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An Under the Willow Tree Production

Spring 2011

Under THE Willow

Welcome Spring!

URBAN HOMESTEADING How a way of life was hijacked

The Key to Simple Living City Cents Urban Homesteading

Pastured Meat Rabbits Guest Writer Deanna Duke

Under the Willow Our Staff Founder/Developer Producer - eTV Channels Editor-in-chief Urban Homesteading blog Creative Development

Michele “Shell” Washam Michele “Shell” Washam Julie Charet Gina Marie

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Greetings to all of my fellow Foundation) got involved and everyone is waiting dirt lovers! with bated breath to see what will happen next. There is NO DOUBT the Dervaes will lose. YOU Bear with me this week guys, CAN'T TRADMARK A WAY OF LIFE!!! So, needless dad is back in the hospital and to say, Under the Willow is heavily involved in the Ashley leaves for the Navy on movement to "Take Back Urban Homesteading". Go Wednesday, it’s been crazy here, but I wanted to to Facebook and type in that phrase and join us! send out at least a little something. Can you believe my baby is going into the NAVY??? This bit o' news is a good one. Mike FINALLY agreed to let me get chickens again!! Woot! Woot! My little Has this been the LONGEST winter or what? The darlings will be here on March 14, and I can garden gods are smiling down on us here in east HARDLY wait! In addition to a variety of brown egg Tennessee at the moment. It looks like the time layers, I ordered 2 silkies. I just can't wait to get has come for early spring planting and I am itching them. After reading about the amount of toxins to get out and play in the dirt! How about you? Our and poisons in our food supply as well as being feed neighbor came and plowed the garden for us a to our animals, I've decided to kick my "selfweek or so ago and it's ready for planting. While I sufficiency" movement up a notch. The Washam was out there surveying the Ozark strawberries I Farmstead will grow by leaps and bounds this year, got from Gurney's last year I noticed they have no doubt. taken off like wild fire! They're EVERYWHERE! I'm going to have to thin them out and I'll probably give Under the Willow launched a new Internet radio all the extras to my neighbor. Since we just planted program which is hosted by Urban Homesteading them last year we didn't get too many berries, but editor-in-chief, Julie Charet and myself and our based on reports from others who have grown this online community is up and running. The website is variety, the second year is supposed to be a almost ready and the eTV shows are in production! strawberry bonanza! I am READY! Please visit the website at and click on the There has been lots of excitement in the urban MEMBERS link to join us. homesteading community these past few weeks. It appears the Dervaes family out in Pasadena (Path I've got some goodies for you in this first 2011 to Freedom) took it upon themselves to trademark issue, a special guest and some great articles, the terms Urban Homestead and Urban giveaway, etc. So go grab a nice cup of tea and Homesteading, as if that wasn't enough, the read on! Oh, and don't forget to join the dummies then sent out what amounts to cease and community! I'll see you there! desist letters to over 16 people using the terms EVEN THOUGH the activities of their businesses or organizations had absolutely NOTHING to do with what the Dervaes do. Well, let me tell you... you ain't NEVER seen a movement like this one! The Shell Washam entire urban homesteading community, including rural homesteaders and suburban homesteaders Founder/Developer joined together and opened a can of whoop ass on Under the Willow Tree eChannelz the Dervaes. The EFF (Electronic Frontier

Take Back

Urban Homesteading Can a Way of Life be Trademarked? With the current state of our economy, the unrest around the world, and the rising prices of just about everything, people have been moving towards sustainability in larger numbers. It doesn’t matter if you live in the suburbs or in an apartment building in the big city, urban homesteading, suburban homesteading, and even rural homesteading are quickly becoming one of the largest and fastest growing movements of our time. Until recently, some of us had no clue just how vast the urban homesteading community really is. Most of us were pleasantly surprised to discover just how many people around the US and the world participate in this simple, yet rewarding way of life. What's even better is the fact that all of these wonderful "homesteaders" are truly the most amazing people you'd ever want to meet. And meet we did!

of food on their 1/10th of an acre suburban lot and basically live off-grid as much as possible by reducing their consumption, taking only one shower a week, canning and preserving their food, giving tours of their urban homestead, etc. They've even managed to squeak out a decent living selling their bounty to local residents, restaurants, and caterers. For the past several years the family patriarch, Jules Dervaes has often ranted about how America needs to break its ties with greedy corporations and become more self-sufficient. Good advice these days. Many urban homesteaders shared the Dervaes website and information on their websites, blogs, articles, etc. Hundreds of people referred others to their urban homesteading website, Path to Freedom (You'll have to Google it because I'm not giving the link!) to see how a lot could be produced from even the tiniest of spaces. That's just the way these folks are, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. They are the glue that keeps neighborly values alive.

You may have heard of a family out in Pasadena, CA that operates a fairly popular urban homestead, well actually it is a suburban homestead. The Dervaes family, up until recently, were actually a great example Here's the problem. In October 2010, in the latest urban homesteading movement. unbeknownst to anyone in the urban The family grows somewhere around 3 tons homesteading community the Dervaeses'

trademarked the generic terms "Urban have been the Dervaeses' normal rights to Homestead" and "Urban Homesteading" protect their trademarks." amongst other things. It wasn't until the Facebook pages of people using the terms Meanwhile, the Dervaes sent letters to Facebook to have Denver Urban were being shut down and Homesteading (A farmers market others began receiving what in Denver) Fan page taken down amounts to a cease and with no warning or notice cutting desist letter that all hell broke off their main source of loose. DON'T mess with the communication with their good folks who make up the customers. This would be one of urban homesteading several actions taken by the community! You'll regret it. Dervaes in coming days that Within 3-days there were would cripple businesses who over 3500 members on the had been utilizing the techniques newly created "Take Back of urban homesteading LONG Urban Home-Steading(s) before the Dervaes family. Facebook page (Do a search Kelly Coyn and Eric Knudson, on Facebook to join the authors of the book The Urban movement) and these folks Homestead learned that a DCMA were MAD! As the days wore (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) on, the Dervaes issued several weak attempts to justify their actions, claiming that Jules take down notice was sent to Google and Dervaes "invented" the modern urban Amazon by the Dervaes’ claiming that content homesteading movement. They shut down all in their book violated their trademark. In this of their comments pages, all of their case it was a misuse of the DCMA on the Facebook pages and dug in. In a self styled Dervaes part and Google ignored the request. press release, Jules Dervaes stated that he The book was written 2-years prior to the Dervaes winning their trademark. In a was only protecting what is legally theirs. massive effort to show support, Urban Homesteaders ordered the book in droves! Currently, it's on back order at Amazon and Here's a portion of the release: some bloggers ordered multiple copies for "In the attempt to maintain the reputation contests and giveaways to help the authors and integrity of the trademarks, Dervaes with their legal fees. Institute has privately informed, to date, a total of 16 organizations, publishers and businesses about the proper usage of the registered terms," the press release reads (their underlining, not ours). "No threat was made against anyone's first amendment rights; yet, there has been a heated argument in the media against what should

The Dervaes made an extremely weak attempt at damage control when they issued another statement that basically advised anyone who wanted to use the phrases to change the words or give a mention and link back to them on blogs or website's using the terms. They basically wanted free traffic from anyone who dared use the terms that describe a lifestyle for many. Basically, Jules

Dervaes did exactly what he claimed to have despised in his rants about big corporations and even went so far as to compare himself to Nike. Go figure.

This is the place to not only show your support, but to meet other homesteaders. Every day there is something new, the members are constantly sharing ideas, stories, pictures, etc. It’s become a family. Within 48 hours the Electronic Frontier You’ll LOVE it! Foundation took on the legal case against the Dervaes Institute and sent the Dervaes a The Crunchy Chicken’s Deanna Duke was letter demanding that they take the necessary the first to break the news about the steps to have the Facebook pages reinstated. Dervaeses' trade marking the terms on her The letter was ignored and instead of giving a blog, visit her website for more information as hoot about the massive response, total well as an extensive list of urban destruction of their reputation and movement homesteading blogs, websites, resources and to put them out of business, they sent out more. Deanna has been compiling the list more letters. The Dervaes claimed the from the now 5500 members who are part of response to their disgusting actions are a this movement. bunch of "lies and a hoax". They claimed they were receiving death threats and had to remove all of their commenting pages and social media links. As the days wore on urban homesteaders and people who just supported urban homesteaders discovered that things weren't as they seemed with the Dervaes The Under the Willow Tree Members family. The family filed for "church status" and Community is now OPEN! operate as an Urban Homesteading church. They enjoy the tax benefits as such. Religious Groups, Forums, Blogs, chats and writing by Jules Dervaes show a dominant, more. This is socializing at its controlling man with a vision of starting his finest! It’s FREE to join ! own "Village" of urban homesteaders in South If you love country living, urban America. Little bit of Jim Jones, cult like thingy homesteading, gardening, cooking going on there maybe? and more, you’ll love our As of now, the battle continues, but I can tell community! you this much, the urban homesteading community will not give up, give in, or give over until they have reclaimed what is rightfully theirs...and that is, urban homesteading.

Come Join Us!

If you'd like to join the movement to take back urban homesteading, type the phrase "Take Back Urban Home-Steading" into the Facebook search engine and "like" the page.

See You There!

Pastured Meat Rabbits Under the Willow Tree Special Guest Writer

By Deanna Duke

I've spent far too much time recently researching meat rabbits, breeds and methods of dispatching them. In the past, I've looked into breeding rabbits for fiber, mostly thinking that Angoras would be more up my alley, particularly since the whole processing aspect of meat rabbits is still beyond my comfort level and I know I would be the one left to doing the dispatching.

suggested perhaps raising some rabbits on his behalf as long as he did the dispatching. Again, not too surprisingly, he was fine with that. He's very interested in knowing exactly where his ingredients come from, and learning how to process rabbits, chickens, goats, etc. is something he has no problem with. So, it looks like we might have some sort of matched interest here.

While looking up meat rabbits, I ran across a number of sites mentioning pastured rabbits, most likely originating from the practice done at Polyface Farms (Joel Salatin of Omnivore's Dilemma fame). Basically, you keep the bunnies in a sort of chicken tractor that gets rotated around so the rabbits have access to I'm not entirely new to rabbit husbandry since fresh clover, grass, weeds and the like. I had a bunch of bunnies in my childhood. I like the idea of rabbits for fiber, but it's hard This is supplemented with traditional rabbit to acquire Angoras in my area, and I'm not pellets and hay, depending on the time of sure that I have the gumption to knit anything year. I thought this was a very interesting idea up with the fiber. That is, of course, after in that it not only is a money saver, but the mixing it with wool and spinning my own yarn rabbits are more likely producing a healthier with it. The manure aspect of rabbits certainly meat and are generally happier hanging out in intrigues me as a good compost for the garden the grass during decent weather. but, as of yet, I have done nothing regarding raising rabbits. It's been all talk and no action. I'm also most likely cursed with the only two children on the face of the planet who hate rabbits. For whatever their reasons, they sure ain't sharing them with me. In any case, how did I come about looking up meat rabbits again? Well, my foodie brother was discussing his plans for doing a big Easter event (much like his Poultrygeist event in October with ducks) which, not too surprisingly, involve rabbit as one of the course ingredients. I

Check out MORE great articles at

"Quality: A key to Simple Living By Julie Charet Urban Homesteading Editor-In-Chief I never realized how bombarded consumers are with information and choices until I recently viewed a show regarding pitch men. The show followed a current pitch man, the people who have items they wish to mass market and the process to take an item from idea to in-home. In the episode, the pitchman financed a chip bag item where liquid does not escape from the bag. Liquid in a chip bag?

the simple living ideal. Folding a chip bag and placing it in a secure spot is simple living. To take a minute to stir food is simple living. Simple living is moving from the consumerism mentality to self-sufficiency. This does not mean we never consume, it means we need to consume wisely.

Let's face it. There are great new designs on the classics: Dyson vacuums/air blades/hand dryer and iPhone for example. The problem is there are many choices in the stores and the quality not only differs at price point but store to store. How many vacuums now have Two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) I can make mimicked Dysons' clear cannister concept? that same item with molding clay and 2) Do I How many smart phones mimic the Iphone? really need this item? In my household, we eat chips on a semi-regular basis. Potatoes are The key to smart (i.e. saving money) and high in carbohydrates and a handful of Lays is ecological shopping is purchasing quality. not worth a trip to the hospital for insulin Quality means a well constructed item sold by injections. When chips are in the house, we a reputable, ethical company. It means taking roll the top of the bag and put it in a time to research opinions and information designated place to avoid spillage. Pretty about a particular item, the manufacturer, the manufacturers support and accessibility of simple. replacement parts. The next day, I saw a commercial from the aforementioned pitchman regarding a self The business environment today can be highly stirring item for cooking. I laughed. There are unethical. Monsanto and other bio producers four burners on an average stove. Have we've (like Dow) are producing genetically modified become so lazy that we can not spend one seeds which are predicted to cause serious health issues in the near future. If a person did minute stirring our food? not research, they would not know that Whole You may say "Hey Julie! Your blog discusses Foods, Target, Wal-Mart, Supervalu, Kroger, simple living. Where is the contradiction?" The Trader Joes, ect sell these GMO foods and are contradiction is these items are not apart of not required to label their products as such

under current US laws. An uneducated Does high quality apply to retail alone? consumer would visit this store, pay more for the organic label and receive a inferior Absolutely not. product. Last weekend after attending a travel show, If we must go to the store to replace our my husband, son and I visited P.F. Changs. vacuum every year (which happened to me), We've never experienced quality or service money and time is wasted in the replacement. problems. The spring egg rolls arrived "well I realized after the third replacement, I spent done". The tofu meal, which we ate several more on cheaper vacuums than purchasing a times before, was served super spicy (which quality item. In 2005, I purchased a is not the normal or requested way this item refurbished Dyson DC14 and never looked is served). We mentioned this to our server closer to the end of the back. In the six years I've service and requested extra owned the vacuum, the fortune cookies to neutralize only repair was a the spice. My husband and I replacement hose. I am were calm, mentioned the able to pull the vacuum situation briefly and did not apart to easily find items think twice about it. The jarred within the vacuum next thing we knew, the and Dysons' customer manager came over to our service assists if needed. table, apologized and I ran across a similar offered to make another problem with humidifiers. meal. We declined as we had I've been blessed with finished the meal. The inherited sinus structure manager removed the cost problems. When the of the item from our check. weather changes, I This is quality dining at its experience sudden sinus finest. The food is normally headaches and infections. I purchased three par above and where there is an issue, lower quality humidifier three years in a row. management immediately addressed the I had enough and purchased a Vornado four problem. We frequently treat family members years ago--issue free. to a meal and we are known for great food and dining experiences. Quality costs money upfront. A Dyson vacuum is $300-$500. A Vornado is $100+. I paid Quality may or may not have a coupon or $249 for my Dyson plus $24 for the hose discount associated with the product or place. replacement. $273 vs $500 + for a new Quality may be found at Fred's Steak House vacuum per year. The savings is in the length or Menards. Quality is a key to a simple the item lasts. lifestyle.

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Coming Up... In the next issue of Under the Willow and in a series on our blog, we’ll be covering the issue of food safety. This is one series you WON’T want to miss. Most people have no idea what they are eating and what they are eating is literally killing them. It’s time to educate and inform about this situation. Stay tuned for the next issue of Under the Willow and be sure to visit our blog for series updates and special guest writers.

Spring planting tips, great contests and giveaways, Special GREEN living series, special guests and more! Stay tuned!

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