The Wood in the Willows

www.bealtainecottage.com 005

This is when the coppicing begins…early winter as soon as the leaves have fallen.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011This Willow will make excellent logs for the stove, once properly seasoned.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The thinner bits will be added to the kindling pile and left to dry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Coppicing allows for continual regeneration of woodland and is an excellent way to help young woodland get established.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036This is a selective process and involves wonderful interaction with Nature, as it is slow and steady work.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003This is the interface of the young woodland, colourful and vibrant!

www.bealtainecottage.com 044The warmth of Bealtaine Cottage on a Winter’s night, is fast becoming dependent on this most under-appreciated of all our natural resources…trees!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012As I work through small areas of the gardens, it allows me time to tidy up some of the paths…though allowing the leaves to stay where they fall, as this helps to build soil and define pathways.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Buddha sits among the leaves…

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Meanwhile, down in the Bog Garden, little Che-Mousey enjoys the November sunshine and temperatures of 14 oC!

www.bealtainecottage.com 032Spindle continues to hang onto its berries…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048And the Potager beds, at the back of the cottage, continue to deliver food for the table…

www.bealtainecottage.com 039So far its been a beautifully mild early winter, making the season seem much shorter!

A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy…

https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings from Bealtaine X

Discovery in the Fairy Wood…

fairies 021Yesterday afternoon and evening was spent down in the Fairy Wood, cutting back the paths and lifting the canopies on some of the bigger trees.

fairies 022My work was intensive and totally absorbing, as you can imagine.

fairies 023It wasn’t until several hours of hard labour had passed that I began to look around me…

fairies 026… for I had moved about ten metres through the wood, without taking much note, other than look at what I was sawing.

fairies 027Taking a breather, I stopped and looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings…I was in a place unknown to me in all the nine years I have worked and planted this land!

fairies 028This is the most amazing aspect of the Fairy Wood…that it had transformed itself as I planted, worked and took daily walks through this magical place.

fairies 029I walked around to the far side of this ancient Ash tree, one that had stood in among the briars and thorns, alone, for all the time I have planted here.

The tree looked totally different on the other side…

fairies 031The Ash tree has been coppiced at some point in the past and has grown into a multi-stemmed tree which now has an underground cave.

fairies 037Almost all kinds of trees found in the Celtic countries have been thought to have special powers, or to serve as the abode of the fairy folk, but especially the magical trio of the Oak, Ash and Blackthorn.

fairies 035The Ash was a sacred tree to the Druids and it’s wood was highly prized in making wands.

This a a very special tree and quite magical as you can see…

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Hi Colette,

I just received this petition. Perhaps you can mention it in your blog and get other people to sign it.

Love and best wishes

Terri

Bayer has just sued the European Commission to stop the ban on its bee-killing pesticides — despite clear evidence its products are behind the massive bee die-offs.

We can’t let Bayer and Syngenta get away with this blatant threat while the bees disappear. Sign the petition to tell them to drop the lawsuits now!

Sign the Petition

After the Flood…

The rain has ceased.

The sun has made an appearance and the streams are gushing forth from the hill behind the cottage.

I have just been out and captured the sights and sounds of the water on video.

The stream bed that snakes it’s way through the Fairy dell is brimming with sparkling rainwater.

It’s hurtling along and moving through the Spring Well in the wood.

This usually only happens during the winter months, but Ireland is seeing more and more heavy, monsoon type rains fall during the second half of the summer.

In a land noted for it’s “soft rain,” this is a clear indicator of Climate Change…from whatever cause!

I am not prepared to argue something that is quite tangible and evidential for me!

I am adapting to this and preparing for this downfall each year.

The water barrels are full to the brim and drawing down the afternoon sun.

Happily I live on a hill  and have constructed ponds on the low ground to capture and direct the excess water.

The first pond acts a silt-catcher and I harvest many buckets of wonderful food for the gardens there as the summer ends.

It also provides a huge crop of wild mint…the strongest and purest one can get anywhere on this sacred Earth!

So, rather than moan about the heavy rains and complain of flood, find ways to divert this excess water into useful projects, for that is the permaculture way forward!

Next?

Water-cress beds!

In the meantime, here is today’s video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8hE5czFLcE

The Road Not Taken…

Spent the day learning more about basketry in another great workshop organized by Tom Browne at Corrigeenroe near Boyle, here in County Roscommon.
I am tired, but looking forward to day 2 of the willow weaving and basketry, tomorrow.

This is a fabulous, fabulous hen basket woven by Tom, to transport hens in…isn’t this just the best looking and most practical basket you ever did see? It has a gorgeous little door on the front and will hold several hens in pure comfort.

Something worth mentioning is the fact that the hen basket is a completely unique design…Tom’s own craft-work! Admired for sure and perhaps copied as well!

The beginnings of another basket..

Tea…hot, comforting tea…and a chance to put my feet up and contemplate my endeavours…I shall dream of willow and baskets and patterns and possibilities… 

I adore Robert Frost and his poetry…this is one of my favourites…I was reciting this in my head as I drove home from Corrigeenroe tonight…

It is, perhaps, one of the most philosophical poems I have ever read and loved!

Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost

Permaculture Cottage ~ Sustainable Living, Willow and Trees

All the ingredients to make Autumn Chutney are in the pot and heating up on the stove. The apples are from the trees here at Bealtaine. Onions were grown here as well. The stove is burning wood grown here also…which all adds to the sustainability of living…and living well.

I posted the recipe for this last night…so you can easily find it on the previous day…just scroll down and click on the link to go back…

Delicious and top quality as all the ingredients are sourced or grown by myself. Shop bought chutneys just come anywhere near this stuff taste-wise!

And lots of material for the compost heaps… All the apples used in this chutney were windfalls!

I have been reading a lot of stuff on Twitter recently about how pointless it is to plant trees and the importance of protecting our woodlands and forests! Well, the latter I do agree wholeheartedly with, but as for the pointessness of planting new trees…that’s just damned silly! Anyone who has planted a tree in their lifetime will testify to that!

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn
them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~Kahlil Gibran

Seven years ago there were NO trees here on this land…just some in the rather neglected hedges that skirted the land. All you see on the blogs I post are trees that I have planted…over 600 to date. the willow I am harvesting in this photo is a catch crop, planted inbetween the actual trees.

However, there is another very important reason to plant trees and willow and anything else you can think of…biodiversity and wildlife!

Those same people who believe it futile to plant trees should ask the little bird who built this nest if it was futile!

It is amazing just how much we can create from nothing with the magic of Gaia. This was a rod of willow I just stuck into the ground…

Real change needs to grow from the roots up…that means ourselves, individually and collectively getting on with it…creating the world we want to live in.

We are Change                     http://youtu.be/ji8iYgLx8G0  Listen with your Heart…

Permaculture Cottage Daily ~ Wonderful Visitors, Dr Helen Caldicott and Seamus Heaney

Wednesday 7th September 2011

More Wonderful Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage…

But, before I begin…

This wonderful young fella turned up at the protest on Monday evening, outside the Council Offices in Carrick-on-Shannon…complete with Gas mask, (Josh Fox) style and home made placard and got a rousing cheer from the protesters!

Visitors to the Permaculture Smallholding today… Bernie and Colin.

Both inspired and enthused with lots of ideas and lots of free plants to take back to the 7 acres Colin tending near Ballinamore. Wonderful people, filled with good energy and leaving some of it behind for me.

I am a great believer in good energy and realise how important this is for people to thrive. Those whose energy is sick or failing can get very angry with life and lash out at people. Many of these people can do a great deal of damage as warmongers and people of greed. We have all encountered people like this on our journey.

Wood-chopping and Tidying up…

And as the day moves on, the chores continue…chopping wood for the stove, though it’s warm today and I will light the smaller stove in the sitting room later on, just for comfort and hot water.

The tidy up continues, as I clear out sheds and bag up endless bags for the charity shop in Carrick. Kevin, who runs it, is always so very pleasant and appreciative, it is a delight to visit!

As I take a rest on the veranda, I can’t help but think of the events of Fukushima this year and how it has so quickly disappeared from our news media.

Dr Helen Caldicott has spent most of her professional life keeping us informed of the facts about Nuclear energy and all the associated problems.

Here is Helen talking about the recent events at Fukushima…it’s well worth a watch…just click on the link below!

http://youtu.be/4ITrXVJMKeQ

Food for the birds this winter…no more birdfeeders, which hang in gardens until enough plants have been planted that will feed wildlife proper. That point was reached several years ago as you can see.

This is Cotoneaster, one of many berry bearing shrubs that will more than adequately keep birds fed over the course of a long winter!

One of my favourite poets is Seamus Heaney.

Following the day that became known as, “Bloody Sunday,” Seamus made his way to Derry for the funerals of the thirteen.

This is the poem he wrote about that journey and that day.

Click on the link to hear the poem and see some black and white footage of the events of both the journey and the sad events.

http://youtu.be/xLMlY56sahI

Permaculture Cottage ~ Autumn Apples and Gelder Rose

The Celtic Calendar denotes this month of August to be the first month of Autumn. Looking at the sideboard in the kitchen this afternoon it is easy to believe.

Here are some of the Painted Mountain Corn grown here at Bealtaine this summer…it is a Native American corn and definitely NOT GM!

Spent time down in the Fairy Dell, cutting and clearing some of the dead wood. Lots for the stove and the smell as it burns is just beautiful!

Ash wood, split and ready to burn in the stove, sits in the Willow basket on the veranda. There’s an Autumn chill in the air at night, so the stove is regularly lit!

Rosehips ripen near the shed…it’s Autumn indeed!

Permaculture Cottage…the Acres of the PermaGoddess

Three acres of Permaculture and seven years of growing from scratch…monoculture emptiness.

A journey via Permaculture that has led me to give up smoking, become a Vegetarian and evolve into a Vegan.

Happy to be an Economic Terrorist…I rarely shop, so that makes me an enemy of the Corporate State…and anyone who wants to rant about me being a Conspiracy Theorist…well, I live in the real world and watched as Ireland was handed over to the Corporations, mostly banks, bankers and greed-mongers…if this resonates with you then be prepared to be dismissed as a C.T.!

You can’t buy anything on this site…everything I advocate comes for free and I’m happy to welcome visitors to this Permaculture Smallholding and show them around, even send them off with free plants and advice on how to do permaculture.

A willow arbour. Free. No Garden centre involved here! No money, just the abundance and love and goodness that is Nature…beyond money and the Merchants of Greed!

And places to sit made from upcycled castaway wood and concrete blocks…free!

Hens at Bealtaine today…Battery eggs are degraded food…the corporations will degrade you because you are little more to them than battery hens!

The Permaculture Polytunnel this morning. Spilling over with food and seeds…Seeds are the bankable currency of the VERY near future! Why do think the US government shares the control of GM seeds with that Monster Monsanto?

Nature is perfect…so why does all the corps., want to control and degrade her?