Spring is coming. In the Midwest, as in the other currently cold areas of the United States, that makes a difference.
As I think about expanding my own, as of yet, modest urban food and plant growing efforts, it’s a massive inspiration to review the work of the Dervaes family in Pasadena, Calif.
The family has popped up here and there on sustainablog.org in the past several months. You can listen to GreenTalk Radio host Sean Daily’s conversation with them, or read about the family’s 100-Foot Diet Challenge, as posted by sustainablogger Brian Baughan last month.
Kelli Best-Oliver included the Pasadena crew as part of a fantastic list of urban homesteaders who are blogging, among other things, about how to turn our own tiny city lots into productive gardens — and beyond.
The Dervaes describe their lifestyle venture on their Web site, pathtofreedom.com:
On this 1/5 acre urban homestead we have set out to live by example and inspire others to do the same. We are striving to be a sustainable homestead complete with solar energy, waste water management, growing our own food, and more.
Our family shares the homestead with a menagerie of chickens, ducks, goats and a crazy trio of rescued cats.
While solar power and waste water management are not in my household’s near future, the video above is a refresher about what we novices can achieve in such small spaces (my entire lot is a mere .07 acres, house and detached garage dominating the rectangle). The video is a fantastically quick 10 minutes that shows the Dervaes putting their words and ideas into action.
Maybe one of the best soundbites, at least for me, comes from Jules Dervaes reminding us that everyone carries a degree of doubt in their minds. He says that even he and his family initially didn’t know they were capable of creating the thriving, well-rounded urban homestead that they have.
Sounds about like where I feel I am right now — and I can’t wait for spring.