Living Homegrown

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without the farm®

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LH 76: Starting an Organic Backyard Farm

How One Couple Started a Farm in Their Backyard

This podcast helps people live farm fresh without a farm® – from DIY food crafts, to preserving the harvest to growing your own food in small spaces.

But what if you DO want to start a farm??

Emily Aarons and her husband Andrew wanted to do just that. They wanted to start a farm.

Not a big, giant mega-farm, mind you.

They wanted a small farm….in the suburbs.


They wanted their farm to be part of an ordinary neighborhood.

So…they did what any industrious entrepreneur couple does.

They took the leap and did it!

Join me in this week’s podcast as I interview Emily Aarons – certified organic chicken farmer. She sells organic eggs and produce.

And where is that farm located?

In the backyard of her Massachusetts suburban home.

And even if you haven’t considered doing this yourself, you may be curious what it takes to start a certified organic farm in your backyard.

One thing I know for sure – Organic farmers usually have at least two things in common…

A little gumption and big desire to make a difference in the world of sustainable food. Emily and Andrew have both…in droves.

In this episode, you learn:

  • Why Emily and Andrew wanted to start their own farm
  • What sort of regulations/licensing they needed
  • What it means to be certified organic – even in your backyard
  • The truth about commercial egg labeling (+ a link below)
  • How Emily juggles being a new mom & farmer at the same time
  • The 5 most important lessons they have learned so far

Emily Aarons:

Starting a Backyard Farm - LivingHomegrown.comEmily is a multi-passionate “mom-preneur” who blends her passion of sustainable food with holistic wellness practices. She has a private practice as a massage therapist and wellness coach. But she is also an organic chicken farmer and local foodie. She loves to connect with the community to teach people about backyard chickens and living a more sustainable lifestyle.

She and her husband Andrew started an organic farm in their suburban home on just a small portion of their 3 acre property. They have over 90 chickens, 12 ducks and they sell organic produce at their local farm stand.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

The TRUTH About Egg Labeling – blog post

Emily’s Farm-to-Table Family Cookbook – Free ebook

Wicked Cool Chicken School® – wait list

Instagram – for Little North Farm

Facebook – for Little North Farm



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #76


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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • Craig Halle says:

    This was great! First of all the Cranberry Recipe. I got my first laugh of the day when I read cranberries “are tart little suckers”. Thanks. That recipe sounds great too, by the way. Then I saw “Wicked Cool Chicken School” and nearly fell off my chair laughing that is so Boston/New England sounding and serious while funny. Thanks again. This is also something I am interested in since I don’t know if my dream of having 20- 60 acres in the country will ever materialize. Keep up the great work Theresa. I definitely appreciate you and the effort you put into this.

  • Christiana says:

    I just stumbled upon your website a few weeks ago and I have fallen in love with your podcasts! I first want to say thank you for providing this and please don’t ever stop. 🙂
    Secondly, I have for the longest time wanted to produce/make as much of everything I can for my family. I love the idea of knowing what we are eating and using, as well as the added benefit of trying to lower our monetary output (with 4 soon to be 5 boys it doesn’t make for a very financially lucrative life). It can also be a daunting task when you can’t even keep a house plant alive or have ample resources available in your area to learn from, but I am determined. I am actively trying to learn your canning/preserving practices for my first and subsequent harvests and compiling my own plant profile for each plant I want to grow. One thing I have been having the hardest time trying to narrow down is what I can grow at home (I have an acre plot) to feed chickens. I’m wanting to lower exponentially or eliminate completely the cost of feed.
    Do you know of what combination of plants can be grown to feed chickens to eliminate the need to buy feed? Or do you know of a reputable learning source?
    I’ve been trying to gather the information on my own but what I find is either inconsistent or unclear. I would like to take a class (though I can’t afford to) and I’ve bought books but none seem to have resources for growing your own food except supplementary.

    Any way, If you know the answer or of any resources your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time,

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