On a lighter note, after getting home and going through all the emails (answering over 50 yesterday alone – whew. really need to get ourselves a secretary’s secretary!) we received an email from the ABC network.  They wanted to know if we would want to be a part of their newest hit TV show “Wife Swap” The email said:

…seeking families who live by the “voluntary simplicity” philosophy – families who feel that all of the excess technology and “stuff” is unnecessary – families who keep it simple and don’t get involved with the craziness of the outside world. We’re looking for those great folks that spend true quality time with each other and don’t rely on tv, video games, or other electronics to entertain their children 24/7. We’re looking for outspoken, outgoing, lively families who are passionate about their beliefs and their lifestyle – and are eager to teach others what it’s all about!

Sounds like our family, but they forgot one minor detail, Jules Dervaes needs a wife to swap! 😉  Anyhow, from brief snippets we’ve seen, these “reality” shows purposely generate conflicts. They want to create tension and whip up some sort of “explosive” episode.


We received an email tip the other day from a reader, saying that if we placed Google ads on the PTF site, we could be making ~ $1000 (considering how many hits each month the site receives). This $ bonus would definitely pay for the hosting, bandwidth fee and the extensive work that needs to be done to update and redesign the website (adding more reading content, PDF and video files).  The question we asked ourselves: Are we incredibly stupid (or hardheaded) to keep our principles and maintain PTF as an ad free site?    Hmmm?


Winter squashes are being harvested, the avocado tree is still giving us yummy avocados, peppers are pouring in, also few new tomatoes, eggplants and beans.

Parts of the garden are starting to become leggy and “tired looking” after expending all their energy throughout the growing season. From now on, plants will go into a slowdown preparing for their winter hibernation. The summer harvest cycle is nearing a close; it’s time to shift gears as we follow the earth’s natural rhythms. Time to starting planting cool weather crops.  Before we left for San Francisco we planted peas, broccoli and an assortment of green crops. The sweet potatoes are growing well, so we will hopefully look forward to some tasty tubers come Thanksgiving time.

Forward Motion

PTF has taken a break from hosting the monthly slew of workshops/gatherings. Not because we don’t want to (it’s a great community experience) but we feel that we need to spend the time progressing further along the path instead spending endless hours promoting events and worrying if we will cover the cost of the speaker.   I am sure this decision will disappoint many; however, we feel there is a danger of our standing still.  Repeating the same old — becoming stagnantand going in circles.

We still have to tackle the waste and water aspect here on the urban homestead and to us that’s more of a challenge now than hosting workshops or even tours.   Many sustainable centers rely on memberships, donations, tour and workshop fees to survive. But to be a true, viable eco home,  urban homestead  or sustainable living resource center we feel that we need to make our living from our land and hands.

There are so many new skills that need to be learned and we are frustrated how inadequately we tackle all that’s needing to be done/learned. It’s a struggle to keep up the daily tasks and add new ones. To be a complete renaissance/ pioneer man or women certainly requires one to learn the fine art of time management.

No Comments

  1. stella says:

    how about doing more work related workshops or work weekends to help you get those projects done? that way you could still host an occassional work shop, teach people and make your home more eco-friendly? or is it just too much preparatioin?

  2. Anais says:

    Hi Stella

    Thanks for the suggestion. You are right, it’s just too much preparation at this point (with some projects we don’t even really know what we are doing, just taking it one step at a time). However, we are trying to arrange “small work parties” with one or two people to help us out.

    We are slowly plugging away at the backlog! 😉


  3. claire says:

    hi, I love the fact that your site is advert free, they drive me nuts. how much does it cost you to keep it all going? its something I really appreciate and “drop in” on you often from over here in Scotland, claire

  4. Anonymous says:

    We planted sweet potato vines last year and they all just withered away but it’s nearing harvest time here and they are all looking great….they were planted in pretty shallow beds, but we’re hoping to at least get a few this year. I think people would understand if you did the adsense thing – websites don’t maintain themselves as we all know 🙁

  5. Anais Dervaes says:


    Thank you for your comments. The PTF site costs us over $1,000 dollars a year (this is for web hosting fees only).