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Carys Jones and her husband, Michael, have been composting for four years – and recently bought a wormery, which sits on their patio. Carys, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, tells us how she caught the composting bug.

Tell us how it began.

It all started when we landscaped our garden about four years ago. We were producing so much garden waste, so I contacted the council to ask the best way to get rid of it, and they recommended I purchase a compost bin. I have always been quite keen on recycling, and I saw this as being the next logical step. To be honest, it’s the lazy option as well because it saves me driving all the way to the tip!

Was it easy to get started?

It was delivered straight to the door and was very easy to put together. The compost bin has never been hard work to maintain either – I simply collect waste in the kitchen in a plastic tub, and empty it once a week into either the compost bin or the wormery.
I also bought a book called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle which was really useful in telling me what to put in and how to solve problems such as getting the mix right. I compost pretty much everything I can – from egg shells to the bedding from my hamster cage, it’s really easy, and so satisfying!

Do you use the compost you produce?

Yes, and it’s great. The earth here is like clay, so rather than spending a fortune on top soil I dig the compost into the ground and it’s really improved. In fact my neighbour spends lots of money on manure and top soil but is always asking me why my plants grow when hers don’t!

Do you think you have saved money throw growing your own?

It’s been amazing – I haven’t had to buy many vegetables since I started and it’s great knowing exactly how my food has been grown. A few years ago I would never have thought that you could grow tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, chillies and more, all in little pots on the patio. I have also become more frugal in shopping and cooking as I just use what I can find in the garden.

Would you recommend composting to others?

Definitely. I don’t know why you wouldn’t. I have also found that gardening is so sociable. I have met so many new people and discovered lots of closet gardeners.
It’s definitely not just something to do in retirement! I’ve also had lots of offers of cuttings from other people which has boosted the variety of plants in my garden – and all for free. I’ve just moved house with a bigger garden, so I’m looking forward to setting up the bin in its new home and widening my repertoire of plant growing!

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