Thanks to those who wrote and offered us accommodations – appreciate all your offers.

Once again, here’s our Northern California itinerary schedule from Jan 15-23.

We kick off the year,right back where we started last year at the best environmental film festival in the West Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Here’s a blurb from their latest e blast:

Our Favorite Family is Back
Pasadena’s Dervaes Return with a New Film
& (JUST ADDED!) Workshop

Last year, Jules Dervaes and his family, were the rockstars of WIld & Scenic. This Pasadena crew are urban homesteaders and subject of this year’s documentary, Homegrown (Saturday, eve in the Nevada Theater and Sunday afternoon Stone Hall).

Jules, Jordanne, Anais, and Justin speak with the film on Saturday night –  and JUST ADDED – host a workshop called, “Homegrown Revolution – The Path to Sustainable Living in the City”, on Sunday 12-1:30pm at City Hall. This is an informal discussion about the family’s adventures in growing their own food (as much as 3 tons a year from 1/10 of an acre garden!), generating their own solar electricity, making their own biodiesel fuel from waste vegetable oil, and raising ‘citified’ farm animals. Free to the public, and donations requested and appreciated.

Geez, that’s a bit over the top….


From the pine scented Sierra Nevada’s we head down to the beautiful northern coast of Monterey and the largest farming conference in the west — which is SOLD OUT!

We’ll be rendezvousing with farming friend Sergio at the far, conference, there’s even a chance we are to meet the John Robins family Not to mention, we hope to see many of you too!

The weather is expected to be rainy, but hopefully the sun will peek thru just a bit to give us a change to enjoy some downtime on the beach.

Photos and stories from our travels when we get back.

Got A Question, Get 15% Off

In the meantime, we’d like to hear from you, our readers.  Here’s your chance to post a question about the urban homestead and perhaps we’ll feature the answer in a future post.

And for whoever’s question(s) we answer here at LHITC we will be awarding a coupon for15% OFF orders from our online stores ( or

So ask away for a chance to receive a 15% coupon.

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: SM $5 donation.  We are greatful for your support


  1. DAn says:

    i have a question!! Do you guys have a recipe for a really good compost tea? I have a couple buckets with air bubblers filled with all types of stuff. For example mollasses and fish flakes. Do you guys also use a foliar spray?

  2. Annette says:

    I definitely have a question!

    I am using a raised bed system similar to yours, but built out of concrete blocks instead of wood. I would like to know how you trellis your tomatoes. Based on the pictures, it looks like you’re forming a sort of teepee and growing the tomatoes in that. Is that right? What type of materials do you use for it, and how do you rig it up?

  3. Janice says:

    I have a question, actually many, but I’ll keep it at one. We hope to collect rainwater to water our fruit trees, do you have a rainwater harvesting system? If so, how many gallons of water are you capable of storage?

  4. Bob says:

    I would like your recipe for the skillet granola It is really good or really cheap ,:-) for it seems to be very popular with you’all , thank, Bob

  5. Cynthia says:


    My question to you pertains to your goats. You have mentioned that you have 2 goats and milk them, but I’m wondering how that is possible as I have only heard that all goats need to be bred on a regular basis to produce milk. Is this correct? And if so, do you breed your goats?

    Are there species of goats that produce milk without breeding? My husband and I are starting a homestead and are considering having goats in the future, but as vegetarians we believe that is is not ethical to breed an animal for the sole sake of obtaining its millk. We would not feel comfortable selling the kids for meat, either.

    I guess we could ‘Google’ this, but I would far rather hear from those that know!

    With thanks,


  6. Trina says:

    What advice to you all have for the beginning urban homesteader? Hubby and I just laid out four raised beds for our vegetable garden here in VA, and now we are deciding what to grow. What crops are good to start with, and how many crops should we attempt this first go around? Any advice you may have is most appreciated. We’ve been admiring your gardens via your website; you are such an inspiration to live the urban homestead lifestyle!

  7. Wendi says:

    My question for you is what would you say to someone who is wanting to get started with their own homestead are the first “best” steps to take? We live in Phoenix, AZ and have a smaller back yard with area on both sides of our home. We live in a HOA subdivision so we have to have structures below wall level. I have been reading your site for a few months now, and really want to create more of a homestead here. Thank you so much for your time, you do a great job with this site.

  8. Jes says:

    Every meal wrap up post I usually end up drowling over onto my computer screen! Do you have any recommendations for cookbooks that use wholesome, garden to the table ingredients….I’m a “budding “homemaker that has been dabbling in gardening, water conservation, bread making, kombucha brewing, livestock raising, food preservation…but I am lacking in creativity to throw a good meal together! Any suggestions would be so dearly appreciated. I’m feeling defeated in the point of knowing how to do all these things but struggling to find a tastey way to consume them! 😉

    That’s my question. As I’ve taken on things here and there…I feel like a bigger person. Thank you for inspiring and making us all think outside the box.

    Have a beautiful day.


  9. Frugal in Mexico says:

    My question is what kind of green beans are on the beginning of this page? They look so long. Thanks. Frugal in Mexico

  10. Connie Murray says:

    Just a general fan letter — love your work! Its very, very inspiring. Just wish we had nicer weather here in NJ cause I can’t wait to get outside again!

  11. Heidi says:

    Hey there,
    We’ve been following you for several years now; thanks so much for all of your inspiration and dedication and all around terrific-ness! Now that we know you are somewhat willing to travel afar to spread The Word…how about coming to New York?!? Maybe as part of our NOFA conference(s) or another venue that would make sense. We’d love to host you and could help set up movie/discussion/round-table night here, as well.
    Give it some thought…
    Heidi and Drew Liscomb

  12. Marian says:

    My question is: In your homestead operation, if you had to do without, what is the one thing that absolutly would have to stay?
    I have always been an urban homesteader on some level (since I was little and allowed to grow what I wanted in my back yard!) At one point I had almost 10 acres of land (small farm) but had to leave that behind. Now I am going to be settling in the suburbs with a lot about 50×100 usable space. I hope to be able to have a nice productable garden this spring. Although I am going to have to sacrifice my chicken coop.
    Thanks for your web site. Before I found you last summer I felt as if I was on my own and treading water. Now I know my visions are possible!

  13. Bonnie says:

    I am wondering if city zoning ever interferes with your homesteading, and what you do about it, if it does. Even in my fairly rural area (Canyon Country) city codes require permits for any electrical work, lots of plumbing, a $300 year animal center permit if you have more that a certain number, etc, etc. Don’t even ask about the beehive unless you have an acre or more. How can we change the mindset of city dwellers?

  14. Kj says:

    Wow, there are so many great questions! I just have a simple one: I need a good seed starter mix. The ones I’ve used the past 2 years did not yield well. I was wondering what y’all use?
    Thank you!

  15. Chris says:

    I did not have as much success incorporating container gardening last year. We are making some of your self-watering containers that you reference on your site. What crops do well in these types of self-watering containers? They would be on/next to a concrete patio with southern sun here in New England. Thank you.

  16. Cynthia says:

    Aha! I just watched your videos on, and Jordanne, you answered my question (above) in the video! I was under the impression that you still milked your goats, but now understand that they are, at present, working only as effective mulchers!

    Thanks for the clarification! Have a lovely weekend –

  17. justine says:

    hello! i was wondering if you sell your produce to the public like me. i live in moreno valley area. i enjoyed your blog and i saw your family on tv in the past. i say you are very inspirational. although, i would love to grow my own fruit and vegetables , but i have bug phobia. i think it is better for me to just buy organic foods. thanks a lot and keep up a great work. have a wonderful day.

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