Eco pioneers

Path to Freedom’s urban homestead is featured in 3 page spread in today’s (Thursday) “HOME” Section of the LA Times – pick up a copy!

O, pioneers in Pasadena {LATimes}

One family unplugs from technology and lives off the land. Even the blender is pedal-powered.

JULES DERVAES can’t help it. He’s afflicted by a condition for which there is no known cure or even a 12-step program, an uncontrollable urge to change his residential surroundings. He is a serial remodeler, his mind a malarial fever of future projects. But unlike other compulsive home improvers, Dervaes is not obsessed with new or wired makeovers. It’s the old-fashioned and nonelectric that drive him — and a determined bid to go off the grid in the middle of Pasadena that has won him followers in more than 100 countries.

Risk is the price of independence and the ticket to their larger mission, a quest part environmental, part simple living, part urban survivalist. “We think the planet’s in trouble,” Dervaes says. “It’s our attempt to save our corner of the world…. When you’re tied by umbilical cord to the grid and the stores, you’re in for a shock if it ever changes. We’re looking at, if there was a Katrina worldwide, what would happen? Then it’s back to do it yourself.”

…”We believe that a step backward is progress,” says Dervaes, a former beekeeper, teacher and constant gardener trapped in the wrong century.

“Some people might feel we’re regressing, but I feel we’re progressing to a better life. We’ve lost that independence and the things that make us truly happy. The people that got us here must have done something right. We want to repeat that for the next generation.”


Novice’s guide to an urban homestead {LATimes}

Jules Dervaes suggests starting your micro-farm with just a few plants, hardy ones that will do well even for rookie green thumbs. Start with some herbs, such as basil, and tomatoes. And even the horticulturally challenged can triumph with squash.

:: CORRECTIONS :: The article incorrectly stated “gas lamps,” instead it should be “oil” lamps.

:: FYI ::Looking to turn your bike into a blender?

No Comments

  1. gerry medland says:

    Wow!What a fantastic recognition of your hard work!Well done!A marvelous way to keep spreading the word!I am truly inspired,impressed and hombled to know you all through the PTF portal.
    Rich blessings to all
    gerry m

  2. dermot says:

    fantastic article – they peppered it with very few “ironic” jokes; overall a decent piece of writing!

    It should be interesting to see if there’s an uptick in local interest following it – I hope so.