The Urban Homestead

Food Abundance
Monday, 16th March 2015

On just a tenth of an acre, the Dervaes family grow all their food in their urban garden in Los Angeles.

The Dervaes, father Jules and his three children, Justin, Anais and Jordanne, grow over 6,000 pounds of food per year, with over 400 species of plants, 4,300 pounds of vegetable food, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 lbs of honey, plus seasonal fruits.

The family of four get over 90% of their daily food from the garden as well as growing enough to sell to local restaurants and neighbours. They report to earn around $20,000 a year, and that's after they've eaten their share.

Jules set up the garden to provide his children with safe and healthy food, so no synthetic chemicals are used on the crops, and by growing in polycultures the soil has improved and pests are controlled naturally.

With little rain in California, they use the traditional aztec method of olla pots to water plants and their chickens and goats create their compost.

A great example of how growing in polycultures can mean plenty of food in small spaces - perfect for urban gardens!

Further resources

Permaculture in Pots - How to Grow Food in Small Urban Spaces for just £9.70!

Clay pot irrigation - adaptation of an ancient technique

How to set up an urban permaculture garden

Re-greening urban food deserts


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