Reuse and Repair

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Half a century ago, we were a thriving culture of reuse and repair. What happened?

What happened? Simple. Industry decided that it was too expensive for it to develop new products that people really wanted and needed and rather made products that broke rather quickly and were made in such a way that they can no longer be repaired and thus people have to buy the same (kind of) product again and again.

It, more or less, began at the time of Osram taking on the manufacture of light bulbs, or so it is said, when they started to make them with a built-in obsolescence of lasting but x-number of turn on and off cycles, as the way the bulbs were then they would last almost forever.

But it really went from bad to worse, at least as far as Western Europe is concerned, from around the beginning of the 1980, may be even a little earlier, when first the deposit schemes for bottles, including beer, was abandoned and bottles became buy and throw, and then products were being made in such a way that they could no longer be opened to be repaired, thus making it impossible to extend their life.

Then came the outsourcing of manufacture to countries such as China and products became so cheap to buy and repair, if at all possible, to expensive that buying new is often many times cheaper than repair. And everyone is surprised, strangely enough, that we have a waste problem.

Yes, it is true that most of our countries, with the exception, but then it was not a Western nation during that time, the German Democratic Republic, often, falsely, referred to as East Germany, did not have a recycling culture but then that is also not entirely true for the rag and bone man was the collector of items for recycling, often doing some of that work himself.

In the German Democratic Republic what we can recyclables today were referred to as secondary raw materials and they were sorely needed as the country itself was very short of raw materials of any sort bar some iron ore. Every tin can was made back into steel, every bottles and even glass jar was reused and not broken up and downcycled, as is all too often the case nowadays – or does anyone really believe that when all glass is tossed together (broken) into the recycler they are able to make bottles and other glass products out of that mass of glass shards again – and industry in the country heavily relied on such secondary raw materials. Waste paper, newspapers and other paper, also was seen as such secondary raw material and most newspapers, books, school books, exercise books, etc. were made from truly recycled paper. The quality of this paper was not always the best but the German Democratic Republic did this well before any one in the West even thought it necessary.

Reuse and repair also was – out of necessity – the order of the day in the GDR and most products were made in such a way that they lasted and that they could be repaired, by the user often even in more or less simple DIY, and it was also the same case still in the West until about the 1980s or so.
Thereafter products in the West were either made in such a way that often even a repairman could not open an item that needed repair due to so-called proprietary screws to which only the manufacturer had the drivers. Thus access to the internal workings of a device was no longer given and repair not possible, much like today with many products, such as the i-Phone where things are glues rather than screwed and any attempt to access the interior for repair may result in compete destruction of case and device.

In other cases it has just simply become too expensive to even consider repair. When the repair for a brand-name (I won't mention the name though) computer printer, which itself has cost £30, is being quoted as, including parts and labor, more than 4x the purchase price, then repair is definitely not something anyone with sense would consider. Hence, waste. How can, however, a manufacturer justify the cost of a small spare part to be £75 in a printer that has cost less than half that amount, in all honesty, beats me. The labor costs was quoted at the same rate, and in addition shipping to and from manufacturer. It would have had to be sent in as no access to the area in the printer where the broken part resided.

A switch on a coffee machine cannot be repaired, as also encountered by this author, simply because the manufacturer has used screws that cannot be removed, thus rendering the machine obsolete and thus waste. Has everyone gone absolutely stupid; us, as consumers as well for accepting this?

The same goes for shoes and boots. Even if one can find good ones, where, for instance, there is actually a midsole that has been sewn to the upper, for instance, as in a pair of boots that I had. The seem had split a little and needed sewing but, alas, I did not have the correct needles and was unable to find them in the UK. So I took it to a shoe repair shop and first of all it took me several time of explaining what I wanted doing and all the operator understood was that I wanted new soles put on. When the finally grasped it the reply was: “I do not have a machine to do that”. It didn't need a machine but two bent needles and waxed thread; that was all. But those repair shops, today, are but machine operators and if there is not a machine for it it can't be done.

Forty years ago there would have been the men and even women who could have, in their little shops, been able to do such a repair within minutes with needles and thread, as the above one, and the same was true for radios, TVs, and other electrical appliances. To repair a car you did not need a degree in computer science and the right kinds test computers and such, but just some wrenches, screwdrivers, or what have you, and many people did a lot of tinkering on their cars themselves. Spare parts often came from the scrapyard because you just unbolted something from a scrap car and bolted it onto yours. Today that cannot be done. When the “glass” (plastic nowadays) of one of your indicators, for instance, is broken you have to replace, nowadays, the entire thing. No more going to just buying the “glass” or salvaging it from a scrap yard. Nope. An expensive new entire light has to be bought and fitted.

How did we ever become that stupid? Well, it was not so much us, the consumers, but the manufacturers. But then again, we have to share some of the blame for allowing it to happen.

© 2019

Holidaymakers encouraged to save their lilos from landfill by turning them into designer bags

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Holidaymakers can see their unwanted lilos transformed into designer bags and pouches thanks to a holiday company that’s pledging to reduce the number of inflatables sent to landfill.

Holiday Hypermarket has teamed up with sustainable designer Wyatt and Jack to encourage customers to turn their holiday inflatables into one-of-a-kind bags, with the package-holiday specialist picking up the postage costs for sending the plastic products. The pre-paid labels can be downloaded here:

https://www.holidayhypermarket.co.uk/hype/love-your-lilo/

Whether transforming a blow-up unicorn, a giant rubber doughnut, a classic lilo or any other weird-and-wonderful inflatable, the designers at Wyatt and Jack will work their magic. They'll create a new pouch or tote bag and generate little, if any, waste.

Georgia Wyatt-Lovell, founder of Wyatt and Jack, says: 'Holiday inflatables are great fun for a week or two, but when the holiday’s over, most people have no further use for them. By taking part in our inflatable amnesty, you can turn your lilo into something that’s unique and practical and literally carry around the memories of a wonderful holiday and cut down on plastic waste.'

For this partnership with Holiday Hypermarket, Wyatt and Jack is offering a 15% discount on all purchases, with prices for A5 pouches starting from just £8.

The initiative follows research of 2,000 British holidaymakers by Holiday Hypermarket that found:
- 25% leave their lilo at the hotel at the end of their holiday
- 9% throw their lilo into the bin before heading home
- 57% of holidaymakers won’t reuse a lilo left behind by someone else
With Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA) figures suggesting there will be more than eight million package holidays taken by Brits in 2019*, these figures imply that:
- More than two million people will leave their lilo behind
- More than 700,000 holidaymakers will throw their inflatable into the bin

Craig Duncan of Holiday Hypermarket says: "We were astounded by how many British holidaymakers say they abandon their lilos after their holidays. Plastic pollution is a real problem and we all have to think about the decisions we take and the impact they have on the destinations we visit.
"During our research, we spoke to hotels and they described lilos as an awful problem that is getting worse. When a holidaymaker leaves a lilo behind, hotels have little choice but to store them or send them to the local landfill.

"We asked holidaymakers if they would use free lilos and inflatables provided by their hotel, but more than half said no. This means that even if people think their left-behind-lilo will be used by someone else, the chances are it won’t, as most holidaymakers prefer to buy their own.
"This plastic problem needs smart solutions, and we are delighted to team up with Wyatt and Jack to give holidaymakers the opportunity to do something useful with their lilo after their holiday.'

To find out more about upcycling your lilo and to download the free Holiday Hypermarket postage label for sending inflatables to Wyatt and Jack, visit https://www.holidayhypermarket.co.uk/hype/love-your-lilo/.

*ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2018 says that 49% of British people took a package holiday in the past 12 months. According to the latest census information, the UK population is 66.7m, so 49% is 33m. Based on four people per booking, there were 8.25m package holidays taken over the past 12 months.

About Holiday Hypermarket: Holiday Hypermarket is a member of the TUI AG group of companies, selling package holidays from a variety of operators in countries across the world. Holiday Hypermarket is fully ABTA bonded and ATOL protected.

About Wyatt & Jack: Wyatt and Jack is a sustainable British brand that has been making bags and accessories from up cycled vintage deckchair canvas and broken bouncy castles since 2010. Follow then on social media @wyattandjack and #inflatableamnesty.

The great thing about Wyatt & Jack is, aside from what they do, is that all the products are made in Britain, in their workshop in Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, and not in China or some other low-wage country.

© 2019

ARS-UVR-32PRO – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

ARS-UVR-32PRO from Sorbus International

Pro pruning saw with sheath, curved blade 4mm pitch, rubber grip. Blade high-Carbon Steel with hard-chrome plating. Curvature ground teeth (SUPER TURBOCUT®) and impulse hardened. 4mm tooth pitch with 1.5 mm tooth thickness. Blade length 320 mm and overall length 480 mm with a weight of 430 grams.

Having used Silky saws, including the Zubat, before I was really wondering how this one compared to everyone's favorites, namely Silky. Personally I am not, necessarily, balled over by Silky, I hasten to add. I must say the performance that I have had from the ARS-UVR-32PRO so far, in green standing and dead standing wood is far above that of the Silky flagship, the Zubat, probably due to the fact that the blade of the ARS-UVR-32PRO has 4 cut-outs, for lack of a better word, to remove the swath rather than just one, as in the case of the Zubat, at least the one that I have.

The cutting action if very smooth (OK, the saw is new) and there is none of the, what I call, “hooking”, when the saw bites itself somewhat tight. The latter is often due to an accumulation of swath in the cut which the four “cut-outs” in the curved blade eliminate, and four “cut-outs” are definitely better than one.

At just over £72 the ARS-UVR-32PRO is a little more expensive than the Silky Zubat but its performance is by better than that of the latter, so the few quid extra are well worth it, I would say.


© 2019

The pencil; a most reliable writing tool

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The question as to how “green” it is as far as manufacture and such is concerned is one thing but as far as reliability goes it trumps all. But I should think that it is a great deal greener, in manufacture as well as in disposal, as is the ballpoint pen, especially the one that is encased in plastic and which, more often than not, is tossed out after it has run out of ink.

The pencil also writes under low gravity or zero gravity conditions, upside down, etc. and that is while the USA spent millions upon millions developing a pen for their spaceflights (enter the Fisher Space Pen) the USSR took what was about, the (indelible) pencil, just as they did during the war.

The pencil writes well also in sub-zero temperatures without any problems and all it needs is a (pen)knife with which to sharpen it. It is, for that reason, also the ideal choice as a writing instrument in a survival kit. Unlike an ink pen, whether fountain or ballpoint, it will not dry up either during long storage, which is a great advantage if one has a large stock or keeps one in a survival kit where it may not be looked at, so to speak, and used in anger for a very long time.

While the fountain pen and the more common ballpoint pen, whether the disposable or not, write, generally, well enough under normal conditions when it comes to cold weather and others then they let you down. Also, regardless of whether the ballpoint pen is a disposable there is always the aspect of waste, be this as the entire pen or just the refill. The pencil, on the other hand, writer in almost all conditions and the only waste there is are the shaving (biodegradable) and the stub that may no longer be usable. It also rots down in the compost nicely, leaving just the graphite, which is no problem either.

I love the fountain pen but, alas, today's paper (no, not the media) is of such a standard that the ink from any such kind of pen bleeds through and thus is not suitable. That leaves only then the ballpoint pen or the pencil then. The former has some issues, especially when it comes to certain conditions and to the fact that the ink may – and more often than not does – dry up when “in storage” or not used and even when it has been used but has not for some time. This is not a problem with the latter, that is to say the pencil. It works in most, if not even all, conditions, and also on surfaces where the pen might not, upside down, on a wall, in zero gravity; none of that a problem for the pencil.

© 2019

Sprout Lands – Book Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Sprout Lands
by William Bryant Logan
Published by W W Norton, April 2019
Hardcover 165 x 244 mm / 384 pages
ISBN 9780393609417
Price: £19.99

Arborist William Bryant Logan recovers the lost tradition that sustained human life and culture for ten millennia.

Farmers once knew how to make a living fence and fed their flocks on tree-branch hay. Rural people knew how to prune hazel to foster abundance: both of edible nuts and of straight, strong, flexible rods for bridges, walls and baskets. Townspeople cut beeches to make charcoal to fuel ironworks.

Shipwrights shaped oaks to make hulls. In order to prosper communities cut their trees so they would sprout again. Pruning the trees didn't destroy them. Rather, it created healthy, sustainable and diverse woodlands. From these woods came the poetic landscapes of Shakespeare's England and of ancient Japan. The trees lived longer.

William Bryant Logan traveled from the English fens to Spain, California and Japan to rediscover and celebrate what was once a common and practical ecology – finding hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach, and the reader can travel with him on that journey through the book.

I found this book very easy to read and times it felt like reading a novel in that one did not want to put the book down. Even as a professional forester and someone who has worked with coppice a great I learned more than I would have thought possible. It is definitely a vividly insightful exploration of tree regeneration and I enjoyed every minute.

We all, foresters, woodland workers and everyone else really, should, if we not already do, share the vision of the author of a world in which humans and trees work together to mutual benefit; a world that has existed in the past and can exist again in the future.

© 2019

Chemicals from sunscreen products do seep into bloodstream

Sunscreen chemicals seep into bloodstream a new study by the FDA confirms

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Summer is on the way (well, at least according to the seasons) and soon everyone will be lathering on sunscreen and more of it onto their children to protect them from the possible impact of the light of the sun. But beware, the stuff is not as harmless as claimed. Maybe gently adjusting to the sun and its effects would be better than chemicals.

Sunscreen companies have long claimed the chemicals in their products are not absorbed into the body. Turns out the companies were rather economical with the truth and they are.
Today's sunscreens contains more chemicals at higher concentrations than they did 50 years ago and sunscreens are also applied much more frequently.

It is these two facts have prompted the FDA to re-evaluate the safety of sunscreen.

First the agency conducted a study to determine whether the chemicals used as active ingredients in the products are absorbed into the bloodstream, which the industry has denied.

“Because sunscreens are formulated to work on the surface of the skin, some have argued that sunscreens would not be absorbed in appreciable quantities and therefore that studies are unnecessary,” the agency said in a press release. (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices-perspectives-fda-experts/shedding-new-light-sunscreen-absorption)

The study, published May 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the opposite to be true. The chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream at concerning levels.

The 24 participants in the study were instructed to apply sunscreen four times per day for four days on all areas that wouldn't be covered by a swimsuit, an amount one might realistically apply on a beach vacation.

Researchers then measured the concentration of four different active ingredients in their blood: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule.

After just one day, all four chemicals were found in levels that far exceed the level at which the FDA requires safety testing (anything higher than .5 nanograms per milliliter).

For oxybenzone, which has been found along with other sunscreen ingredients in breast milk, blood concentrations reached the threshold after a single application and exceeded 20 nanograms per milliliter on day 7 of the study.

Oxybenzone is also toxic to coral reefs, which has led Hawaii to ban sunscreens that contain it.
Three of the chemicals remained in the bloodstream seven days later.

Now the FDA must conduct further studies on all four ingredients before they can be considered generally safe and effective.

Specifically the agency needs to determine whether the chemicals the risk for cancer, birth defects, or other adverse effects.

“With sunscreens now being used with greater frequency, in larger amounts, it is more important than ever to ensure that sunscreens are safe and effective for daily, life-long use,” the press release says.

“Creation of sunscreen products with SPFs greater than 15 and greater broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays have led to currently marketed products with more active ingredients combined together in higher concentrations than were previously used.”

The FDA recommends continuing to use sunscreen while the chemicals are being studied, claiming the risks of sunburn outweigh the risks of sunscreen, but considering they haven't weighed those risks yet, it may be wise to take their advice with a grain of salt.

While too much exposure to the rays of the sun can cause damage the biggest problem that, when vising the beach, people tend to immediately plonk down in the sun to be frizzled. Proper and gentle acclimatization, over a couple of days is called for and also avoiding actually going for a roasting. How is our body to respond when generally we are all covered up and then, suddenly, we, including the kids, bare (if not all then most of it) and sit or lie out in the hot sun when at other times we rarely expose out skin to the elements and the rays of the sun?

It would appear that we need to apply not sunscreen but proper common sense and not immediately be out in the hot sun and especially not going for a roasting.

© 2019

In the past – not that long ago – people were happy with less

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In the past – not so long ago – people were happy and content with less. Today people are not even happy if they have everything; they still want more. And then? Well, they are still not happy and need more, and then more still. But happiness never comes.

For some reason – the brainwashing of government, industry and their advertising has probably worked – people do seem to believe that by buying and consuming more they can attain happiness. There is even the talk of “retail therapy”, of shopping to drive away the blues and such. Normally the depression comes back again when the credit card bill arrives, though, if not already well before.

We cannot buy our way to happiness; it is a delusion. It is also not good for our wallets, our bank balance, and especially not good for the Planet.

The capitalist economic systems of industry and commerce, however, is designed in this way that it needs people to buy more, more and then still more, of the same products even, in order to keep growing and generating profits for the capitalists and the shareholders of the companies.

Today, if you are thrifty and happy with little you are looked upon as poor, as not being able to afford all those new shiny toys every six months or so – even if you are not – and in the eyes of our governments those of us who do not wish to buy – pardon the pun – into consumerism are even considered “domestic terrorists” because we do not support the growth of the economy and thus the nation's GDP.

Peer pressure, government pressure, advertising and the way industry produces things nowadays with built-in obsolescence push people into this consumer madness but it still does not explain why in their mind they believe that happiness can come from an accumulation material things and monetary wealth.

The story begins in childhood already when parents are not prepared to use the two-letter word “no” when the child wants this and that and that and that. Oh, but little Johnny will be unhappy when we don't get him what he wants. And that happens when he has got this new toy or the new toys even. They are used for five minutes and then he wants some more new toys and the cycle continues. And this is where and how, already in the children, this all happens that we are not happy with little and small things.

From all sides we are being conditioned to believe that we have more money, more shiny toys, a bigger house, a bigger and faster car, etc., we will be happy.

I grew up with little, I have to admit, and maybe that is why I can make do with little and do not base my happiness or lack of it, which ever may be the case, on things or the lack of them, or on money or lack of same.

Having grown up that way taught me also to make things and I get great pleasure from doing just that; making things I want and need – as far as possible – myself and, if at all possible, from things that are considered waste or from natural materials such as wood.

There is a saying that is apt in so many instances and in this one here too which goes something like: “The rich are rich because they live like the poor and the poor are poor because they live like they are rich”.

While it is, generally, understandable that those who grew up dirt poor want to “better” themselves they have to understand though – only no one is prepared to tell them that because it does not sell products and services – that they cannot buy themselves happiness and neither love.

Not only do I, personally, find it very strange that today people can no longer appreciate the little things and be happy with what they have but I find it also rather disconcerting and believe it shows the failure of our society today. Neoliberalism has brought us this strange attitude of what is called “entitlement culture” where everyone seems to believe that he or she is entitled to get everything that they want when they want it.

Our culture has bred consumers and addicts. We eat too much, we buy too much, and we want too much. We set ourselves on the fruitless mission of filling the gaping hole within us with material things. Blindly, we consumer more and more, believing we are hungry for more food, status, or money, yet really we are hungry for connection.

Anyone who does not and cannot appreciate the little things also will never be able to appreciate the big and expensive things and the same goes for being happy with less or more. They will not and anyway things won't make one happy, at least not in the long run.

When it comes to “entitlement” all people should be entitled to work that pays a decent salary, a home that is fit for human habitation and of a good size, leisure time, clothing, food and electricity and heating for the home, and the first two and the last two, should be where the state should provide, if need, but sadly does not in most places.

So, but now I shall go and rest my case; it is getting heavy.

© 2019

Off the boil: Mayor’s cashback scheme fails

The Mayor has pulled the plug on a £10 million boiler cashback scheme as only two projects ever got off the ground – Caroline Russell AM discovered the money has been ‘diverted’ to business projects instead.

The commercial boiler cashback scheme, which was designed to help small businesses replace old, inefficient boilers, has been left with £500,000, and 30 more projects still stuck in the application process.

Yesterday Caroline questioned the Mayor’s LEAP team (London Economic Action Partnership) about the £9 million underspend.

Caroline Russell said: “We are in a climate emergency – and the Mayor knows this. He keeps blaming central Government for a lack of action on climate change but in areas where he can make a real difference he is failing.

“This scheme was supposed to help small businesses replace polluting and inefficient boilers, but it has barely made a dent in the carbon emissions it was supposed to reduce.

“This seriously undermines the Mayor’s credibility on tackling climate change. It’s totally unacceptable that only two projects are in delivery, when there are over a million small and medium sized enterprises in London.”
 
[1] The Mayor’s set up a £10 million Cleaner Heat Cashback commercial boiler scheme for small and medium sized enterprises to “rapidly boost” to rapidly replace inefficient heating systems with cleaner replacements to cut NOx and carbon emissions. The delivery period April 2018 – March 2020. https://www.london.gov.uk/moderngovmb/documents/s63520/11 LEAP Quarterly Reporting.pdf

[2] According to the LEAP Quarterly report for January 2019 – April 2019 https://www.london.gov.uk/moderngovmb/documents/s63520/11

LEAP Quarterly Reporting.pdf there are only two projects in delivery and 30 are ‘stuck in the application process as unable to meet all requirements’

[3] London Assembly Economy Committee report, Helping SMEs to thrive: “SMEs make up over 99 per cent of all businesses in London. Their number have increased by almost one third in the last six years (+29per cent), and now account for over one million (1,010,100) businesses.” https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/helping_smes_to_thrivefinal.pdf

Caroline Russell was elected as a Green member of the London Assembly in May 2016. She has been an Islington councillor since 2014.

Dumping garden waste in woods

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Many people believe that dumping their garden waste in woods, parks and the countryside is a good idea as it goes back into soil but far from it. This practice actually spreads diseases as well as invasive species. In Germany, for instance, it is a felony that can get the offender, if caught, into very hot water.

While garden waste, grass clippings, tree prunings, old plants and whatever else organic does, in the end, rot down and become compost, soil pests, diseases and the rhizomes of invasive species more often than not have escaped well before that process has taken place. Some also remain active after, as I see time and again in the case of compost in the garden that had some potato peelings in it and even after three years the potato “seed” is still viable.

Disposing illegally of garden waste in woods, parks, and open spaces, is a crime and falls, in the same way as any other waste, under fly tipping, and that rightly so, and that despite the fact that the material will rot down.

Aside from it looking bad and untidy, and that for quite a time, the material can and will spread invasive species and also soil and plant diseases far and wide. This is very detrimental to the environment as a whole and dumping garden waste therefore is not an innocent thing to do, aside from being illegal fly tipping, in the same way as dumping any other waste.

© 2019

Burgon & Ball Container Root and Transplanting Knife – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Burgon & Ball Container Root and Transplanting Knife - RHS-Endorsed
RHS Container Gardening

£16.99

Like all the tools in our container gardening collection, this container root and transplanting knife is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, perhaps the ultimate accolade in the world of gardening.

This specialist container root and transplanting knife is invaluable for planting, weeding and maintaining beautiful container displays. Slide it around the inside of a pot to release a plant before transplanting. Slice through tangled roots with the serrated blade. Dig tight holes for adding new plants, either by scooping or by plunging in the blade and pulling it towards you. You’ll find your own ways of using this indispensable tool, but one thing is certain; you’ll wonder how you managed without it.

Crafted in high-carbon steel for strength and durability, this root and transplanting knife has a tough powder coating for rust resistance, and the blade features depth markings for accurate planting. Like all the tools in the container gardening collection, the knife comes with a ten-year guarantee.

You may also be interested in our RHS-endorsed container weeder and RHS-endorsed container scoop.

Handle: 100% FSC certified hardwood
Tool head: high-carbon steel with powder coating
Hanging cord: leather

This tool is akin to, and, and I hazard a guess now, based on the Japanese Hori-Hori though the cutting edge is not as sharp as it would be on a Hori-Hori of Japaneses manufacture. Then again such an edge, if the blade repeatedly goes into the soil, won't stay sharp for long.

In this tool you, basically, have a multi-tasking tool for the garden which includes a trowel, suitable for tight spaces, as well as cutting edges that allow you to do other things, such as, as mentioned above, cutting through tangled roots, or to open bags, and much more.

A very useful little tool at about half or less of that of a Japanese Hori-Hori with almost the same capabilities. A belt sheath for it to make it possible to carry it around the garden with leaving the hands free would have been nice but there are other ways to achieve that, such as by a little DIY and recycling (see my article here). Different story though.

© 2019