• Caring for Chickens in Hot Weather

    Meet Parcha (means “passion flower or fruit”) a new addition to the homestead menagerie.   We got a call from a distraught family wanting to place her in a good home asap!  Parcha was part of a flock of 5 until the recent heat wave. Four had passed due to heat stroke.  Poor Parcha!  But now […]

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  • Micro Farm “Meme”

    Someone sent us this (above) image via email. Apparently, some artful person worked up a nifty graphic meme about our urban farm.  Nice!   Unfortunately, the harvest and figures quoted are somewhat outdated — stats would be prior to 2010. So, given the fact that the data is dated, what would we modify on this […]

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  • Natural Lighting: Solar Tube

    Back in 2004 when we re-roofed the garage to put on 12 solar panels, one of the best things we did was to install a solar tube on the garage roof Solar tubes are cylinders lined with mirrors which bring natural light into dark homes or work spaces.  Here on the homestead our garage is […]

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  • Simple Steel Cut Oatmeal

    In Southern California, we experience a gloomy weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer. I love a warm breakfast on those ” Gray May” or “June Gloom” mornings; but, for some reason, regular rolled oats give me heartburn.   I find that steel cut oats […]

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  • Homestead Herbal: Toothache Plant

    No homestead is complete without an herb garden.  It’s like your very own homegrown pharmacy.  Pick mints for tea if you have an upset tummy,  dry some calendula flowers to use in soothing salve.   Did you know you can grow your own “Anbesol” for tooth or gum aches?  It’s an herb called the Toothache Plant […]

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  • Mind Body Green: Meet The Family Growing 6,000 Pounds Of Food A Year In Their L.A. Backyard

    by Emma Loewe, MBG Editorial May 19, 2016 Originally Published at MindBodyGreen.com From the street, the Dervaes family home in Pasadena, Calif., about a 30-minute drive from Los Angeles, resembles most others on its suburban block. But a quick peek around the corner reveals a backyard brimming with plots of fruits, veggies, and a rogue […]

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  • Food Tank: Interview with the Dervaes Family

    Original article at FoodTank.com Jules Dervaes is an urban farmer based in Pasadena, California. Dervaes and his three adult children—Justin, Anais, and Jordanne—operate an Urban Homesteading project on their property. The Dervaes family grows approximately 7,000 pounds of organic produce annually, powers their home with alternative energy, fuels their car with homemade biodiesel, keeps farm animals for eggs […]

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  • Growing Natives

    These past five years, Southern California has been gripped by a severe drought.  This is a semi-arid region, which on a good year, averages 12-16 inches.   In In three of the five years, we’ve hoovered around 4 inches.  Last year we received about 6 inches and a bit over 6 inches this year (so much […]

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  • Blackberry Jam

    We are blessed to have an abundance of blackberries this year.    I confess, I am hoarding them (sorry, farmbox subscribers!) to make preserves. I love making preserves and a few years back I kicked the box habit  — using any store bought (boxed) pectin for my jam making.   Yes, I know, it may come […]

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  • Avocado Toast

    Even homesteaders have to admit, there are some days they are  too durn busy to cook.   We start the day with good intentions but then we blow past lunch and, before you know it hunger strikes – it’s dinner time and your stomach is  fit to be tied. Toast has been elevated to a new […]

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