Senior Editor for Countryside Publications, Marissa Ames has homesteaded off and on since she lived in a tiny Idaho town at five years old. She retained the lessons her mother taught but didn’t always put them to use. When the Great Recession happened in 2009, she fell back on her old ways – this time on 1/8 of an urban acre – to feed her family while working two jobs. New lessons married with old ones. Using homesteading to save money and improve the quality of life for her family, she eventually moved them back to the land. Now she runs a homestead in Fallon, Nevada, where she raises endangered breeds of goats, poultry, and garden vegetables while using the harsh landscape to learn new skills for sustainability. Her small property involves transforming what she affectionately calls “The Devil’s Sandbox” into a water-wise permaculture food system with bees, perennials, and crop rotation.
She and her anthropologist husband, Russ, travel to Zambia where they help several small villages and schools with farming and sustainability projects. Marissa started writing for Backyard Poultry magazine in 2013 and for Countryside & Small Stock Journal in 2015. She became editor of Goat Journal in 2017 and editor of Backyard Poultry in early 2019. In 2021, now Senior Editor of all Countryside Publications’ projects, she works to keep the magazines fresh and valuable, offering resources that modern homesteaders need to thrive in their modern lives. (She spends her free time eating lunch.)