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!

Saturday 18 May 2013

Malvern Quilt Show and delousing hens.

I went to the The Three Counties showground on Friday, to attend the Malvern Quilt Show. The TCS is the home of the RHS Spring Gardening show and of course the Three Counties Show, as well as many other events.

I had a lovely time at the Quilt show - I went with a friend and we spent about three hours looking around at the stalls and the display gallery of quilts. I enjoyed chatting to the stallholders and especially to Maggi from Sunflower Fabrics. I really liked the quilt she is standing next to (she made it)  and was so tempted to buy her pattern, or even the kit - but I had a budget which I wanted to spend on fabric, so I didn't.

I loved this Green Man, on a quilt made by  Sew Enchanting

The display of competition quilts was stunning. I got so many ideas!

We bought some lunch ( which was ok but we really should have taken our own!) but after about four hours there, we had seen everything we wanted to see and were a bit  "quilted out" so came away. But we both felt we had been inspired to do different things with our crafting.

I took more photos but my friend has the show catalogue so I shall wait until I get it back so I can tell you a bit more about the quilts.
As we walked in from the car park it was interesting to see that workers were still doing "take down" of the many show gardens from the RHS show the weekend before - presumably plants and trees not needed at RHS Chelsea?

I had a nap when I got home - the sinus problems I still have are making it difficult to sleep and I seem to be operating on "tired" all day so a four hour walk about left me a bit shattered. It was nice to go out for the day, though and especially nice to spend it with my friend Maria :-)

After my nap I felt strong enough to treat the Ginger Gang of hens, and their house and run, for lice. This is a fairly major job and needed doing today, as we are on a schedule of treatment. The Ginger Gang are prone to infestations as some cannot preen properly due to being de beaked in the battery cages :-(  My usual routine seemed not to be working last month and the girls were very lice ridden (yuck) so I went to see Mike the Vet and now I am having to apply a drop-on wormer/de louser on the back of their necks every 10 days; today was the second of three doses. I have also cleared the run and house of all straw, paper bedding etc and dusted everywhere with Diatom and their run is also covered in the stuff - so  have to "poo pick" every day. I also have to throw all their eggs, not that they lay very many anyway!

 If I can get them clear of lice I can keep them relatively louse free, although total lice free-ness is unlikely due to the wild birds around us, who also carry them. To be honest it is all a bit of a palaver, but the Lice have been banished (so far) so the Ginger Gang will feel more comfortable and that makes it worth the extra work.

Still makes me feel itchy whenever I see the lice, though!


  1. I've said it before, your hens are very lucky girls to have you as a mummy who looks after them so well.
    De beaked? How disgusting.

    FIB. X

    1. it IS disgusting FIB, but then everything to do with caged egg laying birds is usually pretty nasty imo :-(

  2. Many years ago when I was knew to horse keeping, I had an experience with lice. It was an early Spring day, and with newly washed and dried hair I had gone out to clean the horses feet before putting them out in the field. To clean their hooves I usually lean against their flanks. Well, after I had been back in the house for five minutes I felt a tickle in my hair. On looking at my scalp in the mirror I was astounded to see my scalp apparently moving. But closer inspection showed that it was not my scalp, but a total infestation of lice, all moving together. I nearly died! I rang my husband to scream down the phone, he told me to get a grip, change my clothes in the bath, and wash my hair and clothes in Jeyes fluid. Which I did. That got rid of them all. But even as i type I can feel my hair itch all over. The after effects lasted for a while, as a week later, when in a Parish meeting one evening, with the central heating turned up high, I began to give off very strong fumes of the Jeyes: my explanation was met by stupefaction by the good ladies of the Parish:)

    1. OMG that is horrible - I feel itchy just reading

  3. I hadnt realised there was a quilt show last weekend. It looked great. Jx

    1. It was a good event - there is another one on in the Autumn?


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.