Joshua Myrvaagnes

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since Mar 20, 2014
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kids purity trees urban writing
Connected or reconnected. Fit with the right cycles and in the right season. Nourished and nurtured with natural energy. Aware of place and part.
Student of nature's intelligence and permaculture, want to live in community, teach human movement with my hands, in light of F. M. Alexander's discoveries.
Ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
Massachusetts, 5a, flat 4 acres; 40" year-round fairly even
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Recent posts by Joshua Myrvaagnes

I'll take some strawberry plants!!! Definitely got a place for them wild ones already abundant and would love to have some "ringers" in the orchestra to up my chances of sizaeble fruit.
3 days ago
I know he's a working dog, but I want him to have good quality of life too.  He needs to know the dogs on the block and know they are friends, not foe.  (These other dogs are show dogs, actually, so if my dog did attack them it would be especially unfortunate, and only justified if they somehow went after our ducks, which most likely wouldn't happen as they are kept indoors or inside a fence.). I wish I could have a pack of a few LGD's together for him, especially an elder dog to train him, but it's going to be a while before we can afford that, plus get the hang of care and getting feeding costs lowered.  

I think in an ideal world, we'd pool together as a neighborhood to get a pair of LGD's at least, and pitch in for costs as a community, and the dogs could patrol as large a perimeter as they're wired to do, and everyone could reap the benefits.

Walter's website really has answered my questions, except for food on the regular (it sounds like they are mostly feeding themselves coyote and other catch).  I'd like to train/invite him to hunt chipmunks.  There are a lot of those.  I might also feed him the cat if she won't shut up.
3 days ago
Just a gut feeling.  I know dogs like car rides, but it just feels off to e to have the dog off farm for obedience training.  I'm gonna try it the way Walter writes about and others, see how we do.  They say the gampr is really smart, so I want to give him a chance with home schooling first.
(There are some other dogs on our block that he might be able to play with sometimes if he wants dog socializing along with the other animals.

24 hours to dog!

Anne Miller wrote:

Joshua said, "plus separating the dog from our land feels unnatural and off to me.


How would you and your dog being away from home for an hour be "separating the dog from our land"?

Dogs sometimes do have to leave the land to go to the vet, etc.

Maybe your idea of Obedience training and the one we did are two separate things.

4 days ago

Anne Miller wrote:I am not sure if this was related to permaculture though to me it would.

Send the puppy to school for Obedience Training unless you feel qualified to do that.

You will still need to potty train your puppy and teach the puppy manners.

Obedience training is taking it a step further by teaching you how to handle your dog while teaching the dog basic commands, how to behave, and how to get skills to be around other people and animals.

There may be special training, especially for LGD though I am not aware of these.  

May be our LGD owner will know.

Thanks Anne.  I'm trying to cut costs and I don't think I trust a school to do what I need, plus separating the dog from our land feels unnatural and off to me.  I am willing if it needs to be, but I would like to avoid it.  
6 days ago
Found a great answer--on Walter Jeffries' site, sugar mountain farm:

He also goes into myths about LGDs, breeds, etc.  I think we might pick up a stray dog and add it to our crew for free, after reading this I think we might have been able to save a ton of money.

The trick about running a cable over the land and a long leash off that is brilliant!  And walking the perimeter with the dog daily is what I instinctively was thinking to do anyway.  Thanks walter!
6 days ago
There's a lot of information out there, but I don't know how much is true.  And I find a lot of times it is based on thinking and perspectives that aren't aligned with mine, and end up costing a lot of money and then lead to problmes that cost more money.

That's why I love Fukuoka's philosophy so much--"don't do it"--and Sepp Holzer's.  

But neither of them discusses LGD's (livestock guardian dogs), and as far as I know Holzer just doesn't need any raccoon-defenders, doesn't have coyotes, etc.  Wolves not a problem? I don't know.  He was interested in them when he met a Great Pyr but had been fine without them.  Is it just the Sepp Holzer magic? is it that moving the chicken's shelter frequently enough throws predators off the scent? what about hawks, weasels, etc.?  I read that leaving big weeds for chickens to hide under works--but ducks, well. . .they like to be Fukuoka-like and not just do something, sit there.  I'm gonna have ducks and 2 geese.  I am skeptical of the geese's ability to defend against hawks.

And we have a LGD puppy coming on Wednesday (more her idea than mine, but I do really want to go the LGD route over all in the long term, and you gotta start before you need them, while they grow up).

There's meat, and then there's the whole fencing thing.  They say get an electric fence and let them get one shock from it so they learn (seems cruel--I can see doing that to a raccoon but to someone you want to be your best friend for life??). And then the other source says never use any negative training (shock, punishment).  

It's a gampr, supposed to be even more intelligent than Great Pyr or karakachan.  Large enough to take on some wolves.  (Again, this wasn't specifically my idea, but it's the situation now).

I also feel totally unready to be a dog father or a duck dad.  ("Make him an offer he can't refuse.").  

What is a permaculture approach to this?

Are there junkpoles for junkpole fencing in the east somewhere that I dont' know about? I've never seen them, and I don't know what term to serach for them by.

For now I do have some pig fencing, and a leash, so the puppy isn't in immediate danger of hightailing it to the big city and going down a spiral of booze and cocaine. What reading do you suggest or what outside-the-old-box appraoches do you find work for you?

What is a permaculture approach to this?  Thanks much.
6 days ago
Thanks for posting, and you will always have your 60 badge bits no matter where you are!

You help me feel grateful for what I have here.  It's been more struggle than I'd been looking for, but way easier than your situation.

6 days ago
sending lots of support from up north.
6 days ago
sorry i haven't read the whole thread, but I still want things to move forward with code more, and so I'm more interested in the book than this movie.  I may back it anyway because I love the work you do, but my self-interest is more in getting better designs legalized so my neighbors can be interested in doing this.  I wish I could say right now that it's a no-brainer to put in a legal, code-approved rmh, but at the moment I find the one I have just a bit underwhelming, and I think it's mainly because the code limits things.  No criticism of the Liberator folks, it just seems like I need to be allowed a stratification chamber to really keep heat in the mass, or I need more than 12' of pipe length and to be able to ignore the 18" clearance to combustables through the [obviously heat-retardant] mass.  

If this video can help change the code people's minds, educating them about what a rocket mass heater really is and how safe it is, that's what I want to support.

That's also my suggestion for the script--change "the main problem is knowledge" to something that implies that "knowledge" also includes that the Code doesn't "know" how safe and health-of-all-of-us-conducive this is (that's the point of the code overall, isn't it? to keep us safe? not to save us from our houses collapsing only to have our ecosystems collapse instead).  

Maybe this nuance can be communicated with an image on that shows a code inspector pointing and cross-faced and an image of a code person whose face says "This is the first wood stove that isn't a flaming death trap!" And a thought bubble of how they're gonna go home and build one themselves.  Eureka.

I know you always run successful kickstarters, so my input may not be on track.  Still, I agree that the demand right now is to get off gas and oil ($6/gallon in my state!), even if it's not the absolute cutting-edge thing.  "Codes, insurance, and venting the exhaust up the chimney."    My two cents.
2 weeks ago
Thanks Matt.  

I'll look up that model.  Having to put the wheels on and off sounds arduous, but it's only once a week so I can just have a little patience.

Is the A-frame a problem for getting inside it to futz around?  I have in my mind the picture in the Sepp Holzer book that looks more like a people-house than a tractor.  

Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi Joshua,
I have no experience with ducks, but a decent amount of experience with moveable chicken coops, and I watch a lot of youtube :)

I think a moveable duck house is great. The kind of fencing surrounding this duck house will be a huge piece of the puzzle. If you have a good fence (particularly electric) surrounding it, then that is your first line of defense, and the house will not need to withstand as much direct attack from predators... presumably the fence will keep most out.

To my knowledge, ducks prefer the ground rather than perching, and are much less likely to use nesting boxes than chickens, preferring to lay their eggs all over.

In my limited experience, I think if you built an A frame style duck "tractor" that sits on the ground and has two removable wheels on one end, you would probably be in pretty good shape. With the A frame, you have one less side on top, and if you leave the bottom open, one less side there as well. Take out the nesting boxes, and I think the weight and cost should come down considerably. I have seen some people use plywood and metal roofing, but some just use chicken wire and tarp. Not as pretty, but works fairly well. It wouldn't hold off a bear, but you could probably build this style strong enough to withstand a coyote... with the hope and assumption that they won't get in because of your great electric fencing of course. The removable wheels give you the option for multiple duck "tractors" and only have to buy one pair of wheels.

I have seen this setup for geese on the GoldShaw Farm youtube channel. Just some things to think about. Good luck, and when you build something, come back and share some pics :)

1 month ago