Interview with Jules Dervaes [Click to watch]
In its search to find citizens who are doing things to improve themselves, their families, communities, cities, states and country, CFPUP conducted a lengthy interview with Jules Dervaes, patriarch of the Urban Homestead in Pasadena, Calfornia which is surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway. The Urban Homestead Project is a family-operated, highly-productive city farm and a successful, working model for sustainable agriculture and eco living in urban areas.
Dervaes explains that he got his love of farming growing up in Florida where his father grew ornamentals, but he learned about homesteading during the two years he lived in New Zealand. When Jules lived in Florida before moving to California, he was self-employed doing law maintenance. He also worked as a bee keeper. Jules says that growing his own food was a big step, but it is a challenge to Monsanto's genetically-modified foods.
The Dervaes family makes and sells various kinds of jams and has a farm stand on their front porch. On the week-ends, the Dervaes host cultural events at their home where they serve dinner and have musicians. They hold classes on their property. Jules describes how he slowly gave up the consumer lifestyle and explains some of the challenges they face on the land.