Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live in Herefordshire with Compostman and teenage daughter Compostgirl. We have just under 4 acres of land which contains a woodland, polytunnel, small orchard, garden and veg plot. We grow our own organic produce and make lots of cider, wine, jam and chutney. We also make a lot of compost. We share our lives with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We try our best to live a more self reliant lifestyle, growing and making and fixing and mending and re-using and re-cycling stuff, if we can.
I used to be a Research Scientist, but that was many years ago. I now work as a freelance environmental educator/writer/lecturer/Forest School practitioner and community artist; I also spend a lot of time volunteering as a Master Composter, Master Gardener, Love Food Hate Waste cookery demonstrator and hens@home mentor. Doing all this allows me the privilege of helping people have fun outdoors and live more enjoyable and sustainable lives.
This blog is a record of what I have been up to from day to day. I might write about something I have done in the garden, an article I have written for a magazine, the latest batch of chutney I have made, a training course I have attended or "just" my daily routine of cats, chickens, compost and mud.
I hope you find something to interest you in The Compost Bin, remember there are lots of "How to" guides about all sorts of stuff and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!
Saturday, 9 March 2013
I have lots of tomatoes and peppers germinated, all the earliest varieties of tomato I grow (and grow to sell as plants) are up and thriving well. I will be potting them on into individual pots in the next week or so, burying the stems a little to encourage stem roots to form.
I am now on my second wave of seed sowing of peppers and tomatoes - these are the slightly later cropping varieties (mostly beef and coloured cherry tomato varieties)
I have also just been sent some intriugingly named Chocolate Sweet Bell Pepper seeds and have found a new supplier of Long Purple Aubergine seed, so some of those will be going into the hot box in seed trays later today,
Apart from that, and some salad and the Broad beans and Garlic in the Polytunnel not much new is yet growing, even though it is early March. After a few dry days and one day of glorious sunshine it has gone wet (again!) and cold here in deepest Herefordshire - - so I have been largely inside bathing the three Guinea Pigs in advance of treating them for lice - where they get the lice I do not know, but they do, every year!
As we don't want to risk the piggles getting cold after their baths, the girls will then spend the night inside our house, in one of the plastic hutches we keep as a spare, while their wooden house dries out from being scrubbed and de loused. Tomorrow they can be treated with lice killing drops on the back of their necks and then go back into their larger outside hutch again. It is so sweet to watch them in the water having a bath, they wheek and put their heads back and grunt with pleasure when I rub the shampoo under their chins, but they also attempt to swim, even though the water is only an inch deep, presumably because they are programmed to respond to water in this way. In my opinion they have all the fine buoyancy qualities of a brick - so I don't actually think they can swim at all (well, I don't think so, anyway - does anyone know? Can Guinea Pigs actually swim?)
And we have been washing the inside of the Polytunnel - amazing how much more light there is inside, now!
Thanks to Compostman for all his help (he does the overhead bits and so gets the armpit full of water! - my excuse is he is taller than me and I can't reach)
What have you been planting or doing recently?