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Is homesteading your ultimate dream? Because mine too, plant friends! Like most gardeners, I've always dreamed of someday creating a homestead and being more self-sufficient. I very much enjoy growing my own fruits, veggies, and herbs, but starting homesteading seemed a little scary. That’s why I was so excited to speak with gardening influencer Kevin Espiritu of Epic Gardening, who has spent the last few years turning his suburban property into an enviable homestead. Kevin shared his advice for transitioning from gardener to homesteader, one step at a time.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [04:43] Managing multiple projects and Kevin’s homestead building
  • [04:51] What got Kevin interested in homesteading?
  • [07:59] Homesteading vs gardening
  • [09:14] What are the aspects/elements of homesteading?
  • [11:15] What is “greywater” and its potential for water recycling?
  • [14:17] Different uses of rainwater (and why you should start collecting them!)
  • [15:22] Experience cozy mindfulness with Wind River Chimes!
  • [16:53] Learn actionable steps to build resilience in your garden with ‘The Climate Change Resilient Vegetable Garden’ by Kim Stoddart
  • [18:40] Kevin’s rainwater harvesting system (which gauges the amount of rainfall one can capture over a year)
  • [21:59] How solar energy works and how the net metering system operates
  • [26:47] What is the role of a pond in homesteading?
  • [28:53] Creating an aquaponic system
  • [31:30] Switch to Espoma Organic's soil, compost, and plant food for a healthier homestead garden.
  • [33:24] How has Kevin's experience raising chickens been?
  • [36:51] Chicken care tips!
  • [39:12] Can you do homesteading indoors?
  • [40:53] What was the inspiration for Kevin's orchard?
  • [42:30] What are the various fruits grown by Kevin?
  • [43:47] What is the food forest approach to growing food?
  • [45:47] What is Kevin’s favorite way of preserving food?
  • [46:55] What’s next for Kevin?
  • [48:08] Check out Kevin’s book, Epic Homesteading


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What’s the difference between gardening and homesteading?

Gardening and homesteading go together but are not exactly the same (they kinda overlap), but Kevin explains that homesteading requires more “intentionality” around providing for yourself and your family. It represents a mindset shift toward self-sufficiency, whether that means growing more food, generating your own power/energy, or reusing water.

Of course, the level of homesteading you can achieve depends on your space and resources, but we can all take small steps in that direction!


Components That Make the Epic Homestead

Kevin described all the different elements that make up his homestead. These include water systems like greywater and rainwater collection, energy via solar panels, a composting system, chickens/eggs, organic pest control, extensive gardens and orchards, and different food preservation systems.

Don't worry, plant friends. He didn't start with all of this at once. Beginner homesteaders can start small with container gardening and a basic compost pile. Kevin built his homestead over the years by adding projects as interest and space allowed.


Epic Water Systems for the Homestead

Living in drought-prone Southern California, water systems are top priority for Kevin’s homestead. He captures rainwater from his roof, storing it in a large underground cistern for irrigating his gardens. He also reuses household greywater, sending shower drainage to take care of his orchards and laundry water to irrigate vegetable beds. This doubles the lifespan of every drop!


Epic Pond

Though not originally planned, Kevin ended up installing a really cool pond! This created a restorative microclimate and added an aesthetically pleasing water feature. It also helps him grow food that grows in water, like watercress. The pond also catches rainwater.


Epic Chicken Keeping

Chicken keeping is very important for many homesteads (and very popular for a reason!). Kevin began with baby chicks and now has hens that lay fresh eggs on the farm. They live in a custom coop with automatic doors, by the way. Besides laying eggs, chickens help control pests, provide fertilizer, and create compost from their coop waste. They also help recycle leftover food and garden scraps.


Epic Food Forest

Kevin says that a food forest is a type of gardening inspired by permaculture. In a food forest, different plants, bushes, and trees are carefully placed to make a landscape that looks beautiful and gives lots of food to eat. The main idea of a food forest is to make a balanced environment that grows food and makes the area look nice.

Kevin says he hasn't deeply explored food forests yet. His property design follows more of an intentionally planned layout with separate areas for the orchard, vegetable gardens, chickens, etc. However, he notes that his orchard area, with its diversity of fruits and citrus trees, contains elements of a food forest.


Epic Indoor Homestead

While outdoor gardening holds significance in homesteading, indoor homestead growing is entirely feasible. If you lack outdoor space or have a challenging climate, focusing on indoor herbs, greens, and microgreens allows you to produce nutritious food at home. This lets anyone participate in homesteading to some degree!


Kevin’s Epic Homesteading Book

Kevin's new book Epic Homesteading covers creating your own suburban homestead in detail. Through starting small and gradually integrating new elements like solar panels, chickens, an orchard or pond, you can become more self-reliant in producing food, energy and other needs.


Mentioned in our conversation:



Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Wind River Chimes

Bring more peace, serenity, and magic into your home with chimes. Wind River is a Virginia-based company creating premium handcrafted and hand-tuned wind chimes for over 35 years. If you are looking for a new way to grow joy in your life and find a moment of peace, a Wind River chime is the perfect addition to your home or garden. Plus, it's a perfect personalized gift for your loved ones!

Visit and use code GROWINGJOY to receive free engraving on all Corinthian Bells wind chimes.

Quarto: The Climate Change-Resilient Vegetable Garden by Kim Stoddart

Our gardens can face a lot of concerns with this changing climate, from water-usage restrictions, extended heat waves, disastrous flooding, “super weeds,” or prolonged pest life cycles, there’s daunting challenges ahead for food growers around the world. Author Kim Stoddart outlines a clear path toward building resilience in your vegetable plants, your soil, and yourself with their new book The Climate Change-Resilient Vegetable Garden. With actionable tasks that reduce resource use, stabilize the garden’s ecosystem, and offer regenerative solutions to the most challenging issues faced by gardeners, this book provides advice to help you weather these storms with ease. 

Grab the book at your favorite local bookstore,, Barnes & Noble or

Espoma Organic

If you want a garden that provides, set it up for success with high-quality soil, fertilizer, potting mix and more! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar-powered plant, zero waste manufacturing, and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.



Follow Kevin:

Personal Website
Epic Gardening


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