URBAN HOMESTEAD: I AM LA

Fresh vegetables, herbs, honey and new eggs every day; Jules and his family are living the farm life. It’s also a most unconventional lifestyle given that their home is in the middle of Pasadena, California. The family struggles to be as self-sustainable as they possibly can—their car drives on biogas[biodiesel], solar panels power their television, and each day they have fresh food from their own meticulously well-maintained crops.

Jules first began his farming life before moving to Pasadena, when he lived for several years in New Zealand. Jules embarked on his current lifestyle after becoming concerned about how the food industry controlled what he and his family ate. Jules wanted to be more in control and minimize his family’s impact on the environment.

Living this lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to be old fashioned. After a day working on his urban-farm lot, Jules and the rest of the family sit down to watch movies on Netflix or work on one of their many websites. The Dervaes family websites center around the idea of living a greener life, and are some of the biggest websites/communities about urban farming. It’s a growing movement; and a green revolution!

Created by Nicholas Reid & Joris Debeij IamLosAngeles.com

Jules Dervaes – I Am Los Angeles from Joris Debeij on Vimeo.

{Sweet — or bittersweet — to see our chicken matriarch, Clementine in her last of many media appearances before passing away.}

Comments(17)

  1. Mike Hedge says:

    lovely. happy new year!

    • Anais says:

      @Mike Hedge: thank you and to you too

  2. Kris says:

    Hi Dervaes family,

    Happy New Year! I loved the video — it did a very nice job of showcasing your property and the cast of characters. It would be tremendously exciting if you can create a village that people could visit, but I imagine it would also be heartbreaking to leave the homestead after all the work you’ve put into it over the years. Keep up the great work, you are such an inspiration!

    • Anais says:

      @Kris: Happy new year to you too. Glad you enjoyed the latest video piece. We are just looking to expand this model to help and encourage more folks; however the challenge is we’d like to keep this urban homestead model too.

  3. Ron Surface says:

    Astoundingly awesome… [!]

  4. Jeni says:

    There isn’t much else to say other then your family ROCKS!!!

  5. Vegetable Garden Cook says:

    You can do it like me, bring the laptop outside. 🙂

  6. Kathy Woodbury says:

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G pretty much sums it up. The World is a better place with your family in it and we need more families like you. Happy New Year. May it be boutiful, beautiful, full of laughs, learning, adventures and love. Keep up the astounding work you do. You are inspiring the World.

    • Raquel says:

      What do you guys think about Chemtrails and Monsanto’s New Aluminum Resistance Gene?

      • Donna says:

        @Raquel,

        I think everything Monsanto is doing will have unforeseen disasterous consequences. They’re messing with nature and destoying it step by step.

  7. Koryne says:

    You Anais and your family are truly revolutionizing the way of thinking of people everywhere! showing that it is possible to live a life more natural with less stress to oneself, nature and animals…I LOVE THE WAY YOU LIVE! hope i can get my own little peace of land back in my native country Brazil and use everything I am learning from you guys, from Permaculture and Eco-agriculture to make my dream of a more natural life come true.
    All the Best in 2011 for you and your Beautiful family, with Lots of Health, peace of mind and smiles! 🙂

  8. David says:

    I noticed your vegetable beds, my son and I have a small business here in Melbourne, Australia making these, we use reclaimed timber (macrocarpa cypress) which dosn’t rot and is termite proof.We base the whole business around re cycle reclaim. We are never going to get rich (money wise). But a lot of people here are trying to do something similar, not as efficiently but giving it a go, as the temperate climate here is perfect for growing.

  9. Jacqueline M. Jakle says:

    I enjoyed the video of Jules explaining about his homestead in Pasadena. I would love to visit there in the immediate future and purchase some items and see the homestead. I am very interested in any classes or lectures on growing food and living a self-sustaining lifestyle. When you build your village, I want to come help you and learn from you! Thank you for your wonderful, inspiring example,and to share with those of us who are like-minded. Please let us know about upcoming events so we can attend. I am reading your blogs and website, so full of good information. Thank you!

  10. Roger Legault says:

    You people are living my dream. I have been working for the last 10 years just to find a life where I can be totally self sufficient, it’s not easy, I’m half way there. It’s been very difficult, it seems that everything about this world is designed to make us more dependant. I live in Northern Ontario Canada and we have cold winters, so you cannot depend only on crops. I’ve had to diversify myself, I collect scrap metal, restore appliances and other od jobs just to keep myself afloat until I could be self sustainable. I’ve recently rented a property and I’m going to start a small farm this year. I’m working on alternative energy solutions so I meet my energy needs. You have to learn so much information just to live this life. I could appreciate the hard work and determination you have. I’m alone working at this and I can’t find many like minded people who want to share my dream. People often wonder if I’m crazy, they just don’t have a clue what I’m trying to accomplish. It just great to see you doing this, at least now I don’t feel so alone in this world. At times, I have been so discourage. I wonder if I should have a job and bills like everyone else. It’s so great to see that it is possible to be self suficient and you are the perfect example. Keep up the good work. Roger

    • T. Little says:

      @Roger Legault, Roger,
      You keep up the good work, I wish I could find someone also. These folks are wonderful. My motto is “You trade one basket of problems for another, which basket can you live with” Us like minded folks are very misunderstood and have seen more eye rolling than 100 people. I just dislike the city so much, I refuse to even visit. My way of rebelling is to be different and I love it.
      Good luck
      Ms. Tammy

  11. Julie J. Pedraza says:

    Jules, your ideas for the future are brilliant, I love the I am LA video clip, please come build your community in Salida, California. Lucious soils, a great balance of city and farm folks out here. Where ever you expand, I am thankful you have inspired me. Thank you.

  12. Cody says:

    Just want to say that you guys inspired me to start my own garden and make small steps to self sufficiency. Great to see people like you making a difference

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