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, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs 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 work as an environmental educator, lecturer, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and have spent the last 11 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.
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!
Thursday, 24 December 2015
Monday, 16 November 2015
Bumper harvest this year. We picked hundreds and hundreds of pounds of apples.
This is just a selection!
I washed out loads of bottles
and apples ...
and then started to chop
Then we got busy with the scratter
and the press
End result - 70 l of cider
and some pasteurized juice.
Hard work, but well worth it :)
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
So, it is that time of year, again. Where the plants in the polytunnel are beginning to look sad and there are hardly any fruits left to pick. Or where the shorter days means dampness and humidity and botrytis and moulds.
So ...time to pick the very last of the green peppers and tomatoes, to ripen inside the house on a sunny S facing windowsill.
And to have a good old clear up of the polytunnel!
I also washed a load of plant pots ready for 2016 growing season
While Compostman got busy using up some solar electrons cutting wood with the new electric chainsaw, He reports it is very handy and a lot easier to use on small stuff than the big petrol chainsaw.
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
My skill share on Fri night - 3 hours of needle felting! Lots of lovely badges made smile emoticon
Excellent workshop at FSA conference 2015 with Kindlewoods. I made a drop spindle then carded fleece and spun some yarn smile emoticon More fibre lovelyness at#fsa2015
Farewell ceremony Sun afternoon. Was lovely :)
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Bag on left is my weekend bag.Next to it is hedgerow booze and fruit leather etc samples. Big tkmaxx patchwork bag is all the craft stuff for the skill share I'm doing. Red rucksack is my waterproofs. Why do I have far more workshop stuff, than clothes ? #fsa2015
Monday, 12 October 2015
Wassailing has really worked much much better than that, this year! So far from one tree (Jupiter) we have in excess of 300 lbs of apples. Shed is so appley, already and there are four more trees to pick, yet. . This week I predict a lot of scratting and pressing happening at Compost Mansions. smile emoticon #applelove
Saturday, 3 October 2015
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
I am really pleased that The Compost Bin has featured in Mainland Aggregates list of "15 inspirational gardening blogs that you must read "
From their press release
As you know, there’s no shortage of high-quality gardening blogs online today, endless gardening inspiration, tips and techniques are available at the click of a button (quite literally). But we decided to separate the ones that are good with the ones that are truly great. Whether you’re a part of the garden blogging culture and everything that surrounds it or simply one who likes be inspired and connect with these people, these blogs will give you the resource, tips and insight to create, educate and inspire you when looking for new ideas for your garden. Here we present our 15 inspirational gardening blogs that you must read (no pressure though).
And I get a badge to put on the blog :) Thank you so much Mainland Aggregates :) There are some really good blogs in the list - many of whom I already follow. Nice to be listed with friends :)
Monday, 28 September 2015
Sadly Astrid Hen died this morning frown emoticon she was improving after a poorly spell and a trip to Uncle Tom the Vet, had been on antibiotics and much improved in health, but Sun evening she looked sad and droopy again and then this morning we found she had died in the night in her house. RIP lovely Astrid hen - who was a beautiful friendly Speckledy Hen,
Saturday, 26 September 2015
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Sunday, 20 September 2015
Given the statins and dietary advice we have all given over the years it was hard (but great) to listen to.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Monday, 14 September 2015
They were fabulous, simply wonderful to sit and listen to them talk - a real privilege. Had such a fabulous evening out tonight at blue-ginger gallery in Cradley. Thank you Sue Lim and the rest of the team
They were fabulous, simply wonderful to sit and listen to them talk - a real priveligesmile emoticon
Saturday, 12 September 2015
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Algy the drunk Serama cockerel snoozing on the desk. He is making little hiccupping sounds now and shaking his little head . I noticed he was looking a bit dopy and I thought he had blood on his comb - but when I cleaned it off it was cherry juice - alcoholic smelling cherry juice!
Sunday, 6 September 2015
We had a great afternoon out this week at The Hop Pocket, just up the road from Compost Mansions.
We met up with friends, had an excellent lunch and then did some shopping. I purchased some new clothes (as very little now fits me due to losing so much weight *grin*)
and I also bought Compostgirl a few items in the sale. Wow! She looks so great in them! But ... How did I get such a grown up daughter? Lol. Such a great role model for the younger ones she mentors at school and as a Young Leader at Brownies and at Lugg Valley Company of Archers Archery Club. Am so proud of her. #proudofherforbeingher
Saturday, 5 September 2015
Hi, I’m the Woolly Pedlar, upcycler of unwanted knitwear into fabulous and funky clothes, soft furnishings and accessories. I work from home, a stone’s throw from Hadrian’s Wall, in rural Northumberland.
When you make one off pieces and sell them yourself at events such as The Green Gathering, each and every sale becomes a personal encounter. It is a joy to get to know my customers, some of whom I’ve forged real friendships with. I want to write about the moment depicted in this photo. It was Sunday night at the Green Gathering, 2015, and we had quite a crowd at The Woolly Pedlar’s tent. It was just beginning to get dark, I had a gin and tonic in my hand, the minirig was playing some good tunes and we were busy with lots of visitors to the stall.
Sue is so lovely and strangely enough we both already followed each other's blogs but did not realize until we got chatting at Green Gathering!
Thank you Sue for the mention and the lovely photos! I LOVE my recycled wool ponchos and that I have made new friends at Green Gathering due to them. If you go to Sue's blog post you can see some lovely photos she took of us in our finery.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
Well this is its baby sibling, risen out of the ashes of the sadly ( due to no fault of its own) defunct BGG which was cancelled at the last moment in 2009.
I traveled down to Peacefield Park, Chepstow during the last week of August, in beautiful weather, to set up camp for a week in the "temporary intentional village" which is the Permaculture area;
I set up my tent and a spare one for Compostgirl and a friend, who were coming for the first two days of the festival proper. I also had Algy and Mrs with me as I was doing a workshop on chicken keeping during the festival. So my car was full to the brim as you can see! You can just see the pen that Algy and Mrs shared in the lhs tent (it's the red thing)
I also helped to set up various structures - tents, yurts and helped with the chores in the Permaculture village.
I had fun with fellow Forest School Leaders, we were providing sessions for the festival goers and their children as well as any one else who wanted to have some fun :)
On Wednesday I was pleased to meet up again with John "Compost" Cossham and I spent a lot of time recording the process of setting up his compost waste reduction area.
The recycling areas dotted around the festival site are quite something! The dedicated recycling crew collect the carefully separated resources from the festival and all is recycled.
This is last years compost pile and the composting area on Wednesday morning, before John got clearing it up.
All the festival compostable waste was brought to John in bags and over the course of the week and the festival he (mostly single handedly!) created a huge compost heap which allows the festival putrecibles to compost down rather than going to landfill. The pile remains there unattended until next years GG.
This is a waste minimization process rather than a soil improver process, as the compost made is full of all sorts of stuff which won't decompose.
But is an amazing feat of work from the Recycling crew and John to reduce landfill from the festival site.
The composting area on Sunday
As well as helping John with the compost area and helping in the Permaculture village and with Forest School I also gave three workshops over the course of the festival, on chicken keeping and composting.
Apart from working hard, I met up with loads of other friends I have not seen for a long time.
I went to some excellent talks, chatted to so many people, bought an lovely poncho from The Woolly Pedlar,
saw some amazing artists and craft people
and of course I partied hard :) Seize The Day, Martha Tilson and Sentient were excellent!
We had two days of terrible rain but apart from that the weather was kind to us - on Wednesday night I was able to watch the meteor showers for several hours lying on my back in the grass :)
I came home Tuesday tired and in need of a shower and with aching knees, but very happy :)