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 and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats 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 am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

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!

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Further musings on cider and chicken poo

Further to my last post and the various kind comments I received ( thank you kind blog friends.....)

I have a confession...we actually made twice the amount of cider shown in the last post.....and have already drunk the first 35 L since May....we actually got through it very quickly...and were a bit alarmed at how fast the levels dropped!

So we left off decanting this one in the vain hope that, IF it was in a 25 L container, ( out in the garage...) we would be less likely to start pouring a glass ( or several ) out from it. As it it bloomin heavy to lift and I don't actually think I could pour a glass out of it....

Or something. Well that was the reasoning. Maybe. Or was it just we didn't get around to it?

Can't really remember.........


And I really must thank you all for your good wishes, I feel marginally better than earlier in the week but am still very weak and feeble. I have cancelled taking my class for their Forest School session on Thursday AND have said I am not going to do Eco Club after school. Which is a big disappointment for me as I enjoy it so much BUT ....I really don't feel capable at the moment.

I was a bit puzzled at the comment from Thursday about how industrious the kitchen is...then I looked again with someone elses eyes ( well, mine are not much use at the moment!)

at the photo and realised that, with the big container of the old 2007 cider, the new cider bubbling away, the apples and pumpkins, the dehydrator, the jars of chutney etc...it DID look like we have been busy!

Actually, with the chutneys, its just I am too lazy to put the jars away and then have to get them out of the Chutney and Jam store ( yes we DO have such a thing....) to label them and I haven't labelled them yet and am leaving it there in the hope I will remember to get around to making some labels before it gets to be 2009.......

I DID manage to clean out all the chickens runs yesterday, they were all in a bit of a state and I shovelled an AMAZING pile of composted down chicken poo and bark chippings from the runs....it was WONDERFUL stuff and I can't wait to get using it next year! So all the hens now have clean houses and freshly clean runs full of nice composted wood chips from our wood.

BUT I think it was a bit too much for me, as after an hour of doing that I came over a bit wobbly and had to go and lie down for 3 hours and sleep......................

I like the symmetry of cutting down our trees for wood, chipping the twiggy bits and storing them to use as mulches or in the hen runs and then returning them to my compost bins ( with added Factor P for POO) to turn into lovely compost, to use to grow my veg, to eat.....

The Wheel of Life...I feel a "Lion King " moment coming on.....

( sorry....but I AM ill, remember....so am excused normality for a few more days...)

I also have been most amused by the antics of all the hens, they are very funny!

THIS is one of the chicks! She is the no 1 pullet and is VERY brave.....

SO...I am slowly improving ( although am tired , very easily, and have been falling asleep at all odd hours of the day...if I sit down I nod off.)...and life continues on....


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I have pm'd you at INEBG.
    Love your post... and the girls are so cute!!
    LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!! and don't overdo things!!
    Love Jane xxxx

  2. As above - take it easy. There are a lot of nasty bugs about and when you get one you need to make sure you don't do too much until you have REALLY got rid of it.

    Rosie xx

  3. Glad to hear you're on the mend (if slowly) but be careful not to overdo things! Don't blame you at all about the cider - I'd have drank it all by now! I think the fact that there's some left shows remarkable self-restraint on your part! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  4. Hi lovely people!

    Shingles is nasty and even though I have a mild dose it seems I am still flattened by it...having CFS/ME probably doen't help my recovery time..

    If there is one thing I have HAD to learn the hard way in the last 7 years of CFS though...it IS to pace myself a bit better than I used to...........

    Plans for today are ...to eat some breakfast and go back to bed...I had a poor night sleep and am shattered!

    xxxxxxx lovely people!

  5. Please take it easy, cleaning the chicken runs must have taken some effort whilst being ill! Its an energetic job that has to be done I know.

    I hope you get some good rest today xx

  6. Fab pics, just wondering why have you got loads of egg shells in your storage container? What do you do with them?

  7. Hi there!

    Yes TGS, I think I did overdo it doing the runs....but they were looking so mucky due to the wet weather we have had and I just couldn't leave the girls in the runs like that another day!

    Well I could have ( shuffles feet, looks ever so slightly embarrased )but I didn't want to....

    WPT the egg shells are rinsed and then baked in a hot oven for 10 mins or so ( to kill any bacteria and remove the eggy smell...) and then I crush them up and sprinkle them on the girls layers pellets ( or easier to add them to a mash of something like cooked oats ;-) )

    It gives the girls some extra calcium which they need to produce strong egg shells..The Apple Cider vinegar in their water also helps them absorb calcium more efficiently from their food, too...I give them a teaspoon full of ACV in every 2 L of their water..( I tried a bit more but they didn't like it!)

    Hope that helps?

    S x


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.