13
February 6, 2012

SURPRISE VISIT

Posted by Anais Dervaes

On Friday, we received a call from a legislative assistant and were surprised to find out that a California State Senator had requested to stop by over the weekend for a quick visit.  The assistant remarked that the Senator had heard so many good things about us--and he wasn't even  from our area! The purpose of his visit was to help get the laws in California changed in order to enable more people to do what we are doing!

Eeeks, we weren't  expecting any visitors  and were not  set up for any tours of the Urban Homestead just yet!  We had a half  finished project lying around the backyard; but we managed to tidy up the place for a quick walk through.

We were rather apprehensive; but, as it  turned out, he was great and such a nice guy as well.  The Senator asked us what were some of the things we would change on a legislative level to make it easier for people to do what we have done. And he asked what were the difficulties we faced to make it as successful as we had made it and how can he can make it better. We told him a lot of things that will, hopefully, be beneficial to all city homesteaders.    We explained our relationship with the City of Pasadena, how we are proud of our City that is promoting sustainability on a residential level.    Also, we remarked  on the importance  of  when "farming" the front yard, it is vitally necessary to make  it pretty as well as practical.  We brought up how urban agriculture and sustainability are important on a residential and community level and how sensible rules and regulations are needed to protect the rights of farmers and animals alike.  And last, but not least, we  brought up the"Cottage Food Act " that is on the minds of  quite a few fellow CA homesteaders.  This "Food Act" would make  it easier on home cooks to sell their goods and is one of the legislative changes that  everyone would love to see.

Hopefully, some of our ideas get taken to heart! Before he left, he said "if you need ANYTHING at all... call me."   Cool!

Update about 'California State Legislature: Enact a Cottage Food Law in California' on Change.org

"Dear California Cottage Food Law Supporters, We're excited to announce that our bill has an author! Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D - Los Angeles) has committed to working with us to pass a "California Homemade Food Act," soon to be known as “California's Cottage Food Law," which will be introduced in the State Assembly as early as next month...."

:: Resources ::

Sign the Petition

Cottage Food Law Update in other States

Homebased Baking Cottage Food Laws


Jump to "Post a Comment"

13 Comments: "SURPRISE VISIT" »

  1. Wyoming is a long way from California but we have similar aspirations. One thing that has been hard to crack here is for municipalities to allow backyard 'animals' such as chickens and maybe goats (at least). The prospect of raising your own sustenance is embraced by more people than one might think but hampered by bureaucrats. Just think how much these practices affect the budgeting of tax dollars - could it be that less dependence on sugar daddy or mommy is not desirable to those in government? You have a WONDERFUL spread and enviable lifestyle.

    • I need to inform you that, in my opinion, Harry Meekins is not a homesteader in any sense at all. He is an alleged opportunist, internet conman and junk salesman. It is alleged that this man has enticed hundreds of people to pay membership fees to join a website, LaFamiglia.com, when he had no right to do so. When what he was doing was revealed, he was relieved of his adminstrative position. However, it is also alleged that he took with him valuable contributions of photos and other intellectual properties provided by his victims with him which he has so far not been willing to acknowledge or return.

    • So, you didn't like my take on Harry Meekins? Well, gosh, I guess I'll have to suspect that you are Harry Meekins... or some wannabe crook like him. Good luck with your scam.

  2. Thank you... for being pioneers, for giving us examples and inspiration, and for opening your home to spontaneous tours. We all benefit from your activities.

  3. That Is Great News! Thank you for being so OPEN and FORWARD (IN the Backward motion). You are a great Inspiration. I am always telling people about you!
    Thank you again
    warmly
    Stacy~Creativemuse
    P.S. who is making Pear Butter right now! my ORGANIC CSA gave me about 5lbs of Pears Saturday my Hostess knew I would use them! We were at the SOFTBALL park and not MY pick up day! I am loving like minded Earth Stewards and Family Lovers that flower in my life.

  4. Anais, That's great that you have a senator's ear. I think it's awesome that you have gained such notoriety from being so open and humble about what you do. That's what draws people to the lifestyle that your family lives. Everyone is looking for a better, easier, simpler way to live. Keep up with the good work.

    I pray that your realm of influence will help to pass the Cottage Food laws for those folks that wish to sell bakery items from their kitchens. I'm sure you did just fine with your high level tour. Have a great day.

  5. Sometimes hard work more than pays off. That's great news for you!

  6. I think this is great! I wish cottage industries laws were much more uniform in the state. Our city is very strict on cottage industry. Successful people make it easier for the rulemakers to see the vision! I hope it catches on!

  7. Thank you, Dervaes family, for your inspiration and empowering example. We live in a pretty rural part of Virginia, yet we are not allowed to have chickens. Our neighbors can have a pack of howling hound dogs in a cage, but we are not allowed to have even a couple of hens. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about lobbying for a change in laws or ordinances so that we can start living more gently and more self-sufficiently out here on the other coast? I'd appreciate any advice you or your readers have for us.

    • I don't know about these things but I think I would start with a bit of research and then some community building.
      1. Research any communities in your state that do allow chickens or like animals and what their regulations are, what issues have come up if any etc. This info will be helpful when making a presentation to the county. It will make your ideas concrete and do-able.
      2. Try to get the word out to find others in the county that might also like to have animals. They can provide support, ideas, energy and help find support in the general community.
      Good Luck

  8. Would love a few of the laws in Georgia to adjust. I live in the city limits, so no chickens or ducks and I can have a goat, but only one...would be sad and lonely.

    Nice that you are so well supported in your community.

  9. My family was able to get a chicken friendly ordinance passed in Idaho a year ago. We bought some hens for our 9 year olds 4H project and then animal control found out and cited us with a misdemeanor. We went to city council and it really wasn't going anywhere, so we went to the local news and told our story. We found some well connected people that had chickens in their yards too. There was a pretty big backlash and city council saw fit then to change the code.
    This year they just made it legal to have beehives in city limits.
    Things are looking up all over.
    If you do some reasearch, chickens are allowed in many metropolitan areas now. We found an extensive list, but i can't recall the sources. Our friend Shel has that. I will see if I can forward our ordinance proposal.

  10. Chickens in the backyard are fine. But in an urban or suburban environment roosters are not welcome. Got one in my suburban neighborhood and I have visions of rooster stew.

The Urban Homesteaders

Share your thoughts and tell us what you're thinking... We believe in etiquette and consider those who comment here like house guests. Anyone who treats our home or readers with disrespect will receive no respect in return. Cool? Cool.

Comments are monitored and spam is digitally composted.

And oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!