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, lecturer, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and have spent the last 11 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!


Sunday, 2 March 2008

How compost changed my life....

Compostman and I have spent yesterday and today turning over and removing the compost from our ( many) bins and spreading it on the veg plot and filling up both the existing raised squash bed AND a new raised bed...

We used to have a huge compost heap, which worked fine, but it was not easy to work out how much compost you got from how much stuff you put on, so we never really had a feel for it before.

But then the compost heap got infested with Lamium (huh, bloody weed!) from our wood and we had to have a rethink so we went for home made new zealand wooden bins ( to keep out the bloody lamium) Then our council had a really good offer on wooden recycleworks compost bins ( £15 rather than £80!!) so I got 3 more packs, which made 5 more if you share sides.......

so we had a set up in spring 2006 of 6 wooden bins, each holding about 650 l of compost when full. ( thats compost, not stuff which will turn into compost!) plus 4 more for leaf mould and wooden chippings.

Still with me?

And I also became a Master Composter in early 2006, and got EVEN MORE into composting than I was before and so I decided to do things on a more controlled and scientific basis when adding stuff to the bins, ( we generate a LOT of stuff to compost!)

To cut a long story short, (sorry) the end result, from six 1 cubic yard wooden bins and an 850 L plastic bin working since March 2006 and kept full and working so they were a really HOT heap I dug out 2400 litres of compost in Jan 2007. Thats 30 bags of organic compost if you bought it from the garden center!

And then in October 2007 I dug out from the bins about 1500 L of compost...which went into bags to be saved until the crops were cleared from the veg garden and I could spread it on the soil.

and NOW (feb 2008) we have just dug out the compost from all the bins...I now have 3 compost bins with material composting in them, the rest are empty and I have in excess of 3000 l of compost to put in my raised beds....and on the veg patch...







The soil in the veg plot is BEAUTIFUL...compostman has been turning it over and it looks ( almost) good enough to eat!!!
Just THINK of all the money we have saved by making our own soil improver and potting mix!

Just think of all the waste diverted from going into Landfill...

Just think of all the Methane which our waste is NOT producing in the Landfill as it decays anaerobically...Methane is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxcide, remember!!

Ooooh I feel good da da da da da da da ...I knew that I would now.....I feeeeeel good

Wow, what a couple of days! I am sorry to go on but I feel REALLY proud of my bins ( I AM a bit mad about compost, hence the username)

And being a Master Composter is such a great idea!! Its a scheme run by Garden Organic (HDRA) in conjuction with councils to promote home composting. Master Composters are volunteers who encourage people in their local community to start composting at home, and offer to support to people who are already home composting and may be having difficulties or need encouragement.

Master Composter schemes are county-specific as they tend to be run by the County Council or in some cases the District Council, or by the Wildlife Trust for the county. Usually MCs are also promoting the discount compost bins available in the area. (if they want to, that is)

http://www.homecomposting.org.uk/mc/mc_who.php

I was invited by HDRA ( I'm a longstanding member) to sign up for a new scheme in my area in 2006, we all had 2 days initial training and the commitment is for 30 hours per year. Its voluntary, but expenses are paid.

I have really enjoyed doing it, I've been on stands at the 3 Counties and Spring Garden Show at Malvern( free entry) and done local events, shows, talks, gone into schools, all sorts. I have demo bins which I take to show people and I have got a table with freebies, leaflets, samples of my compost etc. We have had trips to Ryton and there was a really good conference in October 2006 last year. I have even been nominated for a national recycling award!!

I've also got back into mainstream life after being ill for a number of years. I still have bad days when I can do very little and my immune system is a bit rubbish and I can't work full time BUT I have been given a new focus for my energy and have got work and a new career direction out of all this indirectly ( as an environmental educator and playworker, helping children see the wonders of this planet)

so....why not make compost...you never know, it COULD change your life, too!!!!
and at the very least you will reduce your carbon footprint by a large amount.....:)

1 comment:

  1. Your soil looks absolutely lovely - if only mine looked that good. We do compost everything (indoors and out) and I am always encouraging other people to do likewise.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.

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