Aquilegia, now growing all over the permaculture gardens and driveway of Bealtaine Cottage, from its beginnings here 8 years ago, with a handful of seed, saved from a some flowers growing in a garden in North London.
The time is near…Mayday, known as Bealtaine here in Ireland. It is pronounced “Be Al Tan Ah”
Irish mythology marks the beginning of May as the the start of the summer.
This was heralded in with the Fire Festival at Bealtaine.
Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition.
There was the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and celebrations were accompanied with rituals to protect the people from any harm by otherworldly spirits. Cattle would be driven through the dying embers of the great bonfires, to protect them from disease.
The Ancient Races who constructed Newgrange in Ireland aligned their monuments to the major solar events.
These were the Winter Solstice, the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.
The solar year was further divided to mark the half way points between the major solar events giving the cross quarter days of Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Click on the link below for today’s video from Bealtaine Cottage
These are the pears in one of the orchards this morning, continuing to develop. Good rainfall has helped enormously and the days are healthily damp!
The No-Dig Method of Growing.
It is possible for one woman as myself to look after 3 acres of poor land and make it productive, using the No-Dig method which is in itself an integral part of Permaculture.
Making compost…the most important work you can undertake in the garden, for whatever you don’t want growing will be turned into this rich food for all you want to encourage. Start a compost heap today, don’t wait! I practise the cold-composting method, which is the easiest one to do…just heap it up!
These were planted onto a thin layer of cardboard that was placed directly onto grass. However, you could dispense with the cardboard, as I have done in the past and it works perfectly well! Used straw from the hen run is spread on the top.
As the potatoes push up compost is added on a weekly basis…I have 4 huge compost heaps, so no shortage of good organic food!
Animals and Bedding
I keep 4 hens. Their bedding is barley straw. This is changed often and regularly, giving the garden a continual supply of nitrogen impregnated mulch and fertilizer. I also spread generous amounts of barley straw around their outdoor runs as they love to scratch and I continue to collect the used straw. It’s a good method and works very well for me!
Mulch to Grow, Mulch not to Grow!
Srtaw is placed on the top of cardboard as a way of excluding growth and preparing the ground for the following year. This can also be planted into and is super for trailing plants such as pumpkins!