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Meet the Family Growing 6,000 Pounds of Food on Just 1/10 Acre: A Lesson in Sustainable Farming

Meet the Family Growing 6,000 Pounds of Food on Just 1/10 Acre: A Lesson in Sustainable Farming


In a world where food production is dominated by large-scale industrial agriculture, it's heartening to see that there are still families out there who are taking matters into their own hands and growing their own food. One such family is the Dervaes family of Pasadena, California. They've managed to grow an astonishing 6,000 pounds of food a year on just 1/10 of an acre of land, and they've been doing it for over three decades.

dervaes family

The Dervaes family's journey into self-sufficient living began in the 1980s when Jules Dervaes, the patriarch of the family, decided that he wanted to live a more sustainable lifestyle. He was inspired by the writings of Helen and Scott Nearing, who were pioneers of the back-to-the-land movement in the 1930s, and he began experimenting with different methods of growing food in his backyard.

Over the years, the Dervaes family has refined their techniques and turned their backyard into a veritable paradise of organic produce. They've managed to grow everything from lettuce and tomatoes to strawberries and grapes, and they've even managed to raise chickens and bees on their tiny plot of land.

So how do they do it? According to the Dervaes family, the key to their success is to focus on growing high-value, high-yield crops that can be grown in small spaces. They use a technique called intercropping, where different crops are grown together in the same space, which maximizes the use of the available land. They also use raised beds and intensive planting techniques to further increase their yield.

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In addition to growing their own food, the Dervaes family has also made a business out of their backyard farming. They sell their produce at local farmers' markets and to restaurants in the area, and they even offer workshops and classes on backyard farming and sustainability.

But despite their success, the Dervaes family acknowledges that farming is not without its challenges. They've had to deal with pests, diseases, and the occasional drought, and they've had to learn how to balance the demands of their farm with the demands of their daily lives. But through it all, they've remained committed to their vision of a more sustainable world, and they've inspired countless others to follow in their footsteps.

The Dervaes family's story is a reminder that there is more than one way to grow food, and that even in urban environments, it's possible to live a more sustainable lifestyle. By focusing on high-value, high-yield crops and using innovative techniques like intercropping and raised beds, it's possible to grow a lot of food on a small amount of land. And while farming is not without its challenges, the rewards are plentiful, both in terms of the food that can be grown and the sense of self-sufficiency and community that comes with it.

dervaes family homestead pictures

In a world where food security is becoming an increasingly pressing issue, the Dervaes family's example is one that we can all learn from. By taking control of our food production and working to create more sustainable food systems, we can help to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food. So whether you have a backyard or just a windowsill, consider starting your own garden and joining the growing movement towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.


The Dervaes Family Bio:

The Dervaes family of Pasadena, California is well-known for their urban homestead, which they have transformed into a sustainable micro-farm that provides nearly all of their food needs. The family is composed of four members: Jules, his two adult children, Justin and Anais, and his granddaughter, Olivia.

The Dervaes family started their urban homestead in the late 1980s, when they purchased a small plot of land in the middle of Pasadena. At the time, the property was a typical suburban backyard with a small lawn and a few trees. However, the family saw the potential for the space to be transformed into a productive garden that could provide them with fresh, healthy food.

Over the years, the Dervaes family has turned their urban homestead into a thriving micro-farm that produces a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and eggs. They have also developed innovative strategies for conserving water, reducing waste, and maximizing the use of their limited space.

One of the key features of the Dervaes family's urban homestead is their use of vertical gardening. They have built trellises and other vertical structures to support climbing plants such as beans, peas, and tomatoes, which helps to maximize their use of space. They have also developed a system of raised garden beds, which allows them to grow plants in a compact, controlled environment.

Another important aspect of the Dervaes family's urban homestead is their commitment to sustainability. They use rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store water for their garden, and they compost all of their food waste to create nutrient-rich soil. They also have a solar-powered home, and they use energy-efficient appliances to minimize their use of electricity.

The Dervaes family's commitment to sustainability has earned them a large following on social media, and they have become ambassadors for the urban homesteading movement. They offer workshops and classes on a wide range of topics related to sustainable living, and they have inspired many others to start their own urban homesteads.

In addition to their work as urban homesteaders, the Dervaes family is also involved in local and global activism. They have been outspoken advocates for urban agriculture and sustainable living, and they have worked to promote policies and initiatives that support these goals. They have also been involved in international relief efforts, providing aid and support to communities affected by natural disasters and other crises.

In conclusion, the Dervaes family of Pasadena, California is a shining example of what can be achieved through sustainable living and urban homesteading. They have transformed a small suburban backyard into a thriving micro-farm that provides nearly all of their food needs, and they have become leaders in the sustainable living movement. Through their commitment to sustainability and their passion for sharing their knowledge with others, the Dervaes family has inspired countless people to embrace a more sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.



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