Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Farm Series I: Dervaes Family aka Urban Homestead Interview, Documentary, Network

There is a great interview with the Dervaes Family, which you can read in it's entirety HERE. If you are unfamiliar with them in brief they are a family in Pasadena, California growing and living off of their land (ie front + backyard) and are off the grid. They grow over 5,000 pounds of produce annually on 1/10 of an acre (4300 square feet)!

I really like that they are in a city (Los Angeles is a still a city, though different from for example: New York, London, Paris, Tokyo)- as they are a really good example of what is possible for the majority of the population who reside in cities. This challenge made them more creative and inventive about using every space possible - both horizontal and vertical. Another big challenge they deal with is water. Los Angeles has a semi-arid climate and the weather patterns and extreme temperatures are hard to predict.

Dervaes recommends starting small- with a few of your favourite herbs or vegetables. Even a little bit is a good step in the right direction. We are not all meant to be farmers or even gardeners, but the know how is important and he recommends that . He also reminds everyone how important good soil is, "if you don't have healthy soil, you don't have healthy plants".

The Dervaes Family produced an award-winning, short documentary, Homegrown Revolution, trailer is below. They also set up a free, social networking site, where backyard gardeners can help each other as neighbors did in times past. How cool!

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