Home All Things Gardening With ONLY 400 sq.m., this Family Harvested 2,700 kgs. of Fruits and...

With ONLY 400 sq.m., this Family Harvested 2,700 kgs. of Fruits and Vegetable!


Read, be inspired, and learn from the experience of the Dervaes Family, an Urban Farmer.

Jules Dervaes, the founder of Path to Freedom: Urban Homestead. PHOTO: Screenshot from KCET.org

When I first heard this story, I could not believe that they were able to grow 2,700 kg. of fruits and vegetables in a year with just 400 square meters of land. But this is true. In fact, a couple of years ago, their vide has become viral. You can watch their video here. Even if they are from the United States, you will be inspired and you will learn from them whether you are an urban gardener or a rural farmer.

“Growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on the face of this Earth because you are in danger of becoming free.” – Jules Dervaes, Path to Freedom: Urban Homestead

Located in the urban area of Pasadena, California, the Dervaes’ Path to Freedom: Urban Homestead is just around 1/25 of an acre but his production area is limited only to around 400 square meters or 4,300 square feet.

According to Justine Dervaes, they are not following any models but they are not using any chemicals on their plants and all the farm produce are grown naturally. Their farm is self-sustainable. They live a simple life without any conveniences such as washing machine, air conditioners, etc. Aside from their energy-efficient refrigerator, most of their appliances are hand-cranked such as blender, food processor, and egg beaters. They also have an earthen cob oven use for baking, a solar oven, pedal power stone-grinding wheat into flour, an outdoor solar shower to recycle grey water. They even make their own bio-diesel. For the irrigation of their plants, they use a clay pot called OLLAS. Believe it or not, their monthly electric bill is only $5.00.

Irrigation using clay pot called ollas

With the success of the Dervaes family in their urban homestead, we are not only inspired by them but we also learned something from their experience.

  • Change comes from us

“You have to do something different and change the world. Don’t look for others for change. Start changing yourself.” – Jules Dervaes

According to Jules Dervaes, if we want change, “don’t look for others for change. Start changing yourself.” Now that many farmers are using chemicals for our food and we are lucky that GMOs are not in the Philippines or maybe I am not aware that it’s already here, are you going to ignore them or start changing it? Don’t wait for the government to change it because they can’t. Don’t wait for the corporation to do it, because they won’t. You have to look at yourself and ask “what can I do because change begins with me.” If you have a small land, plant your own food, raise a garden bed and have some animals. If you have a vast land, start farming organically. In that way, you are changing the world and you are helping our planet.

  • Take the risk and believe in yourself.

“When I started it, I don’t believe I could do it. You have to take the risk. You have to do something you have not tried before.” – Jules Dervaes

Nobody succeeds by staying on their comfort zone. Get out from the box and take the risk and believe that you can do it. Many farmers are now afraid to turn to organic farming because they are afraid of losing profits. Well, we can’t blame them because they need to survive. But if you really care for your family and for the people who will eat your produce, you will take that risk and believe that you will succeed.

“Stop being negative and try to do the right thing, we could do something positive.”

When you start doing something for yourself, there are always negative vibes but you have to ignore it and be positive. While farming or planting in our gardens, we will face a lot of challenges. But without those challenges you will not make any defenses for your plants? Many of our experiences in life are the result of how we interpret and respond to our surroundings. Instead of repressing or trying to get rid of negative feelings, let’s choose to interpret and respond to those challenges differently and do something positive.

Watch the video below:


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