Survival News

What is DMT?

Smokable Herbs - Mon, 09/07/2015 - 17:45
Sometimes called ‘the spirit molecule,’ DMT is a potent short-term hallucinogenic drug. DMT is found naturally in certain plants, and it can either be extracted or brewed into a psychedelic tea called ayahuasca.   What Is DMT? The DMT molecule belongs to a class of drugs known as psychedelic tryptamines. They get their name from …

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Spear and Jackson Neverbend Fork Review

Idiot Gardener - Mon, 09/07/2015 - 04:13

Now, if there’s one thing I’ve grown to love as I get older, it’s tools! I have tools that do all manner of things. I even have tools that do jobs I’ve never done and am never likely to do. I have tools that do things I don’t even understand. Show me some tools, and an impulse purchase is bound to follow. Do you understand? I love tools!

Now, as I’ve already said, my past experiences with gardening have been crap, and I hate(d) it with a passion. That aside, when I purchased a house with garden many years ago, I felt obliged to buy some basics; a shovel and fork, lawnmower, hedge clipper, that kind of stuff. When I made the purchases, I applied typical tool logic. Never buy cheap. If you want something, buy the best, and if you need something, get a good one. (The difference between wanting and needing tools is a degree of desire, which most tool fanatics will readily understand.)

When the gardening idiocy crept up on me, I therefore had some passable kit waiting in the wings, including a Spear and Jackson ‘Neverbend’ fork. It had been moved around the outhouse a few times, and it had some light use when I laid a concrete slab to put a shed on, and a little more use when I had to dig the old Victorian clay floor out from my kitchen. Otherwise, it has, as actors say, been resting.

Needless to say, despite its Neverbend designation, the first time it was used in anger for gardening purposes, it bent! The result was the following email, sent to Spear and Jackson’s customer services department.

*

Hello, I am contacting you regarding the Neverbend fork. I purchased one a few years ago, but haven’t ever got around to doing much with my garden. Somehow inspired this year, I decided to go about the task of preparing for a full growing season. Being a non-gardener, I read a few books, and was informed by all that the most important tool is my fork. As I read more, I found myself constantly congratulating myself, sometimes slightly smugly, that I had been smart enough to select a quality item, in the shape of my Neverbend fork.

I sought out advice from other gardeners, and whenever tools were mentioned I nodded sagely and pointed out that I was no fool; I had invested in a Neverbend fork. Some seemed bored, but I would swear on Alan Titchmarsh’s grave that a few were impressed by my selection.

Anyway, after much fannying around, the fateful day came when I had to brave the cold and turn over the soil if I was to be prepared to sow in spring (that’s gardener’s talk, apparently). I headed out, Neverbend fork in hand. The first half hour passed like a whole day; it wasn’t as simple as those television bods make it look. Still, at least the Neverbend fork was light and pointy, and did the job. I laughed at those fools that had skimped on a few pennies and bought inferior forks. I imagined them cursing their poor selection as the soil refused to yield to such weak tools.

Then it happened. My Neverbend fork bent!

Now, to give you some background, I am not a hulk of a man that bends Neverbend forks at will. I am heading into my later years (not my latter years, hopefully) with a head of grey hair and the inability to stand without making a grunting noise. I do little exercise (part of the reason for starting gardening), and at a mere 5 feet 8 and one half inches tall, I’m not what you would call a giant. My hands do not bear the rough callouses of a hard day’s physical labour, and my ethic is “slower”. To bend a Neverbend fork is, therefore, not something I had anticipated in my gardening plan.

I was on the verge of heading back to my comfortable sofa to see if I could flog my collection of gardening books on E-Bay, when I spotted a sticker on the bent Neverbend fork that stated it had a ten year guarantee. I am contacting you to ascertain whether the guarantee is for some mere trifle, such as the handle falling off, or if it indeed covers the bend part of the Neverbend designation (although I suppose a Neverbend fork should be covered for eternity with regard to bending, as never implies no time limit). If it is covered, I would appreciate some assistance in ascertaining how to go about getting an unbent Neverbend fork in exchange for my bent Neverbend fork.

Having never bent a Neverbend fork before (try saying them when you’ve been drinking), I await your advice with anticipation, as I’m having a hard enough job retaining interest in gardening as it is!

Regards, etc..

*

The result? I received a reply the next day asking for a full length photograph! I was sorely tempted, but instead sent them a photograph of the fork. They then replied stating that, yes indeed, it was bent, and requesting an address. A few days later, a knock on the door revealed a courier bearing a brand new fork.

Hats off to Spear and Jackson for proper customer service. They get 10 out of 10 on that score.

And my new Neverbend fork?

I bent it.

Bollocks.

Great service, crap product; I’ll rate that actual fork at -9 out of 10, giving the Spear and Jackson Neverbend fork a total of 1 out of 10.

The post Spear and Jackson Neverbend Fork Review appeared first on The Idiot Gardener.

How to Make Ayahuasca

Smokable Herbs - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 05:00
Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drink that’s been brewed and shared by Amazonian shamans for hundreds of generations. It’s a drink that’s prepared using multiple herbs and it causes an intense psychedelic experience, complete with breathtaking hallucinations. Equipment You’ll need the following equipment in order to prepare and use Ayahuasca the easy way. [easyazon_link identifier=”B003UCG8II” locale=”US” …

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How to Make Ayahuasca

Smokable Herbs - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 05:00
Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drink that’s been brewed and shared by Amazonian shamans for hundreds of generations. It’s a drink that’s prepared using multiple herbs and it causes an intense psychedelic experience, complete with breathtaking hallucinations. Equipment You’ll need the following equipment in order to prepare and use Ayahuasca the easy way. [easyazon_link identifier=”B003UCG8II” locale=”US” …

How to Make Ayahuasca Read More »

How many pounds of fresh elderberries for a 9″ pie?

Ask Marx Food - Mon, 08/31/2015 - 09:58

We haven’t made elderberry pie in the test kitchen yet, but from looking at a variety of different recipes online it looks like you’re going to want between 3 1/2 and 4 cups of fresh elderberries for a pie.

According to this site, there are approximately 5.11oz of huckleberries in a cup, so you’re looking at 17.8 oz (1.1lbs) to 20.4oz (1.3lbs) of fresh elderberries.

Good luck with the pie!

Question Submitted by Beverly W.

The post How many pounds of fresh elderberries for a 9″ pie? appeared first on Ask Marx Foods.

Why did my frozen grass-fed beef arrive past its expiration date?

Ask Marx Food - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:19

Don’t worry, it’s ok!

That is actually a use or freeze by date, so the actual use-by date for frozen product is up to two years after the fresh use-by date.

Because of the immaculate cleanliness of their processing operations, Silver Fern Farms beef (Grass-Fed Angus Beef, Reserve Beef) naturally has a much, much longer shelf life than conventional meats. Cuts are always shipped to the US fresh, and have a fresh use-by date printed on the packaging. They are then either sold fresh or are frozen for longer shelf life.

The post Why did my frozen grass-fed beef arrive past its expiration date? appeared first on Ask Marx Foods.

Bloody hell Barry, he’s only gone and bleeding done it…

Idiot Gardener - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 13:01

By the spirit of Barry Gibb, I’ve only gone and bleeding done it.

An offer has been made on Smallholding B.

There followed some shilly-shallying.

I used a rude word to describe an Estate Agent.

The offer was accepted.

A solicitor has taken a bag of gold from me.

A conman is coming to do an EPC check.

Funding is in place.

I am going to buy a gun.

To not tempt fate, I shall say no more on the matter until the 5 acres, the barn, the house, the pond and the kennels are mine.

I am slightly shitting myself.

As if a sign, before writing this I went to pour a pint of Dirty Chimp from the keg. Halfway through it ran out.

I have two packets of home made bacon to my name.

I am virtually homeless.

It is time…

The post Bloody hell Barry, he’s only gone and bleeding done it… appeared first on The Idiot Gardener.

7 Reasons to Grow Calendula

1/10th acre farm - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 11:54

Calendula flowers can benefit soil, repel pests, and aid healing. I've been growing Calendula officinalis--also called pot marigold--throughout my garden for years, and can hardly contain my excitement to tell you all about it! Here are some of the many reasons this herb is frequently grown in the permaculture garden.

The post 7 Reasons to Grow Calendula appeared first on Tenth Acre Farm.

Homemade pH Balanced DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe, Gentle on Hair and Scalp

Wild Earth Crafts - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 18:33

Homemade Herbal Dry Shampoo Many dry shampoos contain harmful ingredients or ingredients that have a very high or low pH value, such as baking soda and various clays, which are extremely alkaline and not good for the health of your scalp and hair.  This all natural DIY dry shampoo is super easy to make (really you […]

The post Homemade pH Balanced DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe, Gentle on Hair and Scalp appeared first on Wild Earth Crafts.

7 Ways to Improve Soil Quality

1/10th acre farm - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 13:53

Many of us inherit gardens and yards that consist of lifeless or hardpan soil unfit for growing edibles. Good quality soil is essential for an abundant garden and reducing the incidence of pests. While there are many ways to improve soil quality for the purpose of growing food, these are the seven methods that have been the most successful for me.

The post 7 Ways to Improve Soil Quality appeared first on Tenth Acre Farm.

Autumn Sweet Medicine Shares 2015

Nettlejuice - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 13:27

Announcing...Autumn Sweet Medicine SharesSweet handcrafted medicine to get you through the cold season

I am re-introducing my sweet medicine shares this fall!Sign up for three months of medicine, beginning in September and stock up on herbal wellness as the seasons turn and the days shorten. If you would like some local, handcrafted herbal medicine made just for you each month, take a gander at this opportunity to have me make some yummy concoctions designed for cold season support for you and your family.
Each monthly share will include one bottle of herbal syrup and one bottle of herbal elixir. These sweet medicines will be formulated with healing herbs traditionally used for treating and preventing the common complaints of the cold season and building our natural defenses. 

I am offering this share in two sizes
Standard size includes a 4 ounce bottle of syrup and 1 ounce bottle of elixir each month(this is perfect for a single person or a couple)
Family size includes an 8 ounce bottle of syrup and a 2 ounce bottle of elixir each month.
I am also offering a shipping option for those of you who cannot make it out to our place for a pick up.

Each share will be available for picking up or shipping out on the third Saturday of each month, September through November (three months worth of herbal sweetness!).To begin with, September's share will include an coltsfoot cough syrup, and an elderberry elixir to gear up our immune function. Subsequent months will include winter medicines like my gypsy flu elixir, a winter warming elixir, fire cider immune tonic and lung wellness syrup and other healing winter medicines. 

In addition to your sweet medicine, I will also put together an informative newsletter about the products in each share and how to use them.
Whenever possible my medicines are made with herbs I grow and wildcraft myself and are always chemical free. Herbs that I cannot harvest myself are always organic and from a reputable source. 
Here's the cost breakdown...Single/couple share…$70 (with the shipping option…$100)Family share…$130 (with the shipping option...$160)Anyone interested can send me an e-mail at nettlejuice@gmail.com to sign up 
The first 5 people to sign up for a share will also receive a free bottle of lemon balm hydrsol!
P.S. I'm only selling 20 total shares, so sign up quickly before they run out.Deadline for signing up is September 12th, to give me time to get the first share together.

By the pricking of my thumbs… the Smallholding saga continues!

Idiot Gardener - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 09:36

Readers of my last post will know all about the Smallholding A versus Smallholding B conundrum. Well, here’s an update. I was wrong. No, I was right, but I was wrong. Let me explain…

I was right that something was wrong. I was wrong about what was wrong. But something was wrong, so I was right. Follow? Good. Then let’s get to the point.

In true Cluedo style, I suspected Farmer Giles, in the Farmyard, with a Grudge. However, whilst there is still some suspicion over the credibility of Farmer Giles, the real rat in the barrel was actually the vendor. Okay, when I call him a rat, that might seem a bit steep, so let me rephrase that. The lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick was the vendor. Old Gilesy was just his side-kick, no doubt turning a blind eye in some mutual Planning scam.

Not 15 minutes after making that last post, the phone rang. It was the lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick’s Estate Agent. My query about various planning issues had raised some hackles. What followed was a speech from the Agent designed to make the vendor appear like a slightly confused angel. However, nothing really added up.

No, he confirmed, there was no change of use permission for the tennis court. Neither was there planning permission for the barn. The stables were a grey area, and the extension on the house and garage didn’t have building regs approval. The planning for the latter two wasn’t mentioned. The building regs was being addressed, but the vendor wouldn’t do anything about the planning issues because they were covered by the four year rule.

I explained, quite politely and calmly, that the four year rule applied to structures, not change of use. Oh, said the estate agent. Then he said the immortal words, ‘I doubt the vendor will do anything unless you’ve exchanged, because his solicitor seems to be happy with it.’

‘Really?’ I replied. ‘Then tell his solicitor to buy the fucking house!’

So, here’s the rub. The vendor (the lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick, in case you had forgotten) will not deal with Planning Control until I’ve committed to buy. Of course, I’d have to make that commitment in full knowledge of the situation, so couldn’t then pull out. He could, if he was on the level, pay £385 to cover things with a Certificate of Lawful Use. However, he won’t.

I can only guess the reason is that any Planning Officer would have a field day once on site. I suspect that a lack of Building Regs indicates a lack of planning permission on parts of the house, the tennis courts are definitely not covered, and despite claiming the barn is temporary, a quick glance at Planning Directives for agricultural land shows he’s flying a kite on that one too. What a prick. But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?

Of course, Farmer Giles is still under suspicion, and you have to wonder how many of his developments might also be spotted if Percy the Planner came a’calling.

The Estate Agent, desperate for a slice of my hard-earned, even suggested that I approach Planning Control to see if I could instigate a visit via an act of subterfuge. I told him to fuck right off. He did soften, and told me that he’d even told the vendor that know he was aware of the facts, he was obliged to pass that information on to any future viewers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new uninformed agent handling the property soon. I may even make a call if that happens!

So, what did I do at the weekend? I went to see Smallholding B once more. I’m not one to tempt fate so I shall remain tight-lipped about my plans. But here endeth the first lesson. If your gut is screaming foul, listen to it.

If he looks like a lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick, and he walks like a lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick, and he talks like a lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick, then he probably is a lying deceitful conniving  scum-sucking bullshit-faced prick. Him, and his fucking farmer mate!

The post By the pricking of my thumbs… the Smallholding saga continues! appeared first on The Idiot Gardener.

Decisions Decisions … the Smallholding conundrum

Idiot Gardener - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 06:06

Once upon a time there were two smallholdings. Let’s call them Smallholding A and Smallholding B. In fact, to save me typing the word Smallholding over and over again, let’s just call them A and B. Got that? Good. Let’s continue.

A and B had some similarities. Both had good points and bad points. Both were similarly priced. Both had ponds. That’s not important, but it just saves me repeating that they have ponds! Both have oil heating, shit broadband (satellite options required) and septic tanks. Both vendors also seem, in my opinion, to have genuine reasons for moving on.

On paper, I prefer A. Mrs IG prefers A. Does that make A the winner? Of course not. If it I did I’d be proudly announcing that I am the proud owner of A. Life, as they say, is not simple. Indeed, it is a steep and graggy rock which, once climbed, allows you to tumble to a painful and slow death.

A has 6.5 acres. B has 5.5 acres. In reality, for my purposes, it’s not really a significant difference. So with regard to land, there’s no real divide.

A has a very small wood. I like woods. B has a very small orchard. I like orchards. Orchard, wood, orchard wood; we could be here all day.

A is a four bedroom property in a fairly neutral style. B is a three bedroom house with old beams and a more country cottage feel. I’m not sure that I’m a country cottage sort of person. That said, I lived in South Tottenham for years, and I’m not really a South Tottenham sort of person either.

A has a metal barn, a three stable block in need of tarting up, a garage, a car port and a large work area over the latter two. It also has a tennis court. Yes, I know! B has a garage, car port, a bloody huge brick-built workshop and a fairly large kennel which could be converted into a useful building. In truth, A just edges B on outbuildings. It’s close though, real close!

A is located down a track, and is next to a working cattle farm. The road is metalled, but it’s remote. No one (except for Farmer Giles and his cows) would hear you scream. B is located on a B-Road. There are some other houses, but they’re a few fields away on either side. Someone might hear you scream, if you’re lucky/unlucky (dependent upon what’s going down).

In a nutshell, I wouldn’t be unhappy living in A or B. Either choice ticks all the boxes for me – land, rural setting, outbuildings, space for a brewery and charcuterie areas, rabbits and pigeons, etc.. That said, I prefer A as a house and as a location.

Here’s the thing, though. I have a strange feeling in my gut. No; it’s not the result of a dodgy curry or a bad pint. This is a gnawing, itchy, uncomfortable feeling of disquiet. I’ll explain why.

When we viewed A, I was surprised to see cattle in one of the fields. The vendor explained that the cattle belonged to Farmer Giles next door. He then quickly added that if I wanted to sell old Gilesy the fields he’d be more than willing to buy them from me. I explained that I wanted the fields, to which the vendor quickly replied that he was sure old Gilesy would be up for any kind of arrangement, before explaining that the current agreement was that he could use the fields for free.

My first reaction was that the situation had the potential to piss off my one neighbour, whose land pretty much surrounded mine. If he wanted to take umbrage at being refused use of my fields, he could make my life difficult. However, the more I thought about it, the more I figured that any farmer with a large-scale cattle operation wouldn’t be short of a few extra acres, and my (potential) 6.5 represented a drop in his pasture ocean. As the days passed, my negative gut feeling receded.

During a second viewing of A, I asked whether Farmer Giles actually needed use of the land. The vendor explained that he might well do, as he used to rent some other fields, but a new owner had ended the agreement. Then he said something telling. He said, ‘I don’t know whether Farmer Giles thinks I am doing him a favour letting him use my land for free, or thinks he’s doing me favour keeping the grass down’.

As we left, I spotted that Farmer Giles also had a static caravan on his land, near a barn. Once I returned to the sunny South East, I did a quick search of planning applications. The caravan was in place as a temporary accommodation for a stockman, due to a new calf rearing business. Of course, we all know that’s a step along the path of getting permission to build a property on agricultural land.  So Gilesy is playing the planning game. I don’t mind that, but I then did some further digging about A itself.

The vendor has used the land for equestrian use in the past, and has added the tennis court to the top of a field, outside of the specified garden area. Also, there is a question mark over the planning for the barn and stables.  I believe that both could be easily covered with a Certificate of Legal Development under the 10 year rule, so they’re not massive issues.

So what has brought my bad gut feeling back? It all just seems a bit too cosy for my liking. The vendor comes across as a very organised and structured person, but simply didn’t apply for change of use for the tennis court or planning consent for the barn and stables. He also hasn’t objected to any planning applications at the farm next door in the last decade.

I might be wrong. Farmer Giles might be lovely, honest and friendly. Despite that, I can’t shake the feeling that if a new face appears and doesn’t want to give Gilesy access to the land, and perish the thought even objects to new build on the fields,  then the hassle will become a bit dull. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for a bit of neighbourly disputes, but my gut keeps asking me if I can be arsed. The answer is probably no.

Decisions, decisions! No wonder I’ve started drinking!

 

The post Decisions Decisions … the Smallholding conundrum appeared first on The Idiot Gardener.

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms, Continued

Smokable Herbs - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 07:00
In the first part of our guide we covered spore syringes and jar prep. In the second part, we’ll go through everything from incubation to fruiting. If you’ve ever wondered how to grow magic mushrooms, keep reading part two of Smokable Herbs’ guide.   Sterilizing and Inoculation Once your substrate is prepared, it can be loaded …

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms, Continued Read More »

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms, Continued

Smokable Herbs - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 07:00
In the first part of our guide we covered spore syringes and jar prep. In the second part, we’ll go through everything from incubation to fruiting. If you’ve ever wondered how to grow magic mushrooms, keep reading part two of Smokable Herbs’ guide.   Sterilizing and Inoculation Once your substrate is prepared, it can be loaded …

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms, Continued Read More »

Southeast Tennessee, Looking For Like-Minds and Info

Appalachian Permies - Sat, 08/08/2015 - 13:31
I'm looking to find out what groups may be active around the Gatlinburg area in all fields.

I'm also needing information on the best places for freecycling materials for building, as well as upkeep on a 1976 Dodge Brougham camper, which I refuse to quit on until a tornado rakes it, or Bigfoot steps on it.

Southeast Tennessee, Looking For Like-Minds and Info

Appalachian Permies - Sat, 08/08/2015 - 13:31
I'm looking to find out what groups may be active around the Gatlinburg area in all fields.

I'm also needing information on the best places for freecycling materials for building, as well as upkeep on a 1976 Dodge Brougham camper, which I refuse to quit on until a tornado rakes it, or Bigfoot steps on it.

Southeast Tennessee, Looking For Like-Minds and Info

Appalachian Permies - Sat, 08/08/2015 - 13:31
I'm looking to find out what groups may be active around the Gatlinburg area in all fields.

I'm also needing information on the best places for freecycling materials for building, as well as upkeep on a 1976 Dodge Brougham camper, which I refuse to quit on until a tornado rakes it, or Bigfoot steps on it.

6 Benefits of Passion Flower

Smokable Herbs - Fri, 08/07/2015 - 16:00
There are many herbs out there to help relieve anxiety, ease restlessness, and soothe stomach pains, but none are as beneficial as passion flower. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, or other problems, then consider adding passion flower extract or capsules to your daily herbal regimen. It’s a cheap and easy …

6 Benefits of Passion Flower Read More »

6 Benefits of Passion Flower

Smokable Herbs - Fri, 08/07/2015 - 16:00
There are many herbs out there to help relieve anxiety, ease restlessness, and soothe stomach pains, but none are as beneficial as passion flower. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, or other problems, then consider adding passion flower extract or capsules to your daily herbal regimen. It’s a cheap and easy …

6 Benefits of Passion Flower Read More »

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