Book Giveaway: The Urban Homestead, Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

A family in Pasadena has decided to trademark the term “Urban Homesteading” and several other common phrases. To that end, they have sent out cease and desist letters to many people and organizations tell them that they must only use these phrases IN ALL CAPS WITH (R) a trademark symbol at the end.  They have even tried to stop Google from linking to this book:

I really feel bad for the authors of this book, who have their own blog. They did nothing wrong, but got caught up in a legal battle by these selfish folks in California.

I would like to do my part to support those who are opposed to this land-grab that violates the very rules of the trademarking process. (Trademark law should not be used to “deprive commercial speakers of the ordinary utility of descriptive words.”)

If you would like to be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of this book, please just leave a comment on this post.  I’ll take entries until March 5th and hold a drawing to select the winner shortly thereafter.

If you would, please join the Urban Home-Steading(s) community on Facebook and/or follow the #DumpTheDervaeses hashtag on Twitter to keep up with today’s Urban Homesteaders Day of Action.


31 responses to this post.

  1. It’s been a wild weekend, hasn’t it! 🙂

    I’m finding so many great homesteading bloggers.


  2. What a generous thing to do!

    I’ve joined the Urban Home-Steading(s) community on Facebook and Twittered #DumpTheDervaeses, as well as joined in with my opinions on my blog at


  3. I’m kind of sad that I’m not on Facebook (professional issues) and am missing out on all the fun (HAHA) But I’m following vicariously through my daughter. I did do a blog post for the Action day, though. I am having fun finding sites I’ve never been to before.


  4. Looks like a great referred to my urban gardening as “Urban Homesteading” TM (C) (R) but would love to get more great ideas from these authors.


  5. Sign my up for the book!


  6. Posted by anash on March 1, 2011 at 3:27 am

    wow- i would love this book- i want to be the epitome of self sufficient living!!


  7. Posted by Neil Pundyk on March 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I’m kind of sad that I’m not on Facebook (professional issues) and am missing out on all the fun (HAHA) But I’m following vicariously through my daughter. I did do a blog post for the Action day, though. I am having fun finding sites I’ve never been to before.


  8. I’d love a copy of this book. I would of course be sure to pass it on once I’m finished reading it.


  9. I’d love to be entered for their book! I’m not on facebook but I’m following the controversy since you can see the first page without joining facebook. I was totally shocked when this whole thing blew up. You just never know about people!


  10. I hope this ends with the good guys coming out on top. I’ve blogged and signed the petition. I am not surprised to learn now how they have copied Michael Nolan’s writings. Pot meet Kettle.


  11. Dervaes lies that they did nothing wrong. They ordered our facebook page to shut down. We and our local farmers lost contact with 2200 customers. Farmers can’t sell as much as they sold before Dervaes action. All of us have financial loses. Our farmers market is already supported by my husband and me. We work for free during 2 years to have this market in operation. Local farmers don’t have any support from government programs. They do their best to produce natural and organic food. The only place they can sell during winter is our small indoor market in Denver. And Dervaes who doesn’t pay taxes and gets donation being a church shut down a facebook page which is the only internet presence for most of our farmers that don’t have their own websites. Dervaes ignores our request to place our Facebook page back. Dervaes has no rights to claim for any exclusivity to use generic phrase “Urban Homesteading” because it was registered in Supplemental Register. All attempts of Dervaes to get it registered in the Principal Register are failed because of multiple reasons. Dervaes knows the different between Principal and Supplemental Registers. He knows that he has no rights to order facebook pages to be disabled.


  12. Posted by annethas on March 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I could certainly use a book on urban homesteading. Please consider me for the drawing. Thanks.


  13. The stupidity of some people will never cease to amaze me. I love my backyard garden and would have chickens, goats and a bunch of other farm animals if I didn’t live in a community that forbids them!


  14. Great idea :o) The PTF clan is out of control, though I love how positive the backlash has been for the urban homesteading community!


  15. Posted by Lea on March 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I loved this book when I checked it out from my local library. I’m really inspired by the authors and by the greater Urban Homestead movement, and the combined efforts to stand up to trademark and copyright misuse.


  16. Posted by Mary on March 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I hate what the Ds did but am so loving the way this community is coming together. It is great knowing I am not alone. I have met so many great people and am learning so very much from everyone. Love it!! (p.s. please include me in the drawing for the book. thanks!)


  17. I just checked the book out at the library because the bookstores in town are sold out. I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

    We’re not so urban anymore but are facing the same space issues as urban gardeners because our county zoning has informed us we cannot use hardly any of the acre that we bought the way we planned. Nothing manmade is permitted within 50 feet of either side of a large wash running right through the middle of the property! So, we could plant a big garden but not fence out the hungry critters.


  18. Posted by Kitty on March 4, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Did the Dervaes actually think this would help their cause/business? They are sadly mistaken.



  19. […] urban homestead. Tagged: urban homestead. Leave a Comment Thank you to all who entered the contest for the book giveaway. The winning comment, as selected by, was made by […]


  20. Posted by Ozarkhomesteader on March 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for publicizing this issue! I’m sorry I’m late to the party but really appreciate your highlighting the trademark problem.


  21. I received the book today. Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to an evening of relaxing and reading tonight 🙂

    I left you a formal “Thank you” on my blog today:


  22. The Dervaeses are in the worst possible location and are totally dependent on the Pasadena municipalities to do what they do. In a real grid down or S.H.T.F. situation they wouldn’t be able to continue their lifestyle or even defend what they have.


    • I agree that they count on infrastructure far too much. I would also like to see a list of their inputs that don’t come from on-site. Goat feed, manure, fertilizers, bags of seed.

      Just the seeds for what they grow could take half of their production offline as they would have to leave crops like carrots, cabbage and kale in place an extra year just to save seeds for the next round.


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