Economy? The Future is Local…the Illusion of Growth

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I keep hens.

These hens feed into my local economy in small, positive ways.

However, these beautiful creatures are not part of Ireland’s economy, despite their consistent hard work!

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Economic growth is all about measuring the flow of money.

Surplus eggs at Bealtaine Cottage are bartered for other goods.

The details of that growth are almost irrelevant.

Yet, every day, the news is filled with details about the economy, difficult to relate to any aspect of our daily lives.

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There is not one aspect of what I do here at Bealtaine Cottage which would be deemed to contribute to economic growth. Sewing, spinning, planting trees, growing food, supporting wildlife, caring…

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Planting trees?

Only measured on the day of cutting and selling!  

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Ensuring the land is brought back to fertility…not measured.

If it cannot be measured in  the transfer of money, then it is not counted.

If you produce what you consume, then, apparently, you do not produce…the real economy of people like me is zero.

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However, the future is local in terms of the real economy, because the real economy is about real people and the real lives they lead!

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I believe that in order to stabilize the world, we must first stabilize our country and in order to do that, we must ensure our homes and communities are efficient and resilient.

The future can only be welcomed if our present is secure.

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We are of real flesh and blood; real feelings: compassion and hope; real lives, not economic statistics on the six o’clock news.

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The future is local, resources are plentiful; the future is us…just us and justice!

Preparing for the Collapse.

Spinning wheel and craft studio at Bealtaine Cottage Over recent months it has become more and more apparent that there is a massive problem rolling towards us in the financial markets.

Angel and Field Maple at Bealtaine CottageMaking money without production has been the mainstay of the economic markets.

Bealtaine Cottage February 2013The men in suits deal in commodities, pension plans, mortgages and hedge funds.

The standing stone at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013Money that is put into savings and pension plans is being scooped up and processed out of the country, to be invested in other, slave-labour nations of corruption and despotism.

The lower pond in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage in February 2013That money should be invested in our own economies, but, asking for integrity and honesty from the bankers and brokers is a useless and pointless exercise.

The Ash tree walk in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013So, it behoves us all to think and act in a prompt and practical way to avoid, as best we can, being a hapless victim in all of this.

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine CottageMy advice is simple and easy to apply.

1.Grow food. Edible gardens, allotments, containers, patios and window ledges…great fun too!

2.Build a pantry and stock it well. This will cut down on multiple visits to the supermarket.

3.Learn as many practical skills and crafts as you can. Knitting, sewing, carpentry…everything is treasured that is hand made.

4.De-clutter your home. Let the energy flow freely around your living space.

5.Teach yourself to cook and bake. This is a real chance to improve your health and become powered up!

6.Collect together a library of knowledge and interest. The internet may never be as reliable as a solid book of information.

7.Invest in the most comfortable bed you can afford. You do, after all, spend one third of your precious life in bed!

8.Make your home cosy and draught-free. Your home is your haven, your sanctuary, your blessed space…be comfortable and warm in it.

9.Bulk-buy local when available. This will enable you to turn food gluts into storable feasts.

10.Invest in a chest freezer and put it in your new pantry…don’t forget, even a spare room will double as a pantry, especially a north facing one.

bealtaine Cottage in February 2013*****************************

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

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Living Lightly upon the Earth

So much has changed since my birthday last year.

Re-painting the cottage has made a big difference to the light inside and the way in which the walls now reflect the outside in. I made new curtains from simple gingham.

There is now a green floor in the kitchen with gold spirals all across it.

The vegetable garden has been moved closer to the cottage and is now a potager style with easier access.

However, the real change has happened in my own life and it is a change worth celebrating and sharing with all.

I became Vegan…no longer consuming any animal products and eating a fully plant-based diet.

I consider this to be the most beneficial lifestyle choice I have ever embraced.

I am transformed in the way I live my life.

Not only have I shed a considerable amount of weight and have loads more energy, I sleep well and feel calmer and more positive than ever before.

I heartily recommend this way of eating. I call it, “Living Lightly upon the Earth.”

As my birthday approaches this autumn, a sense of renewal is exciting me as I open up the big box of winter clothes…not many of them now fit me, so the sewing machine will be put to good use altering and reshaping much of my wardrobe!

This may even be a good time to host a “Clothes Swap Party,” and enjoy an evening of fun with friends and some home-made wine and clothes exchanging! The winter months are a good time to share time with friends and family. I have re-engaged my love of knitting recently and intend putting the spinning wheel into action soon too.

I have an idea to knit socks this winter.

Hand-knits are so luxurious these days as so much is mass produced and cheaply made…ugh!

A lovely idea for gifts is really anything hand-made and special…little hamper baskets of home-made goodies are the very best Yuletide gifts to make and give.

Living well should not cost the Earth.

Eight Ways To Live a Better Life

This is not a check-list.

It is not about ways to recycle or buy greener energy.

There is enough advice out there for you to check out.

Lists are good for remembering things in a hurry and ensuring everything is done, completed, bought…

This is simpler and permanent.

It is what I have learned about living as lightly as possible on this beautiful Earth.

These small bits of advice are not in any particular order, but as I think of them and how they have made a difference to my life…


*** Re-claim and nurture knowledge.

Talk with older, wiser people.

Keep a notebook of knowledge.

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I have tapes I recorded of my grandmother talking to me about her life and feelings on so many different and intriguing things.

I talked lots with my mother,  pictured above at Bealtaine Cottage.

Mum learned from me too…we exchanged ideas a lot.

Staying at Bealtaine enabled Mum to develop her love for Earth too.

***Develop a close and binding relationship with Mother Earth, through a closer contact with Nature.

www.bealtaine cottage.com

We are of the Earth and we will return to the Earth and are as much a part of the cycle of life as the seasons.

***Turn off the television, or even get rid of it, and nurture silence, peace, communicating, reading, listening…for all these will allow YOU to live instead of living life through a screen.


***Sow and plant food, flowers, trees…whatever your space allows and if space is limited, rent an allotment.

If allotments are in short supply or non-existent, pester your local council to provide them!

***Re-learn to love food!

Cooking, baking, tasting, canning, making wine and cordials, sharing…food is the one part of living everyone shares.

It is a great common denominator.

Food brings people together…it certainly used to!

Home made wine in demijohnsBealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Banish TV dinners!

Decorate your dining table, no matter how small, with a vase of seasonal greenery.

Use table mats and fine crockery for the beautiful food you make.

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Light a candle on your table…celebrate the fruits of the Earth and reject the poisonous, tasteless garbage of the corporation!

***Practice kindness.

Kindness towards others and oneself.

I love the concept of “Random Acts of Kindness.”

***Our grandparents used their acquired skills to make their living environments easier and more beautiful…sewing, carpentry, kitting, painting…whatever you are good at, keep at it and teach others!

I have recently learnt to make willow baskets and will be able to pass this skill on.

***De-clutter your life!

This is a mantra I say to myself.

Less really is more.

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A New Kitchen for 50 euros? Easy!

The walls painted and stencilled, the floor painted and sealed, there was little to do except sew the new curtains.

A mass of green gingham fell into my lap, enough for the job, so I set about sewing and hanging…

Frugality and simplicity are cornerstones of permaculture, so simple curtains, made from sustainable cotton are an easy way to complete a re-decoration.

The time sewing them was interspersed with baking a cake and listening to a podcast.

Multi-tasking is easy.

Life is simple and abundant.

The first curtains are hung on the west window.

I shall leave the top windows uncovered until late Autumn, just before the winter draws in…

Both windows are now finished and I even had enough material left for curtaining the sink area.

Now to find some nice material to sew a table cloth…

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I have completed the kitchen…new floor, new walls, new curtains and hangings and all for less than 50 euros.

Simplicity, Frugality and Thrift…

Made today…

Frugality, simplicity and thrift…cutting down old curtains bought at a Boot Fair, to make new curtains for this window.

Hung on curtain wire…the cheapest and most effective way to hang light curtains.

And cafe curtains on the kitchen windows… These curtains are easy and fast to make, sewing in straight lines and no need for accessories of any kind!

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Think twice before you throw away tins…they make wonderful pots for plants!

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Floral displays are easy to create from all kinds of cuttings.

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Twisted willow wreathes require little or no skill to make and the materials are free and readily collected from the hedgerows.

Candle at Bealtaine Cottage
Candles for Midwinter, made over recent days, using candle scraps collected up over the course of the year.

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A string of hearts made from scrap materials…one of those curtain pattern sample books that shops find difficult to dispose of!

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Home made biscuits to give as gifts, always treasured as they are unique and and can be wrapped in such beautiful ways!

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Tiny pots of home made jam…

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Wrapped with home made scones, these make wonderful gifts!

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Or home made jellies with herbs added!

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Be really adventurous and make fruit wine…

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Once in the demijohn, they make themselves!

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The kindest and cheapest way to bleach your tea cloths…leave them out in the sun!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture home made soup

Make a big pot of soup, fill some Kilner jars with it and store in the fridge…it will keep for several days and is better than buying factory made stuff in plastic pots!

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Happy making and baking…!

 

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Sustainable Living and the Mystical Poets

May 2011 permaculture 018Social unrest is being driven by corporate greed, and the resulting societal chaos compounded by unemployment, mental trauma, & poverty!

 Energy and food, the two most basic
commodities of life on this Earth, are increasing in value as demand for both escalates.
May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 004This should alert everyone to the need
to prepare both individually and
collectively for the times ahead by becoming more self reliant.
May 2011 Bealtaine 002In this respect, Permaculture and the Transition Towns Movement have been at the forefront of thinking and policy development.
At Bealtaine Cottage the focus is on
creating an infrastructure for a lifestyle that is as practical and
self reliant as possible.

In doing this, one of the results is that it leaves a small ecological footprint. 

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 013Growing lots of  food and trees for energy, as well as crafting in many different skill areas, such as spinning, knitting, sewing, making clothes, soaps, creams…all go some way towards this end.

Home made country wine book,Bealtaine Cottage permaculture


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.  ~E.F. Schumacher 
www.bealtainecottage.comSustainable living attempts to reduce use of the Earth’s natural resources. 
www.bealtainecottage.comIn conducting one’s life in ways that are consistent with sustainability, and respectful of a symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles, you will find that the actual financial cost decreases!  
www.bealtainecottage.comTherefore, sustainable living is a continual action against the vagaries of the whole system…a system that is causing such problems for so many!
www.bealtainecottage.comIn choosing to live this way, you will be voting with every penny you spend…against the corporate greed that has caused so many environmental and humanitarian problems!

recycling tins at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars…
and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is
joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are
not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to
become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers –
for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  ~Osho

I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have
planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the
healing shadow of the woods.  Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and
pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.  ~Wendell Berry

Poetry and Nature – An Introduction To The Mystical Poets

  http://youtu.be/vjxZ-yD-AMg

 

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

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

There are almost 700 blogs in the archives on this site.