In order for me to be able to write I have to be in the “right” frame of mind. This mental vibe has alluded me for the past year. Maybe I burned out cranking out articles for web content? Maybe it is because of my step father’s illness. Maybe it is because I am not living the life I want and I feel like a liar when I post here. I think it is an enchilada combination platter. So, this has pulled me out of my shell and has me writing again. I apologize for the imperfections of this blog post, I’m a bit rusty.
Dear reader, the topic today is on a battle going on in the virtual world that has real life consequences. A family, who I once had great admiration for, has gone rogue. The Dervaes family found their own path to freedom but has decided that others must bow to their wishes and is making life difficult for bloggers and facebook pages.
What they have done is to trademark several phrases, including Urban Homestead and Urban Homesteading. That sounds like a great idea, if they had stuck to what they say they are doing, and let anyone use them as long as no money was being made and to protect the words from corporate use and abuse. As my momma always told me, actions speak louder than words and in this case they have gone after community groups and small businesses. This includes The Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland, California website domain name was changed and their Facebook page was removed by the Dervaes family’s insistance. Denver Urban Homesteading used their Facebook page as a way to communicate with their members was also removed. These are two non-profit organizations who teach people how to homestead in their backyards, live sustainably. I can only shake my head over the WHY of the cease and desist orders.
Urban homesteaders Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen of the website Homegrown Revolution had to change their name Facebook page to Homegrown Evolution because the Dervaes family has tradmarked the prhase “Homegrown Revolution” and their blog to Root Simple to get the Dervaes off their backs, but the battle continues to get petty, on the Dervaes part over the title of the book by Coyne and Knutzen called The Urban Homestead and their soon to be released update of this book. Retroactive trademark?
How can you trademark a movement?
The Dervaes family claims that this revolution would not have happened if it had not been for them. I find their arrogance appalling because if one was paying attention to the trends coming along in the last ten years one would see that people are looking more towards their own backyards. I recall that post 9/11 sales at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes went higher because people were choosing to spend their money on their homes and “staycations” investing in their own backyards. Can the Dervaes family claim this? They were behind this movement? Also, it is a sign of a bad economy. Families are hunkering down, cutting expenses and yet are wanting to be more independent. After all the easiest way, as my momma always said, to double your income is to cut your expenses in half. If you want to live off of more than macaroni and cheese then you plant a few containers of salad greens and get a couple of chickens. I say that this trend would have happened before and it has the distinct feel of the backyard gardens that helped sustain families through The Great Depression and the Victory Gardens that supported the war effort of World War II. Many of these families were Urban Homesteaders. Urban homesteading goes back to the first cities before the words urban and homesteading were coined and before the English language was formed. It is about having a quality of life that one would not have otherwise. It is about feeding your family nutritious foods that you can no longer afford to buy at the grocery store, teaching children responsibility and where food comes from, adding income through sale of your produce and extra eggs. It is about sustainably and being green. It is about making it though the winter alive in hard, hard times. This is a path to freedom that our ancestors have chosen for thousands of years. Stick that in your hat, Dervaes family.
Get involved in the fight at Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) Facebook page.