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!

Sunday 13 June 2010

Photovoltaics going up at Compost Mansions.

Well I think I have mentioned it in the past as something we have long wanted to do, but we have finally bitten the bullet and ordered the Pv's.

We are going to have 14, 185 w panels, Sharp NU 185 single crystal photovoltaic panels , each one consists of 48 monocrystalline cells, open circuit voltage 24 volts, with an SMA Sunny Boy 2500 inverter to tie it in to the mains electricity system. There will then be a total generation metre, to record what gets generated.

These will go on the back of the garage and workshop roof. Which rather conveniently faces 165 degrees, so SSE and will be a great site for them. We would reasonable expect to get around 850 KWhrs per Kw installed, so will be getting about 2200 KWHr a year of our own generated electricity.

Some of the tree felling I talked about on here in the winter was to clear shading trees, only a problem in the winter when the sun is low, but it all will help ( and provided lots of lovely wood for the logburner!).

The system will be grid tied (off grid proved to be a bit problematical, with the batteries and the added complication)

So yesterday we did the first part of the install which was to lay armoured cable in a trench from the garage to the house. This involved Ken the Dig and his JCB, and a lot of shoveling and poking of Cat 5 cable inside a sheath to protect it in the trench.

We are doing the gravel drive completely in a few weeks as well, so the mess left behind after the trench was re filled in, doesn't matter for a few weeks and then Ken the Dig will come back and make it all lovely and level and weed free and beautiful ( after we have gone and bought a load of stone, geotextile and gravel)

So , it is all very exciting and I will chronicle the events on here, as they unfold....

Saturday 12 June 2010

I'm back!

and have such a lot to tell you all...but am very tired at the moment after a fraught few months, what with teacher training, intermittent repeated bouts of vertigo, running courses in the woods, growing stuff in the garden and poly tunnel and generally trying to cram 2 lives worth of stuff into each day!

 so .......will post about all that has been happening here another time.

Will also post up a picture of the wonderful new hen run which Compostman made for me, to keep my feathery ladies safe from the fox.

yes, sadly I lost 3 more hens to a fox...RIP Mac, Babs and Custard.....

but then got two more ex commercial flock hens, who are called Cumin and Coriander, as they are ginger hens like Ginger, so I have continued the "Spice Girl" theme. I exchanged them for Spot the Cream Legbar Cockerel, as he attacked me once too often (what is it with cockerels?)

So I now have 10 feathery ladies, all of whom are lovely,

Anyway it is lovely to be back and I look forward to posting a bit more frequently , now I have finished the teaching course.