Mother Earth Living

Radical Homemaking: What Permaculture Looks Like in Jacona, New Mexico

Permaculture experts and radical homemakers Scott and Arina Pittman live a bounteously full life—on their own terms.

Native grasses and wildflowers attract and feed pollinators.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
Prayer flags act as outdoor decor.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
Arina and Scott’s hyperproductive gardens yield everything from cherries and peaches to chard, beets and asparagus.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
Scott and Arina raise heritage poultry.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
Scott picks one of “an embarrassment” of apples the family grows.
Photo by Ariana Pittman
Arina describes her family’s goats as “smart, kind and fun to watch.”
Photo by Ariana Pittman
Arina planted the garden in concentric circles with wide paths throughout.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
A handcrafted outdoor table holds homesteading supplies.
Photo by Ariana Pittman
Scott restored a 5-acre swath of native wetlands near his and Arina’s homestead. Formerly overrun with invasive exotic plant species, the site is now home to ducks, geese, hawks, owls, songbirds, herons, egrets, muskrats, snakes, turtles, frogs, salamanders, trout and blue gills.
Photo by Seth Roffman
What was once a monoculture grass field is now a diverse chicken pasture where Scott and Arina raise 25 to 35 chickens each year.
Photo by Ariana Pittman
Arina and Scott’s goats produce milk and great garden manure.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
In the covered central courtyard, surrounded by building mass on three sides, Arina and Scott grow subtropicals such as bananas, fig trees, cherimoyas, citrus and numerous ornamentals.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
A hybrid strawbale/adobe structure, the house’s walls are plastered with native clays found in the surrounding hills.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
Sasha swings above a natural irrigation ditch that winds through the yard.
Photo by Kirk Gittings
A hobbyist carpenter, Scott built the kitchen cabinetry himself. A deep sink makes food preservation tasks easier.
Photo by Kirk Gittings

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