Whether you live in a one-stop-sign town or a populous city, Geauga County or Cuyahoga, beekeeping and raising chickens or other small animals is a great way to access healthy local food products for your family and friends. Thanks to the persistent efforts of urban food advocates, raising chickens and bees is not just for rural areas anymore. And justifiably so - without taking up much space or using much energy, chickens and bees provide a host of benefits.
Many plants including apples, cucumbers and sunflowers, rely on honey bees for pollination. Pollination is required for these plants to flower and produce food.
Soil and Compost Improvement
Chicken poop is nitrogen-rich and provides great fertilizer. Chickens also help rid soil of fruit- and vegetable-eating pests like earwigs.
Raising chickens means getting fresh eggs from your backyard. Beekeeping means you can produce a natural sweetener (honey) right at home with relative ease and low cost.
Before You Get Started
Check with your local government to make sure its laws permit you to raise small animals or bees on your property and determine what rules and restrictions apply. For example, the city of Cleveland passed an ordinance in 2009 allowing residents to keep small farm animals (e.g. chickens, pigs, rabbits) and bees. The ordinance sets restrictions regarding the number of animals allowed, setbacks, enclosures and more.