Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Hope, Permaculture, sanctuary, Simple Living, Smallholding, Thoughts

Not Drowning, but Waving!

DSC01749It was some time coming…but those of you who have followed the Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens site on Facebook are aware of the proliferation of material I posted on there.

DSC01748I was so passionate about spreading a message of optimism and love for Mother Earth, that I ended up with little or no time for the work I need to do here at Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC01747I write and photograph for two blogs, upload to FB and Twitter, make a video and upload that as often as possible…the most recent one was almost an hour long!

DSC01746I haven’t been able to find time for Soundcloud, and, as for enjoying the occasional day out or weekend away…not possible with such a busy schedule.

DSC01745Something had to give!

DSC01754So I decided to take a break from FaceBook and Twitter and have left a small statement on both sites informing my followers.

DSC01735My page on FB quickly built up to almost 14,000 Likes, so I do feel a sense of abandoning so many good people, but do hope that they remember where I am and that I have not gone away!

DSC01750Yesterday and this morning, following my decision, I have felt a lovely calm descend here…a sort of ability to breath deeper and exhale longer!

DSC01755The story of Bealtaine Cottage began 12 years ago.

DSC01756No-one in this part of Ireland was much interested in what I was trying to do…so I began writing and blogging about the generosity and energy of Mother Earth, in fact I felt compelled to do so.

DSC01757“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” 

Anne Lamott

DSC01758So, life at Bealtaine has come back in a circle, as I find myself happily snapping pics., eager to share them with all of you through this website. 

DSC01752“I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world; I belonged to her, Mother Earth.”
Raquel Cepeda

DSC01762DSC01760I know that the best way I can be of service in these troubled times is to share Bealtaine Cottage with those who seek to reconnect with Mother Earth and develop a deeper understanding of the real world…not the one hurled at us by the mainstream media. 

DSC01759“The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth. So instead of only focusing on trying to save the earth, which operates in congruence to our vibrations, I think it is more important to be one with each other. If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures.”
~Suzy Kassem

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

 

Posted in Sustainable Living, Thoughts

While Rome Burns…

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There are no solutions to the instability in the world that I care to offer, as my voice is irrelevant in the scheme of things that cause mayhem and war.

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I can only offer advice on what works for me…on what keeps me sane in a world filled with lunacy!

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Keep grounded!

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Do what you have to do and do it well!

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Look ahead into the seasons and make plans for planting, working, visiting and caring for the world around you.

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Think about ways in which you can heal the world around you, be positive and nurture.

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Don’t allow the mayhem to grind you down…life went on after the Fall of Rome, as well we know!

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Remember, even as war, austerity and breakdown of society is happening right now in countries around the globe, people continue to look after their children, grow food, make food, wash clothes and generally get on with life as best they can.

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For all the negative and dreadful news we are battered with on a daily basis, remember there are real people around you doing good things!

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The mainstream media rarely reports on good people.

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The next time you share a conversation with someone, compliment them on a little thing to lift their spirits, for it will be paid forward, it will!

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I can say, with absolute certainty,  there are many more good people on this Earth than bad…and sometimes, those we perceive to be bad are just hurting.

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The world is as beautiful, peaceful and abundant as each of us are prepared to make it!

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Blessings for a wonderful weekend XXX

As a member of the other website you get to see another 95 blogs not available publicly. The latest one, “Radical Changes” has been posted today, 29 November 2016. Here’s the link…

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

Posted in Art, Bealtaine Cottage, Blessing, celebrations, Cottage, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spring, Wildlife

Easter in a Permaculture Garden…700th Post!

www.bealtainecottage.com

This is what happens in Permaculture…surplus is fed back into the system or shared out!

www.bealtainecottage.com In this case there was a small surplus of blue paint…the outcome is what you see here!

www.bealtainecottage.comI woke to a magnificent sunrise this morning…Kilronan Mountain is shrouded in mist, so doesn’t appear to exist at all!

www.bealtainecottage.comBees are buzzing and birds are singing to herald in this wonderful Easter weekend here in the west of Ireland!

www.bealtainecottage.comWith the emergence of Spring, several weeks ago now, there has been an accumulation of heat and light working on the earth that promises an early Summer.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe promise of seedlings has excelled…it appears that every seed sown has germinated!

www.bealtainecottage.com Fortunately, now that I have five beautiful hens, seedlings that are excess to requirements can simply be fed to the hens as a wonderful source of nutrition.

www.bealtainecottage.comSome of the seedlings are also used by me in salads, again a wonderful source of nutrition!

www.bealtainecottage.comSlabs of bedrock, rising out of the earth all over the land here at Bealtaine, show off their pink colour in the drying air of late Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.comPrimroses play peek-a-boo on the driveway.

www.bealtainecottage.comCrocosmia show off a vibrant lime-green in the early morning light.

www.bealtainecottage.comBack to blue, because…

www.bealtainecottage.comI simply cannot resist it!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe vibrant pink of this Saxifrage has found a perfect bed in the gravel driveway…another reason why tarmac is a non-starter here!

www.bealtainecottage.comPrimroses aren’t the only things around here playing peek-a-boo!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe mist in the valley has cut off Kilronan Mountain.

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther up the gardens, behind where I now stand, Comfrey, Lovage, Fennel, Valerian and Chives are all about a foot high and looking very robust in the late Spring, early morning light.

www.bealtainecottage.comBy my feet, the Euphorbia flowers.

www.bealtainecottage.comAnd indoors, on the dresser, reminders of Spring and Easter…

www.bealtainecottage.comHappy Easter to all!

PS: Next month will the my tenth anniversary of Bealtaine Cottage.

Today marks the 700th blog!

Posted in Cats, Climate, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Samhain

The Passing of Samhain

www.bealtainecottage.com 009Autumn remains, despite the passing of Samhain.

Nasturtiums hold their blooms and the occasional bee busies himself with work, inside the generous flowers of orange and yellow.

Sammy-Bear and Che-Mousey have drunk all their milk and turned their noses up at the biscuits…they may be spoiled!

www.bealtainecottage.com 010The leaves of the Nasturtium appear to grow huge, as the season of growth comes to an end…capturing and reflecting the dew of the morning.
www.bealtainecottage.com 016Giant Willow, (Biomass), drops its leaves and the winter duvet, that will cover the earth, spreads.

This Willow grows at the top of the gardens and is pollarded, to allow for ground space.

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Few gardeners here in Ireland pollard Willow, so these trees always attract attention from visitors to Bealtaine!

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Che-Mousey has taken to following me around the gardens, as I take pictures.

He has even managed to develop a feint miaow!
www.bealtainecottage.com 024The reflective quality of the rainwater improves, as the air cools into early winter.
www.bealtainecottage.com 025Vivid colours are manifested on the Copper Beech trees…
www.bealtainecottage.com 028Cats are all around on this first day of winter!
www.bealtainecottage.com 031Can you believe these colours?

Grapevine on the veranda against blue sky…it actually appears photo-shopped, but is not!
www.bealtainecottage.com 032The raw beginnings of a basket, hung into the eaves of the veranda, now appearing, as the leaves fall away from around it!
www.bealtainecottage.com 033The Pumpkins are ready to store away in the pantry…I must remember to do this today!
www.bealtainecottage.com 036I’m just enjoying all this green, before Jack Frost steals it!
www.bealtainecottage.com 041Have a wonderful weekend everyone XXX

Posted in Cottage, Eco-Living, Frugal Living, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Recycling, Thrift, Uncategorized

Recycling for Profit!

Recycling can be done in many different ways.

It’s not just about pushing used bottle and jars into a recycling bin!

Here at Bealtaine Cottage most of the contents of my home are recycled household items.

I have added to the kitchen  contents with this lovely wall shelving, bought second-hand at the Boot Fair in Carrick-on-Shannon over the weekend.

It cost me 20 euros…a bargain and I didn’t even have to barter, as this was the asking price which I thought was fair, so paid it.

It’s perfect in my kitchen!

I also bought a Bread Bin for 4 euros…in the same colour as I painted the floor.

I never know what treats await me as I forage through the Fair on a Sunday morning…and last Sunday I arrived home with three items for my cottage, the last being this unusual mirror, made from metal and looking slightly Gothic!

It seemed to fit perfectly beside the door to the porch, reflecting the Victorian wash-stand by the opposite wall.

There are so many different and interesting ways to recycle…it’s not just about glass and cans!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cats, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Health, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Summer, Sustainable Living

Midsummer in an Irish Permaculture Garden

Fruit, flowers and vegetables are all in abundance in the permaculture smallholding of Bealtaine.

Roses are in over-production and some are well on their way to becoming the wonderful, vitamin-C packed hips of harvest for the Autumn.

 Missy continues to direct operations, while listening to the calls of the Pheasant on the hill behind the cottage.

Pumpkin plants are making their way up along bends of Willow, as Peas vie for their territory along the same climbing frames.

All is in full growth and bloom as the day turns into a weekend of stillness and calm after the high winds and heavy rains of previous days!

Today’s video link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_x8EII9J_c

Posted in Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Country Living at Bealtaine Cottage, Ballyfermoyle, Ireland.

Laundry washing has taken a new twist with the predicted demise of my washing machine!

I say “predicted” because, quite frankly, these machines are not built to last and form an integral part of the “throw-away” society that is ruining the Earth upon which we live! 

So…I have reverted to hand-washing…

                  I have rinsed the washed clothes in this rainwater barrel…and there’s no need to empty this as the over-flow runs away into the ditch, so there’s always fresh water…well, this is the west of Ireland!

This is, by the way, the very best way to soften clothes and dismisses the need for softening chemicals!

Walking around the gardens on this fine Friday, I have become aware of the huge amount of young trees, planted fairly close together that will need coppicing. This is good news as I am reliant on the gardens for providing the stove with wood to burn. Once coppiced, the trees will grow multiple stems and continue to provide.

There’s lots of cones on the pine trees that will look great in Christmas decorations. Table decorations are easy to make and can look stunning!

 

The leaves on the Flowering Cherry Tree on the North bank have finally dropped and now brighten the ground with their autumn colour. Autumn has lingered this year and it remains quite mild in the descent to Midwinter.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted in Animals, Climate, Uncategorized

Country Living at Bealtaine Cottage…Soaring temperatures for November!

The weather has been so very mild over the past few days with temperatures hitting 17 centigrade…this is hotter than Valencia in Spain!
The hens don’t seem to mind and working outside has been pleasant, so it’s good all round.
Oregano grows almost wild here in the west of Ireland…growing up around the water bins here in this pic…it’s such a bee friendly plant and is perennial too, so once planted it will happily spread all over the place. It especially likes the gravelly ground and indeed is sprouting all along the driveway up to the cottage! The flowers dry well and make great teas…the leaves are, of course, an essential part of any decent pasta or pizza dish!

I am busy making candles for Christmas and bottling wine…to give as presents of course! Home made gifts are always the best!
It’s been a busy week, but I hope to get the video camera out at the weekend and make some more film of the gardens…

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Food, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Recipes, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Permaculture Cottage ~ Funky Scarf and Chunky Cake!

Friday afternoon at Bealtaine and despite the rain work between showers has contiued throughout the day. I hung this plaque on the kitchen door earlier, a present from a friend. It’s simple, colourful and evokes a sense of what lies beyond the door…the pantry!

Talking of which…there’s several demijohns of wine waiting to be bottled and laid down in here!

Knitted a scarf recently and was thinking about the edging…and after considerable searching around in the craft boxes stashed under beds and other forgetful places, I found these wooden beads, which I’ve threaded onto the edges of the scarf with wool and a big darning needle!

A big and bold arrangement in the vase on the mantlepiece in the sitting room, using some quickly cut pieces from the upper garden…just two varieties here! Simple is best and looks fab!

Simple and easy chunky cake…

  • 12 ozs SR Flour
  • 6 ozs  Margarine
  • 4 ozs caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • buttermilk
  • home made Rhubarb Jam
  • Organic oats
  1. Weigh all the ingredients.
  2. Put all ingredients into the mixer.
  3. Whizz.
  4. Add eggs
  5. Whizz
  6. Add a little buttermilk
  7. Whizz.
  8. Line a cake tray, add half of the mix.
  9. Dollop jam on top and add remaining mix.
  10. Sprinkle with oats and demerara sugar.

Bake at 190 c for about 20 minutes or so.

And for a wet Friday evening…what can be nicer than a hot vegetable stew, with big chunks of fresh bread?

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Fracking, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Beyond Consumerism…Life after Debt.

Friday…always a good feeling!

The weekend lies ahead and there lies the potential for something happening and all sorts of possibilities.

Many people look forward to going out and many go shopping, as a form of retail therapy!

However, change is happening…and it is good!

This is a time of change.

The Equinox is upon us and the day itself is changing as we enter the descent towards Midwinter.

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator.

The day and night are equal…

Consumerism is slowing down.

People are buying less and are turning more and more towards growing and foraging food.

The social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts has failed us all.

This may appear to be a bad thing to some people, but the Earth has been given a break…the first real break in a very long time.

The flowers at the front gate are beginning to replace the  concrete walls, iron gates that are closed and an intercom service that you have to speak into in order just to drive or walk up to the house!

The idea of neighbours and helping one another is slowly catching on…

Today has seen several visitors to Bealtaine Cottage, including a neighbour concerned about ‘Fracking’ and wanting more information.

The times we live in are all about change…

Change is happening and happening fast.

We either embrace the change in our living circumstances, taking time to evaluate our lives, or we continue on as mere consumers, or in the present scenario, unhappy people without the money to keep consuming.

The choice is ours.

 Today is the actual Autumn Equinox…the descent towards Midwinter begins…a time to nurture, bake, cook, sew and…rest a bit!

What was it that Bob Dylan sang about…oh yes…

The Times They Are A Changin’

http://youtu.be/9vou4qUu5YY      Go on…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Eco-Living, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Bealtaine Cottage ~ Something for the Weekend…A Wonderful,Easy Recipe for Dal.

A Fast and Easy Recipe for Lentil Dal

1 large onion, chopped small
2 tblsps of Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
10 ozs or 250g of split red lentils
1 tsp Chilli powder, I use mild!
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
half a tsp salt
750 mls of water
50g creamed coconut

Method

Fry onion in the oil for about 10 minutes.
When soft and lightly browned, add garlic, lentils, spices and salt. Stir for about 3 minutes.

Now add the water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Take off the heat when the lentils are cooked tender.

Add the creamed coconut…(these can be bought in 50g satchets, usually 4 to a box), and stir over heat until dissolved.
Check the taste and…serve! Yes, that simple!

This can be served with rice, or chapatis, or spread on crispy toast…

This is a dish that will fortify you well. It will fill your protein needs.
This dish represents a way of living lightly on Gaia.
Have a light living weekend!

Posted in Abundance, Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Fairies, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, polytunnel gardening, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

A Sunday Ramble around Bealtaine Cottage Smallholding, Ireland

My visitors have left. Home made wine and pocheen, lots of home made vegan food and cakes and talk into the wee small hours…what better way to share a weekend!

Sunday afternoon. The first in July. Bealtaine basks in the sunshine.

Willow has been trimmed. Grass cut. Pumpkins are in flower.

The pears are making good progress on the youngest of the Pear Trees planted here at Bealtaine Cottage. I continue to feed the earth around them with a liquid tea made from nettles and comfrey.

The heady scent of Meadowsweet fills the air on this calm and balmy Sunday afternoon. It grows all over the Bog garden…here is some in the woodland, Fairy dell.

On an afternoon such as this I feel almost intoxicated as I walk around the gardens, with sweets scents filling the air and bees flying to and fro along their pathways of pollen.

Turning to look back at the tunnel as I approach the Fairy Dell, I am taken with the sounds coming from the blackcurrant bushes, only to see a Blackbird swooping out from a gorgefest of fruit…

Geraniums and Oregano spill across mown grass paths. All is peace.

Posted in Baking, Food, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegan

Funky Friday Fotos From…The Permaculture Cottage

Bealtaine this morning…

Got a mega-curry under way…vegan, of course and destined to be consumed over the course of the weekend!

The Red Jewels…

in the garden are redcurrants…to be made into one of the best fruit wines around!

The Kitchen…

has been a hive of activity this morning, with curry, soup and bread all made and stored for the weekend. This will be a ‘no-cook,’ weekend!

Paths…
of Lysimachia Punctata are closing in…not good when it rains…and it’s raining a lot!

Have…

a great weekend everyone. Maybe plant a tree? Be happy!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Friday Morning Coffee at Bealtaine…Permaculture Life

Another weekend looms large and the weather is fab! Just wandering around the land here, snapping pics as I go. Paying homage to Gaia and all her splendour…it never ceases to bowl me over! This is the Fairy Dell and all is well!

Reflections in the Spring Well. The water continues to bubble up from below the Earth. Can never understand why the earth is called ‘dirt?’

It’s cool down here in the woodland of the Dell…so very hot and still in the open today.

Forget-Me-Nots in the long grass as I walk towards the ponds in the Bog Garden.

And Valerian near the cottage door in the early morning sun.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wine

Rescue Dog Jack, Abundant Rhubarb and Irusan…Another Permaculture Day in Ireland

 

Just returned from the Animal Rescue Centre in Leitrim with the latest addition to the family…Jack!

Never a replacement for The Tomster, but in need of a home and Bealtaine is just that! he’s wandering about the cottage at the moment and sussing everything out!

He is a little bit nervous at the moment as you can see, but I expect he will settle in quite rapidly. It’ll take time then for us to bond and become trusting of each other…time will out!

Harvesting Rhubarb yesterday evening, just as the moon was rising…this is some of the crop, now sliced and in bags in the freezer, waiting for the wine and jam making process. The problem with permaculture is just keeping up with the abundance…

This is a plant box I made several years ago from reclaimed timber and driftwood. Planted out with edibles it will be really useful on the veranda, growing within easy reach of the kitchen…especially when it’s raining!

Irusan the cat has gone home to allow Jack to settle in without being continually glowered at…Irusan is pretty good at making a dog feel very uncomfortable…except for those he likes!

It looks like I’m in for an eventful weekend!