Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living

The No Dig, No Till Garden

Amethyst Horn at Bealtaine CottageBealtaine Cottage is a permaculture smallholding, as followers of this blog know.

In permaculture we mulch, mulch and carry on mulching, building up the soil as we go.Bealtaine Cottage potager bed

Over the past two years I have been creating Potager gardens near the back of the cottage, using stone found on the land to create raised beds.

Bealtaine Cottage making the Potager beds June 2012 005Into these beds I have packed raw wool, compost, ash, leaf mould and shredding…lots and lots, layer upon layer, of shredding.

Plants are planted into bottomless pots onto the top of all this, so their roots can spread down deep into the goodness!

Bealtaine Cottage Potager bedThis year has seen the extending of these beds to cover yet more of the gravel.

The most useful tool in the permaculture gardens is the shredder!

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds and BuddhaI pile the shredding on the soil, wherever there are plants growing, spreading it around the base and everywhere in-between.

Beaten earth floor in ploytunnel at Bealtaine CottageNot only does this suppress the weeds, but it feeds the soil and therefore the plants.

You can see this practice at work here in the tunnel.

April 2013 Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageAfter a few weeks, the shredding take on the dark look of soil, making it look like the soil has been just tilled…it has not!

permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, No digCaring for 3 acres, I can assure you that I do not dig and I have no one who helps!

Does it work? …see for yourself.

No sore back and an abundance of food!

Bealtaine Cottage potager garden

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 600 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Cottage, Culture, Earth, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Permaculture, Recycling, Trees

300,000 Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Irish dresser in the cottage kitchen at Bealtaine Cottage

As more and more people follow this blog and the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel, one thing is evident. 

Bealtaine Cottage candles in the windowThere is a fast growing movement of people wanting to re-connect with the Earth, grow food, plant trees, secure the future of habitats for bees and wildlife and find their way to food security and a better way of living.

Bealtaine Cottage, Midwinter Something very interesting is happening to the consciousness of many people, for when I started writing this blog, few had even heard of permaculture.

Bealtaine Cottage potager vegetable bedNow, the movement towards self sufficiency, growing food and living richer but simpler lives in harmony with the Earth, is snowballing faster than anyone could have predicted.

Bealtaine Cottage toamtoes in an old bread binPermaculture is a way of looking at life where everything has an intrinsic value.

Bealtaine Cottage potager gardenWhere throwing anything away seems utterly ridiculous, as we come to the realisation that there is no ‘away’.

Bealtaine Cottage lettuce in the potager garden

We are here on this beautiful planet for a very short time.

Bealtaine Cottage Missy on the benchProbably just enough time to begin to appreciate what we have and what we must protect for those to come.

Bealtaine Cottage plant nurseryThank you for visiting Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage Celtic crossYou give me the reason to keep photographing, filming and writing…Bless you all!

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Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Food, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding

A Perfect Little Potager Garden.

Pumpkin flowers are open wide in the brilliant sunshine this morning at Bealtaine Cottage.

The bees appear to be basking in the golden petals as they flit from one flower to another, pollinating as they go.

It’s a truly beautiful morning for the sky is blue and the sun is climbing high into a Lughnasa sky over the west of Ireland.

These modest little raised beds, constructed in an afternoon or so of work, a mere eight weeks ago, are giving a magnificent harvest.

So far we have enjoyed tomatoes, salads, sugar snap peas, greens for the juicer and herbs.

There are onions, chard, pumpkins and courgettes to come…a proper little Potager.

And all outside the back door!

A potager garden is a vegetable garden which is designed to be attractive as well as functional.

The idea is French!

A Potager Garden possesses beauty,  practicality and can fit into a wide variety of spaces and climates.

A well-planted Potager garden can satisfy a lot of the vegetable needs for a household, as well as being pleasing to the eye.

In France, where the Potager garden was first conceived, there is a long tradition of laying out practical gardens in a way which is also aesthetically pleasing.

In a Potager garden, gardeners often increase  yield, utilizing advantageous plant pairings which help deter pests and enrich the soil.

By contrast, the traditional kitchen garden tends to be more stark, laid out with a purely practical eye.

The focus of a potager garden is vegetables, herbs and edible flowers…a truly edible landscape!

 Potager gardens can also be quite ornamental in design, to include vines on trellises, bright, colourful flowers, and water features.

Garden visitors are encouraged to eat the landscape!

Meanwhile, indoors, there is knitting going on as lots of leftover and recycled wool is being put to good use in the form of a winter shawl…nothing nicer to curl up inside as the nights draw in.

While in town yesterday, I called into the local charity shop and found this beautiful Michael Kennedy teal-light holder for two euros.

I adore Michael Kennedy’s work, for as an Irish potter he is second to none and have been lucky to have come across so many pieces such as this for very little.

Missy was rolling about in the sunshine as I walked to the tunnel this morning, loving the heat of the morning.

It looks set to be a lovely weekend…have a good one!