A Peaceful Passing

IMG_1847There is something so simple, yet so unique about Goddess Permaculture. IMG_1848It’s evident to all who visit Bealtaine Cottage. IMG_1849It is the connectedness of everything. IMG_1851Earlier today, whilst walking the woodland gardens, I discovered the body of a fox. IMG_1855It had come to Bealtaine to die…a safe place, a quiet place where only the birdsong held sway in the shady gardens near the silt pond. IMG_1860The beautiful creature had already made itself known to me in the preceding days… IMG_1864Sometime last week, in the early hours of the morning, between three and four, I was awoken by a cry and then Jack barking. IMG_1869I got up and looked out through the glass of the front door. IMG_1873There it was, one of the oldest foxes I had ever seen, quite thin and scraggy, crossing the gravel by the front of the cottage. IMG_1876It is rare for me to rise out of bed at that hour, but something drew me to look. IMG_1877I now know it was this beautiful, old fox bidding me farewell…one last lap of honour around Bealtaine Cottage, before it laid itself to rest in a quiet, cool spot of safety for it’s final hours. IMG_1881I feel honoured that this once beautiful creature chose Bealtaine Cottage to die. IMG_1884A place of sanctuary. IMG_1888Somewhere, in a world where it was hunted, reviled and pushed out, that it found a place to simply die. IMG_1889This evening, as I write, I feel honoured and blessed to have witnessed such a life and peaceful passing.

 

Keeping Good Health This Winter with Dracula!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureOne of the mainstays of good health…organically grown onions here at Bealtaine Cottage on the veranda, drying out before stringing.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Onions, Apples and Blackcurrants, organically grown, will provide an enormous amount of protection from colds and viruses and at the same time help to keep the blood free from oxidants.

All this because prevention is better than cure!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureA pot of tea, comforting and refreshing as well as being a powerful anti-oxidant

organic garlic, Bealtaine CottagePermacultureGarlic…not just for keeping vampires away!

Garlic at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture garden 015Traditionally, whole bulbs of wild garlic were placed under the thatch of Irish cottages, just above the door, to keep away evil!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

It is no surprise that the writer of the book, “Dracula,” was, in fact an Irish man, Bram Stoker.

Garlic keeps the blood clean…apparently!

A slice of garlic placed on a cut will kill all infection!

rosehips Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureStudies now suggest that Rose-hip extract can reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Rosehips at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureIn the past this was used to make a poultice which was then applied to painful joints in hands, knees and hips.

 Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureIt has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and will successfully treat the inflammatory condition AND is free of any side-effects.

Rose Arch at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThis is a very easy to grow cure and has many other uses…for example, the hips are packed with Vitamin C!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture breadAnother case of prevention being better than cure…sunflower seeds, used in bread-making will provide a good source of Omega to the body and be powerful in the protection of good health all round.

I add the hulled seeds to bread and flapjacks.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture catsWe should enquire of the older generation what it is that has kept and continues to keep them in good health.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture home made soupHome made vegetable soup is one of the best sources of goodness to keep good health throughout the winter.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture pumpkinsI make this in batches, using pumpkins from the pantry and keep it in the fridge, along with home made bread.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture PumpkinsPumpkins will keep for the entire winter if stored in a cool pantry.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture TreesThe Elder tree was used as the mainstay of good health in village life long ago.

The leaves, bark, flowers, berries and roots were all used in folk medicine and herbal cures.

Bealtaine Cottage interior designThis is another easy to grow tree that keeps on giving…Elderflower Wine is absolutely scrumptious!

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Under Occupation…Mother Earth needs a Lawyer!

The Earth is in desperate need of protection.

Mother Earth is in desperate need of people with integrity to look after her interests…for her interests are our interests.

So, what constitutes integrity?

Do any of our leaders possess this quality?

How often do we say, “there goes a person of integrity…”?

Integrity is the “quality or state of being complete”, of being in an “unbroken condition” or state of “wholeness”… entireness, wholeness; the unimpaired state of anything: uprightness: honesty: purity.

The problem with many politicians, who make decisions on our behalf, is that they seem not to possess any of the last three qualities.

I am very concerned about our seed security.

Seed gives us our food…all of our food.

I have spoken about this before and the little I have to say about it resonates deeply with many of you.

Now, the reason that I mention politicians is that all decisions relating to our environment and food security are taken at governmental level and it is at governmental level that the big corporations employ many of their people…to lobby!

There is no integrity in lobbying politicians on behalf of a corporation…that is all about money and back-scratching.

So, back to Mother Earth and who lobbies for her…successfully?

Well, one of my all-time heroes, Tim DeChristopher is in prison for taking direct action to help her.

That is a story worth googling!

There are many organizations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who represent us on the front-line.

There are also many people who genuinely care and are concerned and I count myself as one.

The problem is that politicians are very adept at being sly.

Take for example the issue of GMO’s.

Recently, the government here in Ireland allowed this abomination into our country via, “GM Potato Trials!”

Now, who, I ask, would have lobbied for that?

Then there’s the case of Order 81 in Iraq.

Who was behind that?

Do people even know anything about Order 81, imposed by the US government in 2004.

Yes, imposed!

What a break for U.S. corporations, such as Monsanto!

The U.S. imposed 100 Orders on Iraq.

Order 81  was designed to have a major impact on the way farming is done in Iraq.

This order prohibits Iraqi farmers from using saving seeds from one year to the next.

Order 81 prohibits the farmers from using their own seeds, on their own farms, to grow their own crops.

So who supplies the seeds…?

Well, join the dots and look at what’s going on.

Prior to the U.S. invasion, agriculture in Iraq was flourishing.

The Fertile Crescent in Iraq, the cradle of civilization and where farming actually began, had developed a system of farming that was the envy of the world.

There was immense biodiversity and within that was food security.

GMO’s depletes biodiversity, leaving us all tied to the corporations supplying the seeds.

Alarm bells ringing?

Under Occupation, centuries of progress have been destroyed, almost overnight, due to the bombing of the Iraq Seed Bank…how convenient for Monsanto to get a foothold.

How much of this did you know?

As I suspected, the Earth needs a damn good lawyer and fast!

 

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Saint Patrick’s Day Permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

Saint Patrick’s Day! The middle of March in the West of Ireland…and there is much to celebrate! For we have enjoyed a mild winter and fast warming Spring.

According to  the old Irish annals, Patrick died in AD 461 on March 17.

And so, it is today that we celebrate the greatest non-Irish person as the greatest  of the Irish… for it is in Patrick that the Irish nurture their sense of national pride.

Much of the landscape of Ireland is awakened into Spring at this point in the year as you can see from the photographs taken this morning here at Bealtaine Cottage.

It has been traditional to plant potatoes on saint Patrick’s Day or thereabouts, so this morning, this is what I shall be doing, having prepared the beds at the beginning of the week, (and sliced through the water-pipe!).

Potatoes in Ireland were traditionally planted into mounds, a form of raised bed.  

Potatoes are planted into the mounds as they have a lower tolerance to frost and this way of planting affords a certain amount of protection. Other more hardy crop,s are Peas, Beans and Cabbage, all of which can be planted out regardless of frost.

Permaculture planting takes into account these variants and straw is placed over the beds of potatoes as both a mulch to exclude weeds and a protection against late frosts, which can be expected right through to May!

All these pics were taken this morning and as you can see, it is a perfect planting day in the west of the country.
The celebrations and parades will all take place this afternoon, so the morning is planned for a little light work, planting!

So, it just suffices to say…A very Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you all, with blessings and love to each and every one of you, from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.