A family based near downtown Los Angeles are showing the world just how much permaculture can work for you.
Their special garden produces them 7,000 pounds of organic food per year, which feeds the family and leaves them a substantial amount left over which they are able to sell and it makes them around $20,000 per year!
Permaculture is the special way in which certain homes and gardens are designed, not to stand out against nature, but to blend in and utilize the tools that nature has provided for us.
It can be an incredibly successful way of using the space you have, and as your garden grows the more you will find you are able to grow. As some other gardening methods tend to strip the soil of nutrients meaning you need to have fallow years, permaculture feeds the garden in the right way meaning it can bloom all year – this is done by clever planting methods.
This family, the Dervaes say they only spend around $2 extra dollars per person per day on produce, all the rest is grown in their garden.
Their website UrbanHomestead.org states:
“Bigger vegetables like broccoli or peppers are planted with a carpet of greens – lettuce, arugula, etc., underneath … the green carpet acts like a living mulch, preventing weeds and keeping the soil moist,”
Jules Dervaes says he fell into permaculture after acquiring a home with a normal garden, but instead of just letting the garden grow of its own accord, he says he wanted to do something ‘useful’ with it. He said his lawn cost him too much in water and so he wanted to see instead, what the land could do for him.
His daughters Anais and Jordanna say:
“Dad started taking over every square inch, horizontal, vertical, the frontyard, the backyard and the driveway,”
Son Justin Dervaes says:
“There were no models to follow, we just did it,”
“I believe growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on Earth, because you’re in danger of becoming free,”
All of their produce is grown naturally, planted by hand with the use of no machinery. The family only have one helping hand in the form of a ‘soil block maker’ which allows them to form blocks of soil in preparation for planting new produce.
The family haven’t used fertilizers since 2007 and say the key to success is to leave the soil open and exposed to the elements, as natural as it should be.