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The Dervaes Family: Pioneering the Urban Farm

Take a tour of the Dervaes family’s urban homestead in Pasadena, Calif.

An Interview with Jules Dervaes


An Interview with Jordanne Dervaes


In the bustling city of Pasadena, Calif., lives a family of urban-farm pioneers. Jules Dervaes has spent more than 20 years cultivating his 8,700-square-foot urban farm with the help of his three adult children, Anaïs, Justin and Jordanne.

The Dervaes family's example of sustainability stands out in their quiet suburban neighborhood. The front yard is a lush agricultural oasis yielding 6,000 pounds of produce annually, which is sold to local restaurants and farmers’ markets. Their farm livestock (goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits) replace the typical suburban pets and contribute to garden compost. In addition, the Dervaes family has undertaken other sustainable pursuits such as solar-power paneling, homemade biodiesel fuel and water reclamation projects.

In 2001, the Dervaes family launched Path to Freedom to document their urban-homesteading progress and to encourage others to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. So far, their website has attracted urban farmers from more than 120 countries. The shift in perception toward sustainable living and urban farming emboldens Jules Dervaes in his endeavor to reduce his carbon footprint. “This is a sustainable family,” says Jules. “Our plan is to make a sustainable community.”

Give us your opinion on The Dervaes Family: Pioneering the Urban Farm.
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8700 sq ft is not that big. But shows, carefully organized, it can be very productive.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 10/10/2013 8:22:25 AM
I wish they did awesome things without being religious nut jobs and without attacking others who are doing awesome things. I have no respect for them. It's as if they believe that their light shines less brightly because of the light of others.
Darren, Indianapolis, IN
Posted: 7/30/2011 5:06:42 AM
This family is why I knew I had to try and make my little suburban backyard work. They are major inspirations!! Love them!
Kim, Lancaster, CA
Posted: 7/22/2011 2:11:35 PM
The Dervaes family has inspired many gardeners to push the limits of gardening even if living in the city. I don't know or understand the trademark thing but I do know they are not evil money grubbing people and have only tried to put out as much information about urban gardening as they can. I for one am glad the trademark skirmish is over so we can get back to the basics of urban gardening.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 7/18/2011 5:19:33 AM

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