In 2014, the residential community Rancho Mission Viejo in Southern California came up with the term “agrihood” to describe what they were offering to current and future residents. Their newly coined term quickly became a sensation, and now “agrihoods” are popping up all over the country and the world. So what is an agrihood?
“Agrihood” is short for “agricultural neighborhood”. By definition, an agrihood is a residential community centered around a communal farm or garden, but agrihoods are so much more than that. Agrihoods offer authentic social interaction with neighbors and irreplaceable family recreation through community farming and healthy, homegrown eats. These factors are causing agrihoods to become increasingly popular and sought out by many demographics, but Millennials seem to have taken a particularly keen interest.
So why are agrihoods becoming so popular? Well, according to a survey by the Urban Land Institute, “73 percent of U.S. residents consider access to fresh, healthy foods to be a high or top priority.” This desire in American families has led several thousand to pursue agrihood-style living. Increasingly, folks want to know where their food is coming from. Parents want to know what they are feeding their children as well. The popularity of organic products and the resistance toward GMOs has made community farms all the rage. Nutrition is vital to a healthy lifestyle, and agrihoods provide a hands-on approach to nutrition in a brand new way with the mix of urban development and a rural lifestyle.
The partnering together of healthy, local food and real estate has proven itself to be a worthy business pursuit. So much so that some are saying agrihoods are the new, Millennial version of highly successful private golfing communities. In the 1990s, private communities with golf courses became symbols of status and leisure. The ability to leave your home and be on the golf course in minutes was something that many strived for. Private golfing communities were the epitome of luxury living and class. Today, that is changing. Sustainability, environmentally-friendly living, and health are becoming major concerns for this generation’s homebuyers, and the agrihood trend proves this. Instead of leisure, a healthy lifestyle has become a priority. In the place of golf courses, community farms and gardens have become key. Priorities are changing, and developers are changing with them to accommodate newer, healthier trends.
Agrihoods serve the rising demand of farm-to-table food by placing farms within residential communities. This way, residents can actively participate in growing their own food and can reap from their own harvests. Tending to a garden, planting produce, and then being able to use those fruits and veggies in home-cooked meals can be very rewarding. The feeling of pride that comes from being able to successfully plant something and watch it grow is something that many parents these days are wanting to instill in their children. In this digital age of instant gratification and technology, there aren’t many things that force us to slow down. Living in an agrihood, however, encourages the slowness that comes with appreciating life and the Earth.
So why should you live in an agrihood? What are the benefits?
Access to Fresh, Local Produce
If you want the freshest produce without the hassle of the grocery store, then living in an agrihood may be the perfect solution. Not only is the produce fresh, but you get to plant, grow, and harvest it – no grocery store required! If you enjoy being in the garden and the nutrition you get from fresh plants, then look no further.
Due to the communal working environment of a community farm or garden, it’s easy to make friends and get to know your neighbors in an agrihood! You’ll never feel isolated again when you’re planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting alongside some of your closest companions.
An agrihood is an intentional community with a purpose. When you live in an agrihood, you know that your neighbors care about the same things you do. People who seek out to live in agrihoods care about nature, health and wellness, sustainability, and outdoor recreation. If you care about these things too, then an agrihood may be for you! Your neighbors will have the same interests as you, making it easy to make friends and stay connected to the community.
Great for Homebodies
If you’re the kind of person that likes to stay home, snuggled up with a good book or having quality family time, an agrihood would be perfect for you. Due to the fresh produce available at your fingertips, there is less of a need to go out to the grocery store or to run errands – meaning more time at home. The friendships you’ll make within an agrihood will have you wanting to stay in and get to know your neighbors better. If you’re a homebody, an agrihood may fit well with your lifestyle.
The Peace of Nature
Is outdoor recreation your passion? Do you find peace in natural spaces? Why not settle down in a green space like an agrihood? In an agrihood, you’ll have direct access to a farm or garden where you can work, bask in the sunlight, harvest good, nutritionally dense produce, and have a great time with loved ones and neighbors.
Sustainability – Yes, Please!
People are loving agrihoods for their sustainability and their environmental friendliness. Community gardens put less strain on the environment than factory farms and mass production. If you’re someone who wishes to be more eco-friendly, an agrihood may be the perfect spot for you and yours.
Lessons in Agriculture
There’s no better way to teach children about where their food comes from than hands-on education! In an agrihood, kids are often encouraged to participate in daily tasks like caring for farm animals, watering plants, and picking berries and other produce. This is a great way to get kids interested in nutrition and eating healthier.
Do you think an agrihood could be the perfect setting for your next home? Would your family love to be involved in a community effort like a garden or farm? Are you interested in living more sustainably? Do you long to live in a more natural and green environment? Perhaps an agrihood would be good for you. Get your feet wet by taking a tour of an agrihood near you. You may never want to leave.
1. Trish Riggs, “America in 2015: Bridging the Access Gap for Healthier Amenities.” www.urbanland.uli.org. Urban Land Institute, May 7, 2015. https://urbanland.uli.org/planning-design/america-2015-bridging-access-gap-healthier-amenities/ 2. Tanza Loudenback, “Rich Millennials are Ditching the Gold Communities of Their Parents for a New Kind of Neighborhood.” www.businessinsider.com. Business Insider, October 30, 2017. https://www.businessinsider.com/agrihoods-golf-communities-millennial-homebuyers-2017-10