FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

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Monday, 24 July 2017

A Viking Spoon

I recently received a brilliant surprise in the post:


My Instagram buddy RebornFeral had sent me one of his hand carved spoons! 

This one held particular significance for me as a heathen since the handle is carved in to the shape of a giant Mjolnir (Thor's hammer).


It's a beautiful piece, hand carved from sycamore. Following him on IG has really inspired me to practice my own carving skills, something I have wanted to master for as long as I can remember. I will try my hardest not to flood the blog with photos of my terrible attempts at spoons that are sure to come!

If you use Instagram I highly recommend following RebornFeral for a breath of fresh air, he is an amazing parent, a great carver aswell as a rewilding and barefoot enthusiast!




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Friday, 21 July 2017

New Additions to the FAST Family

Yesterday we bought home two new additions to the homestead in the form of 6 week old rescue puppies Astrid and Sacha who have up until now had quite a sad story to their short lives.

Rescue Puppies Astrid (left) and Sacha (right)

The vet reported the "owner" if you can call her that as she wanted them aborted, the vet refused as it was too far gone and then she was going to take them to the dog pound at a week old! The worst thing is that the rescue agency has offered to sterlilise the mother and father free of charge (it is not the first time this has happened) but the "owner" refuses!!! The mother is used as a guard dog, which in Spain generally means she is kept at an empty house with no human contact and gets fed every few days. The pups were fending for themselves and trying to feed from a malnourished mother. They had never had any interaction with people. I would certainly like to give her a piece of my mind!

Life has not been kind to these little darlings, but we will change that!


Luckily an amazing English couple stepped in and took the litter of 7 in with them and have now found homes for all but one of the other pups. We only intended to adopt one but when we went and heard the story we knew we COULD save two of them if we wanted to, and how could we say no to faces like these?
Astrid meeting her new Daddy for the first time

6 weeks old is still a little young to leave the mother but at least we can guarantee that they will lead far better lives with us. The kids are in love with them and have really become confident around them which is great as they were always wary around dogs.

Their mother is a German Shepherd and the father a Boxer dog. As you can see Astrid is most like the mother and Sacha takes after the father with their coats, colouring and face shapes. You can see from the size of their paws, particularly Astrid, that they will be large dogs when they are grown.
Sacha settling in to her new bed

They are getting used to being with their new family and settling in to their new surroundings really well. In the next few weeks I'll be starting their training and moulding them in to working dogs as they will need to live alongside our livestock on the farm. I've been researching dog psychology quite extensively and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in with their training but right now these two sleepy beauties are just coming to terms with their happily ever after, so training can wait until tomorrow

Sacha and Astrid the rescue puppies

Thanks for joining us for Five on Friday, We appreciate your support and hope that you all have the best weekend ever!



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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Article in Permaculture Magazine

Tricky Wolf -  Permaculture Magazine Article
We've had an article published on Permaculture Magazine!

It's a quick article explaining a bit of our background story, how we got to where we are and what we're hoping to achieve, if you'd like to catch up with the article follow the link below:

Click here to read the full article
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Friday, 14 July 2017

TOP SECRET - Survival Tin with a Twist

This week I have a top secret thing to talk about for 5 mins for Five on Friday

Mini Survival Tin Kit

This is a little project I've been working on and I'm now fairly happy with it so if you promise not to tell anyone I'll give you a sneaky peek inside

Survival Tin Contents
There are a million different people that make a million different pocket survival kit tins but this one is different. This one is very special to me, because this one is a kit I have put together myself to give to my son on his 5th birthday in October. He absolutely loves getting all the things out of my kits and has been asking if he can borrow my kits so he can come on survival outings with me so I was over the moon to put together a basic kit suitable to his age.

Survival Kit Contents
In the Kit from left to right we have:
The Tin
A Credit Card Fresnel Lens
A Compass
A Paracord Bracelet with Whistle Buckle
A locking Carabiner
2 Werthers Originals
Micro Tweezers
A Ferro Rod and Striker
A Mini Pry Bar
A Survival Whistle
A Miniature Mirror (plastic)
Duct Tape
A Pencil

Pocket Survival Kit with Bracelet
It all goes together with the bracelet to keep the lid from popping off. there isn't a great deal of space left inside but if you have any ideas or suggestions that would be appropriate for a 5 year old I'd love to hear them.

As a side note the reason I haven't included any first aid items, plasters etc is because I have a matching first aid tin that I plan to sort out and have as one of his stocking fillers at Christmas.




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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

















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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Fire Friday

Friday night we had a bit of a scare!

There was a big thunder storm so everyone was indoors, when all of a sudden we heard a plane fly past low over the rooftops followed quickly by the sound of a helicopter.

Where we live is very rural and remote, we almost never have a helicopter out this way so the moment we heard the engines we knew something wasn't right. I pulled my boots on and headed outside to investigate and saw this:


These aren't clouds, this is smoke!

We assumed the lightning must have started a fire on the other side of the mountain and the smoke was pouring into the sky. You see the problem with living next to a pine forest is that pine trees burn like a barrel of oil and once one starts burning the flames spread like dominoes falling over and the wild fire can move so much faster than most people think it can.




I cannot commend the firefighting services enough out here, they were so quick to respond and collected tons of water to drop on the fire and keep it under control, after a couple of hours of battling the flames it started to rain quite heavily which no doubt helped to put out the fire.


From the vantage point at the end of our road I could see where the helicopter was collecting the water from and also where he was unloading it up the mountain so it was a bit close for comfort, any bigger or closer and the area would have had to be evacuated.

Before most people had figured out what was going on we were aware of the possible danger and ready to leave if necessary. It goes to show that being aware of the sounds going on outside, even when you are in your own home, could literally be the difference between life and death in some cases. This is why we are prepared, this is why we will survive. Going forward it has brought to my attention that we may need to try and incorporate fire breaks in to our designs for the land, as much for other peoples sake as our own.

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Five Things You Didn't Know - Five on Friday

Happy Friday Folks!

I'm really struggling for inspiration today. Next week is my 29th birthday (on Tuesday to be precise) so I will no doubt have some goodies to show you all the following Friday :)

For this week I thought I'd do a fun Five on Friday with 5 facts you might not know.

1 Worlds Deadliest Animal


You'd be forgiven for thinking it would be something like lions, snakes or even sharks, but in fact the animal that kills the most humans worldwide is in fact the mosquito! The World Health Organisation estimates that 725,000 people are killed each year by mosquito-born diseases. A staggering 200 million people are at least temporarily incapacitated by malaria alone, of which 600,000 die.

Of course the instances of death caused by mosquito are very low in the US and UK, if we exclude the rest of the world the animal most likely to kill you is actually the bee! In a typical year bees kill an average of 100 Americans according to the CDC. Luckily, to the vast majority of people, a bee sting is not life-threatening. Experts say that the average adult can safely withstand more than 1,000 bee stings. Of course, fewer stings could prove dangerous to an infant, small child or the elderly. What makes stings deadly is generally not the toxicity of bee venom itself but an allergy developed as a result of prior stings.


2 - Today's Top Killers
I wouldn't worry too much about the Mosquitos and Bees too much (or any other animals for that matter), as you can see from the chart below:
I won't speculate too much but I truly believe that the poison we call food these days is responsible for most of the horrors that afflict us in the modern day. GMO, Herbicides, Pesticides and Processed Foods have a lot to answer for! Moving swiftly on....

3 - Ants

Ants are pretty incredible. They are found across the entire world, they are as old as the dinosaurs. The largest known ant species was 2.4inches long and the oldest recorded ant lived for 30 years! 
You probably know that Ants are in the same family as wasps and bees, but did you know that Ants are capable of holding 100 times their own body weight whilst hanging upside down from a sheet of glass? Puts the worlds strongest man to shame!


4 - Worlds Strongest Animal
Ants are strong, but their strength to weight ratio pales in comparison to a dung beetle


The half inch long dung beetles are the strongest living creatures on Earth. The male insects of this small species of insects can lift objects that are 1141 times more heavier than their own body weight. It is just like an average sized human carrying 80 tons.

5 - You are as old as the Universe


Whether you believe in the universe being created by a higher power or big bag theorist one thing we can all agree on is the fact that matter cannot be created or destroyed it can only be rearranged. This means that the atoms that make up you and I were present at the creation of the universe and have been a part of a great number of things before and will go on to be a part of a great many other things after our time on this planet passes. It's amazing to think that some of the carbon in your bones could have one been part of a dinosaur, some of the iron in your body might have come to earth in a meteor millions of years. For me it proves further the interconnectedness of all things, the infinite number of relationships between all things alive and dead past present and future.


To keep things light hearted here's a little bonus bit of trivia to make you feel warm and fuzzy: In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor—the voice of Minnie!


I hope you've enjpoyed this weeks ramblings, Thanks for joining us once again for Five on Friday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend :)







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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

















Share:

Monday, 3 July 2017

Cold Steel Bushman

I've owned this knife for well over a year now and keep forgetting to mention it! On the plus side at least you know I've really put it through it's paces before giving you my thoughts on it.

Cold Steel Bushman
The original Bushman, made by Cold Steel. I've been a fan of Cold Steel products since I was a child and this one does not disappoint. It is a pretty much indestructible knife with the blade and handle cold forged from a single piece of steel. The handle is hollow to allow you to fix it to a pole/branch to form a pretty formidable makeshift spear. Now I know what you're thinking HOLLOW HANDLE!!!! Don't worry, since there is no seam/join between the blade and handle there is no weak point and according to the manufacturer the knife has withstood testing of over 2 tons of pressure at the blade/handle transition!

So unlike the flimsy Rambo wannabe hollow handled "survival" knives of the 80's this is a serious knife that can be relied upon in the field. I've used it for carving, battoning and all round general cutting duty and it is a real work horse of a knife that has never let me down.

For the price I don't think you could beat this chopper for value, you can pick them up for £35.95 from Greenmans (no affiliation). Also mine is the older version that came with a leather sheath but the latest one is a Kydex type automatic locking sheath and also comes with a firesteel making it even better bang for your buck.

So there you have it, the Cold Steel Bushman. They also do a bowie shaped version but I must say I prefer the original shaped one that I have, far more practical for bushcraft.















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Etsy

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