Another local write-up about the urban homestead that includes Jordanne’s Ginger Soda Recipe (note we use glass bottles but for the article recommend using recycled liter soda bottles for safety reasons)

Farming a 1/10 Acre Urban Homestead by Chris Bertrand / Mountain Views News

The Dervaes family live simply and richly, farming their Urban Homestead in Pasadena

On a recent sunny afternoon, I pulled up to a home not unlike the others in the curb appearance in this Northwest Pasadena neighborhood, just north of Orange Grove. After that first glance, you might notice that the front yard is landscaped differently than the others on the block, tastefully planted with flowers and herbs, some fruit trees and a picket fence appropriate for the vintage of the home and its surroundings. Step behind the driveway gate, though, and a whole new world unfolds.

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What we are doing: soil revitalization (compost teas, re-mineralizing, manure, etc) summer plantings, canning, brewing, caring for Amy, our duck, who’s doing OK after the egg binding.  Thanks to all those who wrote offering concern and suggestions.  In her case, because of the nerve damage, it’s a bit more complicated than treating regular egg binding (oil, hot baths, etc, etc)  She just doesn’t feel the need to pass the egg – as it doesn’t even make it to the vent nor are there any signs of “contractions.”    Though she’s certainly improved since the wing/pinched nerve injury there must be some residual damage that prohibits her from feeling/passing the eggs.   So we are going to make a couple calls today – see if there’s someone out there that can tie off her reproduction tubes for a reasonable price.  Otherwise, she’s doing surprisingly well – thank God.  No sign of fever, eating and drinking normal.  She’s a fighter!

No more bucket brigade!  The bath water to garden greywater has been hooked up!  Got to “christen” it last week and it worked – whoot!  Now every time we take a bath the water is sent underground to water trees and vegetables.  More about that in another post. Hopefully that will cut our, typical low water bill, even more.  Every drop counts!

What we are planting: cucumbers, beans, squash, eggplant, basil, turnips, carrots, tomatoes and more

Haven’t got your seeds, then browse our collection of Freedom Seeds – featuring a collection of seeds grown by and for the people

Beneficial border of spring wildflowers

Tomatoes are blooming!

Loquats are almost ripe.

A bed of French Provider beans (purchase the seeds at Freedom Seeds our online seed store)

Can you spot Farmer Justin?

Old Clems still ruling the roost

Bushes loaded with blueberries

Turning over – spring to summer

Do not disturb.  Fairlight takes a siesta.


  1. Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says:

    I feel like taking a nap like Fairlight. lol

  2. Laura says:

    I love your pictures! They are so inspiring!

  3. Heidi says:

    Does your loquat tree produce every year? Ours has only bore fruit once in the last 4 years. Do you have special pruning techniques? Thanks for all you do. We love you guys 🙂

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