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 16 March 2011

Master Gardener training

I spent the weekend (Sat and Sun) at Garden Organic , Ryton, doing Master Gardener training.

Master Gardeners have the important – and exciting role of supporting people and communities grow their own. To offer them reasons to grow food, remove barriers against, teach growing skills, and offer support. They believe everyone can grow food, whether in a garden or allotment, or on their windowsill or communal land. Whatever the crop; whatever the space. Food growing is important for a healthy diet and lifestyle, saving money, learning skills, and bringing communities together.

Much like my Master Composter role, but this involves being a community gardening, rather than community composting  advisor, so I am helping people to grow veg who need a bit of support to " get going". It could be they are a first time grower, or someone who grows some veg but needs a bit of advice and support to grow more...

We cater for all groups, each supported by a local co-ordinator who gets to know their skills and preferences. Some love doing presentations, for example, other hate them and prefer writing articles. Some engage with schools; others their tower-block neighbours.

I am part of a pilot Master Gardener scheme for Herefordshire: I am the only one at the moment but hopefully many more will follow in my footsteps in the future!

Training from Garden Organic staff was excellent, as always. Support, advice, instruction and information was really good and very informative. The food was wonderful , as well!!

 Philip giving a workshop on seed planting

 Andy the Head Gardener taking us on a tour of the wonderful Garden Organic Ryton site

I aspire to garden like this!  But as there is only Compostman and I to do all the work, I think it is an aspiration, only :-) But I can dream.....


  1. Im actually quite envious watchuing your posts..we are pulling everything up now and will be letting the chooks through. We are planting the onions and brassicas but reading your posts I am reminded of that lovely springtime fever and that potential new plantings bring.

  2. So glad you got to finally do it ! I spent the weekend MG ening at the Edible Garden show at NAG centre at Stoneleigh - brilliant reuslt we signed up hundreds to the One Pot Pledge !

    Isn't Phil lovely !

    Hugs Babs xx

  3. Hi Babs,

    Yes, Phil ( and Kate)are really lovely and I am looking forward to mentoring my households and spreading even more good words about growing veg, composting and gardening :-)

  4. Hi, I've just come across your site and enjoyed reading about your interesting work. I'm working on a new project in Hfdshire called Ecohere - supporting sustainability in rural Herefordshire(www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/p/ecohere/page/ecohere). I'd be really interested to find out more about your work, particularly regarding community composting and community gardening, so please feel free to contact me at anytime - contact details on webpage.Rebecca


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.