Barnyards and Backyards is the premier site on the web providing you with a unique collection of know-how, news, articles, and community-generated content to help any rural or city rancher start keeping animals. With a focus on sustainability, holistic and natural therapies, and environmental practices, this site brings together ranchers in rural and urban areas to facilitate a collective movement towards sustainable and responsible animal husbandry.

Barnyards and Backyards provides resources, news, knowledgeable articles and a free community to help you along, answer your questions and show you how.

Jordanne Dervaes | Site editor and author, Community moderator

Hi, I’m Jordanne Dervaes. You might know me from the Urban Homestead which was started by my father (see below!) before I was even old enough to walk.

I have always been fascinated with animals of all kinds. I dreamed of living on a farm. Before any Facebook app was ever created, I had an imaginary “Farmville” that lived in sketches, lists and other doodles in my notebooks. I had it all planned out, down to the names of my horses, cows, chickens, geese, rabbits, ducks… Well, let’s just say I had every kind of farm animal that you could think of, and then some!

In reality, my earliest contact with animals was feeding stray cats, rescuing abandoned pets and crying buckets of tears over injured wild animals and birds that were often too hurt to live. My family referred to me as the pied-piper of the neighborhood cats.

I met and loved my first chicken in the early 1990s but soon had my heart broken and dreams crushed when “Rosa” turned out to be a “Rodger” and I thought that was the end of all my chicken hopes. A well-thumbed Murray McMurray hatchery catalog by my bedside became the focus of my addiction. I read and re-read the pages, learned the breeds and even named a few of the images. Yes, I was a desperate and odd child.

However, as our Urban Homestead grew and took root and became more established, I was able to purchase a batch of chicks in February 2001 and have never looked back. As of 2010, my sister Anais and I maintain a menagerie of 8 chickens, 8 ducks, 2 goats, 2 cats, and try to help out with maintaining a gazillion honey bees that are in the care of my dad and my brother, Justin.

I’ve been called a bizarre mix of Jane Austen, Ellie Mae, Heidi, Laura Ingalls and your all around bookworm and techie Geek.

You can contact me through the contact page, or via my community profile.

Jules Dervaes | Site Founder

The founder of the Urban Homestead movement documented on the website urbanhomestead.org, which was the first Urban Homestead online resource and sustainability site on the web.

With the popularity of Urban Homesteading on the rise and faced with having to respond to the huge amount of interest in his lifelong work, Jules Dervaes started developing other sites to help assist others on their own self-sufficiency journey by connecting neighbor to neighbor through social networking sites. While maintaining several popular websites in addition to the original, Jules Dervaes continues to push his Urban Homestead to extreme limits of self-sufficiency and also educate others through outreach events and speaking engagements. His personal website can be found at www.julesdervaes.com.

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