live / 2020

The Urban Homestead Radio Podcast

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by The Urban Homestead

In three short years, with over 65,000 individual episodes downloaded, the response to the Urban Homestead Radio Podcast has already been tremendous. All grant support and organizational assistance will go to resource a deeper, richer production; and a more reliable, frequent, and interactive show. Episodes feature garden and homesteading deep dives, interviews with luminaries of sustainability, and our seasonal garden and urban homesteading updates with tips and tricks our listeners can use to improve their sustainability and health.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • San Gabriel Valley
  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • The Urban Homestead, Pasadena Media, & ModCon Studios is Exec. Producer David Lawrence's shingle.

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Pasadena Media is a non-profit organization that facilitates, promotes and produces public service television programming on behalf of Pasadena’s four public and community access channels.

Late last year Pasadena Media opened Studio B, a turnkey state-of-the-art podcasting studio. Exec. Producer of the Urban Homestead Radio Podcast, David Lawrence, is a community television producer at Pasadena Media and host of tv series Museum Rat on the Arroyo Channel. David has already been trained and certified in the studio.

For three years, the Dervaes’ siblings who run TUH have hosted the show while wearing all the production hats. Because the information is so valuable, and given in such a loving simple tone from a renowned authority, the show already sees thousands of downloads each week.

What is the need you’re responding to?

The Urban Homestead receives letters and emails from around the world detailing the struggles and insights toward a truly sustainable human presence on the earth in the 21st Century.

Changing individual habits and bringing these systems and workflows into people’s lives can be a daunting task even for the truly committed. This is especially true when the information is so spread out, and true expertise and authority are hard to come by. People want to know where to start. Everything from how to develop residential resource conservation, to what to grow and how to grow it, soil and seeds, as well as farm animal health, and garden monetization.

People have to consume to survive, so how to be conscious about it becomes paramount. Conservation is something everyone can engage in. We live in a disposable society that is realizing we must each reduce our individual impact while lowering the impact of society at large. And LA is perfectly positioned to become a global leader.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Despite its small size, the Urban Homestead project is a fully functioning urban farm in every way and it supplies our families with over 7,000 pounds of organic produce annually. 90% of our vegetarian diet comes from the garden so we eat on almost $2.00 per day per person.

We are living off the land “directly” — supplying our diet, and “indirectly” — we sell the excess harvest to local establishments and individuals through a customized CSA program.

Having found food security in our own backyard, we were emboldened to take further steps. We began powering our home with alternative energies and fueling our car with home-brewed bio-diesel.

Along with new technologies, we also embraced the simple living of past generations: we keep farm animals for egg production and manure, cultivate honeybees, use secondhand goods to decrease our consumption of earth’s nonrenewable resources, as well as continually cultivating and mastering vital heritage techniques and skills.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Partners see this show as a flagship audio broadcast. Our infrastructure is already complete. The first thing a grant would cover is the time and attention for a team of 5 needed to develop episode materials well, and produce and release high quality video and audio episodes more frequently and reliably. The show plans to release two 30min episodes each month, along with shorter supplemental media.

We have explicit goals of 500K - 1mil downloads in 18 months. Marked growth on our Youtube channel with the launch of the podcast episode video releases. That impact would justify the production of a live and syndicated radio show.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Our vision for success is a major increase in audience on our way to developing a robust multimedia platform and brand focused on sustainability. An increase in listeners means an overall amplification of the sustainably aware community. Our explicit goal for the show is to see a minimum of 500,000 individual episode downloads by the end of 2021. That success would allow our production to pursue a regionally syndicated live call in radio program.

We want to help Los Angeles become the working example of the sustainable transformation in mainstream American life. We support a robust economy of true essentials and the rise in awareness of the impact of human presence on the earth.

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Food insecurity
  • Water-use efficiency
  • Resilient communities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Communications support
  • Strategy assistance and implementation