A VISIT TO THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

It was an unbearably humid day yesterday, making any outdoor work quite uncomfortable. It was so humid you could wring our your shirt.

During the morning, every day chores (feeding animals, pick and packing produce orders, garden work, etc) an internet tv channel dropped by the urban homestead to check out how we strive to live a sustainable and “green” life here in the middle of the city.

Like with any such media format, they only really touch on the “light green” aspects of our lives but each with a different POV so will be interesting to see how these clips turn out.

Farmer D talks to host Elizabeth about the how he went about transforming a home into an urban homestead over the past twenty plus years.

Justin wheels out a drum of home brewed biodiesel past our favorite piece of transportation (our Xtracycle) Hmmm wonder why folks just don’t appreciate the value of a bike as an alternative form of transportation? Justin and Elizabeth check out the 12 solar panels which provides the urban homestead with clean energy

Peek into the kitchen

The host chats with Owner and Chef Onil who’s one of our local restaurant clients.  The executive chef  said (off camera) when asked how’s business was, “Busy, thanks to you – everyone comes in and wants Dervaes  stuff”  Another chef claimed it’s ‘Dervaes mania!”

What’s for lunch?  Here comes our very own DerVaes Garden salad and DerVaes chicken/duck egg salad sandwich with edible flower garnish

Elizabeth and myself wait for lunch to be served.  We chatted how it was exciting to see the owner,  head chefs and even the younger apprentice chefs (one just arrived from France!) really enjoy using such local foods.  Such a connection brings food alive and their enthusiasm is transfer to the food as create dishes with passion and love for what they are doing.

The host talks about how normal food/salads travel 1,500 miles to our table when in fact this restaurant’s meal traveled a mere mile from our urban farm to the table.

Delicious!

Looking at towering (volunteer) sunflower in the garden, Farmer Justin talks about the usefulness of such flora in the garden all the beneficial insects that are attracted to one plant (bees, butterflies, praying manti, birds)

The host cradles warm (just laid) eggs.  She was so thrilled to get fresh eggs, she couldn’t wait to go home and bake cookies with them

Jordanne and Elizabeth (who happens to be a huge animal lover) hang out with the urban homestead’s menagerie of animals.   If it were up to the host the whole segment would have been on just animals.

We’ll let you know when the piece airs, hopefully in the next 2 weeks.

Also yesterday another film crew came by.  They were working on a piece featuring different green products for the home and one of them was the toilet lid sink.  They were put in contact with us by the manufacturer of the toilet lid sink because the wanted to shoot a toilet lid sink in action.  Exciting!

Jules talks with the producer about the benefits of a toilet lid sink

Even with the interruptions normal life on the urban homestead goes on.

After everyone left, I finally got my hair cut — it was getting way too long for summer.

In the garden we are battling a pesky pest – harlequin bugs!  Never before in our years of our growing business have we seen such an infestation.  Though we are having success with our salad succession plantings these bugs are wreaking havoc on the young greens.  Controlling these buggers are, like this article says is “no laughing matter.”

For those who’ve ordered blue water bottles from the Peddler’s Wagon, we are happy to report the bottles finally arrives.  Seems they were lost in transit for a week!  Very frustrating for all parties involved.  So, we are off to pack and ship those backorders today.  Thanks for your patience everyone.

Comments(20)

  1. Marci says:

    It must be hard to always have to be ready to show people around. Ya’ll get so much done as it is, and then having to show people around and explain things. I know that it all goes to help people be more aware.

  2. Marci says:

    It must be hard to always have to be ready to show people around. Ya’ll get so much done as it is, and then having to show people around and explain things. I know that it all goes to help people be more aware.

  3. Patti says:

    I love catching your family on TV. I recognize the homestead right off the bat!

    I find so much inspiration when I visit PTF. I am working on my own version of a small homestead, and have truly enjoyed the challenges, successes, and, yes, even failures. I have learned so much, both here and on my own.

    Thank you all for sharing your journey!

  4. Patti says:

    I love catching your family on TV. I recognize the homestead right off the bat!

    I find so much inspiration when I visit PTF. I am working on my own version of a small homestead, and have truly enjoyed the challenges, successes, and, yes, even failures. I have learned so much, both here and on my own.

    Thank you all for sharing your journey!

  5. Fern says:

    Speaking of volunteer plants bringing all sorts of benefits – I let a Scotch Thistle grow over the past two years, it’s amazing! Seven feet tall, at least 3 feet around, and the bees and moths adore it. I have NEVER had so many bees around the house before. While I assume there must be at least one hive closer than ever before, certainly the thistle and clover are attracting them, too. Honeybees in the herbs and clover, bumble bees in the thistle and clover, wasps of all sorts in the herbs. The yard’s all a-buzz.

  6. Fern says:

    Speaking of volunteer plants bringing all sorts of benefits – I let a Scotch Thistle grow over the past two years, it’s amazing! Seven feet tall, at least 3 feet around, and the bees and moths adore it. I have NEVER had so many bees around the house before. While I assume there must be at least one hive closer than ever before, certainly the thistle and clover are attracting them, too. Honeybees in the herbs and clover, bumble bees in the thistle and clover, wasps of all sorts in the herbs. The yard’s all a-buzz.

  7. Claire Splan says:

    Thanks for the mention of harlequin bugs. After I read your comments I googled for some photos and now I realize that I have seen one or two of these in my garden. Since I didn’t know what they were and whether or not they were beneficial, I just left them alone, but next time I see them I’ll know better!

  8. Claire Splan says:

    Thanks for the mention of harlequin bugs. After I read your comments I googled for some photos and now I realize that I have seen one or two of these in my garden. Since I didn’t know what they were and whether or not they were beneficial, I just left them alone, but next time I see them I’ll know better!

  9. Sundari Elizabeth says:

    I think it is fantastic that you are able to sell your produce to local restaurants. I’d really like to ask how you’re able to work that (legally) and if you had to get any special permits.

    I work for a restaurant in Denver, and I had a conversation with someone at the health department about using produce from backyard gardens. The health dept guy said that (nationally) all produce served in restaurants must come from licensed/approved growers. Has the Dervaes homestead received any special certification? If not, have any restaurants expressed concern?

    I don’t agree with the rule — just interested in figuring out all the ins and outs!

  10. Sundari Elizabeth says:

    I think it is fantastic that you are able to sell your produce to local restaurants. I’d really like to ask how you’re able to work that (legally) and if you had to get any special permits.

    I work for a restaurant in Denver, and I had a conversation with someone at the health department about using produce from backyard gardens. The health dept guy said that (nationally) all produce served in restaurants must come from licensed/approved growers. Has the Dervaes homestead received any special certification? If not, have any restaurants expressed concern?

    I don’t agree with the rule — just interested in figuring out all the ins and outs!

  11. ~~Melissa says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the footage. It’s always inspiring to see your farm from new perspectives. And I’m one of those geeks who gets excited by the toilet sink!

    On a side note, I can only imagine what a big chunk out of your day these media visits take, but again, it’s all part of spreading the word. Ultimately I hope it’s enjoyable for you homesteaders. 🙂

  12. ~~Melissa says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the footage. It’s always inspiring to see your farm from new perspectives. And I’m one of those geeks who gets excited by the toilet sink!

    On a side note, I can only imagine what a big chunk out of your day these media visits take, but again, it’s all part of spreading the word. Ultimately I hope it’s enjoyable for you homesteaders. 🙂

  13. Marc A Cubas says:

    I want to thank you for allowing my camera crew feature your family, home and what your doing on our Network.

    My interest in featuring your story is in the hopes that more people can be inspired by what your family is doing.

    I like to create additional footage of other aspects that you think would be interesting to showcase.

    Be well.

    Marc

  14. Marc A Cubas says:

    I want to thank you for allowing my camera crew feature your family, home and what your doing on our Network.

    My interest in featuring your story is in the hopes that more people can be inspired by what your family is doing.

    I like to create additional footage of other aspects that you think would be interesting to showcase.

    Be well.

    Marc

  15. Nuno says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  16. Nuno says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  17. Elizabeth Chambers says:

    Thank you all for having us to your wonderful homestead. It was by far one of the most enlightening and inspiring assignments I’ve had. You are four people who are living the difference and we are all learning from you. Thank you for exemplifying the change we need to see in the world.

    Best,
    Elizabeth Chambers

    ps-Thought you would like this!

    http://rmichelle.blogspot.com/2008/07/happy-monday.html#links

  18. Elizabeth Chambers says:

    Thank you all for having us to your wonderful homestead. It was by far one of the most enlightening and inspiring assignments I’ve had. You are four people who are living the difference and we are all learning from you. Thank you for exemplifying the change we need to see in the world.

    Best,
    Elizabeth Chambers

    ps-Thought you would like this!

    http://rmichelle.blogspot.com/2008/07/happy-monday.html#links

  19. Anais says:

    Hi Marci & Sundari,
    Yes, we do get a lot of things done, but there is always more things on our urban homesteaders to do list. The fun never stops! About selling to restaurants, many of them already buy from local farmers markets so we just called our local farmer markets and they told us all that we needed to do to sell our produce. Our difference is that we don’t pick untill someone orders plus we can deliver.

    Anais

  20. Anais says:

    Hi Marci & Sundari,
    Yes, we do get a lot of things done, but there is always more things on our urban homesteaders to do list. The fun never stops! About selling to restaurants, many of them already buy from local farmers markets so we just called our local farmer markets and they told us all that we needed to do to sell our produce. Our difference is that we don’t pick untill someone orders plus we can deliver.

    Anais

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