More about The Urban Homestead, “The Path to freedom”

This family shows how, in a family home back yard, they earn an income, eat far better than most, and live sustainably on little cost.

Over 6,000 pounds of food per year, on 1/10 acre located just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The Dervaes family grows 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 throughout the year.

From 1/10th of an acre, four people manage to get over 90% of their daily food and the family reports earnings of $20,000 per year (AFTER they eat from what is produced). This is done without the use of the expensive & destructive synthetic chemicals associated with industrial mono-cropping, while simultaneously improving the fertility and overall condition of the land being used to grow this food on. Scaled up to an acre, that would equal $200,000 per year!

A week’s meals – Day 1, Saturday

It does occur to me I show very few meals in this blog – reason being I don’t often use recipes and they aren’t anything exciting, however they are healthy, delicious and are based around foods from the garden, eggs from our chooks, occasional fish traded / or given to us and meat we get off the farm hubby works on.

For a week I am going to show what we are eating and how little we are now buying. Homegrown etc are shown in bold.

Breakfast  was a smoothie with milk, eggs, mixed berries, figs and peaches.


Lunch was just a sandwich on the run really for me as I was going out. This was bread, tomato, cucumber and red onion. Wasn’t even going to bother with a photo but here tis 🙂


Dinner was an omelette and salad. Omelette had eggs, tomato, chives, bacon, red pepper, little cheese. Salad was lettuce, grated beetroot and carrots, cucumber, courgette, avocado, basil, parsley,strawberries.

dinner day 1

Drinks were coffee or sage tea.

And, I had a couple of pieces of a sweet I made a couple of days ago and none of the ingredients came from our garden! I still have coconut oil, dried coconut and honey in the pantry. Sooner or later they will run out but for now I still have them 🙂

coconut sweet

Coconut crack  bars: recipe from

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup (I used honey)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Whiz till well combined and press into small square dish, chill for an hour before trying to cut. (Or freeze for 15 minutes.)


The only cleaning liquid I use

The only cleaning liquid I use

Is malt vinegar with a small squirt of organic detergent.

I tried white vinegar and baking soda but for the harder areas eg soap scum on bath, this just meant hard scrubbing. I made this a few months back when I had run out of white vinegar and converted.

It’s cheap, works very well and is chemical free.

Soapwort for hair – not tea!!

This is the first summer we have grown more than just a few straggly herb plants in odd pots around the place. Hubby built a raised garden in the front lawn and we grow herbs in that, and strips along the front and back. i wanted to grow enough to dry /store to last a few months or so…we grew enough to last a year I think. I also researched a little and grew some for herb teas…and I planted plantain and soapwort. Plantain is good for sores, cuts, sprains etc and also as a tea, it’s supposed to be good for anxiety, nerves etc. Soapwort I wanted to try as a shampoo for my rather unruly curly /fluffy locks.

So I planted all these seeds (around 12 varieties common in a kitchen garden) and an odd one came up I believed to be plantain, the other didn’t at all. Instead of checking which this was I assumed – and let it grow, slowly nipping off odd sprigs of it to drink at odd times. It was some time later I had a funny feeling I should check on the net exactly what this was…to find I had been drinking soapwort, which thank god is not poisonous but a strong brew will induce vomiting!!

Anyway! As a shampoo this is fantastic, I love it. I will never buy commercial shampoo again. It doesn’t strip oils, leaves it silky and shiny. I strip the leaves off , put in a large pan and cover with water, boil until its foamy, cool, strain, bottle and freeze what I won’t use straight away. I just take small bottles out of the freezer as needed. The fresh stuff is green, the frozen turns brownish but it still works as well.