This first work order to humans was “to dress and keep the garden,”  a command to do the work necessary  to tend a garden , along with a compassionate care over animals that reside there.

Thank you all so very much for your care and concern over our lil Amy (named after a character in Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women‘).   What a true comfort your words have been to us.

Freak accidents, illness, complications, etc., happen when you choose this path of living the farm life; but, oh man, it’s never (never) easy. The more animals you care for,  the more responsibility you have to see them through their lives to the end.

We are giving her our best shot (she’s a tenacious one); but, unfortunately, because of the freak nerve injury she suffered last fall, her egg laying has developed serious complications.  And even if she does pull through, we will have to stop her from laying eggs ever again.

Egg binding is serious; but with Amy it’s even more serious because of nerve damage sustained (think the duck were playfully ‘roughhousing’ and her wing got caught/twisted which caused her to go into serve shock, not to mention months of rehabilitation ).  We suspected there would be trouble once she ever started laying again, but figured, since she hasn’t laid in over 5 months, that her body knew better.  But with longer days and her being close to “normal” she started laying.  That  may turn out to be possibly fatal in her case.  Poor girlie.

Caring for Amy is taking its toll (very tired as we ride the emotional roller coaster),  and her situation weighs heavy on our hearts; but life goes on and we have learned a lot about ourselves and God’s creation in the process.

There are a backlog of blog posts waiting to be published with pics and descriptions about our latest projects here on the urban homestead  Harvest tallies and weekly meal round ups too!  I cringe to see how far we have fallen behind.   Just a little blip in “normal” urban homesteading activities derails the forward progress of the train so to speak – chaos!

So it maybe sometime before we get caught up.  There are, however,  some news worthy things that happened last week and things that you should know that are coming up this week.


PLEASE NOTE: there are two misstatements in the above article

1.) We grow 99 percent of our PRODUCE not diet   2.) We do buy supplement animal feed (organic grains pellets from a local food co-operative

  • Two culinary reviews of our homegrown produce from Dervaes Gardens city farmstand here and here


Farmer D will be giving a presentation at the Santa Monica Library on Thursday night

We are teaming up with PBS POV for screening of FOOD INC at our Film & Food Night this Sunday – don’t forget to spread the word (we need a bit of help with this because we’ve fallen behind due to caring for Amy) and rsvp for the event which will be featured on POV’s website!

Last but not least a ‘Thank You’ to CVH for your letter, donation best of all the gifts of chocolate and seeds.   We so appreciated your writing to us – what a treat it was to receive your package in the mail.

Oh and we got almost 2 inches of rain last night – what a blessing!


  1. Lorena says:

    That picture of the garden is so inspiring!

  2. Laura says:

    I do love the picture of the garden! We are currently nursing a chicken on our back porch after a possum attacked her. My children are on an emotional roller coaster looking after her as well.

  3. Laura @ Getting There says:

    The picture you placed in today’s post is breathtaking. You all have done such an incredible job turning a small patch of land into something beautiful and productive. Keep up the good work!

  4. theherbalkitty says:

    Hi, Anais,
    The article says you grow the food for your animals, too. Your cats, too? And hay for the goats? Just curious…I’m always looking for ways to feed my animal family more organically so they stay healthier. I tried making my own pet food; the dogs loved it, the cats refused to eat even mixing it with their regular commercial brand.
    Also, how to do you get a duck to stop laying??? Yep…I’m a greenhorn to this homesteading thing. LOL! Best of luck to you & Amy! With 16 animals of my own to care for, I understand just how stressful this sort of thing can be. Hang in there! God bless!

  5. Wendy says:

    I love all of the pictures of your homestead, and I often wish I were closer so that I could enjoy some of the great events you sponsor.

    Thank you for the updates on Amy. I’m wishing you (and her) the best. As you say, once you choose to be a steward of the land and the animals, nothing comes easy.

  6. manzanita says:

    You guys are my hero’s. I only recently found your website and read it for inspiration every day. We have 2 acres and don’t do near what you do on your 1/10 of an acre. You make me see what is possible. I sure hope Amy pulls through. I bought my first baby chickens the other day and know that I am now entering the joys of trials of animal stewardship. Thank you for being there and for doing what you do. You guys are awesome.

  7. Chris says:

    Congratulations on winning the Treehugger’s Best of Green Design and Architect Award. YAY!!! You so deserve it! This photo is indeed worth a thousand words!

    Also, can’t wait to see the upcoming Food Network show on what to do with your produce. I guess this is the new “it” show on Food Network. Congrats on that too.

    Among your clouds, we’re thrilled there are some silver lining and blessings for you. Prayers still going out to Amy and the Homestead “family”.

    FYI ~ My Certified OG 88 female farmer friend did not receive her Brandywine tomato seeds in her winter order from her ME supplier. It’s her favorite and a big seller at her little farmstand. I shared some of my seeds I purchased from you from your freedomseeds.org website with her and she is just thrilled with the germination. This is high praise indeed!

    Can’t wait to see the updated posts, but take good care. We appreciate all that you do! More than words could ever express.

  8. Grizzly Bear Mom says:

    Maybe you could lay hands on Amy and pray. Maybe she needs the same things humans with women troubles need like vitamin b. Either way, I hope Amy is okay. We had chickens that lived 13 years. My mom asked the vest about their longevity but no one knew because they normally are eaten before they die off.

  9. Grizzly Bear Mom says:

    I thought and prayer aobut Amy last night and here are today’s insights: Because animals are seen as commodities, no one values any fowl’s inability to pass eggs and just lets them die. For this reason I recommend that you call an Aviary Zoologist at a zoo and ask them about their birds’ problems with passing eggs, and refereeds to zoologists that have had similar problems. Because zoo birds are considered valuable and the zoo keepers may be emotionally interested in their survival, they may be able to advise you. I would call many different zoo keepers or zoos, because only some of them will care about you or return your calls.

  10. Abraham Nicols says:

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