Devin Lavign

pollinator
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since May 01, 2015
Devin likes ...
chicken forest garden homestead solar trees wofati
uggg...I hate trying to describe myself.
I just recently closed on 40 acres of raw land with an existing pond in the WA Okanogan Highlands. So really looking forward to getting dirty and getting started. Though I am probably going to hold off on planting anything this year and just work on infrastructure and preparing the property for planting next year. I am looking forward to finally put into practice the ideas I have without having to compromise due to it being someone else's land.
Some history and background about me.
I have traveled and lived most of the continental US. So have a decent grasp of the different areas of the US. As a kid I preferred going into the woods to play over going to a park or friend's house. Still I will almost always pick nature if given the choice.
I worked trail maintenance in the Cascades and that was likely my most favorite job ever. I lived, worked, and played in the forests of the Pac NWet. I learned a massive respect for pack goats during this. As they hauled the majority of our gear up the trail every day. Amazing smart animals and I can't wait to get my own goats to enjoy.
I lived and worked at Arcosanti for 4 yrs in AZ. A fun place to meet lots of wonderful people and pick up skills. I have spotted at least one other Arco alum here who I know. Who lived there previous to my time, but who I did meet and hang out with several times both at Arco and to go see him in Prescott.
Pac Northwest
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Recent posts by Devin Lavign

Mr Chickadee just posted a video on scribing post to rounded stone



Some pretty impressive fitting to the stone. Plus he not only chars the post but then treats the post with pine tar/turpentine/veg oil to seal them.
This makes me wonder if there is a connection between soil microbes and "Grounding"



The theory of Grounding is we are electrical and need to ground ourselves with the earth for better health, but since the invention of rubber we have been insulating ourselves more and more and not getting grounded like we should.

But I wonder if some of the health benefits claimed by Grounding could also be exposure to microbes?

Even if it is not the same thing Bryant is discussing, Grounding also advocates spending time with bare skin in contact with soil. I have long felt this to be something missing in modern life. Contact with soil is important, I feel. Not just for physical health, but I feel it really improves my mental health. I am happier when I have contact with the soil, and so much less happy when I do not.

I really enjoyed reading what you presented here Bryant, thanks for sharing it with us.
3 days ago

Miles Flansburg wrote:Hoo-wee 10 ft of snow! Better be prepared for that huh?

Hope you can get up there enough to see how fast the water goes out of the ponds. The pigs might help seal it up?



Yeah on my property only got about 6 ft of snow. But it was a heavy snow year, not in amount but that it was a snow then melt then snow then melt kind of year. So the snow got heavy and icy. A lot of folks in the area had roof collapses and other damage from the snow. I had a metal shed collapse from the snow this year.
4 days ago

Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:

Devin Lavign wrote:I would highly suggest you look into combo off grid power. Solar and wind. If you have running water on your property add in micro hydro.

Solar is great but has draw backs. Adding wind and/or micro hydro helps fill those draw backs. Wind usually picks up on the cloudy days when there is no sun. Micro hydro never gives a lot of power but is a consistent constant power source, which you know can power X amount of appliances.

2nd is a big thing I see with people wanting to go off grid is not reducing power consumption first.



Hi Devin, I'm a little worried about wind. This article really made me consider that it might not be a good fit, despite that in the end it does actually advocate a hybrid system.

https://www.solacity.com/small-wind-turbine-truth/

I don't really want a massive tower in my yard. What kind of wind system do you recommend for off-gridders doing a wind/solar hybrid?

Micro hydro is great but we don't have micro hydro.

Reducing power consumption first - bingo. Hence car dilemma.



Well I can tell you that article was not a very fair objective one. Not sure why they are so down on wind power, but looking at the wind generators they sell I see they don't have good high quality wind generators for home power use. You see the 3 blade wind generators are mostly used for marine use. People on boats or the coast where they get strong winds. For inland home power use you would want a 5-9 blade wind generator.

I would highly suggest you check out the wind generators at http://mwands.com/store/wind-turbine-products and watch their wind generators for beginners video



These guys are great and really know what they are talking about. As well as completely willing to be honest and not over hype things. They cut through the BS and myths as well as the hype and outright lies.

As for wind generator towers, yes they can be a bit of an eye sore and issue but most residential wind generators don't need a huge tower. Yes higher up you put a wind generator more likely you will get good power. But then you also can't go too high or you will get loss running the power down the line. For smaller wind turbines (depending on the wind in your area) you don't need to go up too high. Maybe 30-60 ft or you might be able to do a roof mount. A lot depends on your location. How high are the trees around you, what sort of wind blocks are around, etc...

I would suggest you call or email Missouri Wind and Solar and discuss your needs with them. Even if you don't buy from them they are helpful and knowledgeable folks who will give you the right info about what is possible and needed.
4 days ago
Hey Brian, how are the mosquitoes? I use a product called "Mosquito Beater" it is a bunch of plant oils like lemon grass, eucalyptus, etc in vermiculite and corn cob. You sprinkle it around the area and it lasts for about 3-4 weeks. It doesn't complete get rid of them, but it does reduce their numbers by about 3/4%. You can get it at Midway, Lee Franks, or North 40.

It is a good way to reduce the need for wearing bug spray.
4 days ago
Hey Brian, I picked up a DR field and brush mower last summer and like you it has been the best purchase I have made. I have been using it to clear out the heavy woody brush around my property. Maintaining the road and trails so they don't get over grown. As well as making new trails with it.

Glad to hear you have recovered from your accident.
4 days ago
As others have mentioned some context of where you live could help.

For example I live in Eastern WA (essentially a high desert sort of region), so clearing the property line while a huge pain has the added benefit of creating a fire break in case of wild fire. So I am planning to clear a buffer zone around my property perimeter even though that means a lot of hard work up steep hills, through thick brush, and lots of heavily wooded area.

If however wildfire is not an issue for your area, you might not need to do so much clearing back for a buffer. Though clearing some buffer for a fence line can still be wise so you don't have fallen trees and branches putting holes in your fencing.

Something to consider though is anchoring wire to a tree and the tree growing around the wire is not very healthy for the tree. So while maybe not your current concern, the old fencing absorbed by the trees is likely stressing those trees out and will eventually help cause them to sicken or get attacked by pests.

I would highly advise you not anchor a new fence to existing tress, but instead find a way to clear a path and put in proper posts.
1 week ago
I see folks wanting to go off grid make this same mistakes all the time.

1st is only thinking of solar power.

I would highly suggest you look into combo off grid power. Solar and wind. If you have running water on your property add in micro hydro.

Solar is great but has draw backs. Adding wind and/or micro hydro helps fill those draw backs. Wind usually picks up on the cloudy days when there is no sun. Micro hydro never gives a lot of power but is a consistent constant power source, which you know can power X amount of appliances.

2nd is a big thing I see with people wanting to go off grid is not reducing power consumption first.

You can reduce the size of your off grid power needs by trimming the fat of your power consumption. For example getting DC powered top opening Fridge/freezer. No longer dumping all the cold energy every time you open it will save a bunch in power. You can also locate and eliminate a lot of power use by checking for phantom loads. A lot of modern appliances still draw power even when not in use. Anything with a display or indicator light for example. But there is a lot of things that still draw power even without outward display. You can get a phantom load device to help you track down pesky devices. While not every phantom load is a lot by themselves, added up it can be pretty significant.

I hope you find a way to get to your off grid dream, for me I had no choice. The cost to get power to my mountain top homestead would be crazy too expensive.
1 week ago
I highly suggest paulownia trees. They grow very fast (fastest growing hardwood tree) and have giant leaves. Great for shading. They are also a tree you can cut down and it will regrow.

You can see a full progress slide show of paulownia growth here http://www.dragontrees.com/paulownia-growth-gallery.html
2 weeks ago