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!
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
A day in my life....
This is actually a fairly typical day for this time of year, Compostgirl is on holiday but as she is poorly at the moment with an ear infection we are not going out anywhere, so this is a typical day when she is at school as well.
So...A day in my life
Got up, dressed in manky gardening clothes as I am not planning on going anywhere this morning!
Compostman made tea and boiled eggs and toast while I checked on Fudge the guinea pig and the plants in the heated propagator in the porch. Having fed and watered the plants and Fudge, and removed the lids from the hot boxes (or the plants get too hot!)
I went to let out the hens.
I went via the feed store to get some corn and water for them, greeting various cats on the way, then let the chickens out and looked them over as they ate the corn and I filled up their drinkers. I always check like this and spend time with them first thing as that is where any injury or illness can be first spotted. If a hen is a bit droopy or limping, or looking hunched up I will see. Once they are off in the wood or garden I have very little chance of spotting any problem that day. I also collect whatever eggs there are.
As breakfast was nearly ready I didn't linger too long, sometimes I spend half an hour with them, taking a mug of tea with me, but today I was only 10 mins as I wanted my breakfast!
Went back to the house via the polytunnel...I have to open up the cold frames inside the pt and remove the lids from the seed trays as it gets too hot now in the day time and my baby food plants would fry :-(
Then back via the garden, pausng to admire some of the flowers and listen to a robin singing...
to eat breakfast with Compostman and Compostgirl. We had boiled eggs (thank you hens!) and homemade bread ( thank you Compostman!) toasted, with home made jam for them and Marmite for me ( I am a Marmite fan)
Breakfast cleared away and Compostgirl given medicine, a drink, a blanket, a cuddly soft toy (Bagpuss today) and settled on the sofa with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to read and a dvd (Wallace and Grommit Cracking Contraptions) to watch if she wanted. I went to sort out some dirty washing, spot treat some stains, decide what could be worn another day in the garden or what needed washing now. Having done this I put on a load of washing and left it to wash in the futility room.
Compostman went outside to cut up trees and, having checked on Compostgirl, I went to the study to finish my Simple Green Frugal post on Composting and see if I could get it to publish. We have been having big problems with our connection here and my internet access is erratic, to say the least! While there and waiting for the connection to get itself sorted out (roll eyes) I dealt with some work and personal paperwork and tidied up a bit. The study is a large, former bedroom which now is our joint office and library plus resource store for all my environmental education activities. So lots of scope for mess in here!
It used to be a very nasty cold, slightly damp, north facing room and used to be a horrible place to work but since Compostman has installed a new floor, new flooring, dry lined all the walls with insulation and re decorated it, and I have rearranged the office furniture and storage to maximum advantage, it is now a lovely room for us both to work in and for Compostgirl to use the computer with us.
I then went into our bedroom to strip our bed, open the windows, re make the bed and oh no! spot a patch of mould in the corner, behind a bookshelf...so everything came off the shelf, the chest was moved out from the wall and I washed the corner down with bleach and then with water and dried it off.
While the stuff was all out I gave the room a good vaccumn and dust. I also cleaned the bathroom toilet, mirror and sink while I was up there.
Compostgirl and I also stripped her bed to wash and sorted out dirty clothes from her room....
Then it was lunchtime. Home made soup, bread and quiche. Soup made by me, quiche (bacon, leek and cheese, leek ours, bacon and cheese from within 10 miles) and bread made by Compostman..he is a VERY good cook indeed :-)
Over lunch we listend to some music, "The lark ascending" and talked about Gods and Goddesses, the Romans in Britain, Pyrimids, non seasonal veg and why we don't eat it, food preservation, food miles and chocolate. Compostgirl has a very inquiring mind! It is good to have interesting conversations, as long as lunch gets eaten as well....
After lunch was cleared away I put on another load of washing whilst Compostman hung out the first lot in the sunshine. Compostgirl felt a little better from having a good meal and some more pain relief, so went out to play in the garden on her swing. I checked for more eggs, made sure the plants in the porch and polytunnel were ok and then planted some seeds in the veg garden.
When I had finished sowing a couple of rows of carrots and planting some more shallots and covered them over (very important, to keep the chickens and cats off my seeds!)
After a pause to have some water and give Compostgirl a drink, a snack and a cuddle, I went down to Ledbury to the Household Waste Site with some recycling and to go to a shop. I got some yoghurt, wine, beer, milk and a NZ lamb joint which was reduced, so I bought it.
I came back, meeting Compostman and Compostgirl in the Coppice up the road, where they had gone to have a look at the growing hedges and verges, so I got back home before them, made and we all drank some tea and then I went back out in the garden to dig out some more compost.
Compostgirl and Compostman cut up and barrowed some logs from the wood into the woodstore ( well, Compostman did...) and Compostgirl played in the wood and came to chat to us while we did various outside chores.
Compostgirl ate at 5.30 pm , a bit early for us, so she had some more of the lunchtime quiche, some chips and our green beans from the freezer and then some ice cream and watched the Simpsons. I did a bit more work in the study on my Forest School brochure (I am offering sessions/parties/summer camp days here ) and put back our bedroom to some semblance of order. I also answered a few comments on my blog and the Simple Green Frugal blog.
I then went outside, watered and covered over the plants in the polytunnel, shut the dors and windows, got Fudge in from his run and fed him in his cage, called the chickens into the orchard and shut them in their pen, Compostgirl and I getting attacked by Cap't Flint in the process (you have just finally sealed your fate to be eaten you bastard....)
I gave Compostgirl her evening milk and snack, and then sent her up to bed, she put her pillow cases on, and got ready for bed, Harry Potter 4 went with her and she read until we came up to say goodnight,.....I have persuaded her NOT to watch the DVD until she has finished the book.
I then fed the cats, who were falling over themselves and me inside the futility room. Compostman came in from his lumberjack efforts and YES WE DID have a quick chorus of "He's a Lumberjack and he's OK..." !....Compostman finished making Compostgirl's bed with the bedclothes she had chosen....
We said goodnight etc to Compostgirl, gave her cuddles, pain relief and ear drops and then I got Fudge the GP in from his run and fed him, watered all the plants and covered over the seedlings in the porch growing area.
I folded up the days washing, updated the gardening book with what we had been up to today, we talked about what we should fell next and where to site the new garden shed ( building is more precise description!) and what and where we should do about killing Capt Flint....
and we ate our evening meal of roast lamb (which I bought earlier)and veg from the freezer and leftovers from the fridge, actually a very quick meal!
With a bottle of nice wine I bought from Wine Rack at 40% off....
while we watched an episode from series 1 of "Absolutely" on dvd...
I have just updated this post and am now off to bed.....
I hope you have enjoyed my day, I certainly have! ( although I am a bit tired now....)