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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fine Harvest, Foul Winter.

What a year it's been for fruit, nuts, berries, and general harvest all provided from mother nature.

Hazel nuts, these were gathered in the space of 5 minutes from a single branch of a Hazel bush, the best nut harvest I can remember.

Damsons, this bucket weighed 13lbs and we ended up gathering 3 buckets, from just two trees and that was only the ones we could reach!

Wild apples, looking at them in a bag doesn't do the size of the harvest justice so here's a pic of a single tree were the branches were so laden they were nearly breaking..
we know a place where the Damsons and Wild Apples grow side by side, so an hours picking resulted in a fruit harvest greater than any I can remember.

And the reason for such a substantial bounty? Well the old saying is fine harvest foul winter, the idea being that nature provides such a bounteous harvest to enable all the animals to get through an upcoming deep, dark and cold winter.. 
Is this year to be a real bad one, low temperatures, heavy snow and hardship for all the animals? Time will tell I guess, but if nature is providing for a really hard winter remember the animals, put food out for the birds, the voles and hedgehogs and all our little friends, they will find it tough enough and I'm sure would be glad of any help we deign to provide them.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ikea Hobo Firepit - Barbecue

The little Ikea cutlery drainers are often modded to make great little hobo stoves, however they make a large collander than is great for a small firepit for 2 people in a place that doesn't allow open fires and it also doubles as a decent bbq..
It's actually about 11 inches high and about 9 inches across, it's very light in weight and made of stainless steel
I fitted a simple removable grill to it and with all the drainage holes around it , it acts like a superb bbq, funnelling the heat straight up yet getting a great burn time from the charcoal
It can cook 4 large burgers at one time, nearly a dozen sausages or two large fish fillets, remove the grill and it works very well as a fire pit, enabling you to use forest floor debris to create a great wee fire that would easily keep 2 people warm, replace the grill and you can fit 2 size 12cm zebra billy cans on it..
it's basically a big brother to the hobo stove!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Busy Times

We've been extremely busy of late, hence the lack of posts on the blog which I hope to remedy over the coming months, with lots of interest from families and kids, as well as groups it's great to see people show such an enthusiasm for bushcraft, foraging and the outdoors.
recently we spent our time in the outdoor classroom
bits and pieces set out for a show and tell
lots of interest, when there was only supposed to be twenty, we ended up with 52 in one workshop!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Cabelas dump Joe Teti

Most of you who have been following the Buzzard blog for a while will be aware of Davy's and my dislike of Joe Teti, he never should have replaced Dave Canterbury and as you will have no doubt seen Dual Survival has crashed and burned since he replaced Dave.
I'm sure you're also very well aware of Mykel Hawke's problems with Teti where there have even been alleged threats from Teti towards Hawke. It now seems that some of these allegations made about Teti are true as Cabelas have just dropped their sponsorship deal with Teti after a number of things have come to light in recent days, it seems Casio, another Teti sponsor, are also thinking of dropping him.. and where is the Discovery Channel while all this is going on? Nowhere, that's where!! They're keeping their heads well below the parapet after all the pomp and ceremony that he was introduced with now has come back to bite them!! Sorry Discovery Channel but there were numerous posts on your site saying Teti was not the one and that we all wanted Canterbury back, you should have listened to us!!!!!

Anyway, below is a link describing in better detail a little about what's going on, I'd encourage you to read it and try not to gloat too much.. The link will take you to the Military Times website.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Mushroom foragers take care...

It's mushroom foraging time and it's always easy to get it wrong if you're not highly experienced, as a matter of fact although the season has only started there have already been 84 known cases of mushroom poisoning.. Also it's becoming so concerning that the National Poisons Information Service have just issued a press release regarding harvesting wild mushrooms.. I'll not repeat it here in full but would encourage you to follow the link and give the information a quick read over.. remember "if in doubt, leave it out!"

Monday, 29 September 2014

A Foragers Stick

The one thing I always carry when I go out is a stick, I've been carrying them for as long as I can remember, all started by my grandfather who always carried one too. However the type of stick I carry now has evolved over my years in the woods to become something particular which I call a Foragers Stick.

I use it not just for walking but it also serves a purpose

It has evolved to be an extension of my arm and to further my reach, so it measures from the ground to my elbow

It's head has some form of a hook to bring down branches or apples, this hook can be antler, horn or wood, but I prefer one carved out of all the same branch so there is no join at all.

It's tip is fitted with an alpine ferrule, to enable it to be used as a digging stick, I've lost count of how many times I've used it and it has proved useful

again, one piece sticks tend to be stronger and more durable but it's entirely up to the maker. I like sticks with dog legs and nobbles, it makes them unique and gives each stick character, I always find that sticks that are as smooth as snooker ques tend to be spiritless..

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Blackberry Ice Cream

I picked some blackberries from the hedge in my back garden

just enough for a small amount of coulis

reducing the fruit with some sugar

strained to just leave a nice rich blackberry sauce

ice cream in the machine and chilling

and sauce added to make a gorgeous blackberry ripple ice cream.