Well, I thought I was going to be posting about our travels, but it’s taking longer than I had anticipated – because there is so much to share!  Still trying to catch our breaths here…. as the tidal wave of work washes over our return to the urban homestead!

I will hopefully get to the travel  recap soon but, in the meantime, life moves forward – onward.

Guess what?  47 days till spring!

The garden, thanks to the deluge of liquid sunshine last week, has filled out.  Nothing better “growth hormone” for the garden than rain.

After more than a week on the road what a blessing it was to come home to fresh salads, dark green broccoli and navel oranges (from Farmer Sergio).  We hate to use the word snob but we are definitely spoiled being able to eat such nourishing, fresh food every day!   When one goes on the road, one starts to appreciate what a tremendous blessing it is to have a garden full of homegrown food.

The good news is the fish that Justin ordered arrived in the mail.  The bad news is that most of the fish were DOA. The rest died that night.  Closer inspection found the container package was damaged and leaking.  That’s a bit of a setback, but we have our hands full as it is (right now). We will try, try again…

Coming back from the farming conference in Asilomar, we still are determined to improve our soil even more.   Why?  Because we really think we can do better and produce more (weather and God willing)

Before we left Justin left out 5 gallon buckets to capture extra rainwater to make a batch of nettle tea whenever Farmer Sergio comes up next and brings us a bunch of fresh nettles that I bartered for a handknit hat.

We also brought back (way, way too many) seeds from the seed exchange there at the eco farm conference – Jordanne & I made sure to pick up some extra grains like quiona and amaranth.  We hope to squeeze out a plot of grains for animal feed.   Where, I dunno yet, but I am sure Justin will make out a space (hint, hint)

There’s another storm that’s supposed to dump more rain here in So Cal, so we are trying to get some of the outdoor project done before another downpour.

Oh, and for those of you who would like to keep tabs on us and happenings on the urban homestead, you can find us on FACEBOOK & TWITTER

As I un-jumble my thoughts and reflections from the recent travels (lots of interesting folks and exchanges), enjoy a few photos of the good life here on the urban homestead.

Snow peas

Dwarf Grey Sugar pea flowers

“Dwarf”  Grey Sugar peas topping the 3′ cages.

Kale & clay pot (“olla) bed

Pssst, guess what?  It’s that time of year again.  What time of year you ask?  With spring just around the corner it’s time to ger yer ollas!

We are taking pre-orders as we speak.  Get ’em now while they are hot!


Elephant Garlic

Maaaaaaa!  Finally, the sun is out… for awhile at least!

Before signing off, we like to thank a few kind folk whose letters and donations greeted us when we got home.

:: Field Hand Appreciation ::

CE $20 and who wrote: ” to the Dervaes family, I so enjoy your site. It is very generous of you to put so much of yourselves and your home/farm on the net fo the rest of us to see.  I am enclosing $20 to help pay for the website hosting cost.  I wish you continued success in all you do – Sincerely CE

KD $20 donation and a note that said ” I received a calendar – its beautiful.  What a surprise!”

and last but not least LE $150 and touching letter which said ” Dear Dervaes family  First of all thank you for all the effort you put into education those of us who for whatever reason are currently unable to live a life like yours.  I look at the photos on your website whenever I feel a disconnection with the earth.  I’d like to donate to your outreach program because it makes a difference to me that 4 of you can manage to do what you are doing with a grace and confidence and tact.  Thanks again for all the great ideas, I look forward to keeping up with your activities. – LE

Thank you all for your warmth and generosity – your positive comments and continuing support are what makes this site possible.


  1. Linda says:

    I’ve decided that if you grow your own food, you can claim the label “food snob” without pretense! That has been the most eye-opening revelation to me about growing my own food – it tastes SO much better when you can go outside, pick it, and serve it, than if you buy it at the store. I recently had a “mixed greens” salad at my mom’s house, and it was tastey enough, but as I looked at the leaves and said to myself, “arugula – growing that – red leaf – growing that – mizuna – growing that – bibb leaves – growing that” – and all the while I’m thinking that my salads still taste better.

    Fresh and local make a difference! So claim the food snob label proudly, and dig into some good food that you grow yourself 🙂

  2. allochthon says:

    Fish? Are you doing aquaponics?
    I sure hope the sender refunded your money!

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