Suburban living built around community farms. There’s one in Sacramento, Atlanta, Shanghai. Housing and farms side by side. In April 2016, there were an estimated 200 of them around the country. I think MANY more. Isn’t this what the Amish have always done, what communal groups have thrived on? Well, welcome to the share economy. You’re going to have to do it, and you’re going to have to like it, too, and fairly soon.
Matthew “Quint” Redmond, owner of Agriburbia LLB, a Boulder, Colorado-based business that designs, builds and operates farms recently said, “The issue is making more calories out of the water we have,” Redmond said. “Growing things that are better for you. And fewer people are playing golf these days. We’ll be seeing a lot of golf course conversions in the next 10 to 15 years.”
I think he’s right and I looked into 12 agrihoods that originally had been brought to light in 2014 through various articles at the time. I wondered, where are they today? Here’s what your agrihood is up to now, several of the below are still actively in development phases.
12 Agrihoods That Are Building (and Feeding) Sustainable Communities
1. Agritopia: Agritopia in Gilbert, Arizona appears to be going strong, promoting itself as “A Simpler Life: A Place You Can Love”. The website posts are a bit outdated and the FB page shows u-pick was active as of January. A sister FB page, The Farm at Agritopia posted, “At the moment we are reworking and planning out what is going to be planted in the upcoming season. It may look like not much is happening when you see the empty fields, but there is a lot of behind the scenes planning, before any seeds are sowed.
Soil testing is very important to ensure hardy, viable crops. We are testing the soil to see exactly what state the soil is in; what elements need to be amended, and how much salt is in the soil. It may not look like much, but it’s a critical first step.”
2. Serenbe Community: “The Best Reason to Live Here is the Life Here”. A beautifully cultivated and curated website hosts up to date events and happenings. A post on this week’s FB page says, “A “wellness community” such as Serenbe [was described] as “a place proactively developed with the holistic health of its residents, guests, local community and environment in mind….it’s about being consciously connected to the people, environment and activities that comprise it.” Read more about wellness placemaking. bit.ly/29sJqF7
3. Prairie Crossing: Prairie Crossing’s site reads more like a savvy real estate developer’s. They are a widely acclaimed conservation community in Grayslake, Illinois. The community was designed to combine the preservation of open land, easy commuting by rail, and responsible development practices. It is a national example of how to plan our communities to enhance the environment and support a better way of life. Prairie Crossing held a gleaning session through FB mid June and recently posted about conservation of fireflies.
4. South Village: Vermont’s First Traditional Neighborhood Development, South Village’s page reads more like a realtor’s property listing. They held a community yard sale mid June and a Rock the Block party at the end of the month. Their FB page says, “Our first annual Rock The Block Party was a great success with beautiful weather and over 55 people attending! The neighborhood kids decorated their bikes & scooters for the parade around the block to kick off the event. Our fabulous neighborhood DJ had music for every age group bringing back memories and welcoming conversations between new neighbors. There was face painting, community grills and games for all ages! If you weren’t able to make it ….don’t miss our Fall Harvest Social when we will come together again making “Community” happen!”
5. Hidden Springs: Hidden Springs’ page welcomes you home and appear to be knee deep in construction/expansion building! They have a Car Show – Soapbox Derby – Food Trucks – Concerts – planned for late August with a last Facebook post of 2014. Brighton Corporation finished paving the roads in the first phase of Cartwright Ranch. Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of local traffic in the construction zone and on the private construction access road. We are concerned about the safety of all. It has been brought to our attention that vehicles traveling well over 50mph have been noted by contractors and ACHD. All residents utilizing the road are asked to keep their speeds below 20mph.
6. Willowsford: This agrihood in Virginia wants you to “Live Well” and its page reads more like a glossy magazine. From its start, Willowsford has been about connections – to the land, to our food, to the region, and to each other. As the Capital Region’s only farm-to-table new home community, it’s a place that nurtures every aspect of wellbeing, full of programming and events that have become community traditions, as well as plenty of nature’s own peace and quiet. Attractive foresty photography is in use on the FB page, inviting prospectives to come take a tour.
7. Kukui’ula: Hawaii offers you luxury living and a site to match. What that has to do with agrihoods, I’m not quite sure, but this is definitely upscale living with a club atmosphere, shoppes, and galleries. On FB, it is advertised as a resort and spa, so there appears to have been some rebranding and reimaging here. An upcoming farm & lake were so stunning, I reposted it as the image on this article. Artfully designed along the rolling back hills, The Farm perfectly showcases the principles behind Kukui’ula. Members can enjoy one-on-one time with themselves and the “Aina” (land), whether through picking fresh produce, fishing for Peacock Bass or gathering organic eggs for their morning omelet.
8. Bucking Horse: Bucking Horse is designed around fulfilling the hunger for community. Visitors and homeowners will be able to discover a community of opportunities nestled in a safe environment. Local vendors will have the chance to share their products and create relationships with those visiting the village, while community gardens and gathering places will encourage homeowners not only to interact but to bond with their neighbors. A trail system, community gardens, a working farm as well as a garden for the farm-to-fork restaurant, are all part of the proposed master plan to protect our land. A variety of homes will be offered within the community including single family and townhome residences. Not quite sure how things are moving along, the last FB post was Oct of 2015.
9. Skokomish Farms: Offers a Navajo chant as a welcome. The website speaks about your dream, your life, and your future with a very unique, wholistic, and green approach. Last FB post for this Washington State community was January 2015. “Raise your family on a very private natural farm surrounded by the Olympic Mountains and two salmon rivers. You can build your home on 5+ acres, and the remaining 35 acres will be professionally farmed for you. If you wish you can participate in the farming operation growing crops, helping with livestock. Or just sit back and watch others do the work.”
10. Harvest: In Texas, they are gathering, growing, and living. Another design-to-build community, this site reads more like a land developers. Harvest connects with the land’s agrarian history to build a sustainable community in which children and adults alike can form strong ties with the land and with their neighbors in a place that truly fosters a sense of community. In early July 2016, the FB page shared that a community member had found fossils on the site.
11. Sendero: Is now branded as Rancho Mission Viejo, a planned community for the over 55 crowd. The page and blog reads like a travel magazine. The community is now up to six planned neighborhoods, with the most recent slated for unveiling this fall.
12. Prairie Commons Is an informative site leading to a development company. Aspects of the proposed site plan are in line with better community health and living through connectivity, aerobic, cognitive and edible design concepts. The FB page pales in comparison to the examples cited above.
lange: art, agriculture, agritourism. Exploring and expanding the intersections of art, agriculture, agritourism, and agrarian systems within Florida’s creative placemaking. How can we help you grow? 941/875.5190.