In the past 10 years, organic food sales have more than doubled in the U.S. Of those stats, fresh fruits and veggies lead the way for the most organic food sales. Also booming is the sale of non-GMO foods, which has almost tripled since 2012, despite what some would argue is a lack of a solid corelation between health risks and genetically modified crops. But no matter where you stand in the organic/non-GMO food debate, it’s clear that more and more people are concerned about where their food is coming from, which is one reason why “farm-to-table” restaurants have grown in popularity and why we may see agrihoods – suburban neighborhoods built around farms – go mainstream.
In the 2017 Sustainability Report from the National Association of Realtors, thirty-seven percent of REALTORS® say their buyers want access to local food, and an additional 6 percent say clients seek community gardens near their new homes. In Wilmington, community gardens are a growing trend, providing food for neighbors, schools, and local food banks. An agrihood takes the community garden to new levels and provides something different. How far depends on how the neighborhood is developed.
All agrihoods are built around a farm. Many of the properties back up to the farm or have views. Some don’t, but the farm is still central to the community lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that all of the residents pitch in and work
But that doesn’t mean that all of the residents pitch in and work in the farm. Some agrihoods provide the option for resident involvement. They can spend time in the field(s) or working with the animals. But many agrihoods just have a resident farmer who manages all of the work. The true benefits come from the share programs and farm stands that the farm provides to the residents. They give the residents direct access to fresh produce. Many of the neighborhoods also have one or more farm-to-table restaurants that serve dishes with the produce from the farm.
In addition to knowing exactly where their food comes from, residents report an overall improvement in health and lifestyle just by having their properties back up to the farm. The green plants and down-to-earth atmosphere make them feel grounded and at peace. Families with kids also feel their children benefit from having the farm, where curiosity and educational opportunities nurture learning and healthier food choices. Families get the country setting, but benefits of having a reasonable commute to work.
Learn more about agrihoods: Seeds of a New Community: Farm Living Takes Root in the Suburbs and Inside the Agrihood Trend.
As the Wilmington area continues to grow, residents have voiced concerns about the loss of greenspace and a trend of overdevelopment. While this is a multifaceted issue well beyond a single blog post, it’s fun to consider agrihoods as one solution to this issue. Realtors in other areas of the nation have reported properties in agrihoods as being hard to snatch up due to quick sales, so there appears to be a demand when given the option.
Would you purchase a home in an agrihood?