simple living: the urban homestead

August 12, 2012

I've been thinking a bit lately about how to live a more self-sufficient life, particularly while living in the city. I suppose I always assumed that to be self-sufficient you needed a lot of land - to grow food on, keep animals, have a rainwater tank etc. But this 4 person family in the States has proven me wrong - their urban farm is just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and exists on a mere 1/10 acre of land. From that they successfully grow approximately 3 tonnes of organic produce per year, accounting for 90% of their vegetarian diet. They even have excess which is supplied to local restaurants and businesses.

But the farm is not just about growing delicious organic produce. It is a model for environmentally sustainable living. The Dervaes family lives consciously - they make a lot of their own food from scratch (bread, cheese, honey), they eat dinner together around the kitchen table, they reduce their waste through composting and recycling, and they have many facilities in place to conserve energy. They have also taught themselves a range of traditional skills such as forging, carpentry, sewing, and preserving. The girls in the family also have a love of aprons and they have a few pet rabbits, I think I could be quite at home here!

The Urban Homestead as it is known is an inspiration for simple living and has reminded me that it is possible to achieve a lot with very little.

Happy Sunday x


  1. Love these pictures! So inspiring. I think the greatest obstacle to living a simple self sustained life is not space but time. We live on a regular suburban block in Melbourne, have a big veggie patch and chickens but every now and then, when life and work get in the way, it becomes difficult to keep all the balls in the air.

  2. WOW! I mean that amazing! I love nature and here everything is done naturally. Great job!

  3. Reading this post makes me feel guilty about my choices. I’ve always thought that an environmentally-sustainable lifestyle was impossible to achieve especially if you’re living in the city. But the Dervaes family has proven me wrong. Maybe it’s time to finally make some changes.


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