Adventures in Unschooling & Practiculture - Ben Hewitt #149

Episode 149 Header.jpg

Author and practiculturalist Ben Hewitt is back on ReWild Yourself Podcast to give us a peek inside his adventures in building a lifestyle living with and from the land. Ben resides on a thriving 100-acre homestead in Vermont where he and his family explore back-to-the-land living, permaculture design, wildcrafting, traditional skills and alternative education paths for their two sons. 

In this episode, Ben shares on the evolution of his family’s personal journey as modern homesteaders. We discuss alternative childhood education and how his sons’ education paths have evolved in some unexpected directions. We also get into the topics of community-based living vs self-sufficient living, harvest sharing and how to strike a balance between foraging and farming. Ben’s non-dogmatic approach to this lifestyle is refreshing, and he has some wonderful insights for those aspiring to build their own ReWilded homestead.


  • Show Introduction:
    • SurThrival Solstice Sale
    • Hunt + Gather updates: wild strawberries and brook trout fishing
    • Chewstick update
    • Q&A: Favorite books and documentaries on agriculture
  • Introducing Ben Hewitt
  • What’s wrong with the term “unschooling”
  • State requirements for alternative schooling paths
  • What Ben’s kids enjoy learning about
  • Fear of death and a firsthand experience with a home funeral
  • Challenges of homeschooling
  • Can you lead a ReWilding lifestyle in an urban setting?
  • Life on a 100-acre farm in Vermont
  • Community-based living vs self-sufficiency
  • What types of food Ben’s family outsources
  • Striking a balance between foraging and farming
  • Advice to aspiring homesteaders
  • Ben’s prognosis for the future of the human species

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Meet Ben


Ben Hewitt lives in Vermont with his wife, Penny, and sons Fin and Rye. Utilizing a combination of permaculture design, wildcrafting, and small-scale regenerative agriculture they call “practiculture,” the Hewitt family raises and forages better than 90% of their calories, with a focus on pastured meats, healthy fats, and fermented vegetables.

The Hewitts consult frequently on homestead-scale production and processing of nutrient dense foods, as well as homestead planning, design, and implementation. They also run Lazy Mill Living Arts, which offers workshops in a wide variety of traditional land skills.

Ben is the author of five books, including The Town That Food Saved, Home Grown, and, most recently, The Nourishing Homestead. He blogs at