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!


Monday, 29 March 2021

New patio area around barn and polytynnel


The wide slabbed area by the barn had a "flower bed" next to the barn wall, which the previous owners (gone 25 years ago!) grew a Loquat tree in, totally  unsuited to our climate and a bit of a disaster, tbh. It died, and the bed became a bit of a weedy mess. 

So Compostman decided to sort it out, and we agreed it would be good to generally tidy up all the rather ad hoc "crazy paving" effect which had evolved by the barn and to the polytunnel  to provide hard standing and walkways over the last two decades



I don't have a before  pic readily to hand, but imagine a half slab width bed next to the wooden barn wall, and a two slabs width path, most broken and with lots of  weeds growing between the uneven slabs. 

We had to buy five new slabs because the slabbed area is much bigger  but we did manage to use a lot of what was needed from our store of  "stuff you keep out back rather than throwing away, just in case it might be useful" 

One of the joys of having loads of spare land to store stuff! 



The area in front of the polytunnel was tricky, as the polytunnel isn't parallel with the back or side of the barn, so there was a lot of slab cutting and relaying involved, to get it looking good. 




 Oh, it is SO much better, now! A wide, level, functional and attractive space, rather than an uneven, weedy, messy looking area.

Excellent job by Compostman, as always. 

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Getting the HotBin and Wormeries back in action

 



This is what the repair to the HotBin looks like, once the glue had set. 




Once the Hotbin was back in place, I loaded  it up, as per the instructions, and as I described back in my  original post about setting up my new HotBin

Wood chip, some compost from a bin, paper and then grass, paper, grass, leaves to the very top. 



While I was in gardening and composting mode  and mowing, weeding and tidying outside, I got the Can O Worms and Hungry Bin going again. The worms inside looked very happy!





Monday, 22 March 2021

Busy day in the sunshine




Two years ago (I know, I know) rats ate into my HotBin.  Tony the inventor very kindly sent me a sample of the material it is made from, and suggestions as to how to repair it. 


 Last year, I got COVID-19, and that, and the effects of Long covid, means a lot of non essential stuff just didn't get done around Compost Mansions. 

But now the weather is nice, and my torn bicep is not so painful, and I've recovered from the after effects of my first covid vaccination, I'm finally getting on with stuff.

(We've also got several raised beds infested with bindweed and couch grass, and nothing beats watching them shrivel up and die in a well run HotBin!)

So, we removed all the old compost from the HotBin, dismantled it completely, I cleaned all the fine compost from the base plate and Compostman did the repair to the rat hole.


Saturday, 13 March 2021

Doorstep vigil tonight, in memory of Sarah Everard.


 Doorstep vigil in memory of Sarah Everard (and all others)

9.30 pm tonight. Shine a torch, a phone, light a candle,  join in, in memorium and and in outrage.

These are what me, Compostman and Compost girl held, on our patio, at 9.30 tonight. I made these candles. 

Then, we brought them inside, because we were alive, so we  could. 

Sarah didn't get that chance. She was killed. 


We burnt them in memory of Sarah, and all Women and Girls who have been abused, assulted , raped, murdered. 

Which, lets face it, is most of us, well  abused and assulted, at least. At some level. 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Finally!


 Finally! After four weeks of trying to arrange to get the Oxford AZ vaccine I *have* to have. 

Totally painless, took real care over questioning me before hand about my medical history, then offered me the option of having it done in hospital environment, but had all necessary equipment to hand if I *did* feel unwell.


Dr sat and talked to me for 15 mins afterwards, then walked me out to car. Good job, as I came over faint and my bp dropped. Dr and nurse checked me over in car park, until I was ok'd to be driven home.

Now enjoying a cuppa and a sit down.


(The "finally" was because I've waited four weeks (since being first invited) to get a slot offering Oxford/AZ.) 


#ThankYouNHS #thankyouLedburyvolunteers

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Making a start


  Making a start on clearing out the polytunnel. 

But it was gloomy and cold and doing it one handed was difficult, so I gave up (for now) and went inside to get warm

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Signs of Spring.



 

This has made me feel SO much more cheerful!

Still struggling with the effects of Long Covid (aches, depression, brain fog, shortage of breath and tiredness.) 

Also, the bicep injury is still very painful and I can't do much.

However, look at these! So beautiful!

Things must improve soon, yes? 

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Arm injury


Blast. On top of everything else, I've somehow injured my bicep quite badly.


It started really hurting a few days ago, to the point where I was crying with pain, even if I didn't move it.


A telephone consultation with a locum GP, and I was asked to come in for a face to face examination. Was actually a bit freaked out about this because, well Covid and Lockdown and the whole notgoingoutverymuchfornearlyayear.


Anyway, I went, he was lovely, I've done a mischief and have to rest it and take painkillers. And I've been referred  for a scan at the local Hospital asap. 





Although, that is up to the Consultant who reviews my notes,. So I might not get one, after all. 

Friday, 1 January 2021

Happy 2021

Happy New Year everyone!

So, another lockdown. 

We have Compostgirl back here from Uni, she was sent home at the start of December, and it looks like she will be here again for some time.

It's good to have her safe at home, away from the risk of catching Covid, but it's so very sad for all young people, who should be going through the excitement of being independent adults, away from home, hopefully enjoying themselves, and to suddenly be back with their parents, doing their Uni courses online.

Hopefully 2021 will be better, once we have a vaccinated population. 
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