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!

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Master Composter Conference 2009

One thing I DID enjoy during the 6 weeks in the summer when I was not blogging, due to illness, was going to the 2009 Master Composter Conference at Garden Organic in Ryton. This is always a really good event and full of inspiring speakers. Mixing with several hundred fellow compost enthusiasts is always a treat as well!

I went to a wonderful workshop on insects given by Peter Smithers, co author of a really good book of bug ID. The workshop was wildly oversubscribed and there really were not enough microscopes etc which was a shame but he gave a fascinating talk and was very informative. He also gave a talk to the whole conference about how little is known on the insects etc which actually live in a working compost bin and so we Master Composters are all going to be part of a very large scientific survey to establish what,species are actually in there. Very exciting!

I was yet again nominated for awards, I made it into the final 3 for the Master Composter Achievement Award and also Herefordshire and Worcestershire Master Composters were finalists for the Master Composter Group Award, although I/we didn't actually win... but still, an honour to be nominated!

Alys Fowler gave an interesting talk

and also presented awards and cut the cake, she was very interesting and friendly to chat to as well. Wiggly Wigglers sponsored a wonderful cake, made in the shape of
(you guessed it!) a Can O Worms wormery! It was very tasty and not at all wormy!

Alys cutting the cake...

I was very tired by the time I got back home that evening,as I really was not feeling very well but it was good to go and share my passion for all things composty with a few hundred like minded souls. I also had a lovely wander around the gardens, they were stunning in July!

Wildflower meadow with the Giant Flowerpot in the middle!

Look out for me in the Oct edition of "Grow Your Own" magazine as well ;-)


  1. Congratulations CW!!
    Glad you enjoyed your day out, it certainly sounds a very interesting day. Will be very wonderful to do the insect survey about insects in the compost. I find that absolutely fascinating. I just cannot help myself when I go into my compost bins watching the different sorts of insect life in there... thats of course after waiting for the fruit flies to disappear!!! It will be fascinating to see the results of the survey.
    The cake looks absolutely delicious and brilliantly decorated!
    Will most certainly look out for you in the Grow Your Own Magazine... one of my favourites and one of my little treats of the month that I save up for.....
    Much Love, Jane xxx

  2. Gotcha..... just realised I have the October Grow Your Own magazine and I have found you on page 40... well done CW!! Lovely write up and gorgeous photograph!!
    Much Love, Jane xxx

  3. omg is that a cake! thats incredible! looks like a great day ou! I didnt know you were in a magazine?well done! ;o)
    GTM x

  4. Will be in another one, shortly...

  5. Dear CW, congrats on your nomination and it looks like you all had a great day!

    I have a problem I hope you can help me with; I'm at a loss how I can compost dog/cat waste and pet hair. Everything I read about dog/cat waste says "don't compost" but never say why apart from "they might carry zoonotic diseases transmittable to humans. Ok, but said cats/dogs live in my house and some sleep in my bed... they are wormed and well cared for, they are not feral! I get a large Dyson can's worth of pet hair and dust each week too, and I don't know what to do with it! Can I compost this, and how? I gather it's all nitrogen high, so what should I add to balance it out? I'll happily dedicate a heap I'll only use on my ornamentals if it can be "dangerous" to humans (no children here), but I can't bear having to put such organic matter in my garbage bin each week!


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.