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

Has anyone ever baked bread on a rocket mass heater? I placed two firebrick on top of the barrel and added two pieces of homemade bread to warm up and I’m hooked now. So I’ve thought about baking bread on top of the RMH or is it even possible? There is a Superstone cloche bread baking dish that is ceramic that I thought about using. Thoughts?
6 hours ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Diane;
Yes adding another battery will help.
But when the sun doesn't shine you will need your generator to run several hrs a day .
Its just how it is with solar power. At least until your system is larger than your needs.

Buy a good modern battery maintainer.   Any time your genny is running it should be plugged in.
Be sure to unplug it when not using the genny.

Do you know of any good videos or articles on how to hook up the generator to the system? Where do I even plug the generator in at? I have a breaker box that is connected to the inverter and the inverter is connected to the batteries.
3 weeks ago
I have 4-100 watt solar panels and two 12 volt marine batteries. We have had one solid week of rain and no son. Last night I turned on my lights (9 watts total) and they flickered and were dim. I figured the batteries must be getting low so I'll deal with the problem tomorrow and went to bed at 8:00 p.m. At 11:45 p.m. my inverter started beeping. The only thing I had on was a cell phone charger. I turned off my inverter and went back to bed. So my problem is now how do I charge my low batteries without blowing everything up and having no sun until next week (so the weather people say). Are there any resources on how to recharge low batteries -videos, articles-I want to do it right.


To prevent this from happening or lower risk of running out of energy is to add more batteries. What is the limit on batteries I can hook up?

I dont use a lot of things but realized the laptop charger and cell phone booster are energy suckers-Lights -only 9-15 watts on at a time for 8 hours a day=72-120 watts, Cell phone charger about 6 watts for four hours=24 watts, laptop charger 57 watts X 8 hours=456 watts, cell phone booster 24 wattsx24 hours=576 watts, and a tankless water heater-2wattsx24=48 watts idle but while in operation-117x1 hr=117=about 1,341 a day. I guess I know what are the energy suckers

So my panels can get 1,200 watts a day if I go by 3 solar hours a day (our shortest day of the year).

I have a generator that I can for back up but I need my laptop and cell phone charger and cell phone booster for work as I work from home due to COVID.

Any helpful feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
3 weeks ago
Hello!  Saw that you posted on another thread which led me to your post. I’m also in Kentucky, Corinth to be exact but from northern Kentucky. Great pictures and beautiful land. Thanks for sharing your progress. I know there’s plenty of challenges when embarking on this journey but totally worth it. I’m always interested in learning from others or meeting people who are like minded. If you are interested in cob or just want to talk about homestead/sustainability I’m just right down the road. Good luck in your venture!
4 months ago
Hello Clay! I’m in Corinth and work in Lexington. I teach cob workshops and hoping to create my empire out of cob. Lol let me know if you interested in cob.
5 months ago
Great post! I like that you aren’t afraid to let it all out and show a sense of humor. I have my own homestead in Kentucky and kind of doing something similar. I have 20 acres and building a cob empire! Lol I’m planning on using permaculture techniques like a food forest and teach cob workshops at my place. If you ever want to talk cob, send me a message.
5 months ago
Ok I took some videos of my set up. Hopefully its more clear what is happening with the inverter. We tested the load (input) going into the inverter and it worked fine but the voltage output on inverter is not converting. Thanks in advance.

I can't up load movies so I posted them on youtube.

This is the solar panel mount video:

This is the battery set up

This is the inverter
6 months ago
Hello! I am setting up a solar panel system on my property but I would like to get some feedback on my system. I have 4-100 watt panels=400 watts. From the solar panel to the charge controller (20 amp MPPT charge controller) is 10 gauge wire that is buried in a conduit. The panels are on a mount facing south. From the charge controller to the batteries are 6 gauge wire. I have 2-12 volt marine deep cycle batteries wired in parallel. The wire that is connecting them is an 6 gauge. From the batteries to the 1000 inverter is also a six gauge wire. From the inverter to the breaker box is the wire that came with the inverter. (I'm not sure of the size). I have a grounding rod connected to the breaker box.  I am having problems with the inverter. It is a 12 Volt 1000 Watt. I get the same voltage going in 12V (coming from batteries) and output is also 12Volts. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or why its not working.

Any feedback. Thanks for the advice in advance!
6 months ago
I have Cricket which is basically AT&T. Ill have to check out Verizon. I was with Sprint but they snuck in hidden fees (which I probably didn't read the fine print). I pay 55 a month for unlimited data a hotspot. I don't like contracts and prefer to have one set price each month. How do you like Verizon?

Devin Lavign wrote:What service do you have? I moved out to an off grid place and had to switch from AT&T to Verizon. Verizon seems to be the service you want if your out in rural areas.

As for cell phone boosters, from everything I have learned researching is that you really can't trust anything under $400. I get great reception except in my camp, lol. So I have been looking at boosters, but the price has stopped me.

6 months ago
I'm in a little bit of predicament right now. I live with my brother closer to town until my place in the country is done. Its taking five years to finish it--but at least there is progress. I'm at the point of moving in (I'm so excited) to my place but just as I'm about to move in, COVID-19 strikes! I am working from home (my brother's house) because he has wifi which I need for my job. The issue is reception out at my place. I have to stand in one place to get reception on my phone. I don't get any reception inside my pole barn. I recently upgraded to a plan that allows me to use my phone as a hot spot but reception is still the issue. There are a few options I've been toying with. Keep in mind I only have a small solar system-about 400 watts per hour so I can't use energy sucking devices and I'm a novice at solar. Someone told about cell phone booster- some of them are really expensive ($700-1200) no bueno for my budget. I've also looked at internet providers but the plans are outrageous or the ones I found. At least $160! no bueno! I could hold up at my brother's until quarantine is over but my boss told me that we may switch to a hybrid system-as in work from home a few days a week. I really want to be at my place so I'm willing to shell out some cash but not go broke. I'm afraid if I get a cell phone booster, it won't work or I got the wrong one. I've researched on a few sites but they all recommend the 700 one. I have a somewhat open floor plan and its about 600 square feet. Any advice or feedback on getting reception/internet?

Thanks in advance!
7 months ago