Sustainability is a word we didn’t hear very often until recent years. The increase in environmental awareness, demand for organics and humanely raised meat products has inspired some home owners to take matters into their own yards. Backyard farming is becoming more popular than ever before. Raised beds provide space for a variety of vegetables and fruits, also known as edible landscaping. Often started as a hobby, families are making gardens more extensive than tomatoes and peppers. Somehow, this new outlook on gardens has turned into a status symbol and healthy, wealthy educated people desire the space to design their very own produce department in their own yards.
Fruits and vegetables are not the only thing you may find in a neighbors backyard these days. Keeping bees has also become a backyard hobby, or necessity depending on who you ask. In recent years, honey production has declined due to a mysterious event called Colony Collapse Disorder in which entire colonies of bees die unexpectedly. Home owners with fruit trees or other plants that require pollination, had to find a way to keep their plants producing. Raising bees of their own seemed to be the way to go. Since the sustainable movement is increasing in popularity Tim Tucker, President of The American Beekeeping Federation says “the number of beekeepers with 1-5 hives is growing by leaps and bounds.” If bees aren’t enough, backyard chickens might out number even the bees. With the increasing interest in local food production, freshly collected eggs are a great way to segway into a more sustainable way of living. When you think about eating an egg that was laid by a hen across the country a month ago, the prospect of eating an egg laid in your backyard today, is very exciting and the taste is noticeable. In addition to fresh eggs, chickens are a form of natural pest control and will consume table scraps which cuts down on waste while providing nutrition to the hens.
Of course, not all municipalities allow for livestock in residential subdivisions, many are making changes to local ordinances to permit limited numbers of goats, chickens and other poultry. As the sustainable movement expands, so will the need for REALTORS, buyers and sellers to understand the niche of backyard farming.