“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.”
~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went…
As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches…
Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women!
“The Irish presidential election of 1990 was the tenth held in Ireland and the first to include a female candidate. Independent politician Mary Robinson would go on to hold office for the next seven years. In the 1990 election, the Labour Party let it be known that it would run a candidate for the first time and nominated Robinson, a former Labour Party senator, and liberal campaigner. The renegade had been involved in the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and is widely regarded and respected as atransformative figure in Ireland for liberalizing and revitalizing what was a conservative and low-profile political office. She was a remarkably popular president.” ~ http://www.irishcentral.com
And so the transformation of Ireland and Irish politics began.
The patriarchal system of state and church had been given a bit of a shake down, but the real change began as we all began to feel more confident about questioning the world in which we lived.
My own questions formed around the environment in which I lived, most importantly the Earth and our relationship with her.
I dreamed about returning to Ireland and challenging the status quo of land stewardship. Was it possible to do the seemingly impossible and recreate the Ireland of my deepest dreams?
A land of trees and woodlands, abundant wildlife, flowers and rich, seasonal colour?
A land of abundant food and shelter?
A land dedicated to the Great Mother…Earth?
Moreover, to even attempt to do this on some of the poorest land in Ireland?
I felt empowered by Mary Robinson, as many women at home and abroad felt and continue to feel empowered.
The opportunity to fulfil my dream came over a decade later, when, throwing all caution to the wind, I embarked on what was to become known as the Bealtaine Project.
The book, “A Cottage and Three Acres,” picks up the story…
As I worked, sometimes into the night, planting and tending a hopeless looking land, I felt continual waves of compassion for Mother Earth.
I coaxed her, talked to her and sometimes even sang to her, the way one does with a seriously ill patient whose doctors have all but given up hope.
I was not the only one though, for many, many others were embarking on a similar path all across Earth.
I spoke with all who visited Bealtaine Cottage about Mother Earth, when few people seemed to recognise her plight.
But, something very incredible was happening…
There was a distinct sense of energy rising from the very Earth herself…a form of communication at the most deeply intuitive level.
After years of feeling outcast because of what I sensed and felt, there happened a mighty shift in perception.
As I began to write and photograph what was happening at Bealtaine, so many of you tuned in…often in the most serendipitous of ways!
But, it was not accidental, for all is connected and often in ways we do not understand.
And so the website began reaching people all over the world.
What began as an impossible dream, became a reality of hope for many…that nothing is impossible!
That the doors of perception are not locked and barred!
We are all, each and every one of us on an incredible journey, each one unique, yet deeply connected to all and everything.
We may live alone, but we are never alone.
We are beautiful souls experiencing a human journey with the greatest Mother of them all…our own Mother Earth.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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
An extra long video for you to enjoy Bealtaine eve in the magical gardens of Bealtaine Cottage here in the west of Ireland.
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!
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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…
Second-phase food production is under way as from this week.
Midsummer has passed and many harvests are home or under-way.
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.
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 Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
“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 Rodale, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe
All the Poppy heads are now harvested, providing a massive amount of Poppy Seed…great in cooking and baking!
“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 Goodall, Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating
Often 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!
Snow fell this morning…in between rain and brilliant sunshine!
It was like a convergence of all the seasons in one morning!
Legs and arms, uncovered for the first time in months, looked a sickly white in shorts and T-shirts.
This year, the season is late.
About 4-6 weeks in some parts of the garden!
However, 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!
I 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!
The 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!
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…
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