The Green Marketplace in Cocoa is hosting CHICKENS 101 with AVID HOMESTEAD on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  General information and advice about changing city ordinances to allow backyard chickens and urban homesteading will be presented.  Hand outs about chickens will be available: benefits, coop construction basics, chicken care and maintenance.  Q&A session at the end.

Margaret Goudelock was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi before she transferred to the University of North Texas to pursue a more lucrative degree in Art History, Painting and French.   Ms. Goudelock ran a successful painting and design business for fifteen years before moving to Brevard County Florida where she continued to work for small local companies doing commissioned design work and commercial and residential construction.  Experience with local government agencies, code enforcement and business agencies brought about a strong desire for much more straightforward, transparent and accountable interaction between elected government officials and the general public.  In 2012, AVID HOMESTEAD garnered over 1,500 signatures and were successful in changing local ordinances to allow backyard chickens in un-incorporated areas of Brevard.  The work continues with opening up properties in residential zoning classifications to support more ecologically friendly urban homesteading including responsible small animal husbandry, urban farming and gardening and cottage industries.  A big part of this effort is through educational programs and platforms that support these ends.  In working with government, our motto is surely an open and friendly one - Let's just KISS!!!  Keep It SIMPLE Stupid.

Ms. Goudelock is married to Toby Napier – the long-wearing sound board and brilliant webmaster for AVID  Ms. Goudelock is the mother of two beautiful girls who are both enthusiastic,creative and love animals.  It is for their continued growth and the preservation of a more natural way of life that we strive.

This event is open to the general public and admission is free.

To register for this event through the Ag Extension service, see details here:

SPONSORED BY:  The Green Marketplace Naturewise & Hise Farms

Naturewise, a native and edible plant nursery and natural garden center, is part of The Green Marketplace in Cocoa, FL. The Green Marketplace is a local farm and nursery which sells locally grown produce, farm goods, plants, seeds, and much more. We promote natural landscapes, local growing, sustainable living, nutritional health and green living. We offer various classes and workshops on topics related to natural, sustainable and healthy living.  The Green Marketplace is located at 3910 North Cocoa Boulevard   Cocoa, FL 32926

For more information, see:

margaret  ...

The Brevard County Planning and Zoning Staff Report to the County Commissioners is now available:

Backyard chickens Staff Report (.pdf download) 


Contact your Commissioner and tell them which option you want!

Map of Brevard County Districts

Brevard County Commisioners Home Page


-Avid Homestead



Sign the Petition

Brevard County Florida Residents!

Property zoned Rural Residential or General Use can ONLY have 1 hen unless you obtain a Conditional Use Permit. Is your property less than 2.5 acres? If so you will also need a Variance before you can apply for a Conditional Use Permit!

Sign the online petition form to help us change Code to allow the raising of certain animals and fowl, in reasonable numbers, on residential property.

Thank you for your support!

Welcome to Avid Homestead
We've started this web site to help organize citizens and communities interested in urban/suburban farming but local laws and ordinances prevent or inhibit the full utilization of your property including the ability to raise, in reasonable quantities per parcel size for personal consumption or production of consumables, small animals and fowl.

Our story (and the reason we started this site) begins in unincorporated Brevard County Florida who has cited us for having eight sheep on our two acres of land which is zoned RR1 (Rural Residential 1) and allows horses. In addition to this odd situation of allowing horses but not sheep we are only permitted to keep one fowl or poultry which precludes the ability to gather eggs for our family from chickens or quail.

Brevard County Code Enforcement investigated us after an anonymous caller informed them we had several goats, sheep and almost 30 rabbits. We have eight sheep, no goats and, at the time of the complaint and investigation, a half dozen rabbits. The Brevard County Code Enforcement Officer was satisfied the animals were well cared for and since horses were permitted there was no issue with the sheep. However that conclusion was reversed after, to my understanding, the anonymous caller called again and complained to the Brevard County Zoning Department and we were informed the Notice of Violation was forthcoming.

We raise this small quantity of sheep to help keep the back lawn mowed, teach our two children responsibility and a respect for all life yet understand they also serve other purposes such a wool and, occasionally, a source of meat. We chose our sheep over horses and goats simply because they are better suited to our goals with minimal maintenance and are quite docile so we don't have much of a problem with them getting out.

In addition to the sheep we also raise rabbits for many of the same reasons and enjoy them as pets. Our girls just love them beyond words to describe it and our dog, Dixie, has also taken to the rabbits and will clean them when she gets a chance. Although we don't primarily raise our rabbits as a food source it turns out I do not have the right to process them according to County Code without a Conditional Use Permit. Interestingly, I have been told I may process the fish I catch and wild game I harvest as long as I dispose of the remains properly.

We also planned on raising some chickens for eggs and meat and possibly the same with quail however that is on hold for the time being.

It is our intent to keep our sheep and seek a change to the County Code to permit homesteading in the traditional sense. In short, we want the right to nothing less than what has happened in this country for over 200 years. We don't know when or how these defacto rights were lost in our community or others but with the growing interest and need for individuals to raise their own food due to necessity and/or to have some control over their food supply we are going to document our experience and build a model for other people in a similar situation to use for a change in Code that better reflects the wants and needs of those who wish to produce some of their own food.

We are documenting our effort in the Brevard County Community page. Please visit often to see how things are progressing and any support you can offer is appreciated.



Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:46:00 PM