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

BTW i just saw two deer ( a young doe and a young buck) outside my living room window. Now they are eating grass over by my solar panels
1 month ago
I have an Umerex Emerge break barrel rifle

It has a 12 shot auto advancing magazine, so you don't have to reload all the time.

I use it for dispatching pests on my homestead, or less than lethal shooting big predators. Just a couple weeks ago I shot a bear that was less than 50 FT from my house, I saw it out my living room window. A week before that I used it to shoot a mamma bear. And yes she was fine, shortly afterwards she was stalking some turkey. So I shot her again, didn't scare her but she turned around. Her cub (who I didn't shot) scurried up a tree.

Personally if the bear were farther away I wouldn't have shot them with an air rifle, but near my house I don't want them to get comfortable with.
A couple years ago I had a young bear within 5 FT of me. I hung out with him for about an hour or so.
1 month ago
Something to remember about local honey is that you need raw honey. Also it's a preventive not a cure. It works best if you start using honey BEFORE allergy season. This gives your body time to recognize the pollen before it's all over the air.
1 month ago

Kelly Craig wrote: but the mallets are big, round aluminum cylinders. Heavier, so more effective, and aluminum and iron froes play well together.

That's because the aluminum is softer than the froe steel.
1 month ago
So your asking for some tips?

One I don't see often but I use a lot is a froe. I actually have a froe by my front door. They are super helpful splitting wood on grain.

BTW never hit a froe with a metal hammer, always use a wood mallet or some sort of piece of wood.

Something I just got last year is a drill powered splitting head.

These work on end grain, if you go into the middle it doesn't break them apart.

Something I've posted on the thread here I started COOL TOOLS is the Splitz-All. This is a slide hammer style wood splitter. Which is basically a slide hammer and a splitting wedge together. There is multiple sizes for different needs and bodys. They also sell something to go around the logs to hold them, but if you can access old tires that would be better.

1 month ago
I don't have a lawn per say. I do use a gas powered brush mower from DR to mow my easement road and my septic drain field. I also use an electric trimmer to get things the mower can't.

But then I live on 40 acres in a rural area rather than suburban or urban.

P.S. I have watched a lot of sickle videos on youtube (over 3hrs of them). Unfortunately my land is too rocky and woody for a sickle to work well. Not to mention most of it is very uneven with little to no flat ground.
1 month ago
There are wind up clocks and wind up kinetic sculptures. There was a really cool wind up invention, I think from the 1800's, but I forget now what it was for. I was kinda hoping I would see it here,
1 month ago
The problem with an LGD is they have to grow up, which is about 1-2 years.

So I'm thinking of getting guard geese for my poultry while the dogs grow. You need to raise the geese alone with the chickens or ducks. Otherwise they will hang out with each other rather than the other birds. So I'm planning to have 1 with my chickens and 1 with my ducks while the LGDs grow up. This will also give me time to train them.

While I'm looking at the Grand Shepard because they are more breed for modern homesteads rather than 1000's of acres that the older breeds for for. But I found out that my local shelter has Great Pyrenees and Anatolian puppies every year. So I'm planning to get a couple puppies from them and train/raise them while the geese keep the poultry safe. Then after a year of have those puppies I plan on getting a Grand Shepard and raising/training it. I have 40 acres so 3 dogs would work there. I also have plenty of predator pressure including some black bears, so I want the dogs safe as well as the poultry. Numbers will help keep them safe.

BTW I judge land by how healthy and many predators there are. Healthy land supports healthy predators. But they sure are a pain when you have livestock.
1 month ago

Chris Kott wrote:Prepper culture is fear-based, and it spreads by compounding people's fears. If you feed it, it will surely grow.

Steve Shelton wrote:For me, prepping is a method to displace fear.

I don't think prepping is fear based, in fact like Steve suggests it's a way to get rid of fear. Essentially every homesteader is a prepper. You can't run to town every time you need something. Homesteaders stock up, can, store, make due, recycle, etc... An important thing for a homesteader is their "junk pile", it's were they store a lot of stuff that can be made into something else with a little creativity. Would it be easier to buy instead of making, yep, but it could take days to get to you while making it means it is there as soon as you finish.

Now as for "self sufficiency" I would say it's a myth. You can't get by on your own. Even primitive man needed community to survive. You could lower your wants to more needs, but you will never be able to do it by yourself.

I would suggest you make connections with like minded folks now. Even some unlike minded people who will be around afterwards. You don't want an echo chamber of the same thoughts.

BTW I'm a prepper, bushcrafter, homesteader, and permaculturist. To my thinking Prepping can lead to these other things pretty easily as you look at developing skills that can improve you odds.
2 months ago
I learned about Ecovative Design recently and thought of the door insulation using mycelium so thought I would see if this company has been mentioned here yet. It had but 10 years ago. So I'm updating and adding so videos.

Now I am an omnivor and think animals have a place on the farm, but they are talking about factory farming when they talk about bacon substitutes and I'm highly against factory farming thus being here on permies.

This is their Youtube page

And this is their website

Hope this info helps some people.
2 months ago