At home with the “Pasadena foot-hillbillies”

HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION   “Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with the Path to Freedom Urban Homestead. The Dervaes family shows us how they converted a 1/5 acre city lot in Pasadena, CA into an eco-oasis that has reduced their dependence on electricity by 2/3 and increased their goals of living sustainably and self-sufficiently. From installing solar panels to brewing biodiesel, the Urban Homestead city farm has started a what they call a ‘homegrown revolution. . .using their hands as weapons of mass creation.'”

View ‘Urban Homestead’ Video Clip on TreeHuggerTV {latest version ofQuickTime required}

Snap shots of summer. Left: solar shower

{Sidenote} the TreeHugger folks came back in March so as you can see the garden was in transition going from spring to summer crops (especially more so this year having just taken out the 30ft x 30ft concrete slab). As you can see from some of the photos above, now the backyard’s like a jungle, in places you need a machete…well, not really, but it’s pretty wild and overgrown! And the solar shower, wow! The landscape around it has taken off like gangbusters… thanks to all the outdoor shower’s we’ve been taking. Now you can hardly see the reclaimed wood due to the dense edible forest.

From the mailbox

It’s always a thrill for us to receive such letters as these, makes all the efforts putting on such an event worthwhile knowing that one person made a change(s) in their lives.

Subject: The effects generated by the Urban Homestead

Folks,Just so you know, your meeting last [The Great Warming’ film screening]weekend has triggered, in our lives here on Fonseca Avenue,1. the elimination of four gas pilot lights2. the elimination of two light bulbs and replacement with 15-watt EnergyStar lightbulbs, with plans to replace many more3. the building of a preliminary solar oven by simply lining our old barbecue with aluminum foil, which has cooked several meals already4. the turning off of all appliances in the house except when actually in use (computer, lights, fans)5. shopping for solar shower components6. several phone calls and one personal meeting working toward preserving mature trees in my city7. the creation of a new YahooGroup, titled “CO2 Emissions Data” and devoted to collating online sources of data that show how much greenhouse gas emissions are caused, and ameliorated, by which activities.  To sum it up, your meeting has triggered a major change in our lives!  Very grateful!Kim


Scientists Call for Water Conservation {}

Scientists on Monday called for radical action to improve global water management, saying one-third of the world’s population faces water scarcity.A report released at the start of the World Water Week said more efficient use of the world’s water resources was needed to reduce poverty and environmental damage.
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Water, Water NOT Everywhere {}

The alarming extent of water scarcity across the world is detailed in a map compiled by a leading environmental think tank.
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The Peak Oil Crisis: Conserving Light {}

One day, our civilization will be remembered for its outdoor lighting. A flight across America on a clear night is a thing of beauty for there is light, and light pollution, everywhere— streets, highways, sidewalks, parking lots, malls, signs, freeways, thruways, toll roads and even 400 million car and truck headlights all twinkling in the darkness. We sure know how to light up the night.
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The Real Green Revolution {}

A friend once suggested to me that the three worst things we could be doing for the environment are, in order of destructiveness, 1) drive cars, 2) eat meat, and 3) eat vegetables.
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Cuba’s Pathbreaking Energy Policies {}

As the age of oil ends, a society that clings to the social and economic institutions and practices of the early twenty-first century will go the way of North Korea. The lesson to be learned from these two Communist states is change or die.
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No Comments

  1. Carla Lynne says:

    How great to have TH spotlight your homestead!

    May I take this opportunity to say how much you and your family have inspired mine.

    Your journal and site are one of my daily reads. I have learned so much that I am able to apply to our journey. Thanks for sharing your life with us! 🙂

    Carla Lynne

  2. Cherilyn says:

    I agree that we are past crisis concerning water and oil supplies, and I really appreciate all of the postings on these ikssues. I’m just trying to figure out how to stay positive in the face of such gloom!

    My only question about these estimates on water used for production of certain goods, meat and veggies in particular, is where are they getting them? How does water consumption for homegrown veggies and meat (with all due respect to vegetarians) compare with those produced by big business? Everything I’ve read shows that small producers are easier on the environment from just about every angle. Any documentation?