Sunday, July 05, 2009

Chesterton and Dervaes

From "Food Frenzy," by Roy F. Moore in the March 2009 issue of Gilbert Magazine, a magazine devoted to the work and legacy of G. K. Chesterton. This essay applies Chesterton's economic principle of distributism.

Chesterton said in Orthodoxy: "We must hate the world enough to want to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing." Among the things that make the world go 'round, the most important is food. How we grow it, sell it, and ship it is more vital than ever before. [...]

Thanks to the domination of global food exchanges by modern agribusiness, ownership and control of food production is shrinking into even fewer and fewer hands. Despite their allies in big government, family farms and food cooperatives are being squeezed out of existence on purpose. [...]

But there are those who set shining examples of resistance to the dark vision of these self-proclaimed elites. One particular family of five is leading the way in a unique manner.

The Dervaes family of Pasadena, California, has redefined the name of "small farm," or rather they have revolutionized the concept of "urban homestead." On a plot no larger than a quarter of an acre, this family of five are able to produce six thousand pounds of produce per year. They're aiming for a goal of ten tons [edit: ten thousand pounds or five tons] from the tenth-of-an-acre. Their Dervaes Institute Web site ( is a cornucopia of information for admirers and imitators worldwide.

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