contact us at Buzzardbushcraft @ gmail.com

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Blackberry leaf tea.

One of the most under rated but most valuable forms of wild bush teas is blackberry leaf tea. Like all members 9f the rubus genus the leaves, at this time of year, are full of flavonoids, vitamins, and antioxidants as well as trace elements and minerals.



The tea is most well known for helping cure diarrhea but is also superb for most stomach and digestive problems not to mention that it is reputedly anticarcinogenic . This is the best time of the year to pick the young newly emerging leaves, leave them in an open airy room for a few days to dry out them store them in an air tight jar out of sunlight until ready to use.
One teaspoon to a cup of water, let it 8nfuse for 5 minutes then strain and drink, no more than 2 cups a day.
It is also supposedly good for skin ailments though I haven't tried this myself.

The blackberry is supposedly the official fruit of the state of Alabama and the blackberry plant is connected with the Irish goddess of healing Airmid.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Pennywort - Navelwort - UMBILICUS RUPESTRIS

A really nice find more often than not confined to the west coast of Ireland though is found localised in other places.
Fleshy and tasty and easily identifiable wall pennywort is a great addition to the salad of any wild food forager..


So called because it looks like an old penny or because the little dimple in the leaves looks like your belly button!


It's not one you can easily confuse with anything else especially as it's location tends to be on rocks, walls and bare stone hillocks.
To me it tastes like very sweet garden peas.

It has been used to cure corns and blisters in the past and the juice is supposed to be effective against inflammation and to aid in healing wounds.

Poor people would often put these in the shrouds of the deceased to "pay the ferryman" when copper or silver coins were too precious to be buried with the body.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Hultafors Classic Hunters Axe

I love Axes. Not that I use them as much as I should but there is just something of the archetypal woodsman about them that means every bushcrafter should at least own a couple.
We are all familiar with the Swedish axe train of thought that states the best Axes in the world are produced there, and especially the rivalry between certain companies in Sweden.
Gransfors Bruks makes the Axes Ray Mears uses and as a result their prices have sky rocketed, this puts people off.
Hultafors, however, have a line of Axes that rivals the GB ones and it's called their classic line, I recently treated myself to the hunters axe.



Here it is straight out of the wrapping. Hultafors can be hit and miss, if you get a bad axe it's infuriating but if you get a good one it's wonderful, this one is superb.



Weighing in with a head weight of around 2lbs and a helve of 20 inches it's a lovely midsized pack axe comparable to the Gransfors small forest axe



The helve was oiled but not heavily so I did need to add a little linseed oil to it but regardless it's beautifully made



Wedge was an excellent fit and wonderfully finished



The grain was tight and of the correct orientation and the edge of the bit was a polished razor.. very impressive indeed.
It's a little heavier than the Gransfors and just a tad longer but to me feels better in the hand, more of a man's pack axe while the Gransfors is more of a woman's axe.



And the two in comparison, with the hultafors on the left.
This axe should last many years and at half the price of the Gransfors, for what is basically the same axe, is incredible value for money.
I can see this line of Axes fast becoming the woods man's favourite.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Gypsy rose flowers and knife control.

It's always good to practise your knife control, too many people think a knife is for chopping or battoning, but in actuality light delicate cuts are harder to master and more challenging to the user. A nice way to practise these cuts is to make a few gypsy rose or feather stick flowers.. give it a try.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Pied Piper of Buzzard.

Some people have an affinity with animals and the animals know this intuitively. For instance Davy loves ducks and the little feathered critters can sense this as you can see here, the thing is he's just thinking "plum or orange sauce!"

Monday, 3 April 2017

Fatwood Find

One of our permissions has some beautiful pine trees on it and lately a couple of them have shed limbs. This is fortunate for us as they have been a great source of fatwood



As you can see the wood is already heavily impregnated with resin



We will have enough fatwood to last us for ages at this rate and I can only imagine the resin building up in the tree where the limbs have been shed, I'm sure we will get that someday too.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Wild wood salad

At this time of year there are numerous wild edibles around to supplement your diet. When out in the woods there's no excuse not to dine well and we at buzzard always manage to eat superbly thanks to Davy our resident wood chef.
He prepared a wood fired pizza while I foraged the accompanying wild salad


Quite a number of edibles ready to devour all dressed and ready


And the resulting feast..if you eat poorly in the woods you're doing it wrong.


Woods cooked pizza, dressed mixed wild salad and blanched hogweed shoots.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Forged in Fire

Some of the guys and gals from the club went down to the local forge at moneypennys lock for a day of black wind fire and steel.
We all had it in our heads to make enough steel strikers to use for the next wee while.

It's an incredibly charismatic place with a real historical feel especially with the stone cobbles on the floor.
Johnny got us all prepped up and away we went

The pace was relentless and the sweat beaded our brows as the hammer did it's work

Even the God of thunder made an appearance!

There were some posey people!

And even a surprise for the big guys birthday.

It was a tired but very happy bunch of people at the end of the day and all will remember the experience for a long time to come.

And the result of our labours, the rest of the group will have their chance in the next couple of weeks so I'll keep you updated with their experience too.
A big thanks to Johnny and Emile for a great day.

Monday, 13 March 2017

It's that time of year

Saw some lovely plants coming up at this time and it seems that love is in the air!

Friday, 10 February 2017

NIBC Late Winter Meet

Although this was a simply kick back relax and meet new people meet we did manage to get a few little things done too.
I found a pile of dead and rotten willow on the forest floor and set the challenge to see who could get fire from it using friction. Myself and Gary have often used this method before and although it was tough we managed it. Ciaran had never used this technique before but..


Succeeded after a short time.


Shea tried on Friday then all day Saturday then finally achieved his goal on the Sunday..what tenacity from such a young man, 13 years old and managed the firebow from less than ideal materials on a very frosty morning all because he never gave up. Very impressive.


And you can see here just how white the area was from a heavy frost that morning..
A great time was had by all and it really good to see some new friends along for the first time too.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cardboard oven

Davy was experimenting with a cardboard oven out in the woods recently and it worked incredibly well.


Simply covered in tin foil with some charcoal in the bottom


It successfully cooked pizza and even an apple crumble !


What ingenuity !!