A dirty smudge and some dirt

I’ve seen Panstarrs!  Well, it seemed to be a dirty smudge in the right place, towards the northwest close to the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had to find it from Cassiopeia since the trees are too low to see Pegasus at this time of year.  I had to dodge around to get a gap in the trees, too, and to avoid the street lights, but I succeeded. It will get closer to Cassiopeia up to early June, but also fainter.  Maybe I’ll see it again, but if not, so long, buddy, and good luck! Continue reading

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February on the ground and in the sky

I’ve been out gardening.  That might sound a little strange, but it’s not something I’ve had the time or inclination to do recently.  It’s been very snowy in January – up to six inches on the ground for a week or two.  It’s been gone a week but I’ve been busy with work, yet I made sure I took some time off this weekend.  Continue reading

Down to earth is good for the soul

Sunday was the sort of spring day that is really good for working in the garden: cloudy and not too warm – ideal conditions for turning out a compost heap.  And that is just what the doctor ordered after work type things hadn’t been going quite right this week.

I had resorted to topping up one of my heaps as I was running out of space around Christmas, so I knew there was some good stuff under the newer layers of guinea pig bedding waste – and so it turned out.  Continue reading

Phase out of peat in compost material by 2020

“A call for the phase-out of peat in compost material was announced today by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn as part of the latest ACT ON CO2 campaign.

The phase out would mean that gardening centres and DIY stores would cease to sell peat-based composts for the amateur gardening market within ten years  and switch to peat-free alternatives instead. Continue reading

Master Composting

The Master Composter scheme is run by Garden Organic in partnership with the local waste authority, in my case Norfolk County Council.

I was trained one weekend in February 2008 and have been promoting home composting when I can ever since.  I’ve mostly been attending events such as Wild about the Wensum, Royal Norfolk Show, Blickling Hall Open event, manning the stand and talking to people about composting.  I’ve had a little success in getting my neighbours to compost more, but one is a professional gardener so I tread carefully.

Today I’m going to the Swaffham Eco-Tech centre where a new batch of volunteers are being trained.  I’m just going to say a bit about what I’ve been doing and what fun it is and what I get out of it.