Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Sustainable Sundays with Urban Homestead Pioneer Jules Dervaes 11/2008

NOTE: This lecture was videotaped at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History as part of their on going Sustainable Sundays series on November 9, 2008.

Lecture Description

The path to change the world begins at your door

Over the last 20 years, we have documented our progress in our journey towards becoming self -sufficient in a densely urban setting with charts, diagrams and stats.

Our urban homestead is a continually evolving work in progress and these records have helped us to compare our successes and failures. They also serve as an aid in planning future plantings and projects. In no way are our accomplishments “one size fits all.” We realize circumstances and situations have allowed us to take these steps. We do not intend to compare or endorse our progress as being possible for everyone. However, we hope that by providing this information and making our records public we can prove that YOU can make a difference. Perhaps you may get inspired to make your own changes by the examples provided here. After all, no matter how small the change, you too, can take a step in the right direction. And then, who knows where the path will take you?

Let’s walk!

Urban Homesteading

Jules Dervaes, a modern day pioneer of the urban homestead movement, established in 2001 to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and to sow a “homegrown revolution” against the corporate powers that control the food supply.

Since the mid-1980s, Mr. Dervaes and his three adult children, Anaïs, Justin, and Jordanne, have steadily worked to transform their ordinary city lot in Pasadena, California, into an integral urban homestead and super productive micro farm that supplies them and their “citified” backyard farm animals with food year round.

These urban homesteading pioneers also run a successful business selling fresh produce to local restaurants. The income helps fund their purchases of solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and a biodiesel processor to further decrease the homestead’s reliance on Earth’s non-renewable resources.

They share their urban homesteading adventures on their popular blog which was the first and now most comprehensive resource on returning to a back to basics lifestyle in the middle of the city.


  1. LittleAntFarm says:

    Really enjoyed this presentation. I am awestruck at just how much you can grow in such a small space. This year I am trying a square foot garden for the first time. Nothing on your level by far but I am hopeful it will be more successful than my previous row garden attempts. Thanks for this motherload of gardening information.

  2. Mary Hysong says:

    That was a great video. I just wished we lived closer to each other so I could come and listen to you more!

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