Bealtaine Eve In The Patio Garden

Slowly but surely, things are coming together in the garden.  We’re not being overly ambitious this year given the circumstances, so we’re making what we have work for us.  We’ll probably need one or two more bags of compost and soil, but they’re not very expensive.  I was very happy to get seed samples at the gardening event in Alexandria Bay this past weekend!  That will help a lot.

One of my gardening goals this year is to learn to work with the cycles of the moon. According to local herbalist Sue-Ryn Burns, the last quarter of the lunar cycle is a perfect time for tilling soil, applying fertilizer, and pruning.  Although I’m a couple days early, I wanted to take advantage of both that energy and the fertility of Bealtaine.  I finally emptied my little compost bin onto a tarp to separate the good stuff from everything that’s still decomposing.  This is probably my most successful year of composting yet!  It’s a small operation given my inability to have a large compost heap, but definitely worth the effort!

It started last year with a bunch of garden scraps and some supposedly compostable cups from a cafe with sustainable goals. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
Everything went into this small bin. It’s probably about five gallons. I drilled holes into the bottom. I want to get another and then some sort of pan to collect the juices.  It’s supposed to be wonderful for the plants!   I’m very lucky to have a garage in which to store my compost bin. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.
I apologize for the blurry shot, but you get the gist. This is the compost right before winter. I continued to add green and brown matter, usually in the form of compostable, dye-free cardboard. The cold helped the vegetable matter break down faster once the thaw hit. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
A small pile of beautiful, dark compost after I separated it from the still decaying matter. For those curious, the compostable cups are still degrading. That will probably take a long time… I wanted to see what happened, but I’m glad I didn’t throw too many in! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

Composting is a wonderful activity, and I definitely recommend it to gardeners, even if you rent like I do!  There are many ways to go about it and it’s a great way to reduce food waste.  It’s very magical and earthy, too.  Truly a great way to teach children about decomposers and soil.

I mixed my compost with last year’s potting soil and half a large bag of compost and soil from the local garden center that wasn’t touched last year.  My husband helped me to shovel it all back into various pots.  We added some more soil to the moon garden and I reconfigured the stones.  All the while, the sun set and an owl sang its song.  It was a bit of work for this pregnant lady, but Weretoad did all the heavy lifting and I enjoy this sort of exercise.  Like my late grandfather, I always have some project and am not entirely happy if I don’t!  I can’t and won’t let my pregnancy keep me from one of my greatest joys – my garden!  After all, it’s a huge part of my spirituality and I intend to introduce my child to this hobby ASAP!

Soon, the moon will start to wax and I will plant greens and flowers.  Meanwhile, I have dandelion roots in the dehydrator and tender young dandelion leaves in the fridge for a Bealtaine dinner tomorrow.  May your Bealtaine be filled with fertility – be it in the garden, your family, your artistic pursuits, your relationships, or finances!

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

2 thoughts on “Bealtaine Eve In The Patio Garden

  1. Do you celebrate on the 30th or the first? We usually do it on the first although with me being ill I don’t think we’ll really do anything this year.

    1. I put a lot of energy into the protogrove celebrations, so most of my family celebrations have been pretty low-key lately. They usually consist of a nice dinner and prayer with offerings given. I tend to celebrate Bealtaine on the 1st, but since the ancient Celts seemed to feel the days began when the sunset, it’s Bealtaine now so I observe it in small ways from sunset to sunset. I wish you well in your celebration!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: