Justin Dervaes

The eldest son of Jules Dervaes, Justin carries many responsibilities on the Urban Homestead and is an extremely talented jack-of-all-trades. Ask him exactly what his role is and be prepared to get quite an earful. Pry a little deeper and find a seed junkie in denial. Justin is addicted to plants -- often planting seeds and growing them until there just isn't a single inch of space to put them. If you can't find your way to our front door, blame it on Justin's plants. It truly is a jungle out there.

Justin's self-taught mechanical skills are responsible for keeping the family/company car on the road and fueled with homemade biodiesel and our bicycles riding squeak-free. Give him a broken bike instead of a new one and he'll be forever grateful. Justin is well known as the local bike mechanic for his neighborhood and all around repair man on the family homestead.   In what precious spare time he has, he enjoys experimenting with alternative energy gadgets.  Like most farmers, while he would prefer to be working outside, Justin also manages the business side of the homesteadHe keeps track of the finances, as well as the legal aspects of the family's extensive Internet presence.

Justin's early years were spent on the family's 10 acres in Florida where he believed his then-calling and birthright was to defend family members from the local snakes and the Florida state bird, aka the flying cockroach, which terrorized the Dervaes female kin.  He was also was uncontrollably drawn to any machine in his vicinity -- whether it be sewing machine, mower, or vaccuum cleaner -- ready to take them apart to see how they worked or attempt to fix them when broken. 

Early recollections include working the bees with his dad, chopping at trees with his own ax or just working alongside his dad around the 10 acre homestead. Play was an important part of his life; but, when given a chance to work, Justin preferred the work. Work, in any form, was his passion.   It wasn't unusual to find Justin in the veggie garden, eating a raw corn cob, pepper or whatever he could find for a snack. Anything Justin undertook, he did so with gusto and unrelenting drive. There were many times his parents had to tell him to to stop his studies on the computer because he "might break the machine." But, knowing Justin, he probably had an unrecognized secret agenda and would have enjoyed trying to fix it once broken so, in the end, he would win either way.

Justin also learned leather crafting under his dad's tutelage. He does incredible leather carvings which have caught the eye of those who know and appreciate such leather work.

He greets life with intensity, passion and an ever-ready smile. Justin plans to pursue homesteading, farming and wants to marry, rear children, and, yes, grow those tomatoes.