Caroline LaVin

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since Sep 22, 2016
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Recent posts by Caroline LaVin

I have no affiliation with this company. Just saw their ad on a site I visit. Great story. SMOOTH cast iron pan made in America. Expensive. I know Paul talks a lot about non-stick being a function of smoothness. So here you go: https://fieldcompany.com
4 days ago
Since there is some discussion as to whether the Grand Shepherd *is* a stable new breed, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about a very OLD farm dog breed called English Shepherd or farm collie.  The English Shepherd was popular on small farms and homesteads across America until small farms started disappearing in the 20th century. Called the "farmers right hand man" the ES helps with a lot of jobs around the farm: varmint hunting, livestock herding, watch dog, and nurturing animals and children. Where other breeds have become specialists in their jobs, the ES is an all-around dog bred for intelligence, willingness, and trainability. Beautiful, too.

This is the breed described in Ben Falk's "Resilient Farm and Homestead". We're part of the conservation effort for this heritage breed.  For more info, please see: www.puppies.petcarebooks.com

Best,
Caroline in Idaho
1 year ago
Hi Anne,

I've been a writer of canine health care issues for a couple of decades. Allergies and diet are hot button topics so I'll keep my comments short and send you a link to further reading.  My basic answer is to try and get the animals back to a more old-fashioned lifestyle.  

"We" (meaning permies-type people) make sure our chickens are not eating GMO. We make sure our cows are grass fed. We make sure *we're* eating right. But so many still feed the dogs processed foods, vaccinate excessively, and load the dogs with chemicals.  It's what we've been taught to do, to be good dog owners. We want to be good dog owners so we follow these recommendations.

Lighten the dogs load of irritants and you might see a reduction in allergies. We sure noticed that in our first Dachshund. http://puppies.petcarebooks.com/natural-rearing/   Good luck. Keep cool this hot summer.
Best,
Caroline
1 year ago
I have never heard Nick and Esther speak before. What a shock to watch just the first few seconds of the video above. They just ruined any credibility they might have had, in my opinion. If you want to be a professional, you NEVER publicly denounces another professional in the field. Low class, in my opinion.

Oh, and one other thing.  Years ago I used to go to annual dog training camp. Yup. The instructor was a brilliant out-of-the-box thinker. And she had sooo many people (other trainers and instructors) making fun of her methods, running her down. At one camp I turned to my friend, another devotee, and asked her why did this go on? She said, Caroline, if Dawn is saying her way is more successful, better for the dog, and is "right", then others are taking it that their way is "wrong".

That exchange has helped me deal with a lot of situations in life.  I understood the hostility brought on by a different way of thinking.
Hello Husky Lovers,

We used to live a little south of Portland. We had a Boxer and a Dachshund. The Boxers were my beloved breed and the Doxy's were my husband's favorite. They killed more of our hens than any predator. I loved them and was mad at them so often. sigh.  

I've been listening to Paul's podcasts from the beginning. In one of the early podcasts he mentions a farm in the NW where they were trying to breed a NW Farm Dog... it had the hunting instincts of a terrier and the protective instincts of livestock guardian dog (if I recall correctly). When I heard the podcast, I thought... that dog already exists. It's the Farm Collie or "English Shepherd": http://puppies.petcarebooks.com  This was the old farm dog across America before small farms disappeared.

So, when the Boxer and the Doxy each passed, we replaced them with English Shepherds. They are very good around poultry. Obviously, this doesn't solve your problem now, but I'm learning to think outside the box as I get older.

Best,
Caroline in Idaho.
1 year ago
Hi Simone,

About 4 weeks ago I was feeling exactly how you are now. No idea how to start. I watched the fabulous 3-DVD set World Domination Gardening  https://richsoil.com/wd-gardening.jsp where they filmed digging a pond, a swale, hugelbeds, and even footage with several newbies running the excavator. That was *extremely* helpful.

Then I googled "Crater garden" and "Krater garden" and watched every video I could. I listened to this presentation by Zach Weiss which is similar to his "Renaturing the Land" podcast, but this one gives a wee bit more info about the Crater gardens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE15UCbXcsY   The quality is not great, but I'm grateful to whomever videoed it!  In it he talks a little bit more about trees on the crater garden. They are important, in part, because their roots help the water get down to the pond. He mentions there are additional reasons. I *surmise* these are: shade and that tree roots exude moisture themselves. Fruit trees are planted on the mid level of the garden. Water-loving things at the bottom. Drought-resistant, nitrogen-fixing shrubs/trees at the top. (I'll let you google what those might be for your zone/climate.) He says Sepp says the pond will dry out without the terracing and the trees.

Somehow, I saw someone digging a little fish pond with a compact tractor so I searched for videos of "digging pond compact tractor" on YouTube. That gave me a lot of hope. At minimum I think I can get the sod stripped off, and maybe the topsoil below it, with the normal bucket, not excavator...don't have that attachment. If I can't handle the heavy clay, then it'll be time to rent or hire someone. We'll have a builder here next summer finishing some construction, so I might be able to talk him into it.

Lastly, there are some excellent and inspiring photos of Crater gardens and other earthworks on Zach's site: http://www.elementalecosystems.com/#projects

Good luck!!!
Caroline
2 years ago
Hey Zach...are you out there???

I'm listening to your Renaturing the Landscape audio which is just wonderful. I realize it's the audio from a slide presentation. At the end of Part 1 you make a comment that the crater garden won't work (according to Sepp) without the terraces and trees. I can't seem to find any information on the tree point. Do you know if this is something I could find in Sepp's new book?  I have that on my shopping list.  I'm assuming the trees are meant to shade the pond and mitigate evaporation. If there's more to it than this and anyone knows the answer, will you let me know?

Thanks,
Caroline
2 years ago
Hi all,
Could I trouble you for your opinions? I've been watching Paul's excellent World Domination videos. They have been oodles of help, but now I'm conflicted as where to place a little bitty pond.

The site: Northern Idaho (short growing season) on a large hill that slopes off gradually to the south. I plan to build the squiggly hugelbeds on the top of the hill.  The predominant winds are from the SW.  Subsoil is heavy clay -- good for holding water. But we only get about 25" a year-- so I'm accepting this particular pond will dry out in summer.

My goal: to have a place in this garden that stays warms spring and fall to extend the planting season.

My idea: put a little pond in (maybe a pit?)  on the southern slope of the hill, with a hugelbed just behind it (ie.just to the north and just uphill of the pond/pit). I was thinking the bed could be a giant sun trap shape. I thought the southern exposure was a good idea for warmth. That means... on contour.

I've heard Paul say several times now, don't put ponds on contour in areas of short growing seasons. It will just become a frost pocket.  

So if my original idea is a bad idea, my second thought is: Move the pond/pit up to the top of the hill nestled inside the squiggly hugelbeds. At the top of the hill it will receive no rain run-off, so it will be limited to the 25" of rain/year. No southern exposure. But it will have better wind protection compared to the pond on the southern slope.  

If your goal was to have a warmish bed for spring and fall, what would you do?

Thanks for your time and help. I appreciate both.
Caroline
2 years ago
Thanks very much, Kevin. That does help. Thanks too for the link. Looks like some good reading there. Our place is not that dry so we may get sufficient water in the ponds even with key lining.  I can't WAIT to try this. After 75+ years of set-stock grazing, this land needs some TLC. I look forward to having one of those photo journals. Already took the "before" pictures just this week.

Thanks again.
Caroline
2 years ago
Quick question. If I want to put in a stock pond in a draw (small valley), should I *not* keeling plow above it? All the land has been overgrazed and is terribly compacted so I *want* to key line plow it, but I think doing so will prevent the ponds from filling. Would you agree?
Thanks,
Caroline
2 years ago