I love my town’s farmers’ market and since completing our farmers’ market challenge, I’ve come to realize that it’s one of the best in the Greater Boston area. I’m lucky to have access to a wide range of seasonal veggies, eggs, fish, poultry and other meats, as well as prepared foods like jams, sauces, and breads.
But every once in a while I want to go hardcore. I want to chuck my urban lifestyle and head to the sticks and raise chickens. My great-grandparents owned a chicken farm and I grew up listening to my grandpa’s stories. It sounds so cool.
The more time I spend writing for this blog, and the more I read our own Mike Gioscia’s rock-and-roll adventures in farming, the more it appeals to me.
But then I run across people like the Dervaes and their 4,000 square foot garden in Pasadena, California. Not only are they living entirely off of this tiny plot of land, they grow over three tons of fruits and vegetables a year, and have enough to sell to local restaurants in addition to feeding themselves. Pretty cool, no?
Suddenly my balcony herb garden and my one bell pepper plant is looking a little meager.
It took the Dervaes a few years to get there; they didn’t just stop going to the grocery store one day and dig up some land around their house. It’s definitely a process and something you have to commit to. Although none of the Dervaes hold traditional jobs, they are working around the clock on their small plot of land to make sure they’re getting the most out of it.
Check out the video below to see just how they did it. They talk about the process to go from urban dweller to homesteader as a revolution. You can find out more about the Dervaes on their site UrbanHomestead.org. By the way, the family is not without its detractors; they somehow managed to secure the trademark for urban homesteading and have really upset the community that they helped to promote for so long.