We are excited to announce that PTF’s urban homestead model was selected and being featured at one of the Exhibit bays at ULI- the Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting & Urban Land Expo in Miami (Miami Beach Convention Center) next month!
A photo of our urban homestead was picked a ” vision of the future” of a sustainable example of modern city life. Under the title “nourishing communities” the urban homestead signifies “lifestyle communities that will support residents … with essential services and accessory amenities like agricultural gardens.”
Urban homesteaders are individuals who are taking sustainable steps and are striving to live an low impact, self reliant life in the modern city environment.
Sustainable Urban Revolution
When the day’s news of ever-worsening crises causes heartburn, finding relief is as easy as visiting the Little Homestead in the City blog (http://www.LittleHomesteadintheCity.org) to see how the Dervaes family is progressing with their homemade remedies. This first-of-its-kind blog documents the daily activities of these city dwellers who have reached an extraordinary level of food and energy independence. By freely sharing their practices, the family has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to pursue a sustainable future and has generated a 21st century urban homestead movement.
“Little Homestead” began in 2001 as an impromptu journal by Pasadena residents Jules Dervaes and his three adult children, Anaïs, Justin, and Jordanne, on their website PathtoFreedom.com–the first, largest, and most comprehensive urban homestead site. Through their adventures in growing and preserving their own food, installing a solar power system, home-brewing biodiesel for fuel, raising backyard farm animals, and learning back-to-basics skills, these modern-day pioneers have revived the old-fashioned spirit of self-reliance and resourcefulness.
Anaïs recalls that, back when they first went public, there were no other blogs like theirs. “We hoped to encourage people to make similar changes,” she explains. “My father said, ‘Let’s show what we do here’; so, seven years ago, we put our family life online. Since we were actually living self-sufficiently in the city for many years, others could learn from our example.”
The Dervaes homestead has experienced phenomenal growth. Over 6,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables are now harvested annually from the one-tenth acre garden. Likewise, the blog has greatly expanded, drawing over 35,000 visitors per month, and provides gardening tips, conservation ideas, environmental news links, photos, and more. In a popular feature, the family posts their menus of homegrown, home-cooked meals. Additionally, the primary website gets over six million hits per month from more than 120 countries—proof of a global “homegrown revolution ™” led by the Dervaeses’ reality-based model.
The Dervaes family has garnered congressional recognition for their environmental outreach efforts and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, as well as on ABC’s Nightline and CNN. They have received thousands of testimonials from readers who say their lives have been changed, in big ways and small, by the family’s trail-blazing work.