How big a crop can you grow in a standard summer cottage? Tons! If you can't believe it, meet an unusual California family who grows an incredible amount of vegetables in the backyard. Jules Derwe and his relatives use the ancient traditions of farming in combination with modern technologies, which allows achieving amazing results.
It all started as a hobby: a small plot that adjoined his house in Pasadena, Jules decided to turn into a small semblance of a farm in order to grow organic products without GMOs. The whole family joined the idea: the children Anais, Justin and Jordan. Today, the yield of the site affects everyone: vegetables are grown here, pets are raised and even chocolate is made! All products of the Derve family are organic.This plot completely provides for the family, even stays for sale (Photo: BBC World)
For a long time, the family of Derve has not considered their lifestyle exclusively as a way of earning. They consider farming and a return to traditional values a life philosophy. In addition to work, Derwe is actively involved in social activities: they arrange charity film screenings and help her neighbors look after their children.
Unfortunately, not always everything goes perfectly. Several years of drought made farmers nervous. They were forced to turn to the latest water-saving technologies. The family made a small compromise, turning in this area from tradition to innovation. All the water that is consumed in the house is reused for irrigation. Among other things, Derwe uses the traditions of ancient irrigation: clay jugs are placed in the beds to collect rainwater, which give up moisture when the soil dries out.
Photo: Urban homestead
In addition to vegetables, Derve grows greens, ornamental and edible flowers, produces its own soft drinks and even chocolate - more than four hundred items in total. The site is inhabited by chickens, ducks and a couple of goats.
His house Jules acquired in 1985 and made it the main source of income.Photo: BBC World
Strictly speaking, today Derve site is somewhat larger than it was originally. By agreement, they use part of the neighborhood land and even the entrance to the house. Oddly enough, the site even allocated a place for a small recreation area. Very much save space helps system of vertical gardens.
Electricity of the house and the site is provided by the work of solar panels installed on the roof. Most of all electricity is spent on production, for example, on the manufacture of juices and purees. Even the fuel for the car produces an unusual family of waste, which provide the nearest restaurants for free!The whole family project is involved in the farm project (photo from the family archive)
Jules complains that modern humanity is too dependent on technology and obsessed with material values. His family can not compete with large retail chains and online stores that deliver food. However, due to its excellent reputation, Derve trades with local restaurants and provides products to its neighbors. With the development of social networks, there is practically no lack of clients for an unusual family.
Jules considers his way of life to be what mankind should return to in order to survive in this world and not destroy it.