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    I too have followed the Dervaes family for many years, but lately I’ve found their website very difficult to navigate. As we’re planning to buy some chooks I went to Path to Freedom looking for information on deep-littering, and couldn’t work out how to find the information I needed.

    While ‘urban homesteading’ is not an expression I would particularly use to describe myself – ‘homestead’ being more American than Australian – for many years I have lived in the spirit of this movement and fully support those resisting the Dervaes family. Like others, I have removed links to the Dervaes videos and website from my blog and joined the Facebook page.

    I am astonished that Jules Dervaes now claims to have been the founder of the urban homesteading movement.

    But most of all, I feel sad that such a wonderful endeavour appears to have gone so wrong.


    Is there some sort of appeal to the trademark registration organisation? Protesting the Dervaes is one thing, but what about action taken against the actual allowance of these trademarks?


    I believe someone directly affected by this in the US has already lodged an appeal – and a publisher is suing the D family too.

    Two mistakes here – their actions and then that it was ever approved by the trademark authorities


    I had never heard of the Dervaes until this ridiculous stunt.

    From the sounds of it becoming well known to most people has gone to their heads.

    It’s sad what a little bit of fame can do to some folk!

    What a huge waste of energy, time and taxpayers dollars this will end up being.


    It’s such a shame to hear of people trying to own ‘intellectual property’.

    Knowledge is there to be shared by all, for the good of all…

    In times such as this, when, more than ever we need to protect and regenerate the earth and drastically change people’s attitudes regarding food miles and food production, and to get the message out there that it is possible to be VERY self sustaining on a small urban (oops! can I say that?) patch of land. Well… it’s just a sad day.

    And that is why I’m so very glad to be a part of an online community such as ALS… people who genuinely want to make a difference, and who go to great lengths to share their knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of all.

    Yay to all of you… and thank you to all of you, who have shared your years of wisdom and knowlege so that I may in turn, teach my children some of the vital skills we are all going to need to survive in these tumultuous times. :kiss: :kiss:


    It’s the ‘little bugger’ coming out in me, I can’t help it! I wanted to write this post so it included as many of the ‘no-go’ phrases as possible…. be a good competition!

    Waking early on my LITTLE, bitty HOMESTEAD IN THE CITY®, I strode ever so softly down my PATHs TO FREEDOM®, looking for what fruity bounty I could harvest for brekky etc etc


    Well, whatever the intentions of the Dervae family, I think all this publicity is probably helping bring visitors to their site, even though there is negative stuff coming out of it… and if it brings more people to the idea of urban homesteading in their backyards, that’s a good thing, I say! I’d rather it be trademarked by someone who is actually living the life, then the terms being misused by some big business, capitalising on the urban homesteading ‘movement’.

    This is my thoughts about it:

    (Edit to add: Of course, I have little to lose from this whole TMing business, and I do feel for those whose livelihood will be affected.)


    Can you trademark Urban Homesteading when you didn’t originate the term? According to their website, the Dervaes family started their journey in the mid 1980s. gives the origin of the term as being in 1970-75. This is probably correct, because in the early 1970’s there was a program by this name in the U.S. which aimed at reclaiming declining city neighbourhoods. The program was unsuccessful, but urban homesteading enjoyed fleeting popularity by that name in the early 1970s when the media embraced the notion of urban pioneers salvaging communities. (Source: Urban Homesteading: Programs and Policies, by Mittie Olion Chandler, published 1988.) So, the Dervaes’s appropriated the term from someone else and in 2011 suddenly decide it’s theirs and they should trademark it? If they didn’t invent Urban Homesteading, how can it be their intellectual property?


    Back in the 70’s when I wrote the odd article for Grass Roots There was a great deal of information on how much stuff you could grow and survive, recycle, water,chooks, composting the whole lot, in suburban gardens, be interesting to go back and read up on the first few (If I could find them dissappeared somewhere), I think the first one was printed in 1973, yet this family call themselves the first grass roots of revolutionary homesteading. Just another name really what Aussies had been doing already.


    Yes, that is probably part of the uproar, the Dervae’s didn’t invent the term or the actual skills/ lifestyle… sure, they have educated and created awareness for alot of people, but it is something alot of people/ bloggers/ writers/ homesteaders around the world feel they are doing, feel they connect to, and have contributed to!

    Not as catchy, but I like the new term going around now… Non-rural farm!! 😛


    I think a big problem people have is the lack of answers to all these questions. When you don’t put your case forward, you risk others filling that gap, which has been exactly what’s happened here.

    If they spoke up and allowed some type of conversation it wouldn’t have been so bad, but they went to ground and that’s made people even angrier.

    They have the potential to cost a lot of people a lot of money and hard earned work spent building small businesses trying to do the right thing.

    Added: I guess I’m angry because the next trademark could put an end to my business… seems things aren’t as secure as they once were.


    He still has his facebook page up if you want to tell him how you feel


    I understand what the Dervae’s family is doing at the moment is very wrong. However I was recently at a Garden Group Meeting that I attend regularly and watched their DVD. Everybody was so impressed at what they were doing, it just concerns me how quickly people change from admiring them to putting them down.

    Hopefully this is all sorted out before it gets worse for all involved.


    it just concerns me how quickly people change from admiring them to putting them down.

    Me too… like I said on my blog post, at first I felt bewildered and upset, but tried to give them the benefit of the doubt… they’ve done alot of good over the years. The Herd Mentality can mean things get out of hand, without many even knowing the full story (I know I certainly don’t!!)… and you know what, even if they spoke up & defended themselves, alot of the time it gets twisted anyways, and people can be so bitter, it amazes me! I know there are some that called them friends, who supported them, who were probably betrayed, maybe they’ve got the right to be bitter! I’d feel the same, I guess, if it was affecting me more directly. I hope it settles down soon too…

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