Q. What was the initial motivation / inspiration for starting your “homesteading” journey ?
A. Well, Jules Dervaes always had a desire to go “back to basics” & “back to the land” In the early seventies, after volunteering for Vista and getting a job teaching at a high school (to avoid the draft–he was a conscientious objector), he decided to leave the States and homestead in New Zealand. There he had a small garden, chickens, bees, ducks, goats, no indoor toilet, wood stove for cooking and hot water, drank rain water, no phone, and limited electricity (lights, refrigerator and a radio).
After a few years, circumstances brought JD back to the States where he lived in a rural area of Florida on 10 acres surrounded by farms and citrus groves. There we had a large garden (growing corn, beans, squash, okra, peppers, etc.) and a beekeeping business. Once tried keeping a goat who was too stubborn to handle, so instead bartered honey for raw goat’s milk and butter from a lady in the area.
So that’s some of the history there…
But how did we get started on our “homesteading journey” here? Well, life’s path took us to Pasadena (long story). We thought we would not be here long and would go back to some acreage somewhere. Living here in the city, it started to slowly citify us and we started to wander and lose some of the sustainable values. We basically figured that we used the city as an excuse that we couldn’t live sustainably here — we needed acreage. When that dream didn’t materialize JD figured instead of wishing and whining that we should try to homestead here — with what we have.