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!

Thursday 21 May 2009

Day in my life - May

Time for my May post in this series.

This is actually a fairly typical day for this time of year, well actually my days tend to be much the same, unless I am out teaching or doing a Forest School/Environmental education/composting session somewhere...

So...A day in my life in May

Got up, had a shower and dressed in manky gardening clothes (as is the norm for me, unless I am planning on going anywhere. Long gone (and not regretted!) are the days when I dressed in suits, heels and put on makeup as routine!

Compostman made tea and toast, I did morning stuff with Compostgirl ( hair, book bag, check homework etc..) then he took Compostgirl to school, while I checked on Fudge the guinea pig

and the few remaining plants in the porch. The hot boxes are now turned off and most of the plants have been moved out to the Polytunnel now, but I am using the space as an "overflow" growing area for herb plantings and suchlike.

having fed and watered the plants and Fudge, 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, looked right to see if the Great Tits had fledged yet from the nest box by the polytunnel, then went to let the chickens out and looked them over as they ate the corn and other tit bits and I filled up their drinkers. I always check like this and spend time with them first thing and this is when I also collect whatever eggs there are.

I spent half an hour with them, taking a mug of tea with me, but then went back to eat a very late breakfast!

Went back to the house via the polytunnel...I have to open up the cold frames inside the PT and the outside one so as to harden off the plants waiting to be planted outside.

Then to the house via the garden, pausing to admire the flowers, check on the emerging plums and apples and listen to a robin singing...one of the things I LOVE about my life, is that I have time to listen to birdsong or to watch a worm wiggling....

Quickly ate toast and had a second cuppa, then breakfast stuff cleared away I went to sort out some washing, 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. I then spent half an hour tidying up, I washed the cat bowls and left them to drain, and went to tidy up downstairs, folding washing, picking up stuff from the floor, tidying up around a den Compostgirl has made in the sitting room, which I don't want to dismantle because it is a really good den BUT is a bit messy looking, so I tinkered around the edges to tidy it a bit.

Compostman had gone out into the workshop to continue making my Christmas present hen house (!ooh its so lovely!) and, having tidied up downstairs I hung up the freshly washed clothes to dry on the dolly...(as it was now pouring with rain outside)

I LOVE my drying dolly!

I then went upstairs to the study to get my email and 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. We have a meeting tomorrow here on site to discuss our Forest School plans, so I checked the site risk assessment and printed off some documents for the meeting.

I went into the bathroom and cleaned the bath, mirror and sink while I was up there.

I looked into Compostgirl's bedroom but decided SHE could tidy it up...(part of pocket money chores ...)

Then it was nearly lunchtime. So I made some hummous from a packet mix I have had lurking In the cupboard for a while and hadn't yet tried...

Lunch today...Home made soup, bread and hummous. Egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Soup and hummous and salad made/grown by me, bread made by Compostman..eggs from Violet, Ruby and Buffy

After lunch was cleared away I put on another load of washing whilst Compostman hung out the first lot in the now brilliant sunshine. I did some more work on my Forest School brochure and publicity, paid some bills online and then welcomed Compostgirl home from school...

Compostgirl needed to plant some mystery seeds as part of a science project, so we discussed what makes an experiment, and she settled on a variable time watering schedule, and decided to use her grow tube kit to grow the mystery seeds in.


After a pause to have a cuppa and give Compostgirl a drink and a snack (hummous and salad sandwich) I quickly went down to our local farm shop for some organic meat, apple juice (we have finished ours, sadly ) and some of their asparagus (mmmm) I went to our little Post Office to send off a parcel, got some petrol and went to our local organic shop in Ledbury for some veg and some assorted pulses and stuff. While I was out Compostman put our evening meal in the oven (a fish pie tonight)

I came back, now in the pouring rain (wow what a funny day weather wise!). I WAS going to dig out some more compost but we all decided it was too wet to do anything else outside so we sat down to watch a dvd...Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix...we really enjoyed it although Compostgirl was a bit scared by the fight scenes...but she is currently reading HP 6 so really wanted to watch this film!

We paused HP 5 while we ate our evening meal, we all ate together, then we finished watching HP5, I gave Compostgirl her evening milk and snack, and then sent her up to bed, she got ready for bed, Harry Potter 6 went with her and she read until we came up to say goodnight,.....actually she finished HP6 and is now clamouring for HP7...hmmm....it is a bit dark for her I think? ( and I am currently re reading it, so she will just have to be patient!)

Compostman went to do some work in the workshop, I sorted out Compostgirl's stuff for school, I then went outside, watered and covered over the plants in the polytunnel, shut the doors and windows, called the chickens into the orchard and shut them in their pen, got Fudge in from his run and fed him in his cage.

Compostman had been doing more to my lovely new hen house in the workshop. but he stopped for the night, and we said goodnight etc to Compostgirl.

Now I was inside, I watered all the plants and covered over the seedlings in the porch growing area.

I folded up the days washing ( why is there ALWAYS washing to fold?), updated the gardening book with what I had been up to today, Compostman came inside, having locked up outside. He sorted out the dishes and fed the cats, I tidied up (again) We settled down on the sofa to watch a pre recorded programme about Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green ( one of my all time favourite artistes) and have a glass of wine...

And then to bed, It was a less busy day than some but I went up a bit early than usual as I was feeling really tired....

I hope you have enjoyed my day, I certainly have! ...


  1. Your day made me smile - even with all the business that comes with it, the feeling was one of contentment. I like Compostgirl's experiment/project, particularly how the variable watering schedule came about. It should be fun seeing how the mystery seeds come out.

  2. Hmm..contentment..

    I think that fits the description nicely :-)

    I DO have sad, bad, cross, frustrated times..like anyone does!

    But yes, I do find a deep sense of contentment in the routine, daily things I have to do...
    and then when I have to go "out" , to teach, compost, lecture etc..I enjoy it all the more.

    CG is sad as no seeds have sprouted yet....

  3. that sounds like a perfect day....I may do a day in the life post on my blog, great idea.....

    Gill in Canada

  4. Good info.. I find it pretty easy to compost once you are in the mindset that a lot of the fruit and vegetables you discard could easily be added to a compost box.

    I created my compost bin from discarded 3x3 pallets. They worked out pretty well.

    If anyone is interested, I added the steps and pictures of the process.

    Happy Composting!


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.