Why Save Seed?

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All seed-saving at Bealtaine Cottage helps to preserve heirloom seeds’ genetic diversity!

This is Bealtaine Cottage Lunaria.

dsc07184This seed has adapted over twelve years to grow in difficult conditions, for as you know, it rains frequently here and the gardens are all on a north-facing slope.

harvesting seed at Bealtaine CottageThis is why the seed saved here, year after year, is more resilient than commercial seed, which is grown in ideal conditions for the maximum production value!

Foxglove seed Saving seed also makes one value the pollinators, especially the Bees…for without their incredible work there would not be any seed to collect! 

Lunaria seeds drying on the veranda of the LodgeDuring the 1900’s we experienced a startling drop in the number of heirloom varieties—because gardeners stopped saving and trading their own seeds.

Bealtaine Cottage SeedsHere at Bealtaine Cottage I have developed a seed bank over twelve years, adding more and more seed year on year, as the biodiversity increased similarly throughout the gardens. 

growing seeds at BealtaineWhen we rely on commercial seed companies, any seeds that sell slowly simply get dropped from production and disappear.

seedlings in tunnel at Bealtaine CottageIf you would like to support this vital work of seed-saving and building resilience for the future, consider purchasing some seed from Bealtaine Cottage…

Click on the link below to see what’s available so far… (I’m adding continually as more becomes ready to pack!) 

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

Just published on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

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The Homefront and Using Your Loaf!

BY BEALTAINE COTTAGE

JANUARY 30, 2016

…The Women’s Land Army provided much of the labour force required.

It was simply amazing just how short a time it took for the UK to become relatively self-sufficient in good, wholesome food!

To read more, subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life at…

 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

Ireland: Life before and after The Merchants of Greed…

The radio is talking about economic growth/lack of it/regulators/lack of them…

They are all lacking the essential connection, which to my mind is the actual land where they live!

All the time there’s talk about international investors, while fields grow high with rushes and Irish children leave school with little or no understanding of how to make a good life possible, here, in their homeland.

There was a time when anyone who could, grew fruit in this area to supply Lairds Jam Factory in Drumshanbo.

Well, the factory closed and the fruit growing stopped!


There are few people who grow fruit in this area now, yet I harvested over 150lbs of Blackcurrants with ease this year and the Apple trees I planted are bent double with the weight of beautiful Apples…all organically grown!

We should be turning off the radios and televisions and asking ourselves some serious questions, because the only investments worth growing are not to be found on the Economic Markets…after all, you can’t eat talk!

Using a re-cycled water bottle,  for the past eight years, contains my homegrown version of washing powder…mild soap bars, cut into chunks and all shook up in this bottle with some spring water added.

  1. Total cost: In the region of 10 cents per wash cycle.

  2. Total Damage to the Earth: Minimal compared to the average Washing Machine Powder or Liquid!

  3. Usability: Really easy!

  4. Does it work: The real work is done by the tumbling action of the washing machine…didn’t you know? The soap just softens the water and helps the washing action.

  5. How much money can you save per year? : Work this one out for yourself.

  6. Message: Stop being brainwashed by advertising from the big chemical companies. YOU DON’T NEED THEM!

  7. P.S. My clothes are clean!!!

    Blackberries are really ripe for harvesting at the moment!

    Mixed with some of my apples, these will make a fine Blackberry and Apple Jelly.

    So far, the pillowcase method of straining the juice has served me well, washing the pillowcase and ironing it to sterilise.

    However, there are few people to be found harvesting berries for free, though many to be seen in the supermarkets buying jam filled with chemicals!

    Elderberries are just beginning to ripen, so the harvest will continue well into September!

    Permaculture is about living on less while at the same time continually running a surplus, because there appears to be a surplus of everything except paper money!

    Sharing the surplus with family and friends is a happy thing to do.

    The philosophy of sharing makes one feel extremely wealthy and begin to question the value system that exists in society around us.

    Permaculture can and does change lives.

    I believe it is the way forward, especially looking at the present state of the Irish economy.

    There is a saying here in Ireland, more relevant today than ever it was before, “People appear to have lost the run of themselves”…how sad, how true!

    But then, before the Economists, bankers, government and people lost the run of themselves, there was a quiet generosity of spirit that embraced the country.

    An open door…this is what Ireland used to be about…I wonder how many doors are freely open today?

    Ivan Illich, social thinker, has written many books criticising present day society and its failure…privileged people can escape the need to be consumers and be ‘doers’, instead, whereas the under-privileged seek satisfaction in consumerism, all that is packaged and pushed their way.

    The way forward lies in nurturing confidence in people to enable them to take more control of their lives…knowledge is power and empowering people to move away from big institutions and useless economic models is enabling empowerment for everyone!

    As John Seymour once wrote…”To allow ourselves to be dependent on some vast Thing created by the Merchants of Greed is madness.

    It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily.

    Good food, comfortable clothes, serviceable housing and true culture – those are the things that matter.

    The only way this can happen is by ordinary people, us, boycotting the huge multinational corporations that are destroying our Earth – and create a new Age – an Age of Healing in place of the current Age of Plunder.”

     

Permaculture Cottage ~ Merging of State and Corporate Powers…

The merging of State and Corporate powers has produced nations of people who are driven by fear and greed. Fear as created by the Media and Governments, turned into loathing for other cultures…a good smokescreen that keeps people occupied! Greed for all the Corporate rubbish pushed at us through the Media.

Between the screens of fear, governments are encouraging people to eat horrendous, factory food that makes them ill and drains their energy. Once people buy into this they are then herded towards doctors and endless drugs to treate the effects of such appalling diets…they are then captives of the system that has abused them!

For the past seven years I have practiced Permaculture. Growing food, planting trees, harvesting energy, working towards self-sufficiency…and what an eye-opening experience it has all been.

Permaculture is a way out of the mess that so many people are now waking up to.

This past week has seen more visitors to Bealtaine Smallholding. All are welcome to come and look at a better way of living. Everyone who makes the journey, after several hours spent looking around, articulates the effect they have felt here…inspired to become more self-sufficient…and so many individual journeys begin, towards a better life, a lighter life with Gaia.

Destroying Self-Sufficiency is ALL About CONTROL…Thoughts from a Permaculture Cottage

The Lower pond at Bealtaine this morning.

As I walked around the smallholding I thought about what it is we do to be self-sufficient and ultimately free from tyranny!

Yes…tyranny, because that’s what being at the mercy of the market and banks and importers of food is all about…tyranny!

The world today is governed by commerce, that means banks and business.

These institutions want us to be consumers.

Nothing else!

Just consumers!

In order to be a good consumer it is necessary to have money.

This paper trail enslaves us all.

That is why ‘bartering,’ is referred to as the ‘black market economy.’

Self-sufficiency is about providing as much as one can for oneself, family and wider community.

Is it any wonder that this is not taught in schools?

But then, the ‘make do and mend,’ philosophy does little to support any of the above…

I am not a good citizen.

I did not buy this flowering perennial, the Euphorbia above.

I got a cutting from a friend and propagated it, planted it, allowed it to spread and continued to give this plant forward to other people.

That makes me an economic terrorist.

Yet this is my philosophy for life.

To share.

I am not part of any religion.

Sharing is a human thing to do.

This is a pumpkin grown from a seed saved in Canada, planted yesterday in the tunnel.

I have grown dozens of plants this year  and given most away…because I could and I wanted to.

Growing seeds is an amazing experience as all tenders of Gaia know.

Sharing is liberating.

Why shop when you can share?

Oh dear, am I talking revolution again?

Ha! Ha!

Sharing is a human trait, beaten out of us in this competitive world we are submerged in…

Maybe it’s time to have a major rethink on that, for hard times are here…