Help Us, Help You - Help Others

This project evolved from our commitment and conviction to live a simple, self-sufficient and holistic lifestyle. Our hope is that by documenting our personal experiences, we can offer encouragement to those who are on the same journey towards a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle, whether they are in the city or country.

-- Jules Dervaes

We believe in giving freely to others, a value upon which strong, healthy communities are built. When Jules Dervaes started this current Urban Homestead in 2001, it was in response to the threat of GMO-contaminated food; he wanted to protect our family by growing our own food. But our urban homesteading website quickly attracted a large following of readers who wrote to tell us how we had inspired them to take steps towards living more sustainably. Invitations to community events and festivals soon followed, and we began hosting workshops and screening environmental documentary films.

Until 2006, we funded the outreach side of the Urban Homestead from our own pockets. It is both a blessing and a challenge that our rapidly growing outreach work now outstrips our family’s urban homestead income. Dervaes Institute, established August 18, 2006, is an earth-care ministry and a California Corporation Sole under California Corporations Code Section 10000-10015 and is tax exempt under IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A). On October 30, 2010, it submitted IRS form 1023 in order to receive its determination letter as a private foundation under IRS Code § 501(c)(3).

We remain committed to keeping this website free of commercial advertisements, but we need your support! Please help us keep the Urban Homestead website a valuable, free resource that benefits you and others.

Your support will help us to:

  • Raise awareness of vital issues affecting people and the planet through our online presence and outreach programs.
  • Provide online tools and resources that individuals can use to lead more sustainable and fulfilling lives.
  • Develop further outreach.


Buy from our homegrown and home-based businesses:

Urban Homestead Supply Shop -- find useful, sustainable "goods" for the urban homesteader. Our products are tried-and-true here on the urban homestead and include green living appliances and home wares; gardening supplies; earth-friendly personal care products; and much more.

DerVaes Gardens -- a viable urban homestead based business offering fresh produce directly from our organic garden to your table..


If you find this site useful, or if we have helped you in any way, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Dervaes Institute. Only the earth stewardship outreach activities of the Urban Homestead receive these contributions.

You may send a contribution by three ways.

  • Donate via PayPal
  • Send a check payable to "Dervaes Institute" to:

    Urban Homestead 631 Cypress AvePasadena, CA 91103USA

  • Add a donation to the shopping cart in Urban Homestead Supply and charge it to your credit card or PayPal account.


When you search the web via iSEARCH or when you make a purchase from 700+ merchants using iGIVE, Dervaes Institute will automatically receive a fee or a percentage of your purchase amount.


Urban Homestead projects that the we have undertaken in the past and plan to accomplish in the future are self-funded with the earnings of our produce business and from savings.

The urban homestead is operated as a viable home business. Our sustainable lifestyle does not depend on tours, teaching, book sales, lectures, memberships, grants, donations or consulting fees but through the work of our own hands.