From Europe to Asia

Last year PTF was featured in FAZ Germany. This year Singapore!

A few months back we received an unsolicited media request from a publication in Singapore who wanted to do a story on our urban homestead and journey towards a more sustainable life.

With our photos and interview PTF ended up getting a five and 1/2 page spread and the title so aptly describes our family’s journey from homesteading in New Zealand, Florida and now urban homesteading in Pasadena CA.

HOME CONCEPTS Magazine June 2008

Where there’s a will….
There’s a way – as this one family has so aptly demonstrated.
Getting their hands dirty gave them back cleaner, greener life

Jules Dervaes began searching for meaning in his life after he graduated with his B.S. in Maths and minor in Computer Science in 1969. A conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, the former valedictorian and scholarship student decided to serve his society through teaching but seeing firsthand the lack of character development in some of the students convinced him that there had to be a more humane way of life, a better society somewhere.

He and his family immigrated to New Zealand in 1973 and began his homesteading journey there. Among other things he did become complete self-sufficient, he practiced beekeeping, rearing farm animals such as chickens, ducks and goats and grew his own food. In 1975, circumstances led him to return to America. He continued his beekeeping and gardening on 10 acres in Tampa, Florida but in 1984 they moved to one-fifth of an acre, a normal city lot in Pasadena, California. Yet despite a busy life spent earning a new college degree in theology and learning new skills while keeping up with the old ones, he continued to dream about his New Zealand homesteading days when he lived at peace with himself and the land.

… Today the Dervaes family – Jules and three of his four children … and their urban homestead is a phenomenon – a shining example the organic lifestyle devotees and wannabes…. well… want to be. They grow most of their own food and are so successful on their little plot that they are able to support themselves by selling the surplus! They don’t just live mostly off-the-grid; with the installation of their own solar panels, they actually generate their own power. Their one website has turned into two (three if you count an online shop) and record extremely heavy traffic: they rate over 3,000,000 hits [note now up to over 5,000,000] a month…

… HC speaks to the man who seems to found what he had been looking for 40 years ago.

Read complete 5 page article (PDF)

CNN Update

A reporter from CNN called following up their filming last week. They will be coming out again today I guess for interviews and b roll. The reporter also said about airing two TV pieces one on Sunday and another one on Tuesday. We’ll see.

No Comments

  1. Chicago Mike says:

    Great article and photos!

  2. anajz says:

    I wonder if we could all write or call in to CNN or Nightline and ask for more than small segments on your work. Maybe that would be too much of an intrusion, but I would love to see an hour or two long documentary.

    On a lighter note, you would be a great candidate for some kind of weekly Real TV program for a Green channel. Wouldn’t that be something? Okay, okay, I am thinking that I can totally claim that title of “Path to Freedom Groupie” now. 🙂

  3. Christine says:

    Can’t wait to see it! Hope they make it in such a way as to help or encourage otheres to follow suit. At least for their own families! Gardening and raising your own animals is empowering. Less dependent of the trucking industry…. I wrote the Glen Beck Show, and told them about you. I hope you will hear from them. This message needs to get out more. People all over the country need to be less dependent. Thanks for this site, I really injoy it. God Bless, C

  4. Clare says:

    Wow, that was a terrific article in Home Concepts! Glad to see more info going world wide.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Judy says:

    I would also love to see more but can imagine that it is a big disruption of your schedule and work on the homestead. BUT I love seeing the shows that are produced there and wouldn’t miss one!

    Christine — I’ve heard Glenn Beck on several occasions talk about food, the need for each family to have food storage, and also about Americans planting home gardens now. It might be something that he would pick up on and talk about on one of his shows. I mainly listen to him on his radio show but occasionally I’ll watch his TV show if I know that he has something really good coming on.

    Anais, thanks so much for keeping all of us updated via the blog. It’s just an amazing thing that your family is doing in California! And there is so much that you can teach everyone.

    P.S. — I LOVE my harvest basket that I received from Peddler’s Wagon. It is perfect for picking veggies in the garden.

  6. meg says:

    What a wonderful article. It really took the time to go into depth and ask some good questions.
    Great Job!
    Now to go out and weed the veg.. 🙂

  7. Alida says:

    I did see your segment on CNN and was inspired! Searched online & found your site!

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