Thanksgiving Blessings from Ireland

56

IMG_0557Fourteen years ago at the beginning of the Bealtaine Project, I had no contact with anyone in the US.

IMG_0559My perception of American people was very much decided by all things Hollywood and the news broadcasts that informed me of all that was negative.

It’s shocking how our view of the world lies in the power of so few!

IMG_0561As the years here at Bealtaine Cottage have passed and the great work of planting so many hundreds of trees has changed the land and fortified the future, I have blogged and vlogged the journey to anyone who was interested.

In this way, through interaction with so many subscribers, friendships have formed and many have made the journey to Bealtaine Cottage to visit for themselves…in fact many summers have been filled with regular visitors from all over the world!

IMG_0564It is difficult to keep up at times!

The kindness of strangers has overwhelmed me on countless occasions, as I received gifts…some arriving on the darkest of days for me!

(Living alone can have its downside now and then).

IMG_0568I have come to value the sincerity and genuine kindness of people, many of whom live in the United States.

IMG_0569I am amazed at the spirit of the real American women I have got to know, so hardworking and stoic, so resilient and kind…a force to be admired!

IMG_0570This morning I have stepped out to take these photographs for you as a sharing gift on your Thanksgiving Day.

IMG_0571The men of America who have found their way to Bealtaine Cottage proved surprisingly wonderful too…unlike the Hollywood macho nonsense so often portrayed as representative and so, so wrong!

IMG_0575From my perspective it takes a fully formed human being to show kindness, compassion and respect…qualities displayed again and again in those men who have made the journey.

IMG_0572I’m rambling, I know, but this little blog is simply to say, “I feel honoured to have met so many of you here and on YouTube, for you have opened my world and my mind!”

IMG_0574Blessings to each one of you for your love and support.

IMG_0576May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter.

IMG_0577May the days to follow be filled with hope, for your optimism in the face of hardship is the true Spirit of America!

IMG_0578Blessings to you all XXX

IMG_0591Colette and Jack and all the life-force that is Bealtaine Cottage XXXIMG_0556

Enjoy the rest of this morning’s photos…

IMG_0579IMG_0580IMG_0581IMG_0583IMG_0582IMG_0584IMG_0585IMG_0586IMG_0587IMG_0589IMG_0588IMG_0590

(Bealtaine Cottage books, map and 2019 calendar are available using the link at the top of this page).

Thank You, Monsanto!

10

Evening at BealtaineSo much for panicking…my computer is fixed!

I was really in a tiz thinking that I was going to be without the means of spreading the energy from Bealtaine Cottage and I’m glad about that, because as the evening progressed and my computer was being fixed, I had time to think about all the people I have met through this blog…and what we all have in common…Passion!

growing seeds at BealtaineGrowing life from seed and sharing the abundance of the ensuing seed and all because of Monsanto!

Elena's Rocket at BealtaineIf Monsanto had not attempted to own and monopolize  our seed, I would never have met Elena from Greece, who posted me this Rocket seed…now in the process of making more seed!

Oak seedlings growing at BealtaineOr David from the U.S. who sent me these Oak seeds, now growing in pots in the shelter of one of the sheds.

Sycamore and Fern at Bealtaine CottageAnd Eric who posted me a selection of tree seeds, all scattered in the gardens, for me to find in the autumn, as flowers and fruit and vegetables die back.

For then I will carefully lift and pot them on.

Fruit trees and berry bushes in the permaculture gardens of bealtaine CottageAnd the package I recently received from Switzerland, filled with Ginkgo seeds,  a unique species of tree with no close living relatives.

A tree that tolerates pollution and indeed even survived the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima!

Tunnel at Bealtaine this eveningOr the Black Tomato seeds from Tara in New York!

redcurrants ripening at Bealtaine CottageThe wickedness perpetrated by Monsanto, in trying to arrest, control and kill off the great biodiversity of life, has awakened so many to the very essence of life itself…seed!

Another Rose arch at bealtaine CottageWe are now aware and able to articulate what it is that makes life so fantastic…and it all stems from seed.

Apples growing in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageNine years ago, my main interest in seed was far from protecting it, but simply in growing.

Thanks to Monsanto, I got to know great people like Dr Vandana Shiva, who  opened the door into a wonderful world of possibilities and challenges, to save and nurture seed.

Feverfew at BealtaineNine years ago I was growing food and flowers…today I am growing an Ark for Mother Nature, one that is more than the sum total of everything I have ever done before!

Feverfew at Bealtaine CottageMonsanto has aroused passions in people that few were ever aware of…certainly I never felt this passionate about Mother Earth!

Poppies growing up through the Nectarine tree at Bealtaine CottageAnd that is the difference between Monsanto executives and Seed savers and nurturers…passion.

bealtaine Cottage this eveningThey just don’t have it!

Eat your heart out, Monsanto!

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 120 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 550 blogs in the archives on this site.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

National Tree Day Ireland and the Kindness of the Twitter Community!

2

The package from the USA could not have arrived at a better time…for Thursday the 11th of October is National Tree Day here in Ireland!

There are so many fabulous, caring people on Twitter, that it has become, for me, more than just a social media.

David, one of a fantastic group of people, answered my call for seeds to plant here at Bealtaine Cottage, with a box full of tree seeds…acorns, all different varieties!

The excitement here at the cottage was tangible as the post arrived and the package from America was opened.

Tara, from new York City, also sent me some wonderful Black Tomato seeds.

Lá na gCrann 2012
TREE DAY 2012 is a day for reminding everyone about the importance of trees. Ireland was once a much forested land, leading up to the 16th century.

At the end of the 16th century, Ireland was still a relatively wooded country, with one-eight of its surface area covered in forests, but this was soon to change and the continued decimation of the Irish forests continued unabated until the present day.

Ireland currently has about 11% tree cover, but if one takes into account the fact that about half of that, at least, is the horrid, tightly planted, plantations of Sitkha Spruce, then the actual coverage figure is considerably lower…possibly as little as 5%! We need to plant trees!

In Elizabethan times, the extent of the forests in the southwest of Ireland was almost legendary.

 The Irish forests were a considered to be an impediment to troop movements and a place of concealment for Irish rebels…not unlike the merry men of Sherwood Forest and their  use of the trees as protectors of their freedom, so much so that Sir John Perrot, Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Ireland, suggested that the woods be cut to ”deprive the rebels of their place of succour”.

English settlers started the clearance of the forests for their own security and prosperity.

Wood was a much traded commodity, as boats and houses were built using the precious resource.

Today has been a good tree planting day here at Bealtaine Smallholding, with two fine Sweet Chestnuts being planted…both gifts from well-wishers…Thank you Helen and Blair from Sligo!

As the Autumn moves through towards midwinter and into Spring, any fine day is good for planting trees, so there is much opportunity ahead of us.

This Thursday will be a day for planting trees and thinking about the importance of trees in our lives…for, without them, we have no life!

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage on the Day of the New Moon

4

I am over-whelmed right now.

My visitors have left.

It is always sad to say goodbye and even though I had never met these lovely people before, I feel as though I have known them all my life…

Monika and Rita had travelled all the way from Austria, with their driver, Sigi to visit Bealtaine Cottage.

Both have followed the Bealtaine Cottage blog and YouTube channel and got in touch with me some weeks ago to organise the visit.

We have shared a most beautiful and interesting afternoon, walking through the gardens and talking about permaculture, life and sacred journeys. Monika lives near to Sepp Holzer and has visited his permaculture farm.

It is awesome to realise that many of us share so much, even though time and distance keeps us apart.

Life is indeed a sacred journey.

 On leaving, they both presented me with this exquisite Amethyst horn, for a long time my most favourite of gemstones.

This day unfolded with a beautiful message from another visitor, Sharleen who lives on the west coast of the USA…leaving me some wonderful words to energise my day.

I’d like to share them with you…

“Thank you so much for your blog.

I came across it quite by accident, that is if you believe in accidents.

You have a wonderful blessed life!

Please do not underestimate the affect you are having on people’s lives.

Your blog and videos bring peace and happiness to many people from all over the world.

I live in the central coast of California and live a very hectic life.

Every morning before the day starts I check your blog and for videos, for a while I can leave my world behind and breathe and enjoy nature and your hard work.

Thank you so much!” …thank you Sharleen 🙂

************************************************************

Today’s 5 minute video…enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ckVxQrcaMs

The USA, Iran and Nowruz

2

Today is the Ides of March. We are halfway through this month of Spring and the Winter now seems far behind us. There is still much to be done in the garden in preparation for the growing season. Seeds to be sown, plants to be divided and trees to be pruned. The list is as long as one wants to make it really!

The Laurel Arch has grown and spread. It could do with a hard pruning, but I may not get the time as other work is more pressing.  Whether it is cut or not will really only be noticeable to me!

I have lit the stove in the sitting room this evening and Jack stands in front of the fire, just staring into the flames. I wonder if dogs have thoughts and reminiscences?

There’s a long stretch in the days now, with dawn breaking around 7am and light fading in the evening at 6.30pm or so.  I love this time of the year as I am a morning person and have all my best thoughts and energy then.

Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between Winter  and  Summer.

In all that is written about Spring, the same themes are covered of rebirth, renewal and regrowth.

We are coming closer to the Vernal Equinox, which is around the 20th/21st of this month.

With all the talk of war between Iran and the USA, it is good to note that both countries share the same welcoming of Spring on the Vernal Equinox. 

The first day of spring (celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March or the previous or following day depending on where it is observed) is the beginning of the new year in the Iranian calendar. This is referred to as Nowruz, which means “New Day.” This is what Spring is for people all over the world, a new day, a new beginning and perhaps why we love to have a Spring Clean!

We have more in common as people on this lovely Earth than what we have dividing us!

The Ancient Greeks believed that spring was a time of renewal and fertility, represented by the Return of Persephone to her mother Demeter after her sojourn with Hades in the underworld.

If, like me, you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will be welcoming Spring and celebrating the lengthening days!

Look Who Visited Bealtaine Cottage on Friday!

6
Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 344
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 67
Ireland FlagIreland 42
Canada FlagCanada 26
Sweden FlagSweden 18
Denmark FlagDenmark 9
Australia FlagAustralia 4
Italy FlagItaly 3
India FlagIndia 3
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 2
Belgium FlagBelgium 2

This is the new feature on WordPress and it is just fascinating…a breakdown of visitors to Bealtaine Cottage on Friday.

I love to look at statistics, as these represent real people in real time…and from all over the world!

Seedlings are springing up all over the tunnel, some in pots like these and others in the long beds where they have germinated in the compost.

A little pic from April last year, showing the Kanzan Cherry Tree in blossom…I am hoping for an even better dislaly this year!

Feverfew coming up in the gravel driveway…I must admit to being rather naughty and deliberately shaking seed from plants all over the gravel…I shall NEVER get my driveway tarmaced! That would be the end of such fun!

The delightful little buds on the Hawthorn hedgerow are fast becoming leaves as they unfurl in the bright warmth of an Irish Spring…

Abandoned Cottages in the West of Ireland

13

Wild Orchids are just some of the Wild Flowers at Bealtaine Smallholding today.

Walking the land it is amazing to see so many and such variety of Nature’s Bounty.

The leaves of an old Fern are just starting to unfurl.

Some of these Ferns growing along the bank at the back of the cottage are huge, denoting their age…10years and more!

The ruins of an old, old cottage on the hill behind this smallholding.

There are a few of these ancient remnants of a once much larger community of souls scattered on the hill of Ballyfermoyle.

Many of the lives born in these small cottages grew up and left Ireland.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture

Many emigrated to countries like Australia and the U.S.A.

The remnants of their lives are often dug up here at Bealtaine and sites all over the west of Ireland.

bealtainecottage.com permaculture (18)

It might be that someone reading this blog is a descendant of a Ballyfermoyle emigrant.

There is a sadness around these ruins and many like them scattered the length and breadth of this land…encapsulated in the small clumps of daffodils which re-appear each Spring, reminiscent of the loving hands that planted them deep in the soil around their modest home.

www.bealtainecottage.com

These little flowers would have been the nearest the dweller would have got to gardening…their lives taken up with the burden of work to eke out a modest living.

Ash trees and Ivy grow up the inside of the gable wall of an old, stone cottage.

Large families of up to twenty children lived in tiny two bedroom cottages.

DSCF1040

A woman I once interviewed had a family of fifteen children, born over the course of sixteen consecutive years…that is almost one child every year!

www.bealtainecottage.com

It is most likely, if your name is of Irish origin, that a home like the one above would have housed your ancestors…they would have, at least, looked out upon the great natural beauty that would have surrounded them and mourned this loss in their adopted country…