Posted in agriculture, ancient Ireland, Brigid, celebrations, celtic festival, Celts, Imbolc, Uncategorized

Celtic Ireland~Imbolc Rising

And so the wheel turns towards Spring and its tentative beginnings in the West of Ireland as the sun rises tomorrow morn.

With the rising of the sun comes Imbolc!

Oftentimes it does not look or even feel like Spring, but the light has changed…something that animals see, feel and react to before we do.

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The understanding of the changing seasons grew from the deep connections between us and the natural world, as can be seen in the word itself, for “Imbolc” refers to sheep’s milk in Old Irish.

During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs of Spring.

Imbolc is a Cross Quarter Day, which means it is midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Depending on the year that’s in it, Imbolc can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February…the  calculations vary, despite the best will of man to box it all up into calendars!

Celtic festivals are based on astronomical events!

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Festivals like Imbolc are often claimed to be Wiccan or Pagan, but Imbolc belongs to the ancient peoples of Ireland who were neither Wiccan or Pagan!

Wicca itself is less than one hundred years old

Pagan was a term used to describe those in Ireland before Christianity…a sort of name-calling, in that it became and remains for many, a derogatory term.

My ancestors were never without spiritual beliefs!

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Paganism is a term that developed among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity to describe religions other than their own, Judaism, or Islam–the three Abrahamic religions.

Imbolc (February 2) marks the lengthening days as the growing light awakens the Earth Goddess.

The warmth of the rising, growing sun fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout.

And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

As Imbolc rises on the second day of February, the last quarter moon is in Scorpio, my birth sign.

Now is the time to secure your seeds for the Spring sowing which is now well underway in propagators and sheltered places.

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You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

I continue to clear out spaces in my cottage and renew many aspects of my life…always a good preparation for Imbolc!

Happy Imbolc to you all!

I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, Youtube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…thanks for the appreciation! X

Posted in Ecology, Ireland, Permaculture

Seed-Saving, Kindling and Butterflies

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Here’s the evening podcast from Bealtaine Cottage… Talking kindling, pizza dough and what to do in the garden…

Sustainable growing at bealtainecottage.com 003

The Seed Site on Bealtaine Cottage has been updated today and now includes Willow.

I will be adding to the site as more and more seed becomes ready to be packaged.

Seeds and Willow   http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

Podcast   https://soundcloud.com/bealtaine-cottage/seed-saving-kindling-and-butterflies

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Climate, compost, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Seeds, Sustainable Living, Trees, Woodland

Little Pots of Magic…She Stirs…

www.bealtainecottage.comThe decision, once made, gathers energy and slowly, slowly begins to move…like a baby discovering it can crawl!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd so it begins…the first small movements of the Forest of Bealtaine, barely perceptible, but felt and experienced.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe Forest of Bealtaine is emerging through seed…seeds collected, saved and sown into pots of Bealtaine compost, that will travel with them, to their final destination, here, somewhere, in Mother Ireland.
www.bealtainecottage.comWhere in Mother Ireland I do not know, but, somewhere on this land bereft of the comfort of cover and canopy, open to the growing harshness of rain, that once fell soft like dew…for the changing weather patterns and climate are taking their toll!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd so She grows!
www.bealtainecottage.comToday the rain falls heavy and my visitors from Dublin have gone.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe heavy rain assures me we need forest…for we are the rocky outcrop of a failing empire
www.bealtainecottage.comThere is no mistake in that word…for it is She with a capital letter, She with a need to grow and nurture.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe land we have collectively failed…our governments collecting carbon taxes whilst fracking the bowels of Mother Earth! www.bealtainecottage.comThe failing Empire of the EU paying Irish farmers to rip out trees, so land can be mapped out for Google Earth Maps!
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd all so politicians and bureaucrats can peer and measure and post out cheques…
www.bealtainecottage.comBut what use is money to a people living on a land being ravaged by Climate Chaos?
www.bealtainecottage.comBut here at Bealtaine, the Goddess, the Mother, our Earth is nurtured for in her womb is cradled Eden, waiting to be birthed.
And Bealtaine is one of many birthing places, for the Mother is us and we are her…there is no separation.
www.bealtainecottage.comAnd in these little pots of hope, She grows, and slowly, barely noticeable to visitors, the magic begins to manifest.
www.bealtainecottage.comShe stirs, awakens and is…
Posted in Animals, Badgers, Birds, Cottage, Dogs, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds, Spring, Sustainable Living, Woodland

Permaculture Gardens

www.bealtainecottage.com

The growing season has begun, with Rhubarb sending forth strong pink stems despite the storms of recent weeks.

www.bealtainecottage.comMeanwhile, down in the Fairy Wood, ferns have kept their green in the shelter of the dell. Mosses grow bright in the sunlight and ivy twists and twirls around the Goat Willow.

www.bealtainecottage.comLots of Goat Willow has been coppiced over recent months, and although it takes a year or so to season, it makes excellent logs for the stove, giving out masses of heat for free!

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther down the gardens, Pine, laurel and Great Western Cedar all grow happily together and appear healthy in the spring sunshine.

www.bealtainecottage.comDaffodils are on their way to opening under the shelter of the Beech hedge. This is down beside the pond by the driveway.

www.bealtainecottage.comAnd as I turn around from the Daffodils, the Ivy that hangs from some of the mature Goat Willow, swings about in the wind and sunshine…this is turning into a lovely walk around the gardens!

www.bealtainecottage.comI amble around the lower pond, snapping as I go…Jack moves ahead of me, tugging on his lead for he has picked up the scent of a fox or badger!

www.bealtainecottage.comI put my camera away and let Jack pull me along, hot on the scent of other life…we finally stop as we come up to the east side of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comWe move around towards the polytunnel and one of the orchards. Pyracantha and Cotoneaster are now devoid of berries. This can be a hungry time for the birds as they mate and nest…there is a big bag of Oats I can scatter around in handfuls for the hungry birds and will do this later.

www.bealtainecottage.comBack to the cottage and the shelter of the veranda…it’s very stormy, despite the sunshine!

www.bealtainecottage.comWith a full moon over Bealtaine Cottage tonight and a hard frost to come, the evening will be cold for sure.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe coppicing continues and the woodpile grows…

www.bealtainecottage.comFennel is beginning to send forth lots of new growth in the shelter of the veranda and the back of the cottage. These new shoots are delicious added to salad!

www.bealtainecottage.comAnd just across from the Fennel…

www.bealtainecottage.comAnd a reminder for anyone wanting 100% Bealtaine seeds from Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you can choose what you want.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Family, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Personal, Summer, Woodland

The Closing Chapter

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens.

garlic harvest at bealtaine cottage permacultureHarvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled.

Blackcurrants almost ready for pickingThe glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even more added to the freezer.

free tea Open days and workshops seen a steady stream of visitors to the cottage and gardens.

The woodpile in the barn at Bealtaine CottageKindling for the winter stoves continued to be collected and stored in the barn.

Bealtaine Cottage Potager beds todayAnd the Potager beds kept growing!

Blackcurrant ChutneyThe recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney was added to a blog post that had runaway success!

Bealtaine Cottage ValerianValerian flowered…

Rambling Roses at Bealtaine CottageRoses bloomed…

The Lodge at Bealtaine CottageAnd all around, flowers showed off with total abandon!

poppies, poppy seeds and dried seed-headsI collected seeds…

Foxglove seed and more seeds…

harvesting seed at Bealtaine CottageDrying and labelling in every container I had to spare!

Poppy seed heads at Bealtaine CottageSeedheads were stored for winter flower arrangements.

Fairy cats in the fairy woodAs the boys played in the Fairy Wood.

A path from the Fairy WoodIt was a magical time for all!

006Summer never really went away, for the wine of that season kept bubbling with life.

cottage garden harvestAnd the harvest continued…

potato harvest at Bealtaine CottageAs potatoes were lifted…

misty morning at Bealtaine CottageAnd misty mornings began to appear.

hanging webCobwebs shimmied in the morning breeze…

Buddha at BealtaineAs the light and shadows began to change.

flowers for MichelleMy son got married and I designed and made the flower arrangements, on a lovely day with my new daughter’s mother, here at Bealtaine.

Dylan and Michellw wedding 031Everyone came to the west of Ireland for a three day wedding in a 500 year old castle. Here I am with my eldest daughter.

harvestAnd when all was over, the harvest continued.

wine, kitchenAnd the cottage fell silent…

Recycling in the permaculture gardensBut not for long, as friends delivered cardboard for mulching…

apples and sunflowersAnd helped with the harvest.

fairies 035Lords and Ladies made an Autumn appearance in the Fairy Wood.

open weekend bunting by the gateAnd the cottage and gardens were opened for a special fundraiser in aid of Leitrim Animal Welfare.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Raising a magnificent sum of money for a wonderful charity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Autumn continued into Winter…

www.bealtainecottage.com 012And logs were stacked in readiness for the stove.

www.bealtainecottage.com 008The days darkened as Midwinter approached…

cropped-029.jpgAnd candlelight illuminated the dark days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Bringing cheer to the silent grey…

www.bealtainecottage.com 025And soft light into the Midwinter Cottage.

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So few do, but if you choose to make a small donation, then Bless You! 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Cats, Christmas, Climate, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Wild Flowers, Winter

Midwinter in an Irish Cottage

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Rain is falling, softly, silently, onto a warm land.

The air is still.

Birds sing out loud.

A touch of Spring is in the air as Midwinter approaches.

It often happens this way, birds singing in the still air near Solstice.

The cold is saved for January…the biting winds that bring the snow.

I have spent much time indoors, making cards and packaging seeds.

www.bealtainecottage.com 001This is a quiet, yet productive time, a chance to reflect as work proceeds.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Yesterday was the last day for posting abroad in time for Christmas.

I am already thinking of the New Year, as I make these cards and planning out a few lovely walks to enjoy over Midwinter.

Walking at this time of year really clears the head and clarifies life in general.

There is a silence around Solstice that creates harmony in all things.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015The chimney in the kitchen remains blocked.

Armed with a borrowed crowbar, I shall attempt excavation of resin like tar this morning…something I’m not looking forward to!

Still, once cleared, the stove will heat the cool air and a sense of Yuletide be conjured up in a less smoky kitchen!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The air is so still that even the Rocket Stove smokes and billows!

www.bealtainecottage.com 005After harvesting the seed from the Lunaria, translucent seed heads decorate the window ledge in the Lodge, and…

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Outdoors, in sheltered spots, the empty seed heads create interest and beauty…

www.bealtainecottage.com 008Despite the delicate beauty, the little flowers that produced these seed-heads are strong and enduring!

www.bealtainecottage.com 009Sheltered in the Laurel Archway…

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Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Cats, Country Living, Dogs, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Autumn Seeds, Berries and Lichens

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Harvesting Willow today in the Permaculture gardens of Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004This Willow is pollarded rather than coppiced.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The day is fine…good for washing to dry out on the clothes line.

Fresh air and sunshine have an excellent cleansing effect on the materials.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Working so close to the trees, and seeing the lichens and mosses in the sunlight is magical.

Little cobwebs, insects and textures becomes a world all of its’ own.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014An opportunity to admire the berries on the Hawthorn, set against the silver of the bark.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015Clusters of berries on the Ivy continue to develop.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016Not to be out-done…the cerise pink berries on the native Irish Spindle make a show of themselves!

www.bealtainecottage.com 020Seeds on the Alder trees hang low in the bog garden.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021The green of Autumn has a fairytale quality about it…it becomes a woodland green, reflected by silvery, autumnal sun light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031Where summer sun on trees casts darkness underneath, autumn sun creates shadows…

www.bealtainecottage.com 034The Fairy Wood is timeless with trailing ivy and sunlight.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036Ivy and moss…

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www.bealtainecottage.com 056Jack and Che-Mousey-Bear play in the sunshine.

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds

Permaculture Seeds and Herbs from Bealtaine Cottage

Bealtaine Cottage Seeds

Seeds continue to be available from the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

These have been grown and saved each year from plants that have no contact whatsoever with chemicals and are watered with spring water or Atlantic rain.

If you would like to have seeds saved here at Bealtaine Cottage, for your own garden or allotment, you can choose from any of the following:

Purple Sprouting Broccoli grown at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This wonderful vegetable is packed with vitamin C and iron.

I use the leaves in smoothies and eat the tender purple sprouts raw in salads or in stir fries!

Green fennel at Bealtaine Cottage

Green fennel

…with beautiful yellow flowers

Fennel and daisy flower arrangement at Bealtaine Cottage

Beautiful to look at, make tea with, add to salads, cook and bake with!

This beautiful plant looks fantastic as a centrepiece for a sunny herb garden, or among tall perennials and grasses.

The foliage acts as a delicate veil through which the flower heads of herbaceous plants and bulbs can be seen.

Fennel grows erect with a thick root and stout stems.

The leaves grow to 40 cm long and are finely dissected into fronds. The bright golden flowers are in bloom in July and August.

Both seeds and leaves can be eaten. I love to add fennel leaves to a summer salad and also to flavour smoothies!

Aquilegia, Colunbine, at Bealtaine CottageAquilegia

Or know as, Columbine growing among the Blackcurrants in the permaculture gardens.

It is hardy to minus 30°C (-20°F) and self sown seedlings left to grow where they germinate are extremely drought-resistant.

It can be grown in harsh climates and further north, where its blooming period might be more restricted to May and June.

 

LovageLovage

Grows tall and strong and comes back each year, tastes like celery and is wonderful in soups!

Lovage is a perennial herb that has been long cultivated in Europe, the leaves being used as an herb, the roots as a vegetable, and the seeds as a spice, especially in southern European cuisine.

It brings fresh taste to soups, beans, fish, tomato sauces, pickles, etc.

Bealtaine Cottage evening primroseEvening Primrose

The sweetly scented flowers of this herb open towards evening, hence the name…

Evening Primrose was once called the “King’s cure-all” by herbalists, as it was considered a panacea for treating most ailments

The whole plant is edible: the leaves can be cooked as greens, and the nutty-flavoured roots can be boiled and eaten like potatoes, parsnips, or salsify.

The flowers make an especially lovely salad garnish.

The seeds are used to produce evening primrose oil.

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To order, simply click on the donate button.

For each pack  a suggested donation of only 1 euro and 1 euro postage and packing. 

Leave your name and address together with names of seeds you want.

I will post them to you within 1 day.

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HERBS AVAILABLE…

Dried herbs from Bealtaine Cottage Sage

Sage is traditionally used in cooking and adds a unique taste to food, however, Sage is also a very important ceremonial herb.

Sage is used to clear negative energy and as a natural incense or smudge.

Sage can be used as a blessing, disinfectant and to purify a space.

Dried oregano from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens IrelandOregano Used to bring happiness, strength, vitality, and additional energy.

Oregano is best known for its culinary uses.

However, like all herbs, it has magical properties as well.

Greeks crowned newly-wed couples with boughs of oregano to wish them joy in their marriage.

 Oregano has a lot of medicinal use – oregano poultices can be applied to insect bites and aching joints.

This magical herb is used to brew an oregano tea which is said to protect  against negative energy.

Plant oregano in front of your home to ward against negative energy.

Herbs drying at Bealtaine Cottage Catnip

There is a video on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel that shows MissyCat getting very high on this incredible herb…watch it and order some for your cat.

This dried herb is very potent and your cat will only need a small amount…it’s amazing!

Watch the video…

Green fennel at Bealtaine CottageFennel

Fennel is rich in minerals like copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, E and many of the B complex group

Use the seeds to cook with.

Many people claim that fennel can help calm bloating and indigestion, improve eyesight and milk production in nursing mothers as well as helping to  fight halitosis and mouth inflammations.

It is also widely held that steam from boiling fennel  can be inhaled for relief in respiratory infections like asthma and bronchitis.

All the above listed Dried herbs  come in 1/2 ounce bags.

A suggested donation of 3 euros plus 1euro postage and packing

 Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

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If you are unable to donate, leave your name and address and I shall pop some seeds or herbs in the post for you.

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Video…Seeds of Destruction…

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Cats, Climate, Country Living, Dogs, Ecology, Garden, Herbs, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Cats in the Sink and Frogs in the Pond!

Missy Cat in the sink at Bealtaine Cottage

Missy Cat is being stubborn and uncooperative.

Frogs are laying spawn in the pond.

The sun is shining and snow is promised.

All that’s missing is the Mad March Hare!

Bealtaine Cottage SeedsI’ve been having fun stamping my little cat stamp all over the seed envelopes.

Bealtaine Cottage stampAs you can see it is a specially made stamp that says “by Bealtaine Cottage.”

Bealtaine Cottage summer in the permaculture tunnelLots of you have asked for seed, so I’ve been busy sorting and labelling before posting all over the world!

Missy Cat at Bealtaine CottageI always dreamt that the magic of this little cottage in the west of Ireland would spread out, like a ripple of life and energy, to all four corners of the world…and it really is happening.

Many of the plants grown here over the years will be grown this year across Europe, America and Australia…it’s wonderful to think of.

This is today’s video all about the frogs in the pond in the Bog Garden…

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 Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Birds, Country Living, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, Uncategorized

The Abomination in our Midst

Harvesting Redcurrants yesterday and today.

After washing and air-drying, I pack them into 8oz bag and store them in the freezer.

Redcurrant sauce is a delicious accompaniment to Nut Roast!

Many of the seeds that are dropped by the birds from gorging on this fruit, will, in turn become true Bealtaine Cottage fruit bushes…conceived, born and bred here.

I regularly give away hundreds of plants like this to visitors, as a way of practising the Permaculture Ethics.

Much of the Buddleia is now in heavenly scented bloom.

This tree was grown from a seed harvested here at Bealtaine.

And this beautiful white Buddleia.

Still no butterflies…just the one on the day my visitors came.

I’m hoping that it is just the wet weather!

Apple crops continue to look good despite the annual, “drop,” that happened during the week.

Now anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I abhor injustice.

I consider it unjust to patent seeds and plants.

This is wrong.

Everyone knows that this is wrong.

There is a feeling one gets in one’s gut when something is unjust and wrong.

Some prefer to train themselves away from this intuitive conscience, our remaining link to the Divine.

Well, I do not and will not.

If something is wrong, it is wrong.

Any politician who colludes in any way with the patenting of seeds and plants is not worthy to serve the people.

They, quite simply, should be cast out from office, as soon as it is possible to do so.

In the meantime, as we have to deal with this abomination in our midst, saving seed and sharing it as Nature does with us, is the most important thing anyone can do.

Now is the time to save seed.

Time is against us.

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Fairies, Food, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture Blog, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ Food and Fairies

Mulching is really important once the dry weather sets in! It keeps the moisture in the ground as well as suppressing weeds. The fruit trees and fruit bushes were all mulched heavily during May. This helps to produce a good harvest as the fruit plumps out according to the amount of moisture they receive.

In gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors.

This is the tunnel today. Courgettes, Pumpkins, Fennel and Corn are all producing well. As crops come to fruition, the ground is cleared, fresh compost is spread and new plants set out. Compost is rich in nutrients and used for all planting at Bealtaine Cottage. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus  and as a natural pesticide for soil.

Courgette flower today and small fruit underneath. Courgettes are one of my favourite veg, especially cooked as fritters and served with a homemade, tomato salsa sauce…mmm! Courgette is also known as Zucchini!

When used for food, zucchini are usually picked when under 20 cm in length, when the seeds are still soft and immature. Mature zucchini can be as much as three feet long and known as Marrows. These are delicious stuffed and baked! Jam can also be made using Marrows…Marrow and Ginger jam is delicious!

Courgettes can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques, including steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as soufflés. It also can be baked into a bread, zucchini bread or incorporated into a cake mix. Its flowers can be eaten stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.

Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, baked into a bread similar to banana bread.

A place of calm and quiet contemplation…

The path that leads out from the Fairy Dell…

And deep within the Fairy Dell, Cow Parsley reaches up towards the sky…

Posted in Abundance, Family, Food, Gaia, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Politics, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine

The Promise of Pumpkins, and Mum at 81…Permaculture on Friday

Surrounded by pots of everything, all grown from seeds, the Pumpkin…and don’t ask me what kind it is until it produces fruit…is sporting a big, fab., yellow flower! It’s happy! I’m happy!

Talking of happy, I was in Omagh on Wedneday last to help Mum celebrate her 81st birthday…what a girl! She manages to outstyle me, out-talk me and usually outsmart me as well! Not looking bad for a woman who told the doctors to back off over her diagnosis and operation for breast cancer late last year! “No more drugs or treatment, I ready for living my life not sitting in waiting rooms,” she quipped just before Christmas…yep, you can’t keep a good woman down! …And, talking of Alice Taylor, isn’t she a woman for our times? On board the Gaza Flotilla…more power to you Alice!

Continuing to harvest a magnificent crop of blackcurrants…Permaculture sown and grown…the BEST!

More wine ready to be bottled and fined down and cleared without the use of animal products, as used in the commercial wines! Still, if you want to eat and drink the finest than it’s always best to make it yourself!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Garden, Gardening, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Simple Country Style, Ireland. Cottage Gardening

The Cottage Garden Approach…

cropped-0068.jpgA cottage garden is the most  informal garden it is possible to create and the easiest to maintain, if following the permaculture, no-dig method and approach.

bee on Lavender at Bealtaine CottageLadys Mantle will grow, fall, spread, then grow some more from the centre, outwards…if allowed, and that is what happens in a cottage garden!

Sammy-Bear CatPlants are ‘allowed,’ to do their own thing to a large extent!

Informality is the only hard and fast rule and that’s a contradiction in itself!

Formal or Not

Spirea simply HAS to get unruly before it produces these exquisite spires of pink fluff!

bealtaine Cottage windowThe hedge or bush…there is both here at Bealtaine Cottage, can only be brought back into semi-formality after the flowering period!

Blue Borage

This stunning herb gets very big and quite straggly, but it’s all worth it when the flowers happen.

It self-seeds everywhere, but who cares?

It’s carelessly beautiful!

 Poppies

Once these seeds are introduced into your garden, there is no way back for splashes of pink bobbing on the morning breeze between vegetables and fruit alike.

hanging webThe Bees adore them!

misty morning at Bealtaine CottageAbsolute Anarchy…

Bealtaine CottageJust let it be!

Back door at Bealtaine CottageAt the end of the day that’s the great joy to be found in a cottage garden.

Dog Daisy benchPrepare to be surprised, shocked even!

cropped-060.jpgThere is no rule book!

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Posted in Abundance, Current Affairs, Family, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized

How Permaculture Helps Us Re-Connect…Notes from a Cottage in Ireland

The beautiful Kilronan Mountain…

Rubbish dumped over a bridge into the Mountain Stream Bed below…How we perceive the world around us depends largely on how we connect with it, if at all. Most dog owners will know this to be true, because an otherwise dull morning can be transformed by simply walking the dog…getting OUT into the natural world. Walking and connecting with Nature is tremendously uplifting and inspiring…the Romantic Poets and Artists did a lot of walking in Nature and we have their legacy of work to prove that uplifting feeling.

 Walking out to the tunnel in the morning is enough to make the heart happy!As I write this I am listening to the radio and am shocked to hear that Ireland has the 2nd highest alcohol consumption per capita, (that means per person), in the world, spending on average 2000euros per person.

 Drinking large amounts of alcohol depresses the body, causing bio rhythmns to move chaotically, eventually causing depression. The suicide rate here in Ireland is also fairly high with many deaths from suicide not being reported as such. Playstation users in Ireland rank amoung the highest users in the world. There are many signs that the disconnect from the land is causing unhappiness. Litter is a big problem here also. How we treat the land can be a reflection of how we view ourselves…we are connected but are more often than not in denial about this.

 Re-connecting with Gaia is the best one single action to make/take for personal health and wellbeing…

The north facing bank which protects the cottage  from the worst of the weather is filling out as the trees and shrubs come into flower and leaf. The variety of planting gives all year round colour.Lettuce and Oregano growing together in a home made planter box. This sits on the veranda and so is close by for quick and easy salads…usually an add-on thought at any meal, so I don’t have to go far!Conditions have been exactly right over the past nine months or so for the germination of Blackcurrant seeds and these tiny Blackcurrant seedlings are all over the gardens here at Bealtaine.