July Garden

URBAN HOMESTEAD by Chrystal Baker

Nestled amongst a row of unassuming homes in Pasadena, California, there sits a house with a family’s garden–a garden that produces almost 400 varieties of crops and up to 6,000 pounds of harvested produce. The Dervaes family grows just about everything they eat on a daily basis. Not only is it their means of sustenance, but it is also a business. This business, and their way of life as a whole, have become a blueprint for people across the world who want to go back to the basics of self-sufficiency.

Read full article at Basil Magazine

{Just to clarify, our little documentary is Homegrown Revolution not Homegrown and you can purchase the DVD here See the homemade film that has sown change in communities throughout the world!}


  1. Anais says:

    I want to take this opportunity we welcome all our new readers but I also REALLY like to hear from our long time readers! Seems many of ya’ll haven’t been commenting ever since we upgraded our blog. Are you still visiting LHITC? We miss you hearing from you so let us know how your summer is going.

    • Andrea says:

      I’m still around, but for whatever reason, I can’t post a comment. I can reply to others, but I can’t post my own. If I click on the Post A Comment tab, there’s just a blank white page, so I just live vicariously through the other posts!

      We’ve had a hot, dry summer here in Ohio, but mercifully it started raining yesterday and is supposed to rain for the rest of the day today!

      • Anais says:

        @Andrea: Hi Andrea. Really, that’s weird. Any of you other folks having similar problems PLEASE let me know. I’ll have to ask our resident techie, Jordanne, what is causing you not to be able to post. You can help if you let us know what type of browser version and operating systems. THANKS!

  2. Debbie Boutelier says:

    Yes Yes Yes!!!! We are still visiting. I make your blog part of my daily routine after my garden chores and when it gets too hot here in Alabama to be out in the middle of the day. This morning I dug garlic and did a major harvest of the basil. I’ll be making pesto to put up in a few minutes. I also gave my “girls” the last of the corn on the cob that did not fill out properly. They are having a feast! Thanks for sharing – your family is a true inspiration.

    • Anais says:

      @Debbie Boutelier: Howdy! Thanks for letting us know you still make LHITC part of your daily routine. 😉 I am just missing a few folks who USE to comment and haven’t heard a peep. ;-( Just wanted to see how everyone is doing and glad to hear you and your family are well.

  3. Melina says:

    Still here. You’re one of my daily stops online because you are a huge inspiration. My city garden is much smaller than yours, and in a less welcoming climate (Colorado Springs), but I still get excited about planting one more row, one more variety, to keep us healthy. Between my garden and a CSA share, we are steadily changing our lifestyle. Keep up the good work!

    • Anais says:

      @Melina: Glad to hear you are still here. Thanks for saying so and have a wonderful and productive summer.

  4. Karen says:

    I’m here! Not much for making comments, but have been keeping up with the Urban Homestead for a few years now, and wouldn’t be without my daily dose of inspiration from the Dervaes Family!

    • Anais says:

      @Karen: Hi Karen. No worries, but glad to hear you are still with us. Miss the “old” readers commenting so just wanted to send a “shout out!” ‘)

  5. Linda says:

    Still with you and happily reading your blog 🙂

    I just past my 200 pound harvested mark from the garden, and the spider mites haven’t won yet so with luck I’ll still have produce once the heat hits.

    We planted fruit trees this year, and potted blueberry bushes – our two investments in the future. We have plans for a simple rain water harvesting system to do this fall, and I still have to organize one more complete growing area. But, we have 340 square feet of cultivate garden already, and that gives us great food. I’m tracking our water and electricity usage this year, and see where we can improve – also to consider the cost effectiveness of going solar in the coming years. Lots of new projects and upgrades! Thanks for the inspiration to do it! Keep on writing!


    • Anais says:

      @Linda: Hi Linda. So how are things in Riverside? Chilly and gray too? That’s amazing! Congratulations on such an impressive tally. Sounds like you are certainly improving your place and making a conscious effort to conserve — all good and that doesn’t take ANY money. 😉 Way to go! All the best to you.

  6. Vicki Schoenwald says:

    Still here also, I’m like the others, been working in the garden and doing farmer’s market on Sat am’s and have been busy, but by afternoon, its too hot to be out so I go to see what ya’ up too also.
    Am going to basil also and pesto for market, and drying some also.
    Garden is slow, still, we are at least 6 wks behind here in Nebraska, we have gotten lots of rain too much at a time, west of us about 70 miles they got 7″ in several hours and they ARE swimming.
    I will have tons of cucumbers and tomatoes, when they start to ripen, I’m ready to can, getting ready. Peppers are slow, and we are getting ready to fight the grasshoppers, and I am afaid I have to bring out the bad stuff to fight them, we have has so much rain, and now it is hot and drying out and here come the hoppers.
    Don’t worry, Anais, we are still here, with baited breath what your all up to.

    • Anais says:

      @Vicki Schoenwald: Hi Vicki and critters! Yep, it’s a busy, busy time to spend to long on the computer that’s for sure. Wish you’d send some rain our way, we’d be mighty obliged. Talking about grasshoppers, we got these tiny wee ones that are BUGGERS! Eating small holes in our greens!!! Haven’t quite figured out how to deal with those yet. Our garden is somewhat slow. I mean it’s July and the produce is puttering in. I guess (God willing) we’ll be overloaded in August! Glad to hear from you. Hope everyone is doing well at your homestead. Love from all

  7. Kim says:

    I tune in most days and am slowly making my way thru the archives, am up to page 295! lol
    From NZ here, not much happening in my garden, too much rain and over the years have inclined to let garden lie empty over winter, this will change. Happy to say garden thrives in summer, potato crop last summer was abysmal due to blight and from all accounts everyone I spoke to who planted spuds had the same outcome, even the local community gardens. Our main potato crop is usually a maori potato variety. Am wondering if Farmer J grew any when he was homesteading in Hokitika?

    • Anais says:

      @Kim: Wow, wonder what you’re reading and finding in their. Dust off the old cobwebs! 😉 Sorry to hear about your gardening troubles. If it isn’t something it’s another! I’ll have to ask Farmer D. I knew he planted potatoes because the locals came and watched…. yep there IS a story there! 😉

  8. Lee Johnson says:

    Love your website and follow it just about everyday. Our garden is doing decent this year but I also live in an area where I can pick my own or buy from a farmstand. So far I have picked from my garden green beans, fresh herbs, eggplant and radishes. Earlier in the season we had a few delicious meals of fresh peas. I can’t thank you enough for your website. The beauty of the website has even inspired my “modern” family to start to think differently. Lee J.

    • Anais says:

      @Lee Johnson: What a blessing it must be to be surrounded by local farms and farmstands. Here in LA we have to travel at LEAST an hour to see even open space let alone a FARM. Well, thank you. We are blessed that we are able to share our journey with ya’ll. Your comments are greatly appreciated and we love hearing from folks who are starting to think or do things different.

  9. Tracey says:

    Hi, I’m still here. Sometimes it is easier to “catch up” on facebook since I friended you. Keep up the good work! God Bless.

    • Anais says:

      @Tracey: Thanks. We love hearing from folks on Facebook too. Thank you and many blessings to you too.

  10. Laurie says:

    Hi Anais, I’m am back here again after a hectic spring planting season. Now I am busy harvesting, weeding, cooking and preserving! My little part of Wisconsin is doing very well, with a nice mix of sun and rain. I guess that most crops are still about 2 weeks ahead of usual – the CSA we are members of started deliveries one week earlier than they had planned and here at home I picked the first green beans and squash shortly after solstice. Yay! Thank you and your family for all your inspiration!

    • Anais says:

      @Laurie: Glad to hear from you. From the sound of it, sounds like you have been productively busy! Wishing you a bountiful harvest season. Happy homesteading!

  11. Loretta says:

    I just discovered your web-site last week by accident. It has become an addiction to me. I am so inspired and it has addeded solidity to the ideas I have been throwing out to my husband. Through your site he see’s how the ideas I couldn’t explain well enough work. He is inspired as well. You all are such a blessing.
    We had our very first garden last year…big learning experience and a joy, this year too. Self sufficiency is our goal, eventhough we are in the baby-steps stage, we are not discouraged by things that don’t work, only determined to educate ourselves on the things that will work. Praticality and efficiency are key for us…an engineer friend of mine said “K.I.S.S.” =Keep It Simple Stupid.
    That has become my motto, since we both still work full time jobs away from home, everything we do at home needs to be done with the practicality that does not exist in our corporate hours of the day.
    I could go on for pages and pages, I’m so happy to have found you and so happy to visit daily.

    • Anais says:

      @Loretta: What a joy it was to read your comment. Thank you for sharing. We are indeed blessed that we are able to share our journey and touch so many folks! Great motto K.I.S.S! It’s wonderful to hear that you are taking practical and efficient baby steps. But it’s good always to remember that sometimes learning happens when things don’t work! 😉 Wishing you all the best and much success in your journey! Keep us posted on your progress OK and thanks for visiting!

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