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Category Archives: Glenribbeen

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge is a 3 bedroomed B&B with a fully fitted self-catering apartment that is built on ecological standards and run as sustainably as possible and has wheel-chair access.

TripAdviser comments: Glenribbeen + Archery in Waterford Museum.

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Glenribbeen Eco Lodge – +35354499 or call Peter direct on +353866017176

Glenribbeen Eco LodgeTripAdviser comments

Glenribbeen:

“Friendly, Quiet, and Great Food!”

Reviewed 8 November 2011

We were greeted with a toasty warm wood stove going, and Els right away brought out some tea and cookies, which we enjoyed by the fire while reading their many books about Ireland and the local area. The lodge is very tastefully decorated, without all of that stuffy Victorian pink lace and doily decoration you can typically find in a B&B. Upon reading the other reviews, I have to agree that the breakfast was amazing. Our first morning we had Dutch pancakes with rashers and maple syrup. I’m still dreaming of it. Second morning we had the baked eggs, which were also fantastic. And the coffee was strong and delicious, a serious concern of ours in a country that drinks a lot of tea.

Peter is an incredibly interesting man and he would come out in the morning to talk to us while we waited for breakfast. I could have sat there all day listening to him (and eating Els’s pancakes). He recommended several things for us to see and do, while giving us mini history lessons in everything from the Titanic to why they drive on the left side of the road. I wish we made some time for an archery lesson with him.

The whole place is very clean and everything has been thought of in an eco-conscious way. Yes, the bed is creaky as are the floor boards. We got used to it after our first night. Once you convince yourself it’s all part of the charm, you start to roll with it. The surrounding countryside is totally quiet and peaceful. A squeaky bed is a very small price to pay for a fantastic stay in a beautiful location with great hosts and insanely delicious breakfasts. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Make sure you get a chance to feed the hens some grapes!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple

 

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“Lovely would definately recommend Baked Eggs for breakfast!”

Reviewed 25 August 2011

I stayed at the Lodge as we were attending a wedding locally, our room was lovely clean and bright there was everything you need hairdryer, kettle, books, local guides etc right down to a chocolate snack biscuit on a tray and a carafe of water, we were asked what we would like for breakfast and as a I don’t eat meat I have gotten used to beans on toast with a tomato thrown in but as Els and Peter are vegetarians I received a wonderful plate of fresh fruit garnished with flowers, followed by the house special of baked eggs delicious! fresh orange, breads, cereals you name it the choices. I work in Tourism and I was very impressed with the hospitality and service received, B&B prices were very reasonable.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple

 

 

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“Wonderful hospitality in a beautiful place. Top notch!!!”

Reviewed 14 August 2011

Peter and Els are wonderful people and right from the moment we met them, I knew we made the right choice of a place in Lismore. Their home is in a beautiful setting a short distance from the town of Lismore and quite an experience with gardens, hens, two wonderfully friendly dogs and within an easy walk to a river where the salmon fishers are busy. The house itself has a wonderfully large and comfortable dining/sitting area where breakfast is served and where we often found ourselves spending time chatting with Peter and/or Els and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee after a day of sightseeing. We learned A LOT of history about Ireland and Peter let us read books from his extensive library…one of which we borrowed and will send back. I had thought the breakfasts were great up to this point on our trip, but Peter and Els really go over the top with beautiful presentation and extraordinary and delicious food. I guarantee that you will not get a better breakfast in Ireland!!! Peter and Els are very approachable and helpful. A couple of evenings, we picked up some meat to BBQ and Peter set up the grill and provided the dishes, etc… We never felt rushed in our time with them as they always seemed to have time for whatever need or question we had. The room was comfortable and clean and had a TV/DVD combo in it. I loved the snacks and waters! Overall a great experience and highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family

 

 

“BEST B&B in Ireland”

Reviewed 2 August 2010

From the moment we arrived we were in heaven, we were treated with such a warm welcome. Peter was always willing to chat and eager to make our stay as pleasent as possible.we ate amazing breakfasts- such good options on the menu with fresh fruit and amazing homemade brown bread on the side! the atmosphere in the lodge was very relaxed and we made the most of the amazing servies which the lovely couple provided such as use of their canoe, bikes, various fishing equiptment, instruments, books, garden hammock, kites and BBQ… Iv never even heard of such extras being provied in another B&B… expecially as its half the price!! we even had a 5 star hotel booked for the last night and cancelled becuase we would rathar the tranquil surroundings of Glenribbeen lodge!! they made our stay amazing, offering information, conversation and even lifts to and from the pub. would recomend it to absolutly everyone and cant wait to return.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple

 

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Experience Medieval Archery

Reviews from Museum of Medieval Treasures, Waterford.

TripAdviser reviews of Archery Through the Ages.

http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Archery & Waterford

Getting a strainght-line.

Demonstrating ‘Tip – nock – hand – elbow’ to create a straight line to enhance accuracy.

“Visit to the Medieval Museum of Waterford”

Reviewed 14 July 2015

I’ve had a delightful weekend in Waterford city and the Museum was one of the best experiences of all. However what really stood out by me was the archery lesson I got in the museum. The person ‘Peter’ who introduced me to archery was greatly animated which made it an altogether enjoyable experience for me. He managed to introduce me to some skills and I was able to shoot arrows successfully and this was all combined with his abundance of knowledge about the history of archery. His lesson was like a throw back into medieval times; no visit to the museum would be complete without an archery lesson!

Visited June 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r288682037-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

Reviewed 7 January 2015

Waterford’s Museum of Medieval Treasures has a great policy of bring things to life and getting enthusiastic people in to show some real crafts and skills as practised in 9th – 16th century Waterford (Ireland’s oldest city). A famous glass-cutter is working in the foyer and below are figures from history demonstrating coin-minting and archery (have a go!!) as well as displaying wood and leather work and tools.

Visited January 2015

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“wonderful museum”

Reviewed 19 July 2015

Interestingly laid out history of the area. Not just the usual dusty chronological arrangement. Best part for us was the medieval archery tutorial and lesson given just inside the door by a local savant, Peter O’Connor .

Visited June 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r290531037-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

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“Peter, the medieval archer, was the best part!”

Reviewed 4 August 2015

Visited this museum in July 2015 and the best part was meeting Peter, the archer! He’s stationed right at the front door, ready to give you an amazing talk about medieval archery and teach you how to shoot the longbow. He’s an absolute wealth of information and very engaging to speak with. I enjoyed meeting him so much I’ve taken to following him on his Facebook page “Archery Through the Ages”, where he regularly supplies interesting historical points and plenty of posts of his daily visitors at the museum. It’s obvious he enjoys what he does!

The museum was fantastic. It takes approximately 45m to go through with the provided audio guide. The Cloth of Gold Vestments from the 1400s are the highlight of the exhibitions.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r295813650-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Medevial times bought to life”

Reviewed 23 July 2015

this is a great museum and shows what life in Waterford was like in the dark ages with great displays and live action such as the archery display with the long bow. well worth a visit. unfortunately we didnt give ourselves a lot of time as we were only intending to visit the Crystal factory and stumbled across this museum and teh viking quarter. I would recommend that you ive yourself a full day to visit these three attractions as well as Waterford city itself which is stunning.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r291686087-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Interesting day out”

Reviewed 9 July 2015

Fantastic fun. We had a 6 year old and a 2 year old with us and they both enjoyed it. We got a guided tour from the Curator himself and he made it very interesting and quite funny also. There was also a man in the lobby who was teaching archery and all about different types of bows and arrows….needless to say that the 6 year old LOVED that! It only cost €14 for the guided tour, and we were able to go back around as often as we liked on our own afterwards.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r287096441-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

House of Glass

“Thoroughly enjoyed!”

Reviewed 2 July 2015 via mobile

We visited here on Wednesday 1st July and on arrival, we were greeted by an archer. What a lovely and knowledgeable man! Very much enjoyed our chat with him and my husband loved the small archery demonstration. Then we had the luck of being on the guided tour with the museum director….what a treat! A pleasure to view the museum with a man so truly passionate about it…full of interesting anecdotes and stories. My husband is NOT a fan of museums….he came purely because I wanted to go. But he loved it and really enjoyed the tour. I would highly recommend this to everyone…in my eyes, it’s a must-do in the wonderful city of Waterford.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r285035117-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Above expectations – better than Wford Crystal!”

Reviewed 31 August 2015

Was thinking about going to Waterford Crystal but realised how boring that would be. Ducked into the Medieval Museum and went on the guided tour. Found it highly informative and good fun. Archery lessons on hand for 5euro! Downstairs cave is great and the coin press is fun. Floors one and two have some interesting stuff but really do recommend the guided tour to get the most out of it. Our tour guide was really excellent, nice young lady, good humour. The shop is FANTASTIC with helmets and glass cutting live.

Visited August 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r305189201-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

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And release…

“never knew waterford was so interesting .”

Reviewed 26 July 2015

we were met at the entrance by a chap in medieval gear who offered to demonstrate the intricacies and development of medieval archery . what followed was one of the most interesting and absorbing 45 mins in a museum ever . the guide , peter ,was a mine of fascinating and enjoyable facts and figures coupled with an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject , all delivered in a witty and friendly manner. an expiring parking meter forced us to leave or we would have stayed much longer .
we returned the next day and spent several hours touring the rest of the museum .a well laid out series of exhibits explained by knowledgeable guides armed with lots of relevant background information meant we spent a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day .(still preferred the bows and arrows) . wonderful !

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r292614211-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

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“A Must-Do Experience In Waterford”

Reviewed 10 September 2015

Notwithstanding that we have been in Waterford on a few occasions since the Medieval Museum opened in 2013, we just thought it would not be worth the time.

Then, earlier this week, we were invited on a tour of the museum and thought we would see what’s on offer.

Well, we were very impressed.

This is much more than a museum; more a series of living history experiences that is brought to life by a team of passionate staff. As soon as you enter, the experiences unfold in front of you with archery demonstrations. You can even get an archery lesson for an additional €5.

Being on a guided tour will make a huge difference to your experience. Our guide was excellent and contextualised the history of Waterford against the backdrop of Irish, British and European history.

All the exhibits are presented in an informative fashion. The piece-de-resistance must be the gold-braided vestments and the story about how they were uncovered. We won’t spoil it by revealing more on here.

In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences at The Medieval Museum. It is great value too at €7.

Visited September 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r309205371-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

sigtrygg-lord-mayor

Special Offers for Glenribbeen

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Special Offers for Glenribbeen – Glenribbeen Eco Lodge website: http://www.glenribbeen.com

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This is a WIP (work in Progress) as I learn to use this new (for me) facility.

We intend to offer our guests to this eco-blog the chance to avail of a great Spring offer for Glenribbeen. Please come back soon – after I get this all figured out 🙂

St Declan’s Way – Ireland’s new ‘Camino’ in the Irish Times

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This article is a thought-piece on the ‘new’ St Declan’s Way pilgrim’s highway that I’m PRO on the Waterford side and the subject of my postgraduate certificate from Trinity St David, Bangor, Wales. Delighted to be part of it and this Friday (26th) I get to cook for all near the top of the mountain! while dressed as a monk!

Irish Times article; http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/the-irish-camino-walking-in-the-footsteps-of-the-saints-1.1468942

The Irish Camino: walking in the footsteps of the saints

Local communities throughout the country are developing old pilgrim trails

John G O’Dwyer  Sat, Jul 20, 2013,    

Imagine celebrating our national feast day, not in March, but in high summer. Hard to visualise the occasion with bikinis, barbecues and beach badminton isn’t it? Yet it could have happened, because July 24th is the day of commemoration of an early Irish saint whose credentials are comparable to those of St Patrick.Regarded by many historians as having pre-dated Patrick as an Irish Christian missionary, St Declan of Ardmore is, nevertheless, virtually unknown outside his native area. The murky world of medieval church politics has much to answer for here. It allowed the deeply venerated saint of the southern Déise region to fade from the public consciousness when the northern church rose to prominence. History was then adroitly rewritten to suit the needs of the time, with Patrick, the first Bishop of Armagh, promulgated above Declan as the initial and single-handed evangeliser of the Irish people.Now Waterford’s patron saint is to reclaim his inheritance. An ancient pilgrim trail that he footed regularly is set to be traversed again as a richly symbolic journey. Meandering 94km through extravagantly varied terrain in Cos Tipperary and Waterford, the newly revitalised St Declan’s Pilgrim Path commemorates the saint’s many excursions from his monastery at Ardmore to the royal seat at Cashel.Overgrown and virtually forgotten for decades, the trail is, mainly through the efforts of a Tipperary man, being returned to public consciousness. Dense briars and rhododendrons have been diligently cut back in preparation for the first full-length public walk of the route, which takes place from July 24th to 28th.And so on a bright, blue-sky, July morning, I find myself rambling rustic lanes by the River Tar and traversing timeless monastic ruins at a point where the handsome Knockmealdown Mountains erupt spectacularly from the fertile plains of Tipperary. With me are Kevin O’Donnell, the instigator of the pilgrim path project, and some members of Knockmealdown Active, the volunteer group that is staging the inaugural St Declan’s walk.

An ‘Irish Camino’
O’Donnell, the group’s chairman, comes across as a quietly passionate believer in the venture. He conceived the idea for revitalising St Declan’s Pilgrim Path when he walked the Camino de Santiago, in Spain, some years ago. Now he wants to dub St Declan’s Path an “Irish Camino” and immediately points to the strong penitential credentials of the trail from Cashel to Ardmore.

“It takes five days to complete and goes up to more than 500 metres when crossing the Knockmealdown Mountains by the prehistoric Bottleneck Pass route,” says O’Donnell. “This needn’t put people off, though; the first two days from Cashel and the last days to the coast are on easy terrain. Walkers without the fitness or time to do the full journey will have the option to join for stages of the route.”

As we dally by the riverbank to absorb the serenity, Conor Ryan, who works as an animator with Knockmealdown Active, suggests that with the number of pilgrims completing the Camino rising to more a quarter of a million in recent years, the time is now opportune to revitalise the path .

But can South Tipperary and Waterford really capture a slice of the rapidly growing and lucrative reverential trails market? Ryan believes so.

“This month’s inaugural walk is part of a strategy to turn St Declan’s Path into a fully functioning Irish pilgrim route,” says Ryan.

He believes the trail will, in future, “appeal strongly to walking enthusiasts because of its length and variety. I also expect it to attract visitors who have family ties linking them to the towns and villages along the route,” he says.

But how is it all going to work for the reopening walk? “Accommodation or car parking will be at each day’s destination, with participants bussed from there to the walk start point each morning, from where they will walk the pilgrim route to their cars or their accommodation,” says O’Donnell. “The participation fee is €70 for five days, or €20 per day. Full details are at knockmealdownactive.com.”
St Finbarr’s trail
In a similar vein, two communities in Co Cork have expended monumental effort on developing a pilgrim trail along the way St Finbarr reputedly journeyed on his way to found a monastery at Gougane Barra. Since then, a tradition of walking the 30km path, particularly on St Finbarr’s Day, September 25th, has developed. The route has been fully waymarked as a year-round pilgrim path and is being promoted as the “Cork Camino experience,” says David Ross, spokesman for the Drimoleague/Keakill St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path Committee.

“Besides the obvious tourism benefit,” says Ross, “communities along the route are happy to discover and share the rich Christian heritage, which for centuries prompted their forbears to walk St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way in search of solace, meaning and spiritual fulfilment.”
Clare and south Galway
Another route with spiritual resonance on an epic scale is the newly inaugurated Clare Pilgrim Way. Ireland’s longest redemptive trail circuits Cos Clare and south Galway in five stages, linking all the main spiritual and ecclesiastical sites in the area.

According to Pius Murray, a member of the community-based group behind the venture, “The Clare Pilgrim Trail is aimed at facilitating users to reconnect with nature and through this experience develop a heightened sense of spirituality.”

Here, Murray succinctly captures the essence of the ageless siren call that is increasingly drawing lovers of inspirational landscapes to explore Ireland’s mystical pilgrim paths.

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Web 3.0 and Accommodation Providers, some thoughts.

As we leave Web 2.0 and move to Web 3.0 companies will face an ever-more demanding public. Web 3.0 will involve the public, as never before, as setting the agenda for consumer goods and services. One must ask how can we as accommodation suppliers provide adequate choice and comfort to guests without compromising quality, safety and still maintain profits.

Note Web 3.0 is based on the idea that the Internet ‘understands’ the pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them that is to say machines will recover and retain information and ‘match’ our meanderings on the web with possible ‘wish-list’ advertising/articles in a forward-thinking way. Web 3.0 will troll pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them. This will ‘enhance’ the optimisation of one’s own search and that of the advertiser. According to Macmilliandictionary.  A precise definition of Web 3.0 is difficult to pin down, but most descriptions agree that a fundamental characteristic of it is the ability to make connections and infer meaning – essentially, the Web is going to become more ‘intelligent’.

‘With Web 3.0, it’s about the Web becoming smarter, getting to know you better from your browsing history (and all you’ve contributed to it during Web 2.0) and automatically delivering content to you that is relevant.’ (BIZCOMMUNITY.COM 13TH MAY 2010)

According to sites such as http://marketingwizdom.com/strategies/retention-strategies and

However the Harvard Business Review  makes the point that it’s not ALL about (E) Social Media; (http://wp.me/sw61e-1980) If you ask venture capitalists in Silicon Valley how they measure the success of business entrepreneurs, they would no doubt list off metrics having to do with fast growth: funding raised, people hired, customers acquired, revenue produced. The assumption is that company growth is good. But when it comes to social ventures, where the primary focus is impact (not profits), bigger isn’t necessarily better.

References;

It’s Not All About Growth for Social Enterprises; by Kimberly Dasher Tripp  |   9:00 AM January 21, 2013. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/01/its_not_all_about_growth_for_s.html

In the Garden

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Composting.

All About Composting

Compost is a rich and crumbly blend of partially decomposed organic material that does wonderful things for your garden.

Building and maintaining a compost pile is the surest, easiest way to become a better gardener. Not only will you be producing the best possible food for your garden, but by watching leaves, eggshells, orange rinds, and grass clippings become transformed into rich compost filled with earthworms and other soil creatures, you’ll be learning what healthy soil is all about.

Compost improves soil structure. Most gardeners don’t start with great soil. Whether yours is hard and compacted, sandy, stony, heavy, or wet, adding compost will improve its texture, water-holding capacity, and fertility. Your soil will gradually become fluffy and brown—the ideal home for healthy plants.

Compost provides a balanced source of plant nutrients. Even if you are lucky enough to have great soil, you can’t expect that soil to remain rich and productive without replenishing the nutrients that are consumed each growing season. No commercial fertilizer, even one that is totally organic, provides the full spectrum of nutrients that you get with compost. The nutrients are available gradually, as your plants need them, over a period of months or years. The microorganisms in the compost will also help your plants absorb nutrients from fertilizers more efficiently.

Compost stimulates beneficial organisms. Compost is teeming with all kinds of microorganisms and soil fauna that help convert soil nutrients into a form that can be readily absorbed by your plants. The microorganisms, enzymes, vitamins and natural antibiotics that are present in compost actually help prevent many soil pathogens from harming your plants. Earthworms, millipedes, and other macro-organisms tunnel through your soil, opening up passageways for air and water to reach your plants’ roots.

Compost is garden insurance. Even very experienced gardeners often have soil that is less than perfect. Adding compost moderates pH and fertility problems, so you can concentrate on the pleasures of gardening, not the science of your soil’s chemical composition. Unlike organic or inorganic fertilizers, which need to be applied at the right time and in the right amount, compost can be applied at any time and in any amount. You can’t really over-apply it. Plants use exactly what they need, when they need it.

Can a gardener ever have enough compost? It’s doubtful. Compost is the perfect thing to spread around when you are creating a new garden, seeding a new lawn area, or planting a new tree. Compost can be sprinkled around plants during the growing season or used as a mulch in your perennial gardens. You can add compost to your flower boxes and deck planters. You can also use it to enrich the potting soil for your indoor plants.

How Compost Happens

Organic matter is transformed into compost through the work of microorganisms, soil fauna, enzymes and fungi. When making compost, your job is to provide the best possible environment for these beneficial organisms to do their work. If you do so, the decomposition process works very rapidly—sometimes in as little as two weeks. If you don’t provide the optimum environment, decomposition will still happen, but it may take from several months to several years. The trick to making an abundance of compost in a short time is to balance the following four things:

Carbon. Carbon-rich materials are the energy food for microorganisms. You can identify high-carbon plant materials because they are dry, tough, or fibrous, and tan or brown in color. Examples are dry leaves, straw, rotted hay, sawdust, shredded paper, and cornstalks.

Nitrogen. High-nitrogen materials provide the protein-rich components that microorganisms require to grow and multiply. Freshly pulled weeds, fresh grass clippings, over-ripe fruits and vegetables, kitchen scraps and other moist green matter are the sorts of nitrogen-rich materials you’ll probably have on hand. Other high-protein organic matter includes kelp meal, seaweed, manure and animal by-products like blood or bone meal.

Water. Moisture is very important for the composting process. But too much moisture will drown the microorganisms, and too little will dehydrate them. A general rule of thumb is to keep the material in your compost pile as moist as a well-wrung sponge. If you need to add water (unchlorinated is best), insert your garden hose into the middle of the pile in several places, or sprinkle the pile with water next time you turn it. Using an enclosed container or covering your pile with a tarp will make it easier to maintain the right moisture level.

Oxygen. To do their work most efficiently, microorganisms require a lot of oxygen. When your pile is first assembled, there will probably be plenty of air between the layers of materials. But as the microorganisms begin to work, they will start consuming oxygen. Unless you turn or in some way aerate your compost pile, they will run out of oxygen and become sluggish.

Do I Need a Recipe?

Sample Compost Recipes

Recipe 1

  • 1 part fresh grass clippings
  • 1 part dry leaves
  • 1 part good garden soil

Spread the ingredients in 3-inch-deep layers to a height of 3 to 4 feet.

Recipe 2

  • 2 parts fresh grass clippings
  • 2 parts straw or spoiled hay
  • 1 part good garden soil

Spread ingredients in 4-inch layers, adding water if needed.

Recipe 3

  • 2 parts dry leaves
  • 1 part fresh grass clippings
  • 1 part food scraps

Spread ingredients in 4-inch layers, adding water if needed.

Microorganisms and other soil fauna work most efficiently when the ratio of carbon-rich to nitrogen-rich materials in your compost pile is approximately 25:1 (brown to green) but most people find three parts brown and one part green works quite well. In practical terms, if you want to have an active compost pile, you should include lots of high-carbon “brown” materials (such as straw, wood chips, or dry leaves) and a lesser amount of high-nitrogen “green” materials (such as grass clippings, freshly pulled weeds, or kitchen scraps).

If you have an excess of carbon-rich materials and not enough nitrogen-rich materials, your pile may take years to decompose (there is not enough protein for those microbes!). If your pile has too much nitrogen and not enough carbon, your pile will also decompose very slowly (not enough for the microbes to eat!), and it will probably be soggy and smelly along the way.

But don’t worry about determining the exact carbon content of a material or achieving a precise 25:1 ratio. Composting doesn’t need to be a competitive, goal-oriented task. All organic matter breaks down eventually, no matter what you do. If you simply use about 3 times as much “brown” materials as “green” materials, you’ll be off to a great start. Take a look at the sample recipes and check the chart of common compost materials. With experience, you’ll get a sense for what works best.

Compost Gets Hot

Common Compost Ingredients

Brown

High-carbon materials

  • corncobs and stalks
  • paper
  • pine needles
  • sawdust or wood shavings
  • straw
  • vegetable stalks
  • dry leaves

Green

High-nitrogen materials

  • coffee grounds
  • eggshells
  • fruit wastes
  • grass clippings
  • feathers or hair
  • fresh leaves
  • seaweed
  • kitchen scraps
  • fresh weeds
  • rotted manure
  • alfalfa meal

Ingredients to Spice Up Your Compost Pile

The following materials can be sprinkled onto your compost pile as you build each layer. They will add important nutrients and will help speed up the composting process:

  • Super Hot Compost Starter, applied at the rate on the package.
  • Garden soil or finished compost (high in microorganisms), 1/2 shovelful on each layer
  • Bone meal, blood meal, or alfalfa meal (high in nitrogen), 1/2 shovelful on each layer
  • Fish waste or manure (high in nitrogen), a shovelful on each layer
  • Wood stove or fireplace ashes (high in potash and carbon), a shovelful on each layer
  • Crushed rock dust (rich in minerals/feeds microbes), a shovelful on each layer

Heat is a by-product of intense microbial activity. It indicates that the microorganisms are munching on organic matter and converting it into finished compost. The temperature of your compost pile does not in itself affect the speed or efficiency of the decomposition process. But temperature does determine what types of microbes are active.

There are primarily three types of microbes that work to digest the materials in a compost pile. They each work best in a particular temperature range:

The psychrophiles work in cool temperatures—even as low as 28 degrees F. As they begin to digest some of the carbon-rich materials, they give off heat, which causes the temperature in the pile to rise. When the pile warms to 60 to 70 degrees F, mesophilic bacteria take over. They are responsible for the majority of the decomposition work. If the mesophiles have enough carbon, nitrogen, air, and water, they work so hard that they raise the temperature in the pile to about 100 degrees F. At this point, thermophilic bacteria kick in. It is these bacteria that can raise the temperature high enough to sterilize the compost and kill disease-causing organisms and weed seeds. Three to five days of 155 degrees F. is enough for the thermophiles to do their best work.

Getting your compost pile “hot” (140 to 160 degrees F.) is not critical, but it does mean that your compost will be finished and usable within a month or so. These high temperatures also kill most weed seeds, as well as harmful pathogens that can cause disease problems. Most people don’t bother charting the temperature curve in their compost pile. They just try to get a good ratio of carbon to nitrogen, keep the pile moist and well aerated, and wait until everything looks pretty well broken down.

Commercial activators can help raise the temperature in your compost pile by providing a concentrated dose of microorganisms and protein. Other effective activators that can help to get your pile cooking include humus-rich soil, rotted manure, finished compost, dried blood, and alfalfa meal.

To Turn or Not to Turn

Unless speed is a priority, frequent turning is not necessary. Many people never turn their compost piles. The purpose of turning is to increase oxygen flow for the microorganisms, and to blend undecomposed materials into the center of the pile. If you are managing a hot pile, you’ll probably want to turn your compost every 3 to 5 days, or when the interior temperature dips below about 110 degrees F. Monitor the temperature with a compost thermometer; use garden shovel, fork or a compost aerator to help turn the pile.

After turning, the pile should heat up again, as long as there is still undecomposed material to be broken down. When the temperature stays pretty constant no matter how much you turn the pile, your compost is probably ready. Though turning can speed the composting process, it also releases heat into the air, so you should turn your pile less frequently in cold weather.

There are several ways to help keep your pile well-aerated, without the hassle of turning:

  • Build your pile on a raised wood platform or on a pile of branches.
  • Make sure there are air vents in the sides of your compost bin.
  • Put one or two perforated 4″ plastic pipes in the center of your pile.

Worm Composting

Employing worms to make compost is called vermiculture. Manure worms, red worms, and branding worms (the small ones usually sold by commercial breeders) are dynamos when it comes to decomposing organic matter—especially kitchen scraps. The problem is that these worms cannot tolerate high temperatures. Add a handful of them to an active compost pile and they’ll be dead in an hour. Field worms and night crawlers (common garden worms with one big band) are killed at even lower temperatures.

To maintain a separate worm bin for composting food scraps, you need a watertight container that can be kept somewhere that the temperature will remain between 50 and 80 degrees F. all year-round. Ready-made worm bins are available, but you can also make your own. Red worms are available by mail.

Types of Composters

Plastic Stationary Bins. These bins are for continuous rather than batch composting. Most units feature air vents along the sides and are made from recycled plastics, such as our Pyramid Composter. Look for a lid that fits securely, and doors to access finished compost. Size should be approximately 3 feet square.

Tumbling or Rotating Bins. These composters, such as our Dual-Batch Compost Tumbler, are for making batches of compost all at one time. You accumulate organic materials until you have enough to fill the bin, then load it up and rotate it every day or two. If materials are shredded before going into the bin, and you have plenty of nitrogen, you can have finished compost in five weeks or less.

Wire Bin. Use an 11-foot length of 2-inch x 4-inch x 36-inch welded, medium-gauge fence wire from your local hardware or building supply store. Tie the ends together to form your hoop. A bin this size holds just over one cubic yard of material. Snow fencing can be used in a similar fashion. Another option is our 3-Bin Wire Composter, which holds 48 cubic feet.
Trash Can Bin. To convert a plastic trash can into a composter, cut off the bottom with a saw. Drill about 24 quarter-inch holes in the sides of the can for good aeration. Bury the bottom of the can from several inches to a foot or more below the soil surface and press the loosened soil around the sides to secure it. Partially burying the composter will make it easier for microorganisms to enter the pile.
Block or Brick or Stone Bin. Lay the blocks, with or without mortar, leaving spaces between each block to permit aeration. Form three sides of a 3-to 4-foot square, roughly 3 to 4 feet high.
Wood Pallet Bin. Discarded wooden pallets from factories or stores can be stood upright to form a bin. Attach the corners with rope, wire, or chain. A fourth pallet can be used as a floor to increase air flow. A used carpet or tarp can be placed over the top of the pile to reduce moisture loss or keep out rain or snow.
Two- or Three-Bay Wood Bin. Having several bins allows you to use one section for storing materials, one for active composting, and one for curing or storing finished compost. Each bin should be approximately 3 x 3 x 3 feet. Be sure to allow air spaces between the sidewall slats, and make the front walls removable (lift out slats) for easy access. Lift-up lids are nice.

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12 EASY Steps to Building a Bathtub Worm Farm! From fellow WordPress-er; http://permaverde.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/composting-with-worms/ Posted by PermaVerde in Permaculture 16th Sept 2011

With a little bit of added effort you can turn your daily food scraps into nutrients for your garden. One great way to do this is by composting with worms, also known as vermi-composting. Most people assume worms are dirty and smell gross, which is far from the truth. Maintaining a healthy worm bin is not challenging, does not smell bad, and will not invite large bugs such as cockroaches.

Healthy and happy worms eat at least half of their body weight every single day. That means if you are farming two pounds of worms, they can easily consume one pound of dinner scraps a day! After just 3-4 months you will have a whole container full of vermiculite (worm manure) and your worm population will double. Vermi-composting is really simple and everyone can do it; even if you live on the 7th floor without a balcony.

Preparation: 24 hours for sealants to dry properly
Building: 2 hours
Cost: $44.99
Skill Level: Moderately Easy

Tools you will need:

Hammer

Saw

I am a hand tool sort of guy. There is nothing like putting your own energy into any job that you need to get done. If you would prefer to use a skill saw, go right ahead!

PVC Cable Saw

The cable saw uses friction to cut through the the PVC like butter. I prefer the cable saw, but you can use the PVC pipe cutter instead.

Flat bar (optional)

A flat bar can make the job really easy when trying to remove nails from salvaged wood.

Materials you will need:

Salvaged Bath Tub $25.00 USD

I called a couple bath companies and found a “bath tub skirt” (a mold to go over an old bath tub) that a customer decided they didn’t want after it was custom made for their particular tub. Instead of this bath tub being thrown out, I was able to utilize it for a cozy worm home.

Recycled 2×4’s for building frame FREE: Legs Four 32″ Length: Two 64in Width Two-33in.Cross Bars: 2- 33in.

While I was driving I found these on the side of the road waiting to be picked up by county municipalities. Instead of allowing a great resource go to the dump and spending money I decided (after a little nail removal with a flat bar) these would work perfect. NOTE: These measurements were for my bath tub, make sure to measure to fit your bath tub.

2in shower drain $2.00 USD.

A shower drain is only needed if your bath tub doesn’t already have a shower drain installed. Since I used a bath tub skirt I had to drill a 2inch hole into the bath tub in order to fit this drain.

Underwater sealant $8.63 USD

Used for sealing the shower drain to the bath tub. Allow 24 hours for a proper seal.

Note: This exact product may not be necessary. This sealant is used specifically for sealing anything that will stay underwater, which my shower drain will be since i am using a valve. This product is not made up of friendly ingredients and can only be used up to 48 hours after you open it. I would recommend doing some research to find a better, less toxic, sealant. I had my worms before my bin was built, so I  had to settle for what ever my local store had.

Drain pipe materials $5.63 USD : 1in. Ball valve $5.15USD, 2in. to 1in. pvc reducer $.48 USD, 1in pvc pipe FREE

These drain pipe materials will help you to collect the leachate (great plant food that is rich in microorganisms, and can be added to enhance a compost tea) and to make sure your worms do not drown inside the bin.

PVC primer and cement.

In order to connect the drain pipe materials together, you need to create a weld by simply applying the PVC primer and cement.  I am not including the $8.00 USD cost because these were left over from a different job. Make sure to allow 2 hours for a properly sealed weld.

Moist Cardboard

The worms will need a nice place to rest and lay their eggs. Moist corrugated cardboard works perfect for this, as they love wiggling their way through the “veins” of the cardboard.

Peat moss

Worms love peat moss, which is why I used this old bag of peat moss and added compost for my worm’s bedding material. You can also use cut wheatgrass trays as that is mostly made up of peat moss.

Compost

The compost was mixed with peat moss for a high nutritious worm bedding.

Drainage rock

The drainage rock will allow an even drain throughout the worm bin. I was able to gather some rocks from an old drain field that is not in use anymore. You could use planks of wood (see suggestion below) if you don’t have access to the drain rocks.

3inch Nails $3.25

I recommend to use 3inch nails if you choose to not use any wood smaller than a 2×4. (ie: If you are using 1×4′s, 1×6′s or any other 1 “by”  you are going to want to use a 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 inch nail)

Tarp for a cover

A tarp can work well protecting worms from the sunlight and heavy rains storms.

Construction

Shower drain installed in bath tub

1.Installing the shower drain:

  •  Clean all the surfaces that the sealant will be applied to as instructed by the product. (I disregarded it and just used water. Oops! ;) )
  • Apply the sealant as recommended.
  • Insert shower drain into bath tub hole.
  • Clean up excess sealant.
  • Allow to dry/cure according to product directions. (My underwater sealant took 24 hours to cure)

Priming and gluing drain materials

Step 2: Connect drain parts together

  • Cut your PVC pipe into one 6inch and one 3inch piece.
  • Prime all ends that you are connecting with the PVC primer.
  • Glue  your 6inch PVC pipe to the pipe reducer (if you needed to use a reducer).
  • Glue the other end of your 6inch PVC pipe into the ball valve.
  • Glue the 3inch piece into the other end of the  ball valve.
  • Make sure to wait two hours for a proper weld before applying liquid.

Drain materials installed to bath tub.

Drain materials installed on bath tub

Step 3: Connect drain materials to bath tub

  • You will connect your drain materials to the shower drain that is already connected to your bath tub.
  • Prime the shower drain and the other end of the reducer (if reducer is not used, prime the 6inch pipe).
  • Glue shower drain to the reducer (if reducer not used; glue shower drain to the 6inch pipe).
  • Do not apply running water for two hours.

Building the frame

Step 4: Build the frame

  • Measure the bathtub’s long and short sections (my long section was 64inch and short section was 33 inch).
  • Cut four 2×4′s the same size as the short section (two for the short section, two for cross bars).
  • Subtract 3 inches from the long section, and cut two 2×4′s the new size. (61 inches for me. Once we nail the short section onto the long section, the length will be the original size. A 2×4′s actual size is 1.5″ x 3.5″).
  • Cut four legs to 32 inches.
  • Nail or screw the short section and long section together.
  • Nail or screw the legs to the inside of the frame. Make sure to nail or screw legs to the short section and long section for proper strength.
  • Nail or screw the cross bars for support 10 inches from the bottom of the legs.

Finished frame

Step 5: Flip frame over and bring it to its final resting ground.
Fully constructed and ready to be filled.
Step 6: Insert bath tub into frame.

2 inch layer of drain rocks placed in the bottom of the bath tub

Step 7: Add a 2 inch layer of drain rocks to the bottom of your bath tub. (You can also choose to use multiple planks of wood that run the width/short section)

Cardboard bedding layer

Step 8: Rip up moist cardboard and use as the bottom bedding layer where the worms will sleep and lay their eggs.

Peat moss and compost bedding

Step 9: Bedding
  • Make a mixture of peat moss and compost approximately 6-8inches deep. (You can use soil from wheat grass trays too).
  • Water down this mixture so that it is like a moist cake. Too much water and the worms will not have enough oxygen and too little water the worms will dry up.

Red wigglers

Step 10: Welcome the worms into their new home.

  • A good housing ratio is: per 1lb of pure worms, you should have 1ft squared of space.
  • Worms will double every three to four months, so make sure to plan for this. Some ideas are to set up another bin, add them to your garden, give them away or sell them to friends, neighbors, and clients!

Worm Food

Step 11: Feed your worms!

  • Worms love horse manure, fruits, and vegetables. You can also feed them dinner scraps such as pastas, cooked roots, or breads. Make sure you do not use animal products as they will rot and attack predators.
  • Do not feed your worms hot peppers, onions, oranges, meats. One rule of thumb is if it can hurt your eyes, then it can definitely hurt the worms.
  • Important tip: Keep the food only in the center of the bed and leave the sides food free. Worms are really sensitive to heat, if your worm food starts composting and heating up to high temperatures the worms could be killed. By leaving an area empty of food, such as the sides, the worms can escape and they will be happy and safe.
  • Cover the food with burlap sacks, newspaper, or even cardboard so there aren’t a ton of flies and other insects being attracted to it.

Finished worm farm! (with a temporary cover)

Step 12: Goodnight worms!
  • Worms do not like light, so make sure you provide a cover for them so they can safely come up to the surface.
  • Adding a pitch to the cover will promote air flow and water runoff during a rain storm so the worms will not end up drowning.

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge Guest Book.

Posted on

Glenribbeen Eco Lodge Guest Book.

Hello friends,
The truth of the matter is…Glenribbeen is the most comfortable
Bed & Breakfast of all the B&B’s I have attended. I love really good food;
I like it presented beautifully and I love interesting friendly people….and that’s what I experienced at your B & B. And if you are still running Glenribbeen and I am able to get back to Ireland, you can be sure I would stay there.
After all…I wouldn’t want to miss Tess and Jodi….or the hens…….then of course, there’s yourselves.
Glad the studies are going well…I loved reading the paper on Ireland and downloaded it so I can read it again at my leisure. I’ve long believed that history is not what happened but what people believed to have happened or want others to believe happened.
I get a better sense now why…besides feeling in tune with Ireland..(which is logical) I always felt an affinity for Persia and Spain as well.

All the best to you and Els and Maarten…and of course..Tess and Jodi
and the hens. A fully recovered Justin Tyrone sends doggie waggles.
All the best…..Dylan

Note the reference to Persia and Spain is about an essay I’ve elsewhere on this blog – see college essays.

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2012;

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Page 17; 2011

Edited to protect the guilty :-)

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Your Property Heading…Means More or Less Clicks.

Posted on

Your Property Heading…Means More or Less Clicks..

 

Sometimes less is better – or even the last few words – sell the joint.