ON ABC TONIGHT: A Family Farm in the Midst of Suburbia

Is it neat, or is it slightly odd that in this Los Angeles community — it’s called Pasadena — a suburban mix of nice restaurants and well-tended front lawns, there is a home wedged in with the other houses where the entire front yard is edible?

dervaes family
From homemade fuel to outdoor baths, the Dervaes family takes recycling to the next level. ( Photo: Courtesy Chris Kelly)

It’s true. At 631 Cypress Avenue, there is not one thing that cannot be eaten. Nothing. Kale, chives, pepper, pinapple, guava, Swiss chard, even edible flowers along the side of the house, and into the back yard.

It is Jules Dervaes’ fifth of an acre. His little family farm, in the midst of American suburbia, his way of breaking free without really going anywhere.

“We eat rich, I’m telling you,” said Dervaes. “And the way we live, it just seems like something you would dream of.”

The “we” he speaks of are his kids, who grew up on the farm. Three out of four of them have stayed on into their 20’s and 30’s, and they don’t have other jobs either because what they don’t eat, they sell.

Read entire article

Watch this story tonight on “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. EDT

No Comments

  1. RedStateGreen says:

    Nice article! Although I’m not sure why so many of these mention your social life. I hardly think it’s anyone’s business.

    I didn’t know you had another sibling. What does he/she do?

    (if you don’t mind saying)

  2. mary says:

    We don’t have a TV connected to broadcast or cable [just use it to show the occasional DVD πŸ™‚ ] Please let me know if this feature becomes available through you-tube or otherwise. I hope they did a really great job with the interview and all.

  3. Wendy says:

    That was very cool! You guys are, like, celebrities or something ;).

    Very nice interview – but watch out, Justin. According to Trace Atkins “Ladies like country boys ….”

    Thank you for giving us the heads’ up. It was a really nice story. I think ABC did a very nice job … and of course, it was very cool seeing all of you on television.


  4. Jan says:

    I got to watch it!! I was able to stay up and watch the segment. Congrats, It was a wonderful piece. I agree with Wnedy, ABC did a really great job!

  5. Judy says:

    Oh this was a great show. I think that NightLine did an outstanding job . I loved seeing the “tour” of the gardens too. Absolutely beautiful and very inspiring. Great delivery of your message!

  6. anajz says:

    Segment was fantastic….but it was TOOOO SHORT…lol. I think I could watched a two hour documentary and still want more. Thank you very much for allowing ABC to produce this program.

  7. Leah says:

    I loved your story. I posted a comment on abc’s site and wanted to say thank you for letting us look in on your personal lives. I grew up gardening so our family could eat. All of my family was happy, healthy and in hand-me-downs too. I have been married 25yrs and have always had a garden to suppliment meals. When we have people over thay can’t believe that most of the meal was from my small back yard. I hope that your story will motivate people to do their own gardens or form community gardens. Local nurseries may support your efforts. It works. WE NEEDED THIS! Thanks

  8. Jennifer says:

    Hi Anais!
    Least they could do was spell your name correctly on the text article! And yes I agree with the other comment on why they felt they need in that small piece to delve into your social lives. That clearly was not the point of the self sufficient home in California.

    But hey as they always say, any publicity is good publicity!

    So many people want to be like your family now and start working towards it. I feel a ‘Do it the Dervaes way’ book in your future………. πŸ˜€

  9. Terri says:

    I stayed up to watch the segment, I was so excited! I think the segment was way too short…maybe next earth day they can do an entire hour or two devoted to you guys! Youre my heroes!

  10. Kim says:

    I’m bummed I missed it. If you have a link to it on youtube or another site I would love to see it. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  11. Wendy says:

    Hi guys.

    I stayed up until 12:30 am Atlantic time to watch it. I loved it but it was way way to short. Thanks for the heads up about the clip. My DH even watched when I told him it was you guys, the ones that have inspired me so much and spend so much computer time on your site for ideas. We have gotten rid of all the plants that are not for food and we are now putting in more raised beds and planting madly here. you are such an inspiration.

    Wendy in Nova Scotia

  12. ValP says:

    β€œAnd the way we live, it just seems like something you would dream of.”

    I feel the same way!! It is the good life.

  13. Nalini says:

    Hi guys:

    I absolutey love that photo that Chris Kelly took of you. You all look like stars in a TV movie!! πŸ™‚
    The Nightline segment was a hit…so many people are sending in notes to the ABC site….even I got a phone call from across the country, “I saw you on TV!” (We all figured that “Country Road” was going to make it in the final cut, didn’t we?)
    Love to you all….and you better keep the pitchforks handy in case a swarm of single farmers swoop down on you!

  14. Frank Vassell says:

    I am working towards the same goal here in East Orange County, Florida to have a self sufficient homestaed. Please let me know how I can receive a copy of the film.

    Frank Vassell
    1438 Renee Ave
    Orlando, FL 32825

  15. Craig says:

    Frank, you can find it on you-tube. That is where I saw it. I’m on the Gulf Coast of Fl. and am trying to get about 75% self sufficiency for my family. Good luck in your endeavors.

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