An Amazing and Prolific Urban Homestead

The common conception of homesteading is that it's a rural activity. But one man in Pasadena, CA and his adult children have created a wildly successful urban homestead on one-tenth of an acre.

Dervaes homestead oasis
With perseverance and ingenuity, Jules Dervaes created his urban homestead, an oasis in the middle of urban Pasadena, CA.
Dervaes fam
The irrepressible Jules Dervaes and his children, Jordanne, Anaïs and Justin.
Gardening Dervaes
To make the most of the space, Dervaes-style gardening often means vertical gardens.
Dervaes Jules
Jules Dervaes back-to-the-land in New Zealand, 1973.
Children homestead
The homestead and Dervaes children in 1986, when it all started.
Homestead Dervaes
The Path to Freedom urban homestead today.
Nigerian Dwarf Doe
Lady Fairlight, a Nigerian dwarf doe.
Dervaes canning
The fruits of labor.
Black cochin hen
Clementine, a standard black cochin hen.
Dervaes flowers
It’s not all beans and squash; there’s even room for a flower patch!
Dervaes harvest
The harvests increased yearly, reaching an annual yield of more than 6,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables on just one-tenth an acre land.
Dervaes fruit
The annual harvest is the equivalent of more than 60,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables per acre!
Dervaes solar panel
The homestead’s 2 kW solar power system produces about two-thirds of the Dervaes’ electricity needs — diligently minimized to no more than 6 kWh a day.
“The way to survival is through working in our earth, and the tool of salvation is a trowel.” Jules Dervaes brandishes the “tool of salvation” in his one-trowel revolution.

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