I know many of you perhaps getting tired of all the coverage our garden and homestead has been receiving from time to time.

Of course, I much rather share with you daily happenings but the landscape for us has certainly changed for us over these last eight years since we started sharing our lives here on the urban homestead.

We just got an email from one of our readers (thanks Sharon) that our garden has been declared ‘Garden of the Decade’ by NATURAL HOME MAGAZINE!

What an honor, thanks for the nod!

Jules Dervaes and his family have become something of a sensation since Natural Home featured their incredibly productive organic garden in 2006—and for good reason. Jules, his son Justin and daughters Anais and Jordanne live on one-fifth of an acre in suburban Pasadena, California. The family cultivates about half the property, or one-tenth of an acre. Using a farming system that’s up to 150 times as efficient as industrial farming, they cultivate 300 organic crops without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

The Dervaes family’s use of techniques such as multi-story gardening allows them to grow up to four different crops in one square foot. Twining plants grow on arbors, while lightweight plants grow in hanging baskets. Even on the ground, the family grows two layers of plants—stronger, taller plants, such as broccoli, grow above smaller, lower plants, such as endive. Chickens provide fresh eggs, organic pest control and manure for compost.

The garden feeds the family and pays the bills. The family sells organic produce—edible flowers, mixed salad greens, eggs and heirloom tomatoes—to local restaurants. To learn more, visit

Three things we love about this garden:
1. The Dervaes family eats very well off one fiftieth the land the rest of us require.
2. The family reaches out to their suburban community by using their garage to screen films and hold seminars on building with cob and going solar.
3. The garden sustains the family financially through sales of organic produce and eggs to area restaurants.

Read the original Pasadena Paradise article.


  1. SuperMom says:

    Well I personally think all the coverage is great. I love reading about your successes.

    Congratulations on this much deserved award.

  2. Susan says:

    Congratulations! How wonderful for you and yes, how well deserved.

  3. Maija Shelley says:

    I too love reading about it all. I get more and more encouraged by things other people see and celebrate about the successfulness of your eco-pioneer-urban-farming. I live on one third of an acre in a small town. I’m ashamed to say that only this year am I ‘doing’ something about it. (I think I’m blessed with having such a large yard.) I’ll get nothing even close to what you are doing, but I’m feeling good that I am making a start. I’ve grown small amounts of veggies in the past. Key word: “past”. I have to tell you though, it’s so difficult to be doing much when one is doing it all alone with (what shall I call them? “disabilities” of a sort.)
    I’m proud to say though, that I have three chicks on order from the hatchery.
    I’m trying.
    Thank you for being such incredible role models. If you are ever up in my neck of the woods; I would be thrilled to have you come give a ‘talk’ somewhere nearby. I’m in Ontario, Canada; not very far from the Watertown NY area.

  4. Blythe says:

    Congratulations! I love reading your jounal every day. I am really inspired by what you all have accomplished and I’m am trying to follow your example although a little at a time. Thank you.

  5. Jill says:


  6. Leeza says:

    I’m so glad I found your site. You and your family are an inspiration, and I look forward to learning more about what you guys are up to. If you ever want to come back to Florida, I’m in Jacksonville and you are welcome at my place. 🙂
    Only if you promise to help me in my garden. (One day at a time) One day it really will be a garden.
    God bless you and your family. 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  7. Meg says:

    Congrats!!!! This is awesome news!!!

  8. Mavis says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I stumbled onto your website last summer and if it was not for your many “how to” examples I wouldn’t know what to do with my yard. Thanks to your inspiration we are going to try and grow 2,000lbs of vegetables this summer.

  9. Cc says:

    We never grow tired of your pictures, conversations, (cute, lively, informative, educational and ect.) You just go girl!!! Anything and everything you all give us here, helps us in learning more hands on. (so to speak) Never stop writing! Congratulation’s!!! I’m glad your family is getting some attention, if I had my way, you would be all over the news, so others would catch the gardening bug! …C

  10. anita says:

    Will never tire of pictures of the garden Anais.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Seeing you guys get well-deserved recognition and accolades for all the great work you do will never get old!! Congratulations!! 🙂

  12. DoubleD says:

    Great work and congratulations! The distinction is well deserved.

  13. Chris Prudhomme says:

    Congratulations! Recognition well deserved for all of your pioneering work.

  14. Organic vs Local? Who Cares. Home Grown is sustainable « Virere says:

    […] An example of just how productive a home garden can be is the urban farm of the Derveas family. They have gone to the extreme as you can see from the picture below. Their garden is ridiculously productive for the amount of land they have. Producing up to 6.000 lbs of produce a year on 1/10thof an acre. They have even been awarded the ‘garden of the decade award’ by the Natural Home Magazine. […]

  15. Organic vs Local? Who Cares. Home Grown Is Sustainable | Collin Maessen says:

    […] Producing up to6.000 lbs of produce a year on 1/10thof an acre. They have even been awarded the ‘garden of the decade award’ by the Natural Home Magazine.The urban farm of the Dervaes is not the system for the average person, as they spend their entire […]

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