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 18 September 2013

Cider, harvesting and patio news.

 We finally got round to bottling the 2011 cider last night.

Am slightly surprised I could find my Hydrometer straight away ( actually, am astonished!) , but pleasantly surprised by the strength the cider came out at - 6.5%, Tastes good as well :)

And I took 4 Kg of Damsons out of the freezer and set them off on the road to Damson wine ( in the white fermentation bucket)

When they have thawed I will add lots of boiling water to them, leave it to cool, add pectolase then leave them for four days, stirring now and then.

This freed up space to open freeze another 6 kg of Damsons, for use later in the year in another batch of wine or to make Jelly or Cordial. I have no time to make any more at the moment!

I have 80lb of Beth pears to process - will be using the steamer which fits on my pasteuriser to make pear and tayberry juice - and then some of the juice will be turned into pear jelly while the rest will be bottled immediately.

It is a bit of a drawn out process using the steamer/pasteuriser but it has the advantage that the juice comes out pasteurised, and just needs to go into hot bottles.

I will also cold press some of the pears and pasteurise the juice from cold - but that will be a job for the weekend, along with the first of the cider and apple juice making :)


Patio update :)

It's now finished, apart from the pointing, which needs a dry day and dry slabs to do. Which we did not have, yesterday or today.

I have not taken a photo of it as it has been too blooming wet!


  1. Brewing season ahoy! I've got three different types of mead squirreled away to age, two different dark ales for the winter, and I just put damson mead into the secondary fermenter. Christmas presents at the ready!

  2. completely off the wall question, do you do day courses on how you set your house and gardens etc up?

    Beginners like me would pay to see how you selected your house and woods. We are hoping to buy somewhere like your house in the future. I am most interested in the woods


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.