Urban Homesteading: Growing Food on an Urban Farm

For those that think you need to have acres and acres of land to live off the grid, check out this family who grows 3 tons of organic food annually from only a 1/10 of an acre garden in the suburbs. They actually grow over 350 different kinds of vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries, and they feed the entire family with only food that comes from their small bit of land.

Dervaes urban farm

This family lives entirely off their little piece of land, and the whole family lives on under $30,000 a year. These are some really cool videos, and it shows how you can really survive without the so-called “modern conveniences.”

Dervaes Family Urban Farm in Pasadena, California


  1. Neal
    September 2, 2008 at 10:13 am

    While they have goats, chickens, rabbits and such they made no mention of eating any meat. I don’t know if this was due to the focus of the story being on the gardening or a choice on the families part. Still very impressive effort. The living on $30k was a bit short sighted though considering the value of four adults working the gardens/animals full time needs to be considered at some level.

    I liked his compost pile also….cement bricks with gaps for air and for the enriched soil to spill through.

  2. homesteader
    January 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Although we have several acres available for farming, we use maybe 1000 square feet for gardening. The rest is pasture for the milk goats, chickens, etc.

    An excellent video illustrating the potential of self-reliance with minimal resources in the suburbs. Enlightening.


  3. Farmfresh
    February 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Come on join us!

    I have been an urban homesteader for about 25 years now. While my family still hold an outside jobs, we grow a lot of our own food. We have a garden, dwarf fruit trees, grapes, and berry bushes. We also raise chickens for eggs and meat, and have even raised our own meat rabbits. It is a very wonderful thing to put a meal on your table that came in it’s entirety from your own labor on your land.

    Our homestead is located in a large city as well. Just like the video shows a homestead can be beautiful and productive as well.

    I started my website to help others interested in learning how to homestead. Homesteading is much more than growing your own food – it is a mindset, a way of life. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the wild woods, on a farm, a suburban lot or in a city apartment… you too can be a homesteader!

    “Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT!”

  4. Mike/
    October 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Excellent video! I’m a little late in finding it, but this family should inspire all of us.

  5. Mike D
    January 3, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Interesting. Humbling.

  6. Dan D
    April 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    $30,000 a year, It must be expensive to live there! I live on 20K/year and buy everything…

    The fact that they can earn $30,000 from selling salads makes me drool!

  7. M. Ellis
    April 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I grew up in the city of St. Louis. My mother was a sharecropper’s granddaughter so she knew a thing or two about growing veggies. We also grew things in our garden in the city. We grew corn, cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage and greens. We routinely grew so many tomatoes we had to give them away to neighbors. It is most certainly possible. However, my father never left his job to do though! I’m definitely inspired!

  8. Pat Hamilton
    May 10, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I don’t need a lot of land to survive I need it to keep the rest of the world at bay!

  9. viggie
    June 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Neal, they are vegetarians and have the animals for milk and eggs. Slaughter is usually not allowed in city limits and I notice many homesteaders are vegetarian or nearly so due to the cost and effort involved in raising most meat animals and distaste for slaughtering.

    I just started urban homesteading and it great to see the popularity on the rise :)

  10. trekker
    March 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Excellent video, on a 5th of an acre what they have achieved is mighty impressive. inspiring stuff.

  11. Karen
    August 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I love this! I’m definitely going to share this video far and wide. It’s just so wholesome.

    I was wondering about the social aspect of the kids too and I really like how the Dad sees to it. What a guy!

  12. Urbivalist Dan
    September 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I’m a couple years late on this one, but it is amazing! Thanks for posting. So cool, and really quite inspiring to see what someone can do with so little by organizing so precisely.

  13. Ben
    September 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    This is an outstanding video on how to live the way that used to be common knowledge a few decades ago. The hard part for many of us who would love to live this way is finding a way to get your own property. I would have started living this way years ago if I could afford to quit renting and was able to get a home loan. :o(

    For those who have a home of their own, this is a wonderful and revealing piece of media showing how to become even more independent of a government that insists on making their citizens dependent upon them. Bravo!

    • mark Elmer
      July 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      only comment i have is this is excellant,and more familys should try this.great vidio

  14. margaret
    October 31, 2011 at 5:16 am

    My husband and I have traveled and lived off the grid on about $12,000 per year for three years now practicing a loose Vanabode lifestyle. It is totally doable.

  15. nathan
    October 31, 2011 at 9:43 am

    For those liking or concerned with a diet containg meat protein may consider insects. If we look at frugality and alternative lifestyles insects are easy to raise in large numbers in small areas, quite nutritious, and can be easily prepared in flavorful meals.

  16. david
    January 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    very interesting. if they can do it on .2 acres i am game to try it on my 1.73 acres. and by the way, nathan, there is plenty of protein in veggies, i’ve been a vegetarian sense 1966 and never been healthier, you can have my share of insects.

  17. minipprepper
    March 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I love that all there plants are edible the one thing I think would make it even better would be yucca plant because its completely edible and the root can be used as soap

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.