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 . I am a Master Composter and spent 10 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.

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!


Monday, 24 September 2007

The wonderful BGG-in crisis

The BGG is so wonderful!!!! We cannot let it go under!!!! I had SUCH a good time here this year...and also many years ago.....................CW

BGG in crisis

Dear friends,It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the Big Green Gathering Co. Ltd. is presently insolvent. Despite initial optimism, the many and various bills which have arrived at our office since the Gathering mean that we have made a further loss of approximately £75,000 on this year's event. When this is added to the accumulated defecit with which we began the year, it means that we have a total shortfall of approx. £150,000. In these circumstances we are legally obliged to inform our creditors and shareholders of our situation, and we have to face the fact that unless the money can somehow be raised in the next month or so, we will have to declare the company bankrupt and wind it up at this years Annual General Meeting. Despite this desparate situation, we have not yet given up hope. We know we have very many dedicated supporters, shareholders and Gathering participants who will not want to see the BGG go under, and will do whatever they can to help. We still have a £50,000 overdraft facility in place, and our guarantor has promised to stand by us, so long as the remaining £100,000 can be raised. Our office manager,
> Kerry, and book-keeper, May, are continuing to work despite knowing that we may not be able to pay them. The board of directors are doing everything they can to try and keep the company going, and the following appeal is being sent to all our shareholders, staff and customers. Please read it, and do whatever you can. Together we can still save the BGG."
Brig Oubridge, Chair.

"Urgent help needed - BGG in danger of financial collapse
As we noted in the programme for this year's Big Green Gathering, licence conditions imposed by Mendip District Council and Avon & Somerset Police added around £120,000 to the costs of this year's event. Now that the bills have all come in, it is clear that rather than the profit we might otherwise have expected, these extra costs
have left us with a loss of £75,000 this year.

Having already built up a defecit of similar proportions in 2005 and 2006, this means that the Big Green Gathering Co. Ltd. now has debts exceeding its assets by around £150,000, and will have to declare itself bankrupt unless we can urgently raise at least £100,000 to stay in business (we already have a £50,000 overdraft guarantee in place, and our guarantor is prepared to stand by us if we can raise the
balance).
These may seem like frighteningly huge sums, but are only a fraction of our annual turnover of around three quarters of a million pounds. The total 3-year loss is still less than £10 each for everyone who attended this year's Gathering. Provided we can prevent future costs continuing to escalate as they have in the past couple of years, the situation should still be recoverable if we can get through the present crisis. On the other hand, if we were to default on our creditors now, and the company went under, it would probably be impossible to re-start the event without a start-up capital of at least a quarter of a million pounds.

There is only limited time in which to act. Bills are already overdue for payment, and our creditors need to have confidence that we can sort ourselves out to prevent any of them petitioning for the company to be wound up. To create that confidence, we need to have raised substantial funds by the end of this month, and to know that we are definitely in a position to carry on well before our Annual General Meeting in November. Please act now to do whatever you can to help save the Big Green Gathering. Donations may be sent by cheque to BGG, 10 St Johns Sq., Glastonbury
BA6 9LJ, or made on line via the new donations page on our website.Please note that cheques are preferable, as on-line donations are subject to a 4.5% processing fee and a 30-day delay.] Cheques will not be banked unless and until the directors consider that sufficient has been received to give us a realistic chance of avoiding bankruptcy.Pledges of large amounts, whether as donations or loans, should be sent by email to kerry@big-green-gathering.com, as should any other ideas or suggestions for rescuing the situation"

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Cider Making!

This weekend we have been making...CIDER!!

Two friends of ours who live nearby are keen cider makers and have started up their own mobile pressing business..The Little Cider Press Co.
They come and wash, mill and press your apples and you pay per 25 L of Juice produced. Add an airlock to the fermentation vessel and leave for a week or so and hey presto...fermentation begins!!

Washing the apples ( with help from children)

Milling the apples ( chopping them up so as to get maximum juice from them)

Putting the pulp on to the cloths which sit on top of a (traditionally acacia) wood slatted frame.

Stacking the cloths and frames up into a "cheese" The apple pulp is put in cloths and layers are built up.

Pressing the apples and getting the juice!!.

Putting the juice into a fermentation vessel.

having fun and a well earned cup of tea!! (next year it will be this years cider....)

Tidy up time!!

And then the pommace goes on my compost heaps!!!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Produce!!

Oh I DO like to have lots of stuff jammed, chutneyed, made into wine, frozen etc etc!!

Here is a small sample...




and we will be making cider in a few weeks!!

more news when it happens!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The next generation!




Compostgirl helping her mummy with the compost leaflets...the Council have sold out of one sort of compost bin so I have lots of stickers to put over the offending picture on the leaflets...and miss cw offered to help......

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Tonsils!!

Well, I have just been into hospital to have my tonsils removed....................yuck!!!!!!


OWW OWW OWW OWW OWW :(

I had to stay in overnight, it hurts like billy oh and I have been taking EVERY painkiller prescribed to me since at the maximum dose and minimum time interval allowed.....this is NOT funny!!
I feel utterly horrid and really very poorly.......BUT hopefully I will feel the benefit this winter, when I WON'T get tonsilitis/quinsey/bronchitics/pneumonia/plurasy etc etc............!

Which is what the last 5 winters have been like...one long round of illness and antibiotics after another..

SO...heres hoping I have got rid if all that for good...yes??
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