Posted in Uncategorized

This is What Goddess-Inspired Permaculture Looks Like!

www.bealtainecottage.com

Enjoy this morning’s video, shot in the rain-misted splendour of the Goddess Gardens.

 

Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage by subscribing to the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…link is at the top of this site. Blessings X Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

Posted in St Patrick's Day, Uncategorized

Hens, Compost and St Patrick’s Day at Bealtaine Cottage

 

Collecting fresh laid eggs from the hen house on the morning of St Patrick’s Day at Bealtaine Cottage.

Step inside the Hen House with me to see where the girls have laid… then over to the tunnel to check on the seedlings.

I explain how the compost toilet system is so simple and easy and essential!

Finally, walking around the front of the cottage to delight in the quickening growth of the season! 

 

 

All Bealtaine Cottage videos are free from advertising, so you can enjoy watching…

Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Posted in homesteading, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized

How To Build Your Own Polytunnel!

The polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage has stood for eleven years, retaining it’s structure extremely well and providing all year round space for growing food. The plastic remains “as tight as a drum,” as any visitor to Bealtaine Cottage gardens will attest to.

In this blog I will endeavour to give you simple instructions on how to build your own polytunnel from scratch, as was done here…

To read more, go to Bealtaine Cottage Good life website at…

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

Posted in Abundance, compost, Country Living, Eco-Living, Edible Gardens, Food, Growing Food, Herbs, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Summer

Post Midsummer Polytunnel Gardening at Bealtaine Cottage

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 001

Second-phase food production is under way as from this week.

Midsummer has passed and many harvests are home or under-way.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 009This week has seen me clear the tunnel, spread lots of compost afresh on the beds and begin planting for the next phase of crops.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 010As I cleared the tunnel and collected masses of seeds and seed-heads, I was thinking about the crops I would plant.

Number one on my list is Kale; one of the great foods, especially in juicing.

Regular intake of Kale juice keeps health at a peak.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 013 Soil is the most important aspect of good food.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 007The food takes up the essential minerals and goodness in the soil and turns these into health-giving good food.

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 015

This was a good time to prune the Peach Tree and remove about half of the Nectarines and feed the tree.

I left some of the herbs in place and moved the rest into pots and outside beds.

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell BerryThe Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture 

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 016“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 019“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.”
― Maria RodaleOrganic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 020

All the Poppy heads are now harvested, providing a massive amount of Poppy Seed…great in cooking and baking!

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 011“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”
― Jane GoodallHarvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

Summer at Bealtaine Cottage 022“All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Books, Cats, Cottage, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Counting Down the Days

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Often times as I sit down to write this blog, it is evening and the day has come to settle here, in the cottage… the lamp illuminating the darkness, Jack sprawled out in front of the stove, with both cats in residence upon the sofas…I squeeze in somewhere!

DSCF0670The stillness of the evening pervades the cottage…no television or other distraction to detract from the clock on the wall ticking the time away.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002There’s a fine stretch in the day, with the light finally fading around a quarter to seven.

DSCF0671The untidy kitchen bears testament to a little shopping, yet to be sorted and packed away.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007Friends have been and gone, polytunnel doors shut tight against the wind and logs stacked by the stove ready to be consumed by the iron maiden.

DSCF0674A pack of wooden, clothes pegs, sits atop the kitchen table, to be unwrapped…Lord save me from plastic pegs that grow brittle in the weather and snap when least expected!

DSCF0675Dried chillies wait patiently for their resting place in the pantry, in a jar, yet to be found!

DSCF0673A book, donated by a friend, promises bedtime reading, maybe even into the wee hours of the morning…I’m enchanted by the cover!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March primrosesCounting down the days until the Spring Equinox…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March 2011 020Happy Saint David’s Day to all of Welsh connection XXX

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Butterflies, Climate, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spring

April Snow, Bees and Butterflies

April  Bealtaine Cottage pond gardenApril weather is always unpredictable.

Snow fell this morning…in between rain and brilliant sunshine!

It was like a convergence of all the seasons in one morning!

April permaculture rhubarb at Bealtainecottage 016This time last year we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean down by Mullaghmore Pier.

Legs and arms, uncovered for the first time in months, looked a sickly white in shorts and T-shirts.

April 2011 permaculture cottage 022The apple blossom was fully out and the season was about a month ahead of what was expected.

This year, the season is late.

About 4-6 weeks in some parts of the garden!

April  Bealtaine Cottage PolytunnelHowever, the polytunnel is really paying for itself, as I have all the fruit and veg in pots, growing big and strong and ready for when the weather settles down and all danger of frost has passed!

April Bealtaine Cottage permaculture GardensI have been hauling more and more stone from the edges of the land, into specific areas, where the passive solar heat trapped in the stone will help growth in annual crops, creating micro-climates.

As the season is late, it allows more time for me to catch up with the bigger tasks here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Always looking for the silver lining!

Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001The Bats are out from hibernation and yesterday, as I walked down the lane-way, a butterfly fluttered just ahead of me, for most of the walk.

The bees are flitting from one heavily laden Ribes bush to another…their end of hibernation feast!

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The EU are making it against the law to save and share seed…

This is not a petition asking the EU for anything, but one that sends a clear, sharp message…We Will Not Comply!

A shot across the bow!

Please sign and share…

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_Will_Not_Comply/?wCgoWbb

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

Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Dogs, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Trees

Photos of the Permaculture Gardens and Cottage of Bealtaine in January 2012

Bealtaine Cottage seen through the camera in 2012

Jack, January 2012

jack in January 2012 at Bealtaine Cottage Ireland

Beech and Bamboo January 2012

Jan 12 permaculture cottage 008

The girls on the veranda January 2012

Hens at Bealtaine Cottage Jan 2012

The Mighty Ash tree against the stormy January sky of 2012

Mighty Ash tree at Bealtaine Cottage

The full moon over Bealtaine Cottage in January 2012

Bealtaine Cottage Jan 2011 004

First snow of 2012 settles on the permaculture gardens.

Bealtaine Cottage Jan 2011 006

A well-mulched bed in the fruit gardens

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 002

Sorting and tying Willow in the shelter of the veranda, January 2012

Tying Willow from the Permaculture gardens

The polytunnel in January 2012

permaculture polytunnels

Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Country Living, Food, Gardening, Growing Food, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Seed-Saving the Easy Way…

Working in the tunnel today.

Much clearing and preparing the beds for the Autumn and early winter cycle of growing.

It’s well worth planting anything at this time of the year, as there is a harvest from what would be ordinarily thrown onto the compost heap.

I had several tomato plants that were sitting around, looking quite forlorn, so I planted them into the spaces left by clearing.

There’s bound to be a few tomatoes offered up to a decent salad!

Much of what is in the tunnel has been left to seed, so at this point it makes a good addition to the compost and the video explains why and how.

Even though the day has been has been grey and wet, it’s been lovely working in the stillness in the tunnel…contemplative and dry!

Today’s video…all about natural seed saving…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h78I26NNzAI

Posted in Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized

The Magic of Herbs

 Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. In this video, I show you some of the Herbs I grow in the tunnel.

Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases spiritual usage.

 Culinary herbs are distinguished from vegetables in that, like spices, they are used in small amounts and provide flavour rather than substance to food.

Many Herbs are perennial and easy to grow, coming up year after year with little or no effort on the part of the gardener. Here are a few of the Herbs I grow and use…I will include many more as the summer progresses, as well as ways of using and saving them.

Just click on the link to see today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvxwWHHiizY&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Vegan

Permaculture Cottage…the Acres of the PermaGoddess

Three acres of Permaculture and seven years of growing from scratch…monoculture emptiness.

A journey via Permaculture that has led me to give up smoking, become a Vegetarian and evolve into a Vegan.

Happy to be an Economic Terrorist…I rarely shop, so that makes me an enemy of the Corporate State…and anyone who wants to rant about me being a Conspiracy Theorist…well, I live in the real world and watched as Ireland was handed over to the Corporations, mostly banks, bankers and greed-mongers…if this resonates with you then be prepared to be dismissed as a C.T.!

You can’t buy anything on this site…everything I advocate comes for free and I’m happy to welcome visitors to this Permaculture Smallholding and show them around, even send them off with free plants and advice on how to do permaculture.

A willow arbour. Free. No Garden centre involved here! No money, just the abundance and love and goodness that is Nature…beyond money and the Merchants of Greed!

And places to sit made from upcycled castaway wood and concrete blocks…free!

Hens at Bealtaine today…Battery eggs are degraded food…the corporations will degrade you because you are little more to them than battery hens!

The Permaculture Polytunnel this morning. Spilling over with food and seeds…Seeds are the bankable currency of the VERY near future! Why do think the US government shares the control of GM seeds with that Monster Monsanto?

Nature is perfect…so why does all the corps., want to control and degrade her?

Posted in Abundance, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wine

The Permaculture Centre in N.W. Ireland. Moving Forward.

Lysamachia Punctata is just opening for its annual display of yellow. This is the 7th year of Bealtaine permaculture. It was pointed out to me recently that Bealtaine is becoming more of a centre for permaculture than any other place in the N.W. of Ireland. There are visitors all year round, as well as students who want to view a mature permaculture smallholding , functioning on a daily basis, producing food and energy, as well as a permacultured home, with permaculture principles adopted as a lifestyle choice.

The weather is warm, encouraging flowers to open. Paths are closing in, demanding my attention!

Considering the fact that there are 3 acres of tended gardens here, the total time spent maintaining these is about 2 hours per day, Monday through Friday. This is the biggest bonus to permaculture growing…once established the gardens require little tending. This is because Nature does most of the work and cutting back become the major task through the seasons.

Good harvests of Blackcurrants are promised. None of the bushes are ever covered, as there are lots to share…no need to be selfish!

Redcurrants are ripening. The Redcurrant wine I made last year was very successful and extremely potent, so I know what these will be used for!

The basic recipe I use, from an ancient book, is as follows:

4lbs redcurrants

4lbs sugar

1 gallon of Spring Water

1 tsp wine yeast

Steep the fruit in the water for 4-6 days, stirring daily. Keep covered with a clean cloth. Strain. Add sugar and stir well. Add yeast. Stir well. Pour into demijohn, insert bung and airlock and place in warm area. When clear and no more bubbles rising in airlock, syphon off carefully into bottles and cork.

Abundance in the polytunnel this afternoon.