13 August 2008

urban homesteading: part 2

The second part in a series of city farmers. Read part 1.

The Dervaes Family, Pasadena, California
Jules Dervaes thought his home in Pasadena on 1/5 of an acre was a "stopping-off" point before finding more acreage in order to get back to the land, to live the way our forefathers did. But something changed in Jules when he learned that genetically modified agriculture was making its way onto our dinner plates. He decided his family needed to be self-sufficient, and that they would do it with the little bit of land that they had.

What started as a way to feed themselves through subsistence farming has turned into a way of life for the Dervaes'. Despite its city setting in Pasadena, the Dervaes' family farm is a self-contained feeding operation -- they produce enough to feed themselves as well as supplying local restaurants with fresh produce. And it's all done off the grid.

Solar panels, hand-cranked and pedal-powered appliances, a solar oven, and other energy-conserving methods sustain their cost-saving, low-impact lifestyle.

The family employs livestock, but not for eating, as they are vegetarians. They use and sell eggs from their ducks and chickens. They have pygmy goats for milking, plus rabbits and bees.

This urban homesteading project, Path to Freedom, demonstrates that we can all do more to make our lives more sustainable, and more meaningful.

Read more about how Jules Dervaes achieved self-sufficiency for his family.

Listen to a feature about the Dervaes' farm on NPR.

Watch a 10-minute video about their way of living:

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