Goodbye, golf course community, with your high water usage and maintenance of expansive greens and worrisome pesticides, say hello to agrihoods, where urban agriculture and resident gardening are taking over as the latest trend in family living.I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of Agriburbia, Quint Redmond and his associate, Paul Newton, recently and they opened my mind to the endless possibilities of how Agrihoods completely change our perception of what wellness can be for families and even businesses. I was completely blown away with the work they have been doing to help forward-thinking developers build agrihoods since 2009.
An agrihood is a residential community that prioritizes agriculture and green space and typically centers around a working farm. Instead of having a golf course or tennis courts, these neighborhoods have gardens, farms, and orchards that residents can use and enjoy. It’s a great way to connect with nature and learn more about where our food comes from, but it's not just a mere community garden that turns a residential community into an agrihood.
The New 'Green' Movement in Residential Communities includes More Access to Nature & Farm Fresh Food
In Denver, Colorado you'll find Lakehouse, and its 12-story, 196-unit condominium project , which has dedicated a rooftop farm for it's residents designed and professionally managed by Agriburbia.
Thoughtful planning goes into the community's design and development, ensuring that the community infrastructure can sustain the working farm. The magic is the weaving of interconnectedness between neighbors, nature, organic and clean food, and home. When done right, the residents of these communities become more connected to their families, friends, and neighbors and thrive. Sounds like Utopia to me!
The agrihood trend is gaining popularity for several reasons. For one, people are becoming more educated about the toxic effects preservatives and pesticides are creating in our bodies. More and more people are searching for clean food that is not sprayed with these health-depleting chemicals. Another factor is that many more folks today are also interested in sustainable living and reducing their environmental footprint. By growing or buying locally-grown produce, residents eat fresh nutrient-dense foods that can significantly reduce the carbon emissions of transporting food from farm to table as well.
Another reason agrihoods are trending is that they offer a sense of community and connection that can be hard to find in traditional suburban neighborhoods. Neighborhood farmer's markets bring people together and if working together in the gardens and on the farms, residents can build relationships and feel a sense of camaraderie. Plus, gardening and farming are great ways to get some exercise and fresh air while enjoying the outdoors.
Agrihoods are also great for families, as they offer a chance to teach kids about where food comes from and how to grow their own. Many agrihoods have educational programs and events for children, so they can learn more about the environment and agriculture while having fun. So agrihood living really does feel like a win-win-win all around!
The creators at Agriburbia, however, aren't limiting their exceptional designs to just residential neighborhoods. Quint and Paul showed me incredible plans for wellness centers and even a surgery and recovery center they designed for two surgeons who wanted to provide a better alternative than the traditional hospital experience for their patients. They intend to have their patients follow a regimen of eating their clean food prior to surgery so they can help them achieve faster recovery and higher health outcomes! I found this to be truly fascinating and inspiring!
Some neighborhoods are also adding in commercial amenities within the community, such as restaurants that utilize the produce grown on the property. Agriburbia has FarmKits™ which are live/work buildings with technologically advanced trellises that enable even novice gardeners to have a land-producing component for their business. Redmond shared that they are working with a dentist and their FarmKits™ are enabling her to grow mint for her own organic toothpaste!
Photo: Courtesy of Agriburbia - Farm Kits with CIF Trellis Growing Systems
If you’re considering a move to an agrihood, there are more and more of these communities popping up all over the country and we try to feature one of these communities each month!
With urban agriculture and resident gardening as the new wave of the future, it’s an exciting time. To learn more about Agriburbia, head to their website www.agriburbia.com