By Michael Nolan
So, you think you know a thing or two about urban gardening?
I did too until I was directed to the website of the Dervaes family.
What this family has accomplished on a small lot in Pasadena, California makes my minute efforts pale in comparison.
Jules Dervaes started working on transforming his ordinary lot in the city back in the mid-80s with the help of his three children, Anais, Justin & Jordanne. Bringing the concept of urban gardening to new heights, they have not only created a phenomenal urban homestead on their property, they wanted to further spread the word and enable others to follow suit. It was in 2001 that Jules took action.
“Founded by Jules Dervaes in 2001, Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, viable urban homesteading project established to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and reduce one family’s “footprint” on the earth’s dwindling resources.”
Through the years, this city lot went from ordinary to an organic permaculture garden that not only provides food for the family year round, it also provides fresh organic salad greens to local area restaurants through Dervaes Gardens, a family owned and operated small business.
If you think your small lot is a challenge, try producing over 6,000 pounds of fresh food per year from a variety of over 350 different vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries on 1/10th of an acre. It is possible, and the Dervaes family proves that every day.
Their ongoing efforts are chronicled for the world to see at their blog which shares unique insights into this seemingly strange family and their life work. After two weeks of reading the information contained on the Dervaes family websites, the only thing I have learned is that I have a lot to learn.