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Monday 26 May 2014

Hedge Mustard

This is a plant that according to all the guides is extremely common, but it's one I don't find that often, though this year seems to be a better year than normal for it.

It's got a very small cruciform yellow flower, very distinctive and actually quite pretty

the stalk is tall, over 2 feet, and with a number of flower heads and unusually distinctive leaves

you can see what I mean, it's hard to confuse this with any other plant.

The flower heads and leaves are edible, and it's got, well to me anyway, quite a strong wasabi sort of kick to it.. some plants tend to be quite strong others not so much so best to try a few till you get one that suits your palate.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Mora 510 Robust .. New !!

Yes you read that right, this is the mighty Mora 510 being re-released in an all new format, and it's going to be in a Robust version!!

It's still in the design stage as we speak but you can see from the template above that it's very reminiscent of the original 510 but in a beefed up version , it looks like a superb knife.

It was mentioned to me in a brief email conversation I had with Thomas Eriksson from Mora, in which he said

" This fall we will release a updated version of the old 510/511 as Morakniv Basic 511, still only 2mm thick blade but a robust version with a 3.2 mm thick blade will come to"

You all know how much I love the 510 and how I've often sang it's praises, but this version looks like it's going to take the outdoor world by storm, I can see it becoming a legend in it's own right and I can't wait to get my hands on one..or ten!

The 510 was much lamented after we were told Mora had discontinued it and there were a lot of very sad people, hopefully this news will put a smile back on their face. I just hope Mora doesn't keep us waiting too long!!

You can buy Mora Knives plus lots more outdoor gear at a massive 12% discount (contact us first for the discount code) at Above and Beyond.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Greater Stitchwort

One of the more common woodside plants and easily indentifiable, but it's unusual that people know so little about it

it's quite often found in abundance just like you see here and normally in flower from about late April until June

Greater stitchwort is easy to confuse with Lesser stitchwort, but the petals on the latter are narrower and the incision goes nearly the full length of the petal, Greater has a 'wider' flower and the split is about half way.

very pretty little flower.. which is edible as is, the young stalks can be eaten once boiled..

Some times called Adders meat due to the 'forked tongue' appearance and also the Thunder flower as it's said to encourage thunderstorms if picked.

Originally called stitchwort due to the fact that it was said to cure the stitch in your side after vigorous excercise.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Nettle Tea

Probably the most common wild tea, drunk everywhere in the world..I don't think there's a woodsman out there who hasn't tried it, and there's quite a few other "normal" people who have too!!

It's got so many health benefits that even dismissing the (lovely) taste, it's still worth brewing and drinking. It's got Vitamins, K,C and A as well as Iron, potassium, proteins and anti inflammatory properties, it also acts as an antihistamine and is anti-carcinogenic due to the Lycopene it contains

I like a strong decoction, so fill your pot or kettle with a good handful of fresh nettle tops, and bring to the boil

once boiled, take off the heat and pour into your mug

it's got this lovely greeny honey colour and tastes divine..

Milarepa a Tibetan Monk is said to have lived on nothing but nettle leaves and when he died his skin was said to be green due to his diet!

Sunday 4 May 2014

Carve a Chopping Board with Axe and Knife.

I'm pretty bad at carving, my stuff ends up usable but not beautiful, still it works and that's all that matters

I started with a lump of Ash

split it with my axe

then did my best to carve it down until it was even using my gransfors bruks small forest axe

put a little bit of decoration on it using my Mora 510

and the finished product, it's a  bit skew wiff and rocks slightly on a flat base so I guess I've got a wonky eye when it comes to woodwork,  but still when it's sitting on my lap and when I'm cutting tomatoes or filleting fish on it, it works fine and I'm happy with that.