Dervaes (Dur-VAYS) Gardens is a small family business established in 1995 by Jules Dervaes Jr. in Pasadena, California. Our specialty is in unique, rare and heirloom varieties of vegetables, edible flowers, and fruit. Although this restricts the amount of produce we provide, we specialize in quality, not quantity.
Dervaes Gardens began almost by accident. Our family have always been gardeners with a generational 'green thumb,' but it was a hobby of pleasure. We lived simply and sustainably on our Urban Homestead. However, when the severe California drought of the 1990s hit, Jules Dervaes, Jr. was faced with either paying higher bills or conserving water. So Jules ripped out our moisture-challenged front lawn, mulched it thickly to smother the persistent pest of Bermuda grass and sprinkled wildflower seeds everywhere.
And then came the infamous year of the 'El Nino' weather phenomenon, 1995. Our yard blossomed with mounds of nasturtiums and became a lush blaze of color. Nurtured by rich soil and soaking rains, the nasturtiums flourished with large and prolific blooms.
A feature in a local newspaper about a downtown Pasadena tea shop caught Jules' eye and stirred his imagination. Edible flowers were used not only for decoration but also for taste and interest.
Surrounded in his yard by the very flowers extolled in the article, Jules had an idea. We contacted the tea shop, offered our blooms along with the sales pitch of right-off-the plant kind of freshness and quality and, by the end of the day, we had our first client. Dervaes Gardens was launched.
Today, Dervaes Gardens serves many quality restaurants and caterers in Pasadena and the surrounding area. Our produce and flowers have been found on tables at celebrity parties, charity functions and exclusive events.
As our garden flourished, we moved beyond gardening and began a public enterprise that evolved from our personal commitment to earth stewardship. This sustainable journey, documented on our website http://pathtofreedom.com, has garnered worldwide attention since being publicly launched in 2001.