Diane Maldonado

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since Dec 01, 2017
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forest garden fungi homestead
I'm a single mom who grew up on a farm and fighting my way back to the countryside. I'm a beginner in everything and I love to learn about everything related to sustainability. I did a cob apprenticeship for 1-1/2 years and took a Permaculture Design class as well as a plethora of other workshops. I bought some land and slowly building my empire while failing (For All I Learn) along the way. Dead chickens? No problem, Bees Swarmed, no Problem, house out of square, no problem, identified wrong trees for sap, no problem, seedlings grew mold, no problem. I'll just keep trying until I get it right. I have literally put blood, sweat, and tears into my place and don't regret one second. I am building my business from the ground up. It may take 20 years but the journey will be amazing! 
Corinth, KY
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Recent posts by Diane Maldonado

I'm looking for some resources/companies that sell burnishing rocks. I am planning on using a tadelakt finish on my rocket mass heater bench but I need burnishing rock. It needs to be a hardness of 7 and I'm having a hard time finding them. any ideas?
2 weeks ago

Matthew Nistico wrote:Haha, are those your toes stretched out before a campfire?!  : )

You look very nice, as does your land.  How many acres?  What are you hoping to do with the land once your house is completed?

I agree with you about politics: the two parties make such a show of their differences, yet most party members don't comprehend (nor are they willing to admit) that in many ways they are two sides of the same coin.  I refer to myself as libertarian with socialist leanings.  So hard to fit inside just one box!

My GF and I are currently inhabiting a space of responsible non-monogamy, a first for both of us.  Over a year into that phase of our relationship, and things seem to be working out.  We will see in the future both if we want to continue and exactly what kind of non-monogamous lifestyle we wish to lead.  Personally, I find most people's concept of traditional monogamy too commingled with jealousy for my taste, but if you can make it work for you and your partner then great for you.

Keep the pics coming.  I promise you: the more you post, the more people will take an interest.

Best wishes!



Lol yes I have Hobbit feet and can grow cabbage into between my toes. Hehe

Thank you for the compliments. I'm very proud of my land. I have 20 acres and it's mostly wooded and maybe 2 acres of that is flat open space. I sent you a message on what I plan to do with my land. But short story short, harvest my bounty,  teach workshops and have a BnB.

So I do have strong opinions on monogamy and open relationships which I won't get into. But I think if it works for you and your partners then who am I to tell you how to live. It's just not my cup of tea. Some of my upbringing has been engrained into me along with Disney and romance novels warping my expectations. I'm fully aware of the difference between fantasy and a relationship which take a lot of work. Hell I can't even get one decent guy let alone two. Too much work with two guys. Lol
2 weeks ago
I can't edit my original post but I would like to clarify that I am not suffering from any mental illness...maybe visionary disease. For those of you unfamiliar with this sort of disease-its where you have all these dreams but time, money and doing it solo are the biggest hindrances. I do not take any medications for any health problems and I don't go from angel to devil in .2 seconds because someone left a towel on the ground.

Now the controversial stuff...I believe in monogamy and loyalty provided my partner puts in as much as effort as I do. I won't cheat I'll just kick you to the curb. I grew up Catholic but consider myself more spiritual. There is truth and good deeds in all religions and non-religions. Politically I'm all over the place. I don't agree with either side 100%.-Both sides are just the same anyways.  I'm much more complex than putting myself in a category. I'm open minded and accepting of everyone...except pedophiles. I may disagree with you but it doesn't mean I can't be your friend.  Now that some of you self-eliminated yourselves, if you stick around then welcome to the party. Or just a bonfire and some s'mores and good music. lol
2 weeks ago

William Bronson wrote:Would you have to pay for it?
If so, would it really be more educational than buying land and diving right in?
If that's too crazy, there are places to go for hands on learning.
There's some guy named Paul that seems to have such a program...

If the college is free,  consider that a degree isn't equivalent to an education.
Taking courses that help you master welding, diesel repair, or herbology without a getting a degree would be very helpful on most homesteads.

I actually have free college available, but I work full time, and have a 4 person household to keep going.
That wouldn't stop some people-my Mom got her masters degree while running a 6 person household and teaching full time.
I hope to find the time to take some courses, if only to gain access to the extensive network of works shopsvand machine tools.

Your situation is unique to you, but I hope you keep in mind that a degree has monetary  value primarily  because it makes you more employable.
It might make you more eligible for loans,  or tantalizing for investors.
It might make you more knowledgeable, but that comes from the course work,  not the degree itself.



This Paul that you speak of sounds familiar. :-) sadly I lack the time. I just started my job and I have no vacation built up. I've watched plenty of videos and learning a lot on the forums. My project now is a rocket mass heater which I think Paul has a little bit of experience in. :-) I've even bought the Wisners book. The goal is to teach others and share the knowledge. I'll probably go broke not charging people for teaching them. :-)
2 weeks ago

William Bronson wrote:Would you have to pay for it?
If so, would it really be more educational than buying land and diving right in?
If that's too crazy, there are places to go for hands on learning.
There's some guy named Paul that seems to have such a program...

If the college is free,  consider that a degree isn't equivalent to an education.
Taking courses that help you master welding, diesel repair, or herbology without a getting a degree would be very helpful on most homesteads.

I actually have free college available, but I work full time, and have a 4 person household to keep going.
That wouldn't stop some people-my Mom got her masters degree while running a 6 person household and teaching full time.
I hope to find the time to take some courses, if only to gain access to the extensive network of works shopsvand machine tools.

Your situation is unique to you, but I hope you keep in mind that a degree has monetary  value primarily  because it makes you more employable.
It might make you more eligible for loans,  or tantalizing for investors.
It might make you more knowledgeable, but that comes from the course work,  not the degree itself.




I have bought land and diving right in. :-) I did an apprenticeship on how to build cob houses and did a permaculture design course as well as workshops but their piece of paper doesn't count at the university level. I work at a university and they have a sustainability program that I was thinking about but it's focuses on one topic to it's too broad and leaves out other things I want to learn about plus I'd like to teach. I plan on teaching at my property but cob workshops will not pay the bills. I want to have a variety of income sources and one of them would be teaching at the university.
2 weeks ago

Tyler Ludens wrote:Do you have a need for a degree in Homesteading?  Is there a career that you have in mind which requires such a degree?

Or are you looking more for a comprehensive learning experience of Homesteading?

PEP/PEX: "A more formal approach to learning homesteading and permaculture" https://permies.com/f/178/



I guess I don't HAVE to have a degree but I would like to teach at the university level I would also like a more in depth learning experience. I know there's plenty of books and videos and hands experience but unfortunately the university wants you to have a piece of paper.
2 weeks ago
He'll Timothy!

Thank you! I was worried about it because who really has all their ducks in a row? I guess the type I've been used to is not really a good definition of an adult. Lol you know like paying for bills, be able to support yourself without mooching off of others. But you live and you learn. I'm an optimist and believe we go through things so we can gain valuable lessons. I've been thankful for all my challenges.

Yes living in an urban environment is hard especially if you want to live off grid. I lived in the suburbs once and I hated it. I felt like I was suffocating but that's because I grew up on a farm.

I don't think your plans will backfire. I've had setbacks many times which some consider backfire but I just keep chugging away until I get it right. I'm very determined and if the off grid lifestyle is really what you want then go for it. Regrets only come from things you didn't do not the risks that you take. Well some may disagree. Lol

Tennessee and North Carolina are beautiful states as well. You can't go wrong with any of those three although I am biased.

I also wish you well on your journey!
2 weeks ago
I've been thinking about going back to college but my interests are all over the place. Is there any place that offers a degree in homesteading? I tend to daydream and I came up with topics that would be relevant but I've only found places that offer a focus in one area. So far I've come up with Natural building, water and Sanitation-Collection, filtration and disposal, animal husbandry and processing, Energy (Solar, Wind, Geothermal, fire), Plant Life (Permaculture, food forests etc. identification of plants/trees and soil health). Am I missing something else or does anyone know of a place that offers this kind of learning aside from reading articles and watching videos online?
2 weeks ago
Hello. I see this post is 4 years old up to 8 months ago. Is there any interest still. I work in Lexington and soon to be living in Corinth. I took a Permaculture Design class, did an apprenticeship on cob building and am starting my own homestead as well as teaching others how to build their own cob home. I am almost finished with my pole barn which I will live in until I can build my dream house...cob/strawbale hybrid. I'm also working on a rocket mass heater. If anyone wants to connect, share ideas and help each other I'm all for it! Please let me know. Good luck to everyone!!
2 weeks ago
I'm not even sure if I'm ready to date yet. I'm still healing from a previous relationship but I do miss the companionship of another. Just thought I would throw a line out there and see if there are any fish that like to swim in my end of the pond. Then I have to figure out if the fish are my type. If I had to choose a fish I would choose one that is colorful, easy-going, adaptable, able to sustain its lifestyle. In other words, "have your sh*t together", aka, not be a bum and live off of other people and give nothing in return. Wow this went south fast. Obviously setting boundaries is a weakness of mine. I told you I'm still healing. Anyways, I guess I'm just looking for a friend first. I'm not willing to move at this point in my life. I have a beautiful paradise in Kentucky and I'm starting this journey on my own.

I'm in the process of building my own house with the help of my brother and after I'm finished with my pole barn, I will be embarking on building my dream house...cob/strawbale hybrid. I did an apprenticeship on building with cob and have taken a permaculture design class, grew up on a farm and love staring at trees. I have one grown daughter who is "kind of" on her own so now its time to do something for me and that's creating a sustainable life in the woods. I have a daytime job until I can sustain my lifestyle with various incomes coming from the land (workshops, BnB, harvesting, anything else I can do to make a living).

I'm an INFP and #9 on the Enneagram if that means anything to anyone.

I'm really a nice person, although I may not articulate it in my post or I try to come off funny and it ends up being awkward. I'm just a little banged up but aren't we all?
2 weeks ago