The tiniest water butt in Europe

Maybe.  It is laughably small.  Still, it holds three watering cans worth, perfect for sprinkling my lettuce seedlings.  Slugs and snails circle the veg patch, waiting for the little shoots to get big enough for a decent meal.  I wonder (again) whether I could squeeze a small chicken/quail coop into the garden?  It would be deeply satisfying to pluck a snail, mid-munch from the lettuce patch, and chuck it straight in with of a couple of hungry hens.  That’d learn it.  Turning snails into eggs, now that’s recycling.

In other news, I have been conducting an archeological dig in my compost heap.  I have found large quantities of leaves, grass clippings and woody prunings c.2008 all of which had formed stoic layers, entirely un-rotted, exactly as they were when I foolishly put them in.

I have learnt the hard way that building a compost heap does not mean you can shove every piece of garden waste into a pile and expect black gold in 6 months.  A lot of stuff still has to go into landfill, unless you’re prepared to invest in a chipper, which frankly, would be truly ridiculous in my garden.  I do cut some stuff up by hand, but there are limits.  Some things just aint gonna rot quickly.  Avocado stones, for example, have a half life of approximately 483 years, from what I can gather.

Happily, I have discovered that the answer with grass clippings is just not to collect them in the first place.  Let ’em die where they fall, far less hassle all round, and they even act as a rather neat green mulch for the lawn (if you can call a patch of grass the size of a postage stamp a lawn), so you should end up with greener grass into the bargain.

I have also discovered an incredible bread recipe/method via angry chicken, which is awesome.  I made some today.  It is easy, it is cheap, and it turns out bread just like the stuff from the artisan boulangerie (in Tooting? I hear you cry – it is true, it exists) down the road, except that you don’t have to pay £3.20 a pop.  Not only that but it’s the first time I’ve bought a specialist cookery book and managed to make the stuff with things I already had in my kitchen.  You don’t have to buy special equipment or ingredients, you don’t have to sit and spoon feed some kind of absurdly complicated yeast starter for a week and a half or anything.  Brilliant.

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, full time Mum, based in London, UK

3 thoughts on “The tiniest water butt in Europe”

  1. i wanted to get that bread book too! think i’ll be putting it on my birthday list

    i love your water butt too, very cute and does just what you need it to do

  2. Ha! you’ve made me laugh. Avacado stones may well have a silly half life, some things are better off being left out of your compost bin. I’ve found that shredding is the only way to go. Keep the heap moist, turned every 3 months’ish and covered tightly with a waterproof/ insulation/ waterproof layer.
    And your bread making comment has just reminded me I’ve just failed badly! I said to my wife I was going to learn how to make bread before she got back from working in the US for a week. Completely slipped my mind until now, Oh well, move on.

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