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!

Friday 11 October 2013

Apple picking - a bumper harvest!

In common with many who have apple trees, we have a bumper harvest of apples this year

We have been picking them over several days, this week. The platform I got from Argos is really helpful!

Compostman does most of the picking  - he goes up the ladder; I pick from the ground. I also grade the apples and pass him the newly emptied buckets to pick into

The air is scented with appley-ness   as we are surrounded by cider and juicing orchards here. All our neighbours are doing the same as us, although they do it on a much larger scale.

Still, we enjoy how we do it here on our small scale and love to drink the fruits ( ha ha ) of our labours -cider for us and juice for Compostgirl and friends ( we drink the juice as well and it is lovely to be able to give a bottle as a gift, but we prefer cider!)

We are still drinking cider we made from the 2011 harvest and very nice it is as well - 6.5% abv, so a tasty alcoholic tipple, and free!

 So far this week we have picked more than 300 lb of assorted apples - with loads more to come. This should make around 40 bottles of pasteurised juice and more than 30 l of cider, if yields are good. I will also be dehydrating a load and we will be cooking and freezing some as well as making chutney and jelly with the windfalls.

We have also done a swap with a friend - a large quantity of his assorted cider apples for a similar quantity of our eaters and cookers  so our cider this year will be a rather more balanced mixture rather than our usual "whatever we have to hand to juice". We only have one cider apple tree so this arrangement is a great one and I hope we can continue it in future years :)

I have ordered some more bottles from Vigo for juice and washed all our saved wine and juice bottles again, ready to sterilise. Compostman has got down the scratter and press from the loft and I have washed them and the garage is FULL of boxes and buckets and tub trugs of apples.

Just need to make some time in the very busy next week, to do some pressing :)


  1. ooh fantastic, I so wish we had the space, we are thinking of buying a few dwarf apple trees next year. Big Bit woudl be in her element if she was there right now, she has started making wines, elderflower etc to give as gifts

    Sharon x

  2. Just admiring your leeks this year, mine are rubbish. I left them in their seed pot too long and they have never really recovered despite feeding. Ah well, we live and learn!

    1. Thank you :) We have had several people coment on them this year. it has been a good year for them if they went in in before the very dry spell during the summer.

  3. We have a pocket handkerchief sized garden, but, by fan training them against fences, we have five fruit trees, two apples, a plum, a fig (yes a fig tree can be fan trained) and a quince.


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