A new generation of “foodies” are trading the golf courses of yesterday for sprouting agrihoods, investing in peak farm-to-table dining in a seemingly idyllic no-barriers community.
Agrihoods can be loosely defined as housing developments centered around a farm, with a focus on wellness, nature, and community. These new settlements are carefully planned and offer a way for like-minded people with common goals and needs to come together in one space. In this sense, they are not unlike the golf courses or country clubs that attracted a wealthier, older crowd just a few decades ago. However, agrihoods value a refined “return to nature” lifestyle, the kind of rustic charm you may find in a renovated farmhouse, but with the added bonuses of both functionality and purpose.
Agrihoods aren’t just a new trend in housing: they now make up a real estate boom in their own right. More and more people – specifically growing families, young couples, millennials, and self-proclaimed “foodies,” are actively looking to live a more sustainable, eco-conscious lifestyle. It seems to, at the very least, mitigate the effect of a number worsening issues plaguing younger generations: the struggle to find balance between work and leisure, increasing amounts of stress, loneliness, and a concern for the planet. They may consider agrihoods as investments in the future.
In fact, agrihoods across the country emphasize similar points when trying to attract people looking for a change of pace: community, farm-to-table dining, and open space. The farm, usually the centerpiece of every agrihood, is what sustains the community. The food is both grown and consumed by the residents, ensuring that the produce can’t get any more fresh, local, and organic. Usually, only a few hours separate the time between when it was picked and when it ended up on someone’s dinner plate. This healthier, more sustainable way to eat is what drives many to take the leap and move to an agrihood, but it goes hand-in-hand with the push to expose more people to the great outdoors. Because residents often tend to the farm themselves, they may also reap the health benefits of regular exercise, fresh air, and having a hobby (which may, of course, span both one’s mental health and physical wellbeing). And unlike typical neighborhoods, the houses in agrihoods are carefully planned to exclude barriers, high fences, or anything that may separate you from your neighbor. It can be assumed that the silent contract of living in an agrihood includes the agreement that you intend to be very familiar with your new neighbors. In short, you simply cannot avoid saying hello and chatting with the people around you.
Agrihoods aren’t meant to be a home for everyone, but they appeal to a large enough demographic that they’re increasing in popularity across the country. Those who thrive in agrihoods tend to be those who want to be part of an extremely close-knit community with like-minded people, eat hyperlocal produce, and live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Although, there’s a new group of people that may be taking advantage of the popularity of agrihoods and the increasing search for mental and physical wellbeing: those who want to take a minimum risk of loss when they decide to sell their house and leave the collective. The resale value of a house located in an agrihood generally does not decrease.
While many find living in such a place appealing in most aspects, it’s not necessarily accessible by the general population, or even desirable. In some communities, some of the houses’ worth goes well into the millions of dollars. For some outsiders, the idea of tilling the soil in the wintertime is enough to make them stay where they are. The very idea of agrihoods offers a glamorous, picturesque, and bucolic image of the kind of lifestyle we should all hypothetically be adopting, and while this trend is most certainly on the upswing, we’ll have to wait and see if it’s just that – a trend.
A few agrihoods in the United States: