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!

Saturday 27 June 2009

Day in my life - June

Time for my June post in this series. Well actually I wrote this a week ago but have only just got around to tidying it up to post (oops - sorry!)

This is actually describing an exceptionally busy day for me even by MY standards, its a very busy time at Compost Mansions at the moment! I am out teaching or doing a Forest School/Environmental Education/Eco club/composting/gardening session somewhere most days in these last few weeks of the Summer term, on top of my normal schedule of tending animals, veg patch, polytunnel, house, family etc..AND the house is covered in scaffolding and we have people re-doing our roof at the moment..and Compostman is up on the scaffold painting or repairing wood work or doing other stuff...so its even more chaos here than usual!

So...a (very busy) day in my life in June 2009

Got up early (before 5 am!), had a shower and dressed in manky clothes to go and do stuff in the wood and with the livestock. I was expecting a party of 30 school children arriving with their teachers at 9 30 am for a session in the Wood, so it was going to be a very busy day.

This is the sound I listened to as I went outside....

As I was up well before anyone else, I made some tea just for me and drank it whilst in the wood to check on the log circle, the perimeter rope and the general area to make sure it was all still as in my risk assessment of the previous week. I ticked off items on my pre session checklist as I checked them. I also started to take things down to the Wood ( buckets, trowels, tool bags etc)

At about 7 am I opened up the polytunnel for the day and went to let out the hens. It was a very quick session with them this morning as I was very pushed for time, however I was rewarded with some lovely eggs from 2 of the girls.

I said hello to Compostman who had now got up, we made tea and toast, I did morning stuff with Compostgirl ( hair, book bag, check homework etc...), I got changed into my Forest School clothes ( slightly tidier versions of the manky ones) steel toecap walking boots, rucksack with emergency kit, consent forms, risk assessments, other paperwork, waterproofs etc then I greeted my friend T, a fellow Forest School Leader, who was going to join me in the Wood doing the morning session with the party of schoolchildren we were expecting.

The builders arrived and Compostman took Compostgirl to school, while T and I used the wheelbarrow to take first aid kit, water, towels, loo roll, wash basin, soap, tool bag, craft items, buckets, clay from the wood, and other assorted stuff down to the wood to set up for the morning. I came back to the house and quickly ate toast and had a second cuppa, then breakfast stuff cleared away I went to gather up the last of the required stuff for the Forest School session I was about to embark on. The 2 other practitioners involved with the morning arrived and were greeted and then we all went down to the log circle site.

The children arrived at about 9.30 by coach, along with at least 7 members of staff plus a parent and the next 3 hours were spent with all of us having huge fun in the Wood, playing games, exploring, making dens, finding treasures, running around exploring, having a campfire and making popcorn.

The children went back to school by coach at 12.30 with their teachers and the rest of us sat round the fire and I made a hot drink. We discussed the morning, reflected on how it had gone and relaxed a bit around the fire.

Everybody left, I had a quick lunch with Compostman and then spent the next hour or so tidying up, which involved delights such as emptying and cleaning out the toilet (its just a commode type, so I can tip the contents down the loo as we have a septic tank so I really didn't want to use a chemical toilet!) taking everything back to the house, cleaning and checking tools, first aid kit etc. In the long term I will build a composting toilet and a low impact building but for now I make do with a tarpaulin shelter and a toilet tent.

At about 3 pm I sat down for 10 mins with a mug of tea, having made a round of drinks for the roofers and builders, and did a catch up with my emails.

Then Compostgirl came home, very excited and tired from a long hot day at school. She wanted to go down to the wood to see what had been going on, so after a drink, snack and a change of clothes we wandered into the coolness of the wood. We made some mud monsters and I made the Green Man and Summer Lady to honour the Solstice the next day.

The builders went away for the day and we all had tea, then I did some work in the garden (weeding and planting out more beans, digging potatoes) and polytunnel (watering, taking off side shoots from tomato plants, planting more salad stuff)

By 8 pm I was very tired, so I did bedtime with Compostgirl, got the hens back in the Orchard early and then had a shower. Compostman had been doing stuff on the roof and in the loft and workshop all this time and came soon came to have a shower as well. We watched HIGNFY on BBC1 and the News and then not surprisingly I went to bed! And not surprisingly Compostman wasn't long behind me as he is working very hard doing stuff with the loft and the roof as well and has been putting in some very long, hot days of work. I slept very well that night, I can tell you!

So, a long day but a very satisfying day, the Forest School activities at my site went smoothly, I got good feedback for the site, the teaching staff and children really loved what we all did and all in all it was a good day. The building work is also going well and Compostman is very tired but happy with the progress of stuff.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my day, I have certainly enjoyed doing it


  1. Wow!, you make me feel tired just reading this. What a busy woman you are. I so much admire the way you all work together. I am feeling a little nervous about my potatoes. I'm wondering if the first lot are ready to harvest, the flowers have died. Should I be brave and tip out the bag?


  2. Margaret, stick your hand in the soil in the bag and have a feel...you should be able to feel if there are reasonable sized spuds in there, without tipping the bag out?

    Were they an early variety, do you know? And when did you plant them?

    It IS good, the way we all work together! Sometimes more so than others, but that's the way of things I guess ;-)

    S x

  3. I did enjoy reading about your day, particularly how much you shared with the children and experimented. Hope your Solstice was happy :-)


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.