Posted in compost, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Nature, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees

Easiest Ever Compost Toilet

Permaculture@ 003

The post you’ve all been waiting for…the Bealtaine Cottage Compost Toilet.

Easy to install and simple to use.

No running outside on cold mornings to tramp across wet grass to use the toilet!

Permaculture@ 004This is located in the bathroom…not quite a bathroom though as I took out the bath and installed a shower instead! 

There’s still a little bit of tweaking to be done to finish the project off to a high standard, like decorating the wall where the cistern used to be and making a wooden surround with a small door, but as you can see, it is simple and attractive.

Permaculture@ 001

This is the material used for covering one’s toilet.

It is grown here at Bealtaine Cottage, shredded in the shredder and smells nice and pine fragranced, as it is cut from evergreen trees in the gardens.

This material is also anti-bacterial.

Permaculture@ 005There is absolutely no bad odour! 

So what happens next?

compost loo 001The bucket is taken to a corner of the garden, tucked in behind a Willow fedge, and then emptied into a large bin. The bins have holes in the bottom so all liquid is drained out slowly.

compost loo 003This system uses five such bins on a rotation basis. 

After about a year, the contents have turned into sweet-smelling compost that I use around trees in the lower gardens. Permaculture 002This compost is not used in the productive gardens as I have adequate vegetative compost on site in the vegetable and fruit gardens. Permaculture 004Besides…the trees thrive on the waste produced here at Bealtaine and in return, I have plenty of wood for my stove…cycle complete! Permaculture 011…and the Arum Lilies seem to like it!

In the course of life here at Bealtaine Cottage, there is really no need for a septic tank…flush it away? Permaculture 009There is no away!

If you liked reading this, why not Like, Comment or share with others on Twitter, FaceBook or email to a friend! Blessings XXX

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized

A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

Posted in Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Spring

Sowing Seeds and Dividing Plants in the Permaculture Gardens

frost through the window of the porch at Bealtaine CottageUploaded another video this morning, showing some of the productive gardens and what’s happening!


You can view the video by clicking on this link…


Most of the perennials are pushing their way through the soil and this is a really good time to divide and spread.

This will be the main stem of my work over the weekend.

Cottage interior, Bealtaine Cottage, IrelandThe frost descended overnight and left everything a little shocked with the cold, but the heat of the morning will rectify that.

I’m continuing to post out seeds and wanted to add a few pointers about sowing the seeds.

Bealtaine Cottage sowing seedsI follow a basic guide that suits most of what I sow…

*Cover the seed with its own depth of soil…if the seed is tiny, then just a sprinkle of fine compost will do. Bigger seeds, more depth of cover.

Bealtaine Cottage sowing seeds*Sow in modules or small pots of watered compost, place the seed on top and cover as directed. Mist with water to dampen the top and cover with a sheet of paper to keep the moisture in and stop the seeds from drying out.

*Keep an eye on the seeds and remove the paper once growth appears.

Bealtaine Cottage plant nursery*Watch for roots coming through at the bottom. As they appear, pot on into a bigger pot. I do this until the plant is big enough to withstand the hungry slugs. Slugs only really like tiny, tender baby plants!

*I plant out towards the end of May when the danger of night frost has passed. If I do decide to chance it, then I cover with fleece at night.

Bealtaine Cottage Potager beds in JuneThis Summer I intend to dry a lot of Herbs, as many of you have asked me to post out herbs from Bealtaine Cottage.

I am posting out packs this morning and fast running out of supplies!

If anyone wants seeds, just go to the link on the side of this page…


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Posted in biodiversity, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized

Progress in the Permaculture Fruit and Vegetable Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

There has been so much growth over recent weeks that I can hardly keep up…this is the busiest time of the year for sure.

Trees and bushes are merging together and forming dense walls of green.

The casting shade is already changing the nature of the earth underneath.

As I type, my hands have a healthy green hue to them from mowing the grass and pulling weeds to use as mulch around the fruit trees.

Everything that grows is food for the soil, building the depth and fertility, year on year.

There is no such thing as an unwanted plant…really, none!

Each year I say, “here’s another bumper crop of everything,” and this year is no exception!

So, as promised, here’s a walk around a small part of the productive gardens…