Millennials are hearkening back to simpler times by transitioning golf courses and other vacant patches of land into community farms, imbued with nature’s bounty and earthly goodness. There are now approximately 150 of these developments — called “Agrihoods” — popping up complete with chickens, goats, cows and even bees a' plenty!
Boomers to Millennials
Agrihoods are quickly becoming the 21st-century’s rendition of those trendsetting golf communities baby boomers relocated to in the 1980s & 90s. Decades back, moving to a community with a golf course demonstrated a certain caché. It was a status symbol of sorts that marked one's station in life. Over the years, this type of real estate escalated in value — in large part due to large swath of green pastoral vistas.
Over the years however, preferences change, particularly when a new generation emerges with new lifestyle choices.
Such is the case with today's millenniums who favor a food culture that see the benefits in farm-to-table fare. In today's organic oriented milieu, the young have turned to local farming and Community Supported Agriculture [CSA].
Urban Land Institute
Defined by the Urban Land Institute as master-planned housing communities with working farms as their focus, agrihoods have ample green space, barns, and outdoor community kitchens. Some boast greenhouses and rows and rows of fruit trees. The homes are typically built to high environmental standards, including an abundance of solar panels and composting.
Life on the Farm
In addition to the golf course conversions, some agrihoods are being built from the “ground up” literally — and can ironically be as pricey, as those golf courses they displaced.
At Willowsford Virginia, a 4,000-acre agrihood about 45 minutes outside of Washington, DC, single-family homes start just under $600K and can escalate as high as $1.3 million. However, some are less. The median home price is much lower ($463,300) in the DC metro area.
The Willowsford community farm yields about 100 different varieties of produce, including corn, zucchini, strawberries, and cantaloupe. On the 'farm-animal-side' of the equation, it also keeps chickens, turkeys, pigs, and goats. The goats is an important component of these new ecosystem. They clear the land used for farming, by eating the brush and poison ivy.
Spreading from coast to coast
This trend is not just an East Coast fad. Developers in Palm Springs, California, are transforming an 18-hole golf course into a 70-acre olive-tree grove. It will serve as the epicenter of a new 300-acre agrihood called Miralon, which is scheduled to break ground later this year. It will eventually include a farm, dog parks, exercise stations, fire pits, and over six miles of hiking paths formerly used for golf carts.
In the hood . . .
According to Ed McMahon, a researcher at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., agrihoods are growing like weeds [literally].
“Today there are literally hundreds of them, and I hear about a new one virtually every week,” McMahon said. “Putting a farm in the middle of development is relatively low-cost, and it's something that seems to resonate with lots of people. So I think we're gonna see a lot more of these kinds of projects going forward."
How about your neighborhood, dear reader? Ready to upend that golf course and start planting those tomatoes any time soon?
Primary Source: Inside the Agrihood Trend