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Justyn Mavis

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since Apr 27, 2015
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chicken duck forest garden
๐ŸŽ† SirJustyn ๐ŸŽ† โ™ ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒผ Chicken Chaser ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿƒ Innkeeper ๐Ÿก future dictator of Antarctica๐Ÿ—ป seeker of shiny things ๐ŸŒ  & keeper of the secrets of the internet ๐Ÿ’พ  #OuttheWindowWeather๐ŸŒ€ http://www.mavismanor.com
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Recent posts by Justyn Mavis

Hello Internets.

My name is Justyn, though many people call me the Baron. Baron is a long and silly story about a city/suburb kid moving to the rural mountains of SWV. (for another time) I'm here today to ask the community for some advice.

Background first. I'm Director/Co-Founder and Jack of all trades for The Mavis Institute, a 501(c)3 I started here in rural Appalachia to try to address some of the issues I observe every day.  I've personally lived in the 3 most popular residential zones. Inner City, Suburbian, and Rural. I come from a Tech, and Family and Consumer Sciences profession. I owned many small businesses, and I love talking to people. I've taken a PDC, I'm a Master Gardener, and I've been doing aspect for permaculture for 10 years. (This isn't a job app, and I'm only a small player in this game) So, now to The Mavis Institute

Here is the info on The Mavis Institute

Our Mission is to encourage local food production and ecological awareness through hands-on permaculture and homesteading education.

We are the crossroads between Nature and Technology.

The Mavis Institute Co-Op is a year-round non-profit farm, permaculture lab/ education center; located in a small hamlet of Flat Top on the grounds of Mavis Manor/ Mavis Farmacy in Mercer County WV.
We believe quality education is key in creating a sustainable future. Our permaculture training and the shared resources (which include access to land), will help provide the opportunities to reshape communities.
Our programs give folks access to the skill sets of growing their own food, taking steps towards having self-reliance or perhaps starting their own farm-based businesses. We offer hands-on apprenticeship/ mentorship, workshops, and other outreach programs.

Together, we can be the change we wish to see in the world

We (my partner and I) have been teaching "Sustainable Gardening Classes" at the local library for over 3 years now, We also do some outreach program at the local school, and garden clubs. We work with the local state park on parky type projects.

We do this on a very small budget. (which works because it helps us relate to some of the folks in our classes coming from extreme poverty.) Most people in the community think we are strange and extreme because we don't have 9-5 day jobs nor live on the check. Right now, we are talking about trying to get access to a building in a nearby town, a building downtown in the art district to offer more classes.  

Here is my question. How did you grow your education? How can I reach more people, how can I find a stronger money stream so I can reach more people? What general lessons have you learnt? What should I not do? ( I like to hear fail stories, I learn the best from how NOT to something)  

I could talk longer, but I'll pause here.

All Feeback welcome.  I'm on just about every Social Media (Mavis Farmacy or Mavis Institute)  the website is www.mavisinstitute.xyz

thanks again.  

_-Justyn



1 day ago
Watching the latest video and forced to watch a Round-up Ad... Then another ad below the video...
7 months ago
Good Morning.

You plan is sounds very good. I'm going to offer my advice.

1. A Radio. This for me is one of the greatest things to reduce my predator pressure. I just have it playing 24/7 in or near the chickens and rabbits.
2. Paddock switch system. If you have that few animals and 1.5 acres you should be able to design a few paddocks to move them around too. (maybe every few days.) You could even have a mobile chicken/rabbit house to put in each paddock, or have a sunflower pattern with the coop in the middle.
3.) With the left over bits of the rabbits you could make a maggot feeder. It's pretty much 2 buckets with the bottom bucket with small holes so the maggots fall out with the rabbit meat bits inside.
4.) Winter Months I would add LEDS to your coop, and come up with a master plan for frozen waters. As long as chicken can roost and are not in the wind they can deal with some pretty cold temps. (Mine are in a barn that I've seen as low as -12F)



If I can think of anymore ideas I will share.  
1 year ago

I was just digging near some of my sunchokes yesterday thinking I might try to transplant some, and I was very disappointed at the current size of the tuber. Mine have not flowered yet. I believe they are 'Stampede' variety.

I've been told that cool soil temperatures improve flavor and texture. If your winters are cold, begin digging sunchokes in late fall, at least two weeks after your first hard freeze.

hope this helps.  (I'm in Southern WV Zone 5c (6a really))

Justyn
1 year ago
Good Day.

  I ran a B&B / FarmStay in rural WV for 10 years. Personally, I really don't like AirBnB. It never attracted quality people.

West Virgina, has a poor Rep here on the East Coast of the US. Guest from AirBnB would expect the world for pennies. Thinking that because I was in a poor state, I needed to charge basement bargen prices. Other sites I attracted some wonderful people not expecting craziness.

I had far better luck,with FarmStayUS and BBonline. I also structured my website to address ideas I thought were important.
My FB and Google Map Dot are both very clear on what "Mavis Manor" has to offer. Noone else was really doing what I was doing, so it was easy for me to stand out, and I was 5 mins off an Interstate.

I used PayPal, and Propay to accept cards. Would use Google Calender for reservations. (Google now makes this a lot easier) and for part of the year I used a booking company.

Since, when I started AirBnB wasn't around, I also didn't see to much of a positive return on my money spent with them. It's a good site to attract Millenials, but older folks no so much.  

I would be more then happy to share my experience with you.  

Anyway, Good Luck. Some folks really liked using AirBnB, I was just not one of them.

-Justyn

1 year ago
Name dropping. Next time you pass through, tell them you know some folks that live in Flat Top. It's crazy as small as my town is, there is very few people that don't know where Flat Top in WV.

I still haven't picked up an Appalachian accent, so once I open my mouth, i get funny looks. Well, that and the multicoloured hair and my unique blend of 90s fashion. But, once I tell folks I'm from Flat Top, people seem to change their tune and ask if I know so and so. Folks of the state really don't like folks from away. It took me a few years to understand it. It stems back from the Coal Mining hay day. Rich city slicker would come in and by the Mineral Rights of someone land, and then trash it. Or person X would start a makeshift coal mine, and leave in the middle of the night sticking the worker without paychecks and no jobs. WV is a prime example of how corporation practice scotched earth.  ---  Now, once you gain the trust of the people near by they are some of the best neighbors you'll ever hopeful. I personally rarely lock my doors. My keys are in my cars as we speak. Theft is not a problem anymore. Our little town formed a telephone right to share out of place actions. WV is also Open Carry without permit. So, everyone may have a gun. This went into place a few years ago, and petty crime moved to the bigger cities. Yes, crime still happens but it get handles very quickly.

The major downfall to Southern WV is lack of market. Most of the younger people just want to leave, and the older people are on a fixed income. If you can attract people from out of the state, or court business from out of state its good. For 10 years I ran a B&B here. It was always booming. Lots of folks want to visit the mountains. I also offered a unique experience with local organic cooking, high speed internet ( before the local hotels) and farm life. That is were I stumbled onto the idea of an education center. Parents had to move down here, so ran out of rooms at the inn, LOL.

Let's talk Bamboo for a second.
Does the Black grow quickly? Also, if I want to plant a legacy stand, how many would be a good number of plants?
I know wildcrafting, and trees. Bamboo is very new to me, but I just love the plant. I also love how you must build a relationship with it.

Have a good night

-Justyn
1 year ago
Thanks for info.

I grew up in Akron, Ohio. Here is something after spending 13 years in Southern WV.

At least in my part of WV. ( between Beckley and Princeton WV) I will also include Wytheville, VA because I know people from that area.  Skin Pigment isn't an issue with anyone younger then 65. People will still use some interesting terms, but they are said in ignorance, not in malice.  If do have the pleasure of meeting you and your family one day, I will tell you about when Obama was elected. ( Folks in Southern WV voted for him, and he won by a very large margin) It's a crazy story, but better to be told in person.  Lots of whitish looking people, but in reality more people are mutts here then anyone else in the country. I'm a big genelogy fan.

The thing about these parts is they hate government first. The heart of Appalachia also has the Red Headed Blacks, and the Native Americans with Blue eyes and blond hair.  Appalachia was the forgotten realm with the folks hide out. During the Civil War West Virginia was where you went when you didn't support neither side. There is also a strong population of mixed Native Americans. It's funny some of the old timers have Irish, African, and Native blood lines.  Sometimes I honestly feel the state wants the population to drop in this state. Also, WV based on state law, ALL faith are welcome here. Wicca was founded in WV.  The trick to this state is knowing where to go, and understanind you will ALWAYS be from AWAY unless you are from here, or are related to someone from here. ( So, yes I've bee here 13 years 1 third my life, and I'm still from AWAY)

Anyway, I personally think it's more tolerant then many parts in Southern Ohio ( at least SE Ohio)  

Enough about that.

I will check out those places. Thank you again. And if I can be of any help let me know.

My Zone is a 6Aish I joke and say 5c  ( Here on the mountain I rarely see 90F and I've seen as cold as -22F, which at least one day a year in the last 10 being -10F)

Cheers

-Justyn
1 year ago

Jd Stratton wrote:

Nina Turner wrote:Thank you, Jonathan. We are still looking for the right opportunity. Hopefully by 2019.



Nina, beware of the Bedford County regulations.
Make sure you know about deed restrictions on any land you might be in touch with.

The farmers are leaving and their land is being scooped up and developed.
(More than 3,000 acres around my property in the last 7 years went from farm/cows to 'high end' housing.)
Also, make sure you truly understand what the "good ole boy network" means before you move here.
Do not trust childhood memories, the place has changed. More people here from NY and NJ than natives now...and they are turning it into another suburb.



Thank you for this info. We are looking county by county throughout VA to see where we can find a balance of access and farmland. ( I'm wanting to have a Lab in Virginia for my Non Profit education center. I'm currently in WV and want to also serve VA)

Puluski, Wythe, Grayson, Russel and Tazewell

-Justyn
Hello Ryan, I'm Justyn.  I'm building a small Non Profit Education Lab on my family farm in Southern WV. "Our Mission is to encourage local food production and ecological awareness through hands-on permaculture and homesteading education."  Nice to meet you.

Land ideas for you.
Southern WV or South Western VA might be a good choice for you if you're looking for land and affordable housing. I don't know much about bamboo as a timber crop, but I do love bamboo. Some of the old coal mining towns down here would suit your needs, The land is rough, but bamboo when introducted seems to do great. (Right now I'm looking for some of that black bamboo, know any sources?)

How to find me.
Mavis Manor FB
Mavis Farmacy FB
Our Permaculture Youtube Channel
Twitter (@xdrfirefly)

Cheers

-Justyn

1 year ago
Charlottesville is a cultural bubble. It's also a weather bubble. It's old money. It's a close knit small town. It's fun, but once you leave the bubble, you're in the Appalachia. Which is old world ideas. It's a great place to get away from everything, but the mirror of the West Coast. Lots and lots and lots of poverty hidden in the mountain hollows. Some are great hard working people, some are crazy pill heads that will shot you on site.  I personally love the WV/VA area. If you want to be a feral human, it's a wonderful place to be. The National Quiet Zone is near by. (Less EMF and RF) My personal advice it to visit the area before you move. It WILL be a culture shock. C-ville maybe Floyd, VA , Boone, NC those might be some of the closest cities to a West Coast Culture. I live in a little mountain hamlet, in Southern WV. The heart of coal country.

Good Luck with your adventures.

-Justyn
1 year ago