Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Buddha, Cats, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Culture, Edible Gardens, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Seed-Saving, Seeds, Uncategorized

Images on the First Morning of Lughnasa

bealtaine Cottage windowThe first day of Celtic Autumn has arrived.

It’s cool.

Last night seen the hot water bottle come out of storage and be filled.

Rudbeckia at Bealtaine CottageRudbeckia has opened its beautiful deep orange petals…a marker of the time of year. This has been grown from seed, this year.

I started it off in the tunnel in February, from seeds I collected last Autumn.

Sammy-BearAs I walked the gardens, Sammy-Bear walked in front of me, finally stopping in the tunnel and rolling in the dirt!

Sammy-BearFor a white cat, he can be a dirty little rascal at the best of times!

Sammy-Bear passing BuddhaOn the plus side, he doesn’t seem to mind the rain, so cleans up well!

bee on Lavender at Bealtaine CottageSeed-saving continues apace and the bees keep up the good work, even on a wet morning like today…

Bee on lavender at Bealtaine Cottage…this is where the tunnel works really well!

purple-Sprouting Broccoli seed headsThese are seeds from the three year old Purple Sprouting Broccoli, still in the pods, drying.

These seeds are big and plump and represent the very strongest, biggest, most productive and oldest of the Purple Broccoli.

Monsanto eat your heart out!

Pom-Pom Dahlias at Bealtaine CottagePom-Pom Dahlias are making a show of themselves.

This is the first year I have grown these.

Buddleia growing in two tyres at Bealtaine CottageThis Buddleia was grown from Bealtaine Cottage seed and planted in the tyres two years ago.

Lunaria seeds drying on the veranda of the Lodge Many followers of Bealtaine cottage ask me for Lunaria (Honesty) seeds…and here are some drying on the veranda of the Lodge, hung up last evening.

This is a nice airy place to start off the drying process, though I may need to bring them indoors, if the wet weather prevails for much longer.

Apple havest at Bealtaine CottageThe Apple harvest continues to delight as the fruit appears so healthy and untarnished for another year.

Apple harvest at Bealtaine Cottage, IrelandI NEVER spray my Apple trees, or, for that matter, ANY of the fruit trees, and am rewarded with a bountiful, healthy crop year after year!

Truly Organic!

Leaves of the Crocosmia MontbretiaThe rain settles onto the leaves of the Crocosmia Montbretia, a beautiful harbinger of Autumn!

Bealtaine CottageA pot of tea beckons…

Sammy-Bear CatSammy-Bear is sad to see me go indoors…

 

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Posted in Abundance, Bees, Country Living, Ecology, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees

How to Grow the Best Organic Apples!

Apples…one of the easiest  fruits to grow.

These Apple Trees were planted seven years ago and have fruited every year.

They has never been sprayed.

There have never been any chemicals sprayed on or around them.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 007These trees are the perfect plants in the perfect place…a permaculture success.

The fruit is used as a base for a whole range of jellies, chutneys and jams.

Some of it is stored in the freezer.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 010Much is stored in a cool, dark, dry area where it can be accessed for use.

August 2011 permaculture cottage 002Apples are made into Toffee Apples at Samhain and for floating in barrels for dunking games.

Apple slices are dried as rings…simply hooped onto lengths of homegrown Bamboo and hung in the oven of the wood stove.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 023I use some of the Apples at the moment in home made Apple yoghurt, yummy stuff!

Of course, where would civilisation be without the seasonal Apple Pie?

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 009I mulch around these trees every couple of years with sheeps wool left over from my spinning…there are parts of the fleece which are not used in the spinning process.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008This is filled with goodness which is washed, through rainfall, into the soil.

Bealtaine Cottage August 2010During the summer as I mow the paths, I heap the cuttings around the base of each apple tree to mulch out weeds and feed the roots.

Grass is, after all, great fertilizer.

Bealtaine Cottage Sep 2010At the end of each growing season, I cut by all new growth by two-thirds.

All branches that grow towards the middle of the tree are cut out.

Permaculture Cottage August 2011 024Most important of all…I plant lots of bee attracting plants and bushes around the orchards, especially the early Spring flowering bush, Ribes.

The Bees must be looked after!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
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