Jules Dervaes, his son, and two daughters live and work on their “Path to Freedom” Urban Homestead in Pasadena, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Also living on their 4000 square foot homestead are 2 goats, 4 ducks, 8 chickens, 400 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers, and countless bees. The family works at home, raising animals, growing vegetables, keeping bees, composting, cooking and canning.
Virtually all of what they eat they grow themselves, only buying staples like wheat, rice, and oats that they can’t grow in their southern California climate, but they make up for that by growing far more than what they consume. Chefs come to their front porch to buy their fresh produce, spending $20,000 per year. The money doesn’t go to utility bills, however; they spend no more than $12 a month on electricity, the bulk being generated by solar panels. They also brew their own biodiesel from used cooking oil they get from restaurants for free.
The Dervaes family has been pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle for 10 years now. They don’t seem to mind the hard work and are generally content, but they would like to create a community of like-minded urban homesteaders.