Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I work as an environmental educator, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood and I also volunteer as a Master Composter and hens@home mentor with Garden Organic. We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Friday, 29 August 2014

What I did when we had no broadband #3 Green Gathering and meeting more friends

While I was absent from The World of Blog, I went to The Green Gathering. Some of you may remember me saying I went to The Big Green Gathering near Cheddar in 2007 - this is the smaller, younger cousin of that. Same ethos, same amazing ideals and many of the same friends to meet up with, some of whom I have not seen since the last one in 2007!

The Festival is now based near the racecourse at Chepstow, so I decided to use my car and had a very pleasant journey which also involved visiting lots of friends and dropping off various Freecycle items on the way down the Wye Valley. I arrived at lunchtime at the car park by the racecourse and found it was only a short walk to get to the site.

I got my stuff together and set off up the hill and through the woods, the gates to the Festival parkland was guarded by this amazing Woodpecker drilled natural totem tree :)

Parkland which held the Festival.

Excellent recycling facilities

Me meeting up with John "Compost" Cossham - my composting hero and someone I have wanted to meet for years - we are friends and have been for many years but never managed to actually meet up in RL until now :)

John was in charge of Recycling and Composting at the Festival and apart from the really excellent recycling segregation system he also had a really excellent composting facility going - he had only been there for four days! I was lucky enough to get a detailed tour which I really loved - I guess John and I  find composting endlessly facinating :)

John is also a talented performer and entertainer working as "Professor Fiddlesticks" - he made me a balloon dog and the patter which went with it was hysterical :) We were rolling around laughing :)

Fabulous view across the Severn Estuary.

I also met up again with Carol Hunt of  Edible Wild who I have not seen since 2007, and Deb Millar of  Hallr Wood who is a fellow Forest School Leader and Fb friend so it was great to meet her in RL as well. Sorry didn't get pictures of them though. Links to their websites are highlighted above.

I had a lovely day, met up with old friends, made some new ones and listened to some great music. I also went to an inspirational workshop and found much to inspire me :)

A great day away  :)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

What we did while we had no broadband #2 Archery, cleaning and meeting a remarkable tree :)

So during August we did a lot of grass cutting and hen house cleaning.

I only had two hens during early August so I moved them into one run and small house and gave the Mega Hen Pen and the other houses a good clean and scrub and also sanitised the ground in the runs. My plan was to get new hens towards the end of the month, as indeed happened.

Some of the long grass was made into hay and the rest went into the compost.

We also, as a family, learnt Archery. We took a three day beginners course at Bromyard Bowmen at the beginning of July and joined both them and Lugg Valley Archery. It has been great fun and is something we do, as a family, several times a week.

We also had visits from friends :) This is Jan, a Forest School Leader friend from Scotland, with her lovely dogs Pepper and Saffron. She dropped in on us on her way back home from a holiday in Wales. After a long chatty lunch we went to see the Much Marcle Yew Tree and Kempley Church.

So just a few things we have been doing :) More to follow.

Monday, 25 August 2014

What we did while we had no broadband#1 New Chickens

I'm back! We have Internet again! And phones and email and are back in the land of communication again !

I have just come back from a road trip around Wales, which was great fun. While I sort out the photos and write some posts about it, I will let you see what we have been up to in August, while we were off the communication grid.

We have new chickens!

The above are Seramas, tiny tiny chickens, and these lovely boys are called Biggles, Ginger and Archie.


 Biggles and Archie.

 Sweetiepie inspecting the new boys.See how tiny they are, even though they are full grown!

I also got four new pullets; this is Pearl (White Star) with her back to the camera, and Henny ( Rhode Rock) behind

Lilac - a Lilac belle

Blackberry - she is a Copper Black Marans

Sweetiepie and Popper are separated from the new girls for a couple of weeks so we have a lot of hen houses and runs to sort out every day.

Lovely :) I am so happy to have more chickens :) And so pleased to be back blogging!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Broadband woes and a lack of connection

Oh I have so much I want to tell you all!
I have no Broadband at home and so can,t post the way I want to!

I am writing this on the tiny screen on my phone and it is not very easy I can tell you!

I have a tablet which is larger but to add to my woes my smart phone (huh) doesn't,t want to act as a WiFi hotspot for it.
So you will have to wait to read about the latest happenings both here at Compost Mansions and out on my travels

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Putting it all together.

Some of you may remember my posts about how much I wanted a patio that I could actually use, with pots of scented flowers and chairs to sit on. After the (horrible, dangerous) old patio was re laid last year we now have a really wonderful area that I use daily, to sit, to work outside on, to use as an outdoor workspace.

We made some new beds as well around it (as if there were not enough work to do here, but never mind!) I have been slowly designing the layout and then planting them up, mostly with plants grown from seed or from cuttings already in the garden. I am thrifty like that!

This is what the two new beds looked like at the end of May.

I have also slowly been adding to the pots of flowers and herbs which live on the patio. Again, grown from seed or cuttings.

And adding places to sit and tables and sun shades. The swing seat was bought last month in a sale from Homebase, at Compostgirls request.

The garden seat/arch which I got from Argos last year as part of a batch of useful items to review, is actually destined to go elsewhere in the garden - I wanted an arch at that end of the patio and wondered if the wooden bench/arch would do the job, but it is wrong there so will be moved. A simple metal arch with some scented climbers will go in its place tonight.

Still a work in progress ( and I still don't have my Olive trees!) but really, I am rather pleased :) At the moment the patio is a bit of a mess and covered with pots and plants waiting to go into their final place in various flower beds. I will post some pictures of what it looks like with the flower beds more fully grown and the new arch in place when I have cleared it up :)