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!

Monday 21 September 2009

Sunday catch up

Well I thought a catch up post was in order, as I have been doing lots here but haven't posted much lately (apart from about the chickens )

I was up early again this morning (couldn't sleep due to brain whirr), so have done lots and feel very content BUT am now flagging ( as you do...)

I was woken by Treacle the beautiful Black Star

laying her very first egg!

So 2 of the POL pullets are now laying :) Ginger started a few days ago and is very vocal about it! Good job someone is laying as the "old girls" all seem to have gone off in a huff and decided to moult and/or just stop laying

It has been a beautiful day here today, I got 3 loads of washing out and dry before lunch! I have mowed all the grass and it is all piled up ready to go in the compost bins.

I have cleaned Fudge the Guinea pig's house, all 4 hen runs and houses as well, so Fudge, the hens and Ruby and the chicklets are all nice and clean and cosy :-)

All the throws and cushion covers from the sitting room are in the wash or have been given a good beating on the line to get the dust out, the kitchen, halls, sitting and dining rooms have been vacuumed and generally tidied up

20 wine bottles have been released free of labels and washed and upended to dry,

We need lots of clean bottles to reuse, as we have 72 bottles worth of wine on the go at the moment!

I refilled all the various washing up liquid and liquid soap dispensers, I buy Faith in Nature and Bio D in bulk bottles to save on packaging and resources and then reuse or recycle the big bottles when empty.

I tidied up generally, cleaned the small bathroom with an e cloth and hot soapy water, I cleaned various windows and mirrors with an e cloth and vinegar.

Compostman and I started loading up my car for me to go to the Household Recycling site....

Then we picked apples ...lots and lots of apples.....and pears....

This is what 50 lbs of apples looks like..and we have lots of these tubs filled up....

Compostman picked beans, and blanched and froze a load of courgettes while I picked the pears from the other pear tree (Conference)and I think I shall have to make pear leather with the remaining Beth pears as they are very ripe now.

I will be making chutney later on from the Victoria plums in the fridge, the Damsons are finished now on our tree so we are leaving what is left for the insects ( especially butterflies!) to ea. We have lots of wine on the go and lots in the freezer to make jam out of in a few weeks time.

I now have to think about making cider and juice from the apples.

One of the cats took exception to some mending left in a pile on the floor by my chair yesterday and wee'd all over it (and my knitting..grr) so I spent ages cleaning up the mess with the special spray from the vets ( which works!) and washing out wee from previously clean stuff yuck!

I had a lovely, if busy week here, one day last week my fellow Eco Club leader (who is a teacher at Compost girl's school) came round so we could sort out the Green Flag application for the School. We had a really productive session and got lots sorted and it makes me SO proud of the children to see what progress has been made over the last 4 years. I have also re started the Eco club I run at another school nearby, as well as "pitching" for some craft workshops during half term in October (happily I got the work, so am now making stuff for it and Compost girl is helping me!)

So a busy and productive day, and week, here at Compost Mansions!


  1. Phew!!!! I am exhausted reading your post CW... how the hell do you manage to fit all that in one day!!! You put my energy levels to shame (hangs head, lol!!!)
    I am so glad that you are feeling much better now, its so nice to see you back again and on the go!
    Also I am pleased to read that CG is helping you out and do hope things are improving their as I know how much it has got you and Mr CW down of late.
    Well think I had better get my act together today as lots of housework to catch up on.. my hubby was off last week, took a week hols after yet another cardioversion (4th try now) which has again failed, so maybe looking at a pacemaker next... anyway over the last week we have been trying to catch up with garden chores etc and so the housework as been rather neglected, so out with the vacuum etc today!!
    Look after yourself!
    With Love, Jane xxx

  2. Is that plastic demijohns I spy in your picture? If so, where d'you get 'em? We've got eighteen demijohns full of stuff, and I could really do with about another nine as we've also got two plastic bins full to brimming with sloes and rosehips...

  3. Cw quickly dashes in...

    hello Jane! I do feel better, not 100% but better, yes :-)

    I will email you...

    Earthenwitch, they are INDEED plastic DJ,s cheaper than glass, and can be used as cloches when they get a bit too old for wine...

    You can get them from any major brew web site I think? I get ours from our local ish shop in Hereford

    OR you could re-use 5 L water bottles as they are the same thing... ;-)

    You would have to drill a hole in the top as the "bought" ones come with a be-holed top, an air lock and a grommet...

    Thats what we have done....Buy water bottles ( or friends donate them) and use those, often for storing cider in, before bottling....saves on the "shards of glass" scenario if its still a a bit lively :-)

  4. What a lovely post, especially seeing such happy hens and babies too - and with access to GRASS, as ours always had. I have persuaded DH that a few hens and a few ducks would not go amiss when we move.

    Your garden looks like it has been very productive. We normally have masses and masses of apples too, but this year all the trees are "resting" after last year's bumper crop, though I am worried as I have seen SO few bees in our garden.

    All the craft projects for littlies look great, by the way.

  5. What a busy time! I don't know whether to be inspired or exhausted, lol!
    Yum, yum, yum to all the apples and pears and plums and wine and cider. Harvesting and using all those beautiful fruits would be enough to energise anyone I guess.


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.