Devin Lavign

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since May 01, 2015
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hugelkultur forest garden trees chicken wofati earthworks building solar rocket stoves woodworking homestead
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uggg...I hate trying to describe myself. * last updated spring 2019 *
I moved to 40 acres of raw land with an existing pond in the WA Okanogan Highlands 3 yrs ago. I have been busy observing and making trails.
I am planning to start building a house this year. Though I am probably going to hold off on planting anything until I finish building a house and just work on infrastructure.
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. Including managing their 15 1/2 acres of edible and medicinal landscaping. 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.
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Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
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Recent posts by Devin Lavign

Kay Tisdel wrote:Hello there.  I was curious did you find the water dowser person.  We are looking for one.

I had my neighbor dowse for me also the people who drilled my well do dowsing, Fogle Wells
1 month ago
Hi I'm in Eastern WA and am building a house then I plan on starting the garden and getting livestock.
1 month ago
Before I had a stoke and don't talk so good I was very interested in radios for the homestead. I have some MURS radios from Dakota Alert (also my driveway alarm). I was also looking into how a lot of ruggized phones has radios, including the Atom XL which is a smart phone designed for hikers.

Now though with my limits to talking, radios aren't so important for me.
5 months ago
One of the biggest things to keep chicken laying in winter isn't light but nutrition. Feed them well, plenty of protein and calcium and they will lay in the winter.

Here is a good video on things too feed your chickens to get eggs all winter, from Becky's Homestead

6 months ago
One of the best systems for chicken tractors and compost I've seen is Perma Pasture's Chicken Tractor on Steroids

6 months ago
By far my favorite chicken breed is the Bielefelder chicken. They are gentle and docile but very big. Good for both meat and eggs. They produce around 200-300 eggs a year. They are not very broody but do make good mothers once the eggs hatch. They are auto sexing, with females showing no dot on their head.

6 months ago
Thing to remember, even with just chickens, is you have to care for them. Their lives are your responsibility.

So you have to make sure they have the basics at least.
That's food, water, shelter. I would also suggest protection.
Especially pasture birds. They are very vulnerable both by air and land attacks.

If you what to go away for a day either find a farmer sitter or don't get the birds yet. A lot of people will say they can farm sit, make sure they can. Last thing you want is a bunch of dead birds because your farm sitter sucks and said they could do things they can't.
6 months ago
Craftsman brand (like Carharts) clothes are my favorite, sadly due to Sears going away they are hard to find.

Their jackets actually have a warm layer in the hand pockets that keep your hands warm. They also have organization in the pockets, with little inner pockets to keep things organized.

They have two types of vest, one with a liner and one without. Both have amazing pocket organization with inner pockets to keep things separate.

Their pants are great too, with the right amount of pockets to be useful.

If you need to stay warm the Lester River Bushcraft Wool Boreal Shirt Anorak is amazing. Lot of pockets, and super warm. Their vest is awesome too. The only thing is the pockets they are nylon and poly cotton used to construct inside pockets.

Speaking of wool, I really love the used East German wool military pants, though they are hard to find these days.

I know it doesn't meet your requirements of all natural (they are made from tent material) but I really love the Fjallraven pants. They last a really long time, I have a pair that are over 5 yrs old, and the only damage is where I had a chainsaw winding down and it cut the thigh fabric a little though the pocket but not the leg. They also have coats and other stuff but I have no experience with them.
6 months ago
Well your post doesn't ask the question the title does.

But I'm going to answer the title question.

Will animals make a commitment, YES.

If you want to leave for any time, you need to find a farm sitter.
You need to collect eggs, milk, etc...
You need to provide water for the animals.
You need to provide food for the animals. Whether it is bringing it in or growing it, you need to feed them.
You need to protect the animals. I highly suggest Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD), but remember they are not pets and usually are unhappy to even go inside.
You need to provide shelter, often times you just need a way to block wind and keep the moisture from coming down on them.

So yes animals are a commitment.
6 months ago