John Valdes

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since Feb 02, 2013
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hugelkultur kids forest garden
I'm interested in permaculture (obviously), sustainable agriculture, natural & sustainable building, soil science / restoration, food forests, intentional community, homeschool family life, and on and on. I'd like to land on acreage someday that I can make my full-time life, but until then I'm a computer engineer traveling the U.S. for mold avoidance due to illness and also trying to figure out where we want to settle down.
RV'ing across the western US currently
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Recent posts by John Valdes

I would also mention that we could do a composting toilet instead of full hookups with sewer/septic. So we would only need power and water.
3 months ago
I think combining intentional community and rammed earth building is crazy awesome by the way!
3 months ago
I love the idea of the rammed earth bird houses!  I've got 3 kids, and I think that will be a fun project to do with them and learn to understand a little of the technique.  My current plan is to use rammed earth to build a house once we find the land we want to purchase and settle down in.  I like rammed earth because of the mass for energy efficiency, the beauty of the layers, and the fact it's not mold food.  Most other building materials that I've thought about will grow mold if they ever get wet.  That's a big concern of ours since a moldy rental house made us all very sick and still we are recovering.  Thanks for posting!  If you have any other photos of the bird houses or info on how you build them, I'd love to see that!
3 months ago
Cholla?  I had no idea it was useful other than drawing blood.  Great to know part of it can be food!
3 months ago
Even though I have had to move around a lot and not keep a permanent garden.  Perennial vegetables that I have had good success with are:  green onions and Jerusalem artichokes.  I dug them up and brought them with me, along with herbs:  thyme, oregano, sage, comfrey, etc.
3 months ago
Welcome Acadia!  The book looks wonderful!  I want to mostly grow perennials because...duh...they grow back.  Free food and less work!  
3 months ago
My family and I are on the road for this year as we scout places to buy land and homestead while trying to avoid mold due to illness from living in a toxic mold rental house previously.  We are trying to find a place to overwinter in Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada where we can park our RV, preferably a place that doesn't get winter temps (below 40 at night) or much precipitation during Oct - Mar.  I work remotely and would need to have good cell signal for my phone and internet as it is required for my job or good WiFi in lieu of that.  

Ideally, we would like to have power, water, septic/dump or RV hookups if possible.  Our RV is new and self-contained, so we wouldn't require anything more than that, and would consider what options are available.  I would be interested in trading labor (evenings/weekends) for rent / rental discount assisting with permaculture work or rammed earth construction, etc, as I am very interested in learning everything I can about both.  I do have some experience with organic style gardening and some head knowledge of permaculture concepts, but I'm an able learner and not arrogant or too proud to say I don't know how to do something.   I want to learn rammed earth because it isn't mold food, is sustainable and energy efficient, and most other building materials are problematic.  I want to learn all things permaculture as I intend to homestead / start a permaculture based farm when the land purchase happens.

If you know of a place that might work, please let me know.  Much appreciated!

- John
3 months ago
We will be eating one of our homegrown heritage turkeys! This is a big first for me, and it's really exciting. We took one of our smaller hens to a friend's house 2 weeks ago for a trial run. It was amazing!
5 years ago
Here are my first hugelkultur mounds. I built them pretty quickly just to have a place to put some plants I dug out of my raised garden beds. I have various berry plants growing in them plus volunteers from my previous year's garden. They really need more soil...didn't have enough at the time to do it right.
5 years ago
It's something humbling to think that we who live in "advanced" or "1st world" places have to look to those that are not considered to be in the same class for wisdom and example in things so basic as producing food. I am so happy to see more and more attention given to these almost lost arts. Thank you for helping to further our education and passion for these things!
7 years ago