A Small Farm In The Making With Guest Jillae Dalmolin

On this episode of the Modern Homesteading Podcast, I chat with Jillae Dalmolin from Wanderin’ Barefoot Farm.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 136 – March 2, 2020 – A Small Farm In The Making With Guest Jillae Dalmolin.

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Journey to Sustainable Living: A Conversation with Jillae from Wonder and Barefoot Farm

Welcome to the Modern Homesteading Podcast, where we explore the paths of those leading a self-sufficient lifestyle. In this episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Jillae from Wonder and Barefoot Farm in Illinois. Her story is one of transition, learning, and growth in the realm of homesteading.

Finding Homesteading Through Health Challenges

The Turning Point: Diagnosed with PCOS

Jillae’s journey into homesteading began with a personal health challenge. Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in 2016, she faced the prospect of never having children and ongoing health issues. Her decision to shift towards a plant-based diet marked a significant change, leading to a remission in her condition and igniting her passion for healthy, home-grown food.

The Healing Power of Food

This experience highlighted the importance of nutrition and the role of food as medicine. Jillae’s transformation opened a new perspective on sustainable living and the desire to grow and raise her own food.

Building a Homestead

Expanding into Livestock and Gardening

Jillae’s homestead, located on just under six and a half acres, includes a diverse range of animals such as chickens, ducks, quail, and rabbits. This year, they’re planning to add black Angus cows and start beekeeping. Their garden has expanded from a quarter-acre to a full acre, showcasing their commitment to increasing self-sufficiency.

Learning from Experience: Raising Pigs

Jillae shares her experiences raising pigs, emphasizing the learning curve involved. From feeding practices to handling and loading, each step has been a valuable lesson. These experiences are shaping their approach to livestock rearing in the coming years.

Engaging with the Community

Educating and Sharing Knowledge

Beyond self-sufficiency, Jillae expresses a strong desire to engage with and educate her community. She’s planning to convert part of their property into a classroom setting to teach courses on various aspects of homesteading, like canning, soap making, and more.

The Power of Online Presence

Jillae’s engagement with the local community is complemented by her online presence. Her Facebook page and Etsy store not only serve as platforms for selling products but also for sharing knowledge and connecting with like-minded individuals.

Future Aspirations

Aiming for Full-time Homesteading

Jillae and her husband aspire to transition into full-time homesteading. Their goal is to create a sustainable living model that not only feeds their family but also contributes to the local community through education and product sales.

Balancing Homesteading with Family Life

The upcoming arrival of their baby is set to bring new challenges and adjustments. However, it also offers an opportunity to test the feasibility of one partner transitioning to full-time homesteading.


Jillae’s story is a testament to the transformative power of homesteading. It’s about healing through food, learning through doing, and sharing knowledge with others. As we anticipate the arrival of spring and the start of the planting season, Jillae’s journey serves as an inspiration for all aspiring homesteaders to dive into this fulfilling lifestyle.

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    Author, blogger, podcaster, homesteading and permaculture enthusiast. I have a passion for sharing what I learn and helping others on their journey. If you're looking for me, you'll usually find me in the garden.

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