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Dervaes:poster girls

Imagine all the money you’d save if you did not buy your food at the market, in fact did not buy your food at all! Here’s one family doing just that.

Thelma Gutierrez of CNN spent a day with a family that is self-sufficient, well, self-sufficientish.

The Dervaes family are quite possibly one of the few households in America where rising food prices are not an issue. “You just stay at home and you grow your own food in your backyard,” says URBAN HOMESTEADER, Justin Dervaes. His daughter Anais adds: “We try to cook outdoors using the sun and free energy.”

It takes vegetable oil, heat and some chemicals and makes biodiesel. The Dervaes family of four live off their land, but they do not have a big spread – just a modest three bedroom in Pasadena, California.

“One of our biggest crop is edible flowers,” says Justin. They sell to local chefs. “They may call for three pounds of salad, we pick the three pounds of salad. No waste, no mess. That cuts down on overhead,” says Justin.

Anais Dervaes says her family has been living green way before green was in. Their home is paid for and they live on about $25,000 a year. What they don’t sell, they eat. “Anything that can be cooked in a normal oven can be cooked in a solar oven,” says Anais. “And here we have some homegrown potatoes that we harvested and that we’re cooking up for dinner tonight.”

The sun also powers their home and heats their water. It’s heated with a simple black garden hose, and then the water percolates down and water’s the edible landscaping. The Dervaes pick pets like chickens, ducks and goats that contribute.

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