Small Scale Permaculture Food Forests With Guest Jess Robison

On this episode of the Modern Homesteading Podcast, I Have A Discussion With Jess Robison of Acton Food Forest About Her Journey Into Homesteading and Permaculture As Well As Small Scale Food Forests.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 164 – November 4, 2022

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Homesteading on a Small Property: Jess’s Journey

Introduction to Jess’s Homesteading Adventure

Jess’s homesteading journey began when she moved into her new house seven years ago with the desire to plant apple trees. Concerned about the typical sprays used on apple trees, Jess explored healthier, more sustainable methods. This led her to permaculture, a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.

Permaculture and Food Forests on Small Land

Jess’s interest in permaculture and food forests grew as she learned how to incorporate different plants like comfrey and pollinators for a balanced ecosystem. Despite having only 0.83 acres of land, half of which is wooded, she has effectively utilized her space. Living in a suburban area near Boston, she navigates the challenges of small-scale homesteading, focusing on sustainable and organic practices.

Involvement with Chickens and Managing Livestock

Jess manages a flock of eight chickens, which are the only livestock she can have due to space constraints. She shares insights into dealing with local regulations and the challenges of keeping chickens, including predator management and the benefits of having pets that contribute to the homestead.

Combining Homesteading with a Full-Time Job

Balancing homesteading with a full-time job in the tech industry, Jess emphasizes the importance of time management. She dedicates specific times for gardening, like early mornings or after work, and occasionally takes days off to focus on bigger projects.

The Role of Children in Homesteading

With two young children, Jess integrates family life into her homesteading practices. She views homesteading as an educational and enriching experience for her kids, exposing them to gardening, nature, and responsibility from a young age.

Expanding into a Homesteading Business

Jess has ventured into business through her homesteading practices. She focuses on community projects, like school gardens, and offers consultation, helping others start their gardening and homesteading journeys.

The Importance of Community and Sharing Knowledge

Jess highlights the significance of community in homesteading. She actively shares her experiences and advice through various platforms, especially Instagram, fostering a sense of community and encouraging others to start their homesteading journeys, regardless of the size of their property.

Future Plans and Continuous Learning

Looking ahead, Jess plans to optimize her existing setup, considering expanding her chicken flock and possibly starting beekeeping. She believes in continuously learning and improving her homesteading practices.

Conclusion: Homesteading as a Way of Life

Jess’s story is a testament to the adaptability and rewards of homesteading, even on a small piece of land. Her journey inspires others to pursue a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle, regardless of their property size or professional commitments. Her experience shows that with dedication, creativity, and community support, successful homesteading is achievable for many.

Jess’s Instagram –

VegTrug Raised Bed –

Article – Should You Grow A Food Forest On Your Homestead

Book – Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture –

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