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 29 August 2015

Chicken and garden update

We have had the most amazing crop of sour cherries this year. So many cherries on this small tree! The chickens all love them and spend all day hanging around underneath, eating the cherries as they drop off.

We picked some and made cherry jam - usually these cherries are mouth puckeringly tart, but this year they are so sweet! The jam is delicious as well.

I had a big clean out and rearrange of the chickens both large and small.  The original group of Seramas - ( Algy, Biggles and Ginger the cockerels and mini Pearl, Milly and Mollie the hens are all in the home made house and run. They have perches and plenty of space if they have to be shut in  because I am not there in the daytime to keep them safe from Mrs Fox. I have also bought another two black silkies and a gold laced Serama pullet. The gold laced pullet is in with the not chicks and the black silkies are in with the older Seramas. Algy is very fond of one of them!

The notchicksanymore have grown into beautiful Seramas. They have the Eglu and another home made run to live in when not free ranging. We have Mimi and Yvette ( the new black laced pullet)  along with Rene and Chancellor the cockerels. (Yes we have been watching re runs of Allo allo! )

The big hens live in the Mega hen pen and I have acquired several new hens, Astrid a Speckledy,  Aggie a new marigold and Ginger, a Columbian Blacktail. They replace the sadly dead Pearl and Aggie 1 who were taken in the fox attack which so badly injured Sweetiepie.

And Sweetiepie is fully feathered and recovered and back to ruling the roost with a claw of velvet :)

Here are Yvette and Mrs Algy enjoying the sunshine

Thursday 27 August 2015

Birthday celebrations and a visit to my old home.

It was my brother's birthday on the 23 August, so today we went over to where he lives and went out for a meal.

Happy Birthday J!

After an excellent lunch in a pub in our childhood village of Kempsey, nr Worcester, we drove up to Kempsey Common, where my family lived from 1969 - 1996

This was the view I had from my bedroom window, looking out over the Malvern Hills.

And this is the house I lived in from the age of 6 until I was 16. A lot of memories were released from both my brother and I, happy and sad ones but all good to feel.

I showed Compostgirl the old hollow oak tree where I used to hide and read all day and dream.
A good day out

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Tree work

We have had  some tree work done in the wood on the ( 300 + yr old) Oak tree which is the heart of the wood and shelters the log circle area.

Thank you to local firm Adrian Hope Tree Services for such an excellent job,well done. So much lovely firewood to split and stack now!

Friday 14 August 2015

New tent

Bought another tent today smile emoticon Eurohike Avon - so much easier to erect and such a lot of space!

Bags I have it and make Compostgirl and her friend share the Kent tent when we go to Green
Gathering at end of the month

 smile emoticon

Wednesday 12 August 2015

BLE Weekend Bournemouth Aug 2015

I spent the first weekend of August away at a Big Lunch Extras weekend workshop in lovely Bournemouth.

I drove down on the Fri, pausing on the way to visit Durrington Walls

 and Stonehenge

and stayed at a very nice B and B in Ringwood, returning home Monday afternoon. This was the weekend of the "Blue Moon" and boy was it bright at night!

I had some excellent meals out

as well as some "picnic" style evening meals in my room. The breakfasts were excellent at my b and b :)

On Sat after an excellent breakfast  I made my way to the BLE workshop venue. Tired due to sleeping poorly because of the amazing Blue Moon - so bright and lovely, but I sleep little when the moon is full.

I really enjoyed the BLE event - we discussed ways to engage with our local communities; shared ideas on how to provide different events to fund raise or gain support for our social enterprise, heard about the Fairtrade movement, were told about the Waitrose Corporate Social  Responsibility scheme, did some stop motion animation and generally had a great time. An amazing lunch was provided by an excellent local social enterprise.

Sat evening I had a paddle in the sea then picked up a selection of salad and cooked meats and a small bottle of wine and retired to my room to shower, eat, read and watch  tv - bliss :)

Sunday we had a tour of some amazing street art and then joined in a community street party.

I drove to Corfe Castle and had a pleasant wander around but unfortunately Camp Bestival was ending that day so the journey back to the b and b was very slow! I had another "picnic" style meal in my room, showered and read/wrote in my journal for the rest of the evening. I went to bed early as the Blue Moon has kept me awake the on Fri night.

Monday after another excellent breakfast I headed for home - I stopped in Salisbury and had a look around and some lunch.then continuesd -doing a journey very familiar get to home, as we used to take the racing car to Gurston Down Hillclimb many times a year. Strange to drive roads so familiar once but not taken for nearly 20 years.

All in all a very enjoyable road trip for me and a nice and useful break.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Sweetie update! And an apology for not posting

***Apologies for no posts for a month, my computer died completely and Compostman has rebuilt a new one inside the case, reusing all the memory and hard drives so I got to keep all my stuff :) BUT it took some time. I have been up to lots of interesting things so I shall gradually post them up as and when I can - forgive me if it takes some time as this is a very busy time of year for me! ***

Great news! Sweetiepie the 8 1/2 year old ex battery hen is back in with her flock, back to being Top Hen and Hen in Chief again :)

She is laying 4 - 5 eggs a week, is generally causing mayhen around the place and is growing some beautiful new speckled grey feathers around the scab, where a month ago there was no skin at all. I am astonished at her recovery - and it just goes to show what amazing healing powers animals have.

She was apart from the flock for a month as she needed intensive care but she is happy to be back with them all :)