As cities and suburbia have expanded, farm life has been pushed farther and farther to the outskirts of modern life. This has meant an increase in the pesticides and preservatives needed to keep food fresh during transportation to urban grocery stores. Even products marked as being organic are leaving consumers weary as there are doubts on the legitimacy of certain types of organic labeling and if itâ€™s indeed organic or just a marketing ploy. As more and more reports come out on the benefits of eating natural food in its original form, people who live in or near cities are trying to figure out how to have a healthy, truly organic lifestyle without having to uproot their city or suburban lifestyle.
One solution people are coming to is urban farming, and it is a health trend that has started to hit La Jolla California. Urban farming helps individuals and families to be self-sustainable when it comes to their food by growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Some urban farms also raise small livestock, such as chickens for eggs or goats for milk if space allows.
When designing your urban farm, efficiency and proper planning is the key to maximizing your garden while still leaving area for you to enjoy your yard.
What Livestock & How Many Are Allowed For Urban Farming San Diego City Council Regulations Outline The Early last year the San Diego city council amended zoning laws to make urban farming more attainable, particularly when it comes to livestock. People living on a property zoned as a single-family residence may own two de-horned miniature goats and up five chickens with no setback requirement as long as the chicken coop is five feet from side property lines and 13 feet from the rear property line. Those with larger yards may have the option of owning more chickens, up to 25, depending on setback regulations. (Setback refers to how far the animals must be kept from any residence). Only hens are allowed; roosters are strictly prohibited on urban farms. Goats and chickens must be provided a shed and/or chicken coop that keeps them safe from predators and enough room to easily move around (if raising goats, each goat must have a minimum of five square feet of space).
Bee Hives Also AllowedThose looking to make some homemade honey are also now allowed to have up to two bee hives; however, the hive must be kept at least 30 feet away from any off-site residence and in a properly secured area in order to protect both the bees and any nearby humans.
Interview With Marcela Araujo, La J olla Urban Farming Expert & Resident In order to start an urban farm on your property, you must ensure it meets proper zoning laws. Once youâ€™ve gotten the green light to move forward with your urban farm, proper planning and learning how to properly care for your agriculture and livestock is imperative to success.
La Jolla Blue Book had the opportunity to hear from Marcela Araujo, a La Jolla resident who not only has an urban farm that she takes care of with her husband and young children, but she also runs the popular Facebook fan page called Urban Chickens, which has over 1,1000 members and offers tips and ideas for raising chickens and managing an urban farm life. Here is what Marcela had to say about urban farming in La Jolla:
1. La Jolla Blue Book: How has urban farming in La Jolla has benefited your family?
Marcela Araujo: Not only is it fun watching our fruit, plants, and chickens grow right in our own backyard, but we love knowing that itâ€™s all healthy and pesticide/GMO free. Plus, it's great that even though we live in the city our kids can still grow up learning about how to plant a garden or raise chickens. There's nothing better than seeing the excited look on our toddlerâ€™s face as she excitedly picks through the strawberry plants looking for "nom nom's".
2. LJBB: What is your biggest obstacle to raising an urban farm in La Jolla?
MA: You'd think that living in an area like La Jolla, raising live chickens in your backyard might be frowned upon but we've found our neighbors to be very supportive. I think being respectful and having only a small number of hens helps, they might feel differently if we had a rooster calling at sunrise every day. Another thing to look out for is predators; surprisingly La Jolla has a fair amount of hawks and possums that love a good chicken dinner now and then but this can be mitigated by building a small chicken run or providing ample shaded areas for the hens to hide and closing the door to their coop at night.
If youâ€™re now excited about the thought of starting your own urban farm, but are concerned about the logistics of putting together such a plan, check out the Urban Chicken Facebook Page as the community there can help you out. If youâ€™re still not sure about tackling it on your own, there are La Jolla Landscape companies you can hire who specialize in designing and putting together urban farm space. Before you know it, youâ€™ll be on your way to a sustainable garden and possibly even raising livestock in your own backyard.