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, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs 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 work as an environmental educator, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and spent 10 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.
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!
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
woke up later on.
Memo to self, when picking hops , wear a mask and gloves. And do it in a well ventilated , large room, like I see around here a lot. They are called Hop Barns. They are big buildings, With big open doors and very high rooves........I rather think they might just be like that for a reason......
Can testify that my hop pillows WILL work, though ! Personally tested by me.....
Felt like I had taken a powerful sleeping pill.
Which, of course, effectively I had...
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
A day to honour the God and Goddess, of the Harvest, of the Woods, of the Fields, and all manner of wild things and tame.
I decorated my house and especially my lovely Green Man, with hops, drying and fragrant, redolent with promise of beer and merriment at Yule.
I collected another rescue, companion cat. She is adorable!
I gave thanks.
Saturday, 18 September 2010
I harvested the hops a few days ago and they are now hanging up to dry, scenting the house and the barn with their fragrance.
I shall use some in brewing beer and some to make Hop pillows and craft items. Some may be ground up to add to soaps.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Sarahs House said...Hello, It is nice to see that you have done lots of crafts with children. My daughter loves to do anything crafty..lol.
I am interested in trying the soap making and bees wax candles with her, would you be able to suggest a good online place to buy the things needed for this ? I have looked online but there are so many places offering different things I would prefer to try somewhere that had been recommended.
So, to answer Sarah, I get my soap supplies ( and essential oils, botanicals, butters, base oils etc ) from Aromantic. Here is the link to the organic melt and pour soap I use.
I got my latest batch of organic beeswax sheets from Aromantic as well, but had the wicks ( and a lot of other candle making stuff as well) from Full Moons cauldron.
I find both of these stores offer very good service.
I hope this helps?
Sunday, 5 September 2010
This time we headed into Wales and, after a really nice sunday lunch in Raglan, had an afternoon in Caerleon, looking at all the Roman stuff there.
We then went to the Roman Museum, which was full of finds and was really good. There were some lovely engraved gem stones which had been found in the drains at the baths, tiny stones with the most exquisite images engraved. The tools made me realise how similar a life people led 2000 years ago - an axe still looks the same, as does a hammer, a chisel and so on...!
We then wandered around looking for a place to have a cup of tea and found this courtyard full of amazing carvings!
Finally we went to the Ampetheatre and Roman walls
and the Roman Barracks.
All in all, we had a lovely day out and it was a nice way to mark the end the summer holidays.
Friday, 3 September 2010
Upstairs in The Bailiff's cottage.
Very smelly woad dying going on in the kitchen.
Very beautiful plant dyed wool.
The fabulous farmyard.
A very friendly donkey snoozing in the barn.
The tea rooms in the Old Schoolhouse.
A corn dolly on the Tea room wall. I took lots of close ups as I want to try to make a similar one.
Compostman and Compostgirl go "back to school" .
I want one like this!
Compostgirl is doing the Victorians as her school project this term and came away with lots of ideas!
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
The soap we made using organic melt and pour base, then we added various essential oils, natural colours and abrasives and dried flowers to the melted soap. I had previously made up the natural colours by infusing oil with Alkanet (pink) Annatto (yellow) and Paprika ( orange) and we used dried lavender and rose petals from my garden.
I used various moulds and we all made some very nice scented soap! The children were delighted with what they had made and were very proud of themselves.
We also made some rolled beeswax candles which smell divine and again the children loved doing this. We talked about bees, how you get beeswax and how important bees are in all our lives.
I make soap and candles as part of the craft workshops and courses I run, but I usually am working with adults so it was nice to pass on the skills to younger ones.
When the children are a bit older, we will make cold process soap, but for now using melt and pour soap base seems a better option.
I have really enjoyed doing crafty things with Compostgirl and her various friends, it hasbeen good fun. The shildren have had lots of free play running around outside time but during the day wanted to " do something" so we have made things. lots of things! We have done sewing, cardmaking, mosaic making, shoe box threatres and puppets, soap and candle and paper fabric making.
Am looking forward to half term so we can do some more stuff.