take a year off from opening the gardens.

DSC08020There is so much work to be done, as I have plans to create new beds and paths around the three acres. Talk about work…I haven’t even had time to move my Lemon tree in from the veranda! Thank goodness it’s been a mild Winter!

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The Kale I planted into the old wheelbarrow has made good strides in growing through January! As the days lengthen the growth will increase and I look forward to harvesting leaves of Kale very soon!

For those wishing to visit, the garden gate will not be permanently closed…

Sunday May 1st is Bealtaine Day, a very special day in the gardening year for lovers of all things Celtic and Mother Earth!

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May 1st is the first day of Summer in the Celtic Wheel and Bealtaine Cottage will be hosting an OPEN DAY of celebration!

Unlike the photograph taken today, the gardens will be awash with colour, as well as the hum of bees and the sweet scents of herbs and flowers!

I will also organize another Open day or two as the Summer progresses.

DSC08023Time is of the essence for me, as I attempt to fit in so many aspects of my life!

Bealtaine Cottage is home to me and I have come to realize that it is also home in a spiritual way to so many others…that is why my writing and photographing of this little place must come first.

DSC08025Out of metamorphosis comes new, better and stronger.

Seeds are available from Bealtaine Cottage…all grown, open-pollinated and saved here!

For an up to date selection, click on

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

To subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, click on

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Blessings for a happy weekend XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

Posted in care for the earth, Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

Climate Collapse

This has been difficult to write.

I expect to lose many subscribers.

Truth-tellers in an age of illusion are not welcome, in any circles!

However, truth be told, I have never sought the high opinion of others, so I am prepared to speak the truth, as I see it!

Some of you, maybe even many of you, will decide to unsubscribe to this blog.

Be that as it may…I must press on!

Climate Change has turned the corner…the one that faces into uncertainty and fear.

Yes, I am fearful for what lies ahead for my children and grandchildren.

DSC02199I am fearful for what I have come to shape my entire being around…Mother Earth.

The violence and uncertainty that lies ahead.

I am not going to put an excess of climate information in this writing.

Step outside and tell me what you experience.

That is all you need to know…FEEL what is happening!

DSC01461There is something very wrong!

Feel it in your entire being!

DSC01104Yet…there is hope…for where there is life there is hope and I have always been a pragmatist, optimist and carer.

Hope for me is in the form of pledging…and knowing that I have done my best…that is all I can hope for!

I will do whatever I can to help stop this mad spiral dance of death!

Here is what I pledge…

Only vital air travel…use rail and sea!

No more meat or dairy!

Don’t buy it unless I absolutely cannot do without it!

Power down…use the bare minimum of electricity.

Walk or cycle whenever and wherever I can.

Avoid goods wrapped in plastic.

Absolutely NO VOTE from me to any politician who supports war, on any level…and that includes abstention!

No supporting Fracking…I will not even have a gas lighter in my home! Many in the anti-fracking movement choose gas cookers over electric cookers, despite living within sight of wind turbines!

As for that most contentious of issues…Here are a few facts that may persuade us of our complicity and responsibility in this growing nightmare scenario!

DSC00874A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York. ~ George Monbiot, The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

DSC02047This is the worst case, and the figure comes from a farm whose soils have a high carbon content. But the numbers uncovered by a wider study are hardly reassuring: you could exchange your flight to New York for an average of 3kg of lamb protein from hill farms in England and Wales. You’d have to eat 300kg of soy protein to create the same impact. ~ George Monbiot The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

Climate breakdown looks inevitable – unless we all change our diets. ~ George Monbiot

As a footnote, I am appalled at how all climate scientists I have read so far, have completely IGNORED the effect endless wars in the 20/21st centuries have contributed to Climate Change.

Now that alone should make one think of what we are NOT being told in all of this!

Mother Earth does not lie…step outside and experience the truth!

&&&&&

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Bealtaine Cottage, May 2004

The Bealtaine Project was  initiated, funded and planted by Colette O’Neill, an Irish grandmother, who, twelve years ago, attempted to prove there was no such thing as “poor land,” just abused Earth!

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Bealtaine Cottage, obscured by over 1,000 deciduous trees, May 2016.

This was done simply, by caring, planting and nurturing 3 acres of such land in the west of Ireland, back to life! 

The Bealtaine Project continues to grow here, on this website and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Thanks for your support

 

Posted in climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal ~Truth and Lies

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

You had best sit down with a cup of tea, for the truth is quite shocking!

You may not agree with what I have to say.

You may even still be in denial about what is obviously happening and what indeed lies ahead!

Most of those I have spoken with on this life and death scenario have blatantly told me they do not want to know!

In some ways, I don’t blame them…for it is easier to continue life with one’s head in a realm of make-believe and “happy ever afters”, where one has not got to take responsibility for one’s life.

The reality is far too disconcerting to have to look at!

The elephant in the room is, of course, Climate Change.

Politicians, negotiators and big corporations have all been talking the talk about our future.

Let me say that again…Our Future…NOT the future of Mother Earth, for she will go on!

Our children and grandchildren are in danger!

Yet, some of the biggest fights at COP 21, in Paris, are over who pays for climate change…We know who will pay the piper!

Governments are not prepared to jeopardize economic growth to save humanity.

It will be the persistent, unrelenting, driving force of materialism, which will be our downfall.

This may also be recognised as greed.

That has been the death knell for all preceding civilizations and empires.

PosterThis time it affects us all, for this time, everything is connected, as we are to Mother Earth.

Most of humanity appear to have morphed into ostriches…and we all know what they do!

Posted in Climate, climate change, destruction, ecocide, sustainability, Uncategorized, war

Paris

The weather has been all over the place during the past few days. Storm Barney has apparently passed over, though as I write, there is a storm whooping up, quite suddenly too, along the valley and mountains, in from the Atlantic seaboard.

As you can see from the photographs above, taken yesterday, the sun shone brilliantly, though intermittently!

I have just stepped out from the cottage to snap these, literally a few minutes ago.

Another storm has just swept in from the west!

The colours are uplifting I think, even though there is an inherent violence accompanying them.

Mother Nature is venting…

DSC07460The clock moves to just after 4pm and the sky outside is darkening fast.

DSC07463I rejoice in days like these, for one feels alive and adrenaline pumps to the surface, as the full force of Mother Nature moves across the sky and the trees tremble.

DSC07461There is a conference in Paris today…on Climate Change.

I received clarification today of what I have long suspected…for we know that everything is connected…

It is simply this…that the War Machine, the military might of the West, guzzles the most oil and is the largest emitter of CO2 on our planet!

DSC07474War and militarism are the key components of what fuels Climate Change!

DSC07465Everything, yes everything is connected!

DSC07443Jack worries not…there are times I envy him!

Posted in Canada, ecocide, Fracking, gas, Mother earth, Planet earth, Unist'ot'en

Chevron, Unist’ot’en and Fracking

Bealtaine Cottage 004

This morning, as it rained, I wept…

Bealtaine Cottage 004

I had been watching a short video made by the Unist’ot’en people in Canada.

(I have posted a link to this below.)

Bealtaine Cottage kitchen window

I wept as I listened to the dignified language of truth, simple and eloquent.

Bealtaine Cottage 007

I wept as I listened to the words of the Chevron representative, disconnected from the beauty, abundance and joy of Mother Earth.

Old Irish dresser at Bealtaine Cottage

I gasped in disbelief as the Chevron men offered plastic bottles of water to the dignified Unist’ot’en people.

Bealtaine Cottage 023

Chevron attempted to enter unceded Unist’ot’en territory with a gift of bottled water and tobacco, seeking to conduct work for their Pacific Trail Pipelines hydraulically fractured gas line.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture tunnel

We are now living through the greatest race to destroy Mother Earth that the human race has ever witnessed…by the few, for the few and all for money that cannot ever return her to health!

Bealtaine Cottage 010

It is a rare day that witnesses my tears.

July 2011 Permaculture Cottage 005

I cannot believe the Ecocide taking place in the name of economic growth.

permaculture cottage, july 2011 024

We need to listen to the voice of Mother Earth, for she speaks through those closest to her.

Please share this video far and wide.

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

Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

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Posted in Gardens, Growing Food, Ireland, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

Thrive

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Seedlings are thriving in the tunnel.

Spring is in full bloom and life is thriving at Bealtaine Cottage.

April 2011 Ballyfermoyle 013

There is a certain joy in the air that is spiralling outwards and upwards capturing the energy of all life.

April 2011 Earth Day at bealtaine cottage permaculture gardens

Primulas and Lady’s Mantle show off their form and colour, jostling for attention as the sun rises higher and higher in the clear blue skies above this little cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage

I love archways like this in the gardens, for there is something deeply spiritual and connective about the shape of them, joining one side of a path to another…connecting, as we’re all connected!

April 2011 Bealtaine 005

Green, deep shades of green symbolising life at it’s most potent and powerful.

April 2011 Bealtaine 003

Healing colour that pulses energy through the eye and deep into the human mind creating calm and joy.

April  Bealtaine Cottage Polytunnel

As Mother Earth thrives, so do we.