Food Heroes Episode 1: The Mighty Dervaes

Food Heroes Episode 1: The Mighty Dervaes

Aug 10, 2010 |  by  |  Food Heroes, On the Web  |  Share

“All of human existence depends on the top six inches of soil. And yet we’re exploring other places, but the top six inches would be the place, if we want to be successful as a human race, to really explore and treasure and keep because that’s what we’re living on.” ~ Jules Dervaes

Somewhere hidden behind their fortress of green live the Mighty Dervaes. A family who stands out for their heroic drive to do more with less. For those not familiar with their story, Jules Dervaes and his family own a fifth of an acre lot in Pasadena, California. They decided to convert their everyday suburban property into a self-sustaining urban homestead. They’ve cultivated a garden that generates around 6,000 pounds of produce a year; they care for a number of small livestock, get around using bio-diesel fuel, and incorporate a large number of other sustainable living techniques into their daily lives. What they have managed to accomplish on their small parcel of land is truly super. A quick glance at their homestead history paints a clear picture of how they grew into their food hero status over time. It’s a testament to how each of us can implement small changes in our own lives that will compound into something greater than the sum of its parts. Something meaningful to us and inspirational to all.

Oh, and these are some digital food heroes, folks. They’re ALL over the interwebs spreading the green word. They have their Path to Freedom website, which includes their blog, Little Homestead in the City, an online store called Peddler’s Wagon, that sells sustainable wares, a social networking site for “Freedom Gardeners,” an online seed store, and Dervaes Gardens, their fruit, vegetable, edible flower and herb business that kick started their bigger social entrepreneurial ventures. Without a doubt they are some of the most well-known crusaders of sustainable living out there and they’re also the stars of their own professional documentary film titled Homegrown. Man, I’d love to get my hands on a copy of that to review (what do you say Jules?).

The video below will give you a better sense of what this family is all about – what they stand for.

And here’s something to take with you…something worth remembering from the Mighty Jules. It goes like this:

The Dervaes Super Secret Formula
  • If you can’t grow it in your backyard then get it locally produced.
  • If not locally produced then organic.
  • If not organic then a family farm.
  • If not a family farm then a local business.
  • If not a local business then fair trade.

Words to live by, boys and girls. The Mighty Jules is definitely spot on. Now I think I’ll get busy scrawling this into my refrigerator.

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