Tag Archives: compost heap

Hotbin update

Remember that Hotbin I had delivered at New Year? see here
It’s currently operating at 90 degrees and scoffing just about every thing I can chuck in it.
After a rather slow start, mostly because I thought you had to get the temperature up before putting much in, I took the advice of the manufacturer and started filling it with kitchen waste in earnest.
This happened to coincide with our council deciding to give us all a food waste bin (although our area still has to put out black bin bags, go figure).
So instead of our food waste sitting stinking up the yard, we have been putting about two small worktop binfulls of food waste in the hotbin every couple of days. A load of grass clippings about a fortnight ago also helped, and I’m told chicken pellets also speed things up.
The bin simply devours it. I haven’t actually managed to get it more than half full because each day the level drops. When you consider there are six of us in the house, that’s a lot of food waste.
As well as veg peelings I’ve just started putting cooked food in, and haven’t quite been brave enough to put bones in yet. Maybe this week.
My biggest mistake was to keep looking at the thermometer on the lid, which never rises above 30. Meanwhile, inside the temperature, using the extra thermometer provided, is far hotter, and today showed 95 degrees!
It’s a little smelly, only when you lift the lid and no more than a normal compost heap.
Unlike a normal heap, which just piles up and takes a year or more to break down, and needs a mix of material, the HotBin is right outside the kitchen door, on concrete, in a shady corner. But it’s doing an awesome job.


Filed under Gardening

Princess turns into Dirt Girl as worms become new pets

AS previously mentioned in these ramblings, our four-year-old daughter Bonnie is not absorbing the influence of her rowdy elder brothers and becoming a tomboy.

Quite the opposite. Much to my surprise and bewilderment, she can be the girliest of all girly-girls. She’ll always choose a floaty dress rather than trousers, will chat away about ‘pretty things’ with her pals, the Disney Princesses, and will pronounce, over-dramatically, “I’m scared” about everything from dinosaurs to the dark, (when she clearly isn’t).

However, she did me rather too proud at the weekend when I finally got a blessed hour or two to tackle some over-due gardening tasks.

Worm girl

Turning the compost heap has been on my to-do list for about a year, and as I shoveled the upper layers into a wheelbarrow, she spotted dozens of creepy-crawlies running, wriggling and slithering for cover.

I expected her to decide that she was scared of beasties but to my surprise she delved right in with her bare hands, gleefully collecting fat brandling worms and letting them wriggle about on her palms.

My requests for her to carefully put the worms back because they needed to be away from the sunlight fell on deaf ears – they were ‘her’ worms. They would be her friends. I had images in my head of finding dead worms in her doll’s house or chest of drawers.

I explained that to the worms, she was a giant – “I’m not a giant, giants are big” – and that she might be scaring them. Only then did she reluctantly give them up to go back into the compost heap.

That’s when she spotted the prehistoric-looking centipedes, running for their lives. She jumped, and hid behind me, unwilling to share my enthusiasm for the speedy bugs. “I’m scared of those,” she announced.

I’m keeping quiet about my similar dislike of moths . . .

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Filed under Gardening, Parenting