Devin Lavign

pollinator
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since May 01, 2015
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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

I don't think there is a hard age limit.

For some kids 5-6 they are well mature and able to process high concepts. For example I knew a 6 yr old girl who loved to consider deeper thoughts like that to aliens we here on earth would be alien.

Of course I have also met 40 yr olds who still have not figured out sharing and not to hit others when they get upset.

So is 6 yrs old too young? Not at all, but it is not also a fixed line. It is highly dependent upon the youngster, and their abilities as well as the adult supervision they are able to have.

I would say 6 yrs old these days is likely the exception, but lets not forget that not long ago youth were hunting butchering and generally exposed to life and death. It is a relatively new thing for youth to be so sheltered and unknowable of these things.

I am not advocating 6 yr olds going out to shoot and kill game. Just pointing out that Some may be able to handle it, while others may not.
1 day ago
Sorry I don't have internet at my property so couldn't check in this

To answer a few of the things that have come up.

Google Earth pro is a free program, so you don't have to pay for it. There is an option to pay to get "more out of it" but you don't need to.

Also you can set the contour range, I set mine for 2 ft. but am thinking of trying another few maps with different ranges. Once I dial in the right contour I will post a pic of it.

I had to try it twice. The 1st one didn't work and I didn't see any contour map in Google Earth, but the 2nd attempt worked fine. I just want to give it a bit of tweaking to see what the best range is.

If you have a really flat piece of land, you might try seeing if you can go under a 1 ft. I don't know if it will let you do .5 ft but it is worth trying, it is not like it costs you anything.
1 day ago
Hey folks, I have been catching up on videos I had missed and found this one from VergePemaculture



It links to a website that offers a free contour map creator http://contourmapgenerator.com

I haven't used this for myself yet, but thought it was worth mentioning here for others to discover. I did a search to see if it had been brought up yet and didn't find it mentioned. So here you go folks.

I am hoping to give it a try soon and will report my experiences. If anyone else has used it please let us know how you liked it.
5 days ago

Michael Cox wrote:Can't speak for the product but their website has numerous red flags.

***@gmail.com doesn't speak highly of them, as they are using a free web service.
The photos i could see seem to be all cgi - where is the proof in the real world? They have cgi of this being used as a buried dome, but nothing showing it done in practice.



Something else, several of the real world photos used in the slide show are obviously of some other construction.

That said, it is possible these folks are legit just starting out and don't have a lot of real pics yet. But $20K for a 23' dome is not really that cheap. It isn't outrageous, but it is not cheap either. Personally I will stick to building my own underground house from mostly materials from my property using Wofati and other underground concepts.
2 weeks ago

Fredy Perlman wrote:If there's a how-to in any of the included materials, I missed it, but this dusty thread has been thinkmaking.

Sepp likes black locust for the walls and roof of his structure, eh? Would cedar or Douglas Fir work for PNorthwetterners?

If Sepp pounded those honkin posts into the ground as Paul says, what machine did he use? Sounds brutal in high-clay soils. How about, instead, if they were planted in a trench, framed or supported to be flush then cemented, then after setting the roof were laid on top log by log? My biggest concern for fail points would be where the cemented post feet are in the ground...rotting at the ankle from moisture. But in an adequately drained spot, assisted with a french drain, perf pipe and/or gravel, I can't see a shortcoming. Almost enough for me to go on!



Black Locust is a choice due to low rot, and so you would want similar for PNW. That would be Cedar, the PNW's best anti rot wood.

As for how to do the footings, really what ever works best for your site, tools available, and skill set I would imagine. Remember for a true working root cellar you want some humidity as well as the cool of the earth. This is why you don't cement the floor of a proper root cellar. Cement footings for the wall logs would be fine with a dirt floor however.
4 weeks ago
You are very correct that a lot of folks still water their trees in the PNW.

Rather than asking what trees don't need it, you might want to ask why people are still watering.

There are two main reasons for it,

1) people just get too frightened to ween their trees off irrigation and watering. They get stuck pampering and so the tree never develops the independence it needs to survive. This especially goes for the early years when the tree should be forced to spread it's roots and build the network it needs.

2) most people fear loosing productivity. Watering fruit and nut trees means bigger production typically. People fear loosing out on that big harvest and so water to ensure they get it. Rather than thinking about the health of the tree and letting it experience hardships, folks tend to think about the short term big harvest.

It is a lot less about what trees can survive the PNW without watering (because a lot can as some of the lists above show) and more about are you willing to let some trees fail or produce low so you do not have to water?
1 month ago
I think you are generally right but I also have noticed most folks who are starting out prepping indeed start from a base of fear. I posted this in another thread about relabeling the term prepper

Devin Lavign wrote:People start out in prepping usually out of fear. They have no idea how to prep or even exactly what to prep for, but learn the world is unpredictable both from man made events and natural disasters.

This starts phase 1.

Phase 1 is gear acquisition.  At this point it is just throw money at the problem. Buy a ton of stuff you don't know anything about in hopes it is useful. Often this is a lot of prepackaged kits built and put together by someone else who says this is what you need to survive.

Some people get stuck in this, and it is easy to do. There is always a cool new toy to buy. There is a whole economy built upon it. But some folks start to break out of this as they learn that they have no idea how to use the items they have.

This starts phase 2.

Phase 2 is knowledge/skills acquisition. Now with all the gear the would be prepper is learning skills and knowledge are important. Studying things like bushcraft and primitive skills. Learning more in depth knowledge about potential dangers. In this phase many start getting more community oriented, as it tends to be hard to know everything you need. So division of skills and knowledge start to make sense. However Phase 2 can loop back to phase 1, as you learn more you realize a lot of your gear is sub par. So go through a new gear buying phase, but for higher quality good gear. Many get stuck in this as it can now be a pride thing and feed the ego knowing you have a $500 knife that is the ultimate survival knife. ETC... However the knowledge and skill phase can also lead to homesteading.

This starts phase 3.

Phase 3 is homesteading. Homesteaders are built in preppers. You have to be. Homesteading is a difficult and unpredictable place to be. You can get cut off in the winter, have crops fail, machinery go down, etc... The Homesteader has to plan for these small scale disasters. To be prepared. Also urban and suburban prepping is really an exercise in spending a lot of money to keep an unsustainable life. This is why a lot of people in prepping move toward homesteading. Realizing it is better to pre bug out. To set up the homestead and get it running. Rather than wait for disaster then try and make a go at gardening and livestock. To move to a more stable safe place with neighbors who will help rather than compete with you. Again like phase 2, phase 3 does have the loop back to phase 1. There is a lot of cool gear to get for homesteading. Some really expensive gear too. But there is also a way up to the next phase, permaculture.

This starts phase 4

Phase 4 is permaculture. For those who get to homesteading they find it a lot of hard work. But they are also often smart educated people. They often find permaculture in the process of learning homesteading, and find that it helps cut the work load and make homesteading easier. Not easy mind you, but easier than non permie homesteading. As well as a permaculture farm can be more stealthy than a standard one. Doomsday Preppers even had a guy who explained his permaculture food forest was not recognizable as a food source from distance and even up close it was hard to tell unless you really know plants. This makes permaculture very attractive to preppers. Lower labor and more camouflaged the permaculture homestead is the ideal prepping technique.

I have yet to see a phase 5, but I would not be surprised if there was one. Maybe trying to relabel prepping is phase 5.



The reason I say most prepping seems to start with a base of fear is that it is often the spark that starts prepping for noobies. The suddenly get info that drives a cold spike of fear into them. A realization that they are not prepared for a disaster that just hit a friend or family member. Fear of not being prepared is what typically sparks the average prepper into prepping. This is not to say they stay in that fear base. Though indeed plenty do stay there, as well as many get stuck in massive hypothetical disasters. Prepping for WW3 or asteroid strikes, or super volcanoes to me is just an exercise in futility. These sorts of things are just too big to prepare for unless your a billionare and can afford a massive bunker.

There are also the zombie preppers. It seems ridiculous but as someone who is a member of Zombie Squad forum I can point out that forums idea of prepping for zombies. For them it is a metaphor for all disasters. A way of making prepping sort of fun, by using the humorous idea of zombies. The idea being if you are prepared for the fictional zombie PAW then you should likely be prepared for most anything. The zombies in this sort of prepping represent the masses of unprepared people, who would be like zombies after a disaster.

As I said I feel most preppers start from a state of fear and I laid out my phases I have observed preppers go through. I see most folks pulling out of the fear base by the time they hit phase 2, if not sooner. As soon as they go down the path of knowledge and skills they tend to leave fear behind and go into a much more positive place.

And really isn't that why you prep? To no longer have a reason to fear? Once you get to a point of reasonable security and preparedness any fear you might have had should melt away. You should feel good and safe knowing you are ready for the bumps that life has to offer.
1 month ago
I hadn't comment on this earlier as I was driving a truck of my brother's stuff from WA to AZ unloading it then flying back to WA. So I was a little busy.

I am involved in prepping, but am I a prepper? I don't know. For ease of conversation I cop to that label often but it doesn't define who I am. I am also a permie and bushcrafter, but all 3 labels don't define me. I am a lot more than the sum of the labels one might give me.

Which brings me to this idea of a new label. That is in essence what prepper was. It was folks tired of the survivalist label who wanted a label with less baggage. Now prepper has a new set of baggage, mostly due to the horrible "reality" TV show. But how long before this new label Adapter becomes corrupted by elements that don't represent the intention but take over due to being the loudest voices?

You can see this happen with all sorts of labels through out history. Libertarian used to be synonymous with Anarchist. It was actually coined by anarchists who didn't like the label anarchist anymore. But I dare you to try to tell a Libertarian their label was started by anarchists and means anarchist, they flip out.

My point, while well intentioned the idea of coming up with a new label will likely fizzle out or if it does catch on turn on you and take a life of it's own.

Something else worth pointing out is what I have noticed about prepper progression

People start out in prepping usually out of fear. They have no idea how to prep or even exactly what to prep for, but learn the world is unpredictable both from man made events and natural disasters.

This starts phase 1.

Phase 1 is gear acquisition.  At this point it is just throw money at the problem. Buy a ton of stuff you don't know anything about in hopes it is useful. Often this is a lot of prepackaged kits built and put together by someone else who says this is what you need to survive.

Some people get stuck in this, and it is easy to do. There is always a cool new toy to buy. There is a whole economy built upon it. But some folks start to break out of this as they learn that they have no idea how to use the items they have.

This starts phase 2.

Phase 2 is knowledge/skills acquisition. Now with all the gear the would be prepper is learning skills and knowledge are important. Studying things like bushcraft and primitive skills. Learning more in depth knowledge about potential dangers. In this phase many start getting more community oriented, as it tends to be hard to know everything you need. So division of skills and knowledge start to make sense. However Phase 2 can loop back to phase 1, as you learn more you realize a lot of your gear is sub par. So go through a new gear buying phase, but for higher quality good gear. Many get stuck in this as it can now be a pride thing and feed the ego knowing you have a $500 knife that is the ultimate survival knife. ETC... However the knowledge and skill phase can also lead to homesteading.

This starts phase 3.

Phase 3 is homesteading. Homesteaders are built in preppers. You have to be. Homesteading is a difficult and unpredictable place to be. You can get cut off in the winter, have crops fail, machinery go down, etc... The Homesteader has to plan for these small scale disasters. To be prepared. Also urban and suburban prepping is really an exercise in spending a lot of money to keep an unsustainable life. This is why a lot of people in prepping move toward homesteading. Realizing it is better to pre bug out. To set up the homestead and get it running. Rather than wait for disaster then try and make a go at gardening and livestock. To move to a more stable safe place with neighbors who will help rather than compete with you. Again like phase 2, phase 3 does have the loop back to phase 1. There is a lot of cool gear to get for homesteading. Some really expensive gear too. But there is also a way up to the next phase, permaculture.

This starts phase 4

Phase 4 is permaculture. For those who get to homesteading they find it a lot of hard work. But they are also often smart educated people. They often find permaculture in the process of learning homesteading, and find that it helps cut the work load and make homesteading easier. Not easy mind you, but easier than non permie homesteading. As well as a permaculture farm can be more stealthy than a standard one. Doomsday Preppers even had a guy who explained his permaculture food forest was not recognizable as a food source from distance and even up close it was hard to tell unless you really know plants. This makes permaculture very attractive to preppers. Lower labor and more camouflaged the permaculture homestead is the ideal prepping technique.

I have yet to see a phase 5, but I would not be surprised if there was one. Maybe trying to relabel prepping is phase 5.

For me, I moved out to 40 acres and am building a homestead with permaculture principals. Less and less do I identify as a prepper, and more as a homesteader and permaculturist. But am  still a prepper? Yes, I guess I am since as I said homesteaders are built in preppers and really permaculture is constantly talking about preparing for long term issues. Thinking of 100 yr floods and getting the land ready for them rather than waiting to be surprised by it. Observing nature and working with it rather than doing what seem right short term and then having to deal with the consequences. Permaculture's prepping is more proactive, not bandaids but true heading off problems and making sure they don't become a problem.

So maybe rather than your new label, maybe think about just including yourself back into old labels. Homesteading and permaculture are fine labels that still include being prepared and adaptable.
1 month ago
When the announcement for a female Doctor Who came out, I was hesitant.

Having watched the first episode for the new female Doctor, I have to say I am hopeful.



This new Doctor still has a lot of room to grow but there was a lot of good development in the first episode to help show what this new Doctor's personality will be like.
2 months ago
For me it was more just realizing there was a name for what I already was.

As a kid I was taught by my grandfather to look at native knowledge and nature to grow gardens. In my teens I absorbed a lot of knowledge from nature hiking around and observing. In my 20's I worked for a landscaping company that designed landscaping mimicking natural systems.

Finally living in a community in AZ I worked in the landscaping dept and was told of permaculture and introduced to the book. I found most of what I was already doing fit under this umbrella term.

So for me it is more discovering there was a name for what I was doing instinctively and taught as a youth.
2 months ago