What is a “modern homestead”? Well, it certainly is a very trendy way of living and popular among celebrities and people in the spotlight. It is also popular with people that purely want to get back to living a healthy lifestyle of self-sufficiency. I seem to remember that celebrities such as Hilary Swank raises her own chickens from eggs…..Julia Roberts composts her kitchen scraps and also raises chickens using chicken poop to make a yummy compost for her gardens, while Oprah has a 12-acre organic garden in Maui, (maybe because she needs lots of on hand veggies for her role as spokesperson for Weight Watchers)? Even the White House has a vegetable garden thanks to Michelle Obama!

How does one’s garden grow? Well a lot depends on where you live, what resources you have and yes…..a green thumb! Whether it’s a raised bed (a bit more work there), an in-ground row or container garden, you can begin to grow and sustain on the fruits and vegetables that are produced from them. If you live in the city with little or no backyard, you can be part of the “urban homesteading” movement which incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking in a city setting.

Now you can add some animals if you want! Chickens are a good choice to start with as they are easy to care for and provide a steady supply of fresh eggs. Orpingtons are a great breed to start with thanks to their charming personalities and egg-laying capacity. 😉

If you have a little extra space, why not add a little dairy to your backyard farm? With goats or cows, a trip to the store for milk will be a thing of the past!

BUT….before you go and become the ultimate homesteader you must learn if  your city and/or neighborhood restricts the number or type of animals you can keep on residential property.

Zoning ordinances:Your city may restrict the number or type of animals you can keep on residential property.

Building codes: If you’re planning on building a chicken coop or digging a garden, familiarize yourself with your city’s building code. Otherwise, you could be looking at a hefty fine or a lawsuit from a neighbor

HOA C & R:  Your homeowners’ association may restrict what plants and animals you can keep in your yard, so ask about their rules.

If all else fails, start small. A container garden is a great way to start homesteading without causing a legal ruckus. Whether you’re gardening in your windowsill or putting chickens in a coop in your backyard, modern homesteading is sure to make your life happier and healthier!