Have you ever wished that you could get farm-fresh vegetables for your family’s meals without making a special trip to the farmer’s market or paying high prices at upscale natural grocery stores?
If so, then an agrihood could be right for you. An agrihood is a residential neighborhood centered around community farming. Another agrihood definition characterizes the concept as farm communities where growing fruits and vegetables is viewed as a communal responsibility for the shared benefit of all. Today’s agrihoods are typically made up of single-family homes built around a farm where community members have the opportunity to grow and harvest their own organic food. There are currently over 200 agrihoods in the U.S.
If you’re looking for ways to get your heart pumping while doing meaningful work and enjoying the fruits of your own labor, living in an agrihood is a way to do all that and more. Depending on the agrihood, homeowners and their families can be as involved in the farm as they want. Some agrihood communities require a minimum number of hours worked from residents, while others build fees for the care of the farm into their homeowners’ association dues.
Getting involved in working the farm is one of the best parts of community farm living. People love agri-living because it keeps them fit, gives them the chance to contribute in a meaningful way, offers the whole family a chance to meet others, and helps children learn the value of and satisfaction that comes with hard work.
When you live in an agrihood, the advantages of communal farming abound: farm-fresh vegetables, expanded knowledge of agricultural practices, experience growing your own food, and more. Farm-to-table communities represent a growing trend of getting back to the basics, both in our diets and in our lifestyles.
Recently, there has been a renewed interest in living healthier, more sustainable lives, especially among younger generations. Now that millennials are reaching the homebuying age, these values are being reflected in the way modern farming communities are formed and run. Agricultural neighborhoods aren’t just beneficial to the families living in them, but the greater community as a whole. They provide quality, locally grown crops to farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) shares and contribute to the health and nutrition of the surrounding areas.
Living in an agrihood can be an enriching educational experience for the whole family. Working the farm and learning about the agricultural practices used in farm-to-table communities helps families become more self-reliant. Farming education programs available in these agricultural neighborhoods are a great way to teach children to appreciate the abundance of food available to them, to help them understand how food is grown, and to get them involved in their community.
Residents of Harvest by Hillwood, an agrihood community in North Texas, have the opportunity to work and help maintain the commercial farm located on-site and can even reserve their own private family garden plot. The farm is operated by Farmer Ross, a farming professional who trained at Texas A&M University. He oversees the farm’s production of fresh produce for local farmers markets and restaurants using sustainable practices. Farmer Ross also teaches classes and offers farming advice to Harvest residents of all ages. One of the best parts about the Harvest farm is its partnership with the North Texas Food Bank. Farmer Ross works to organize volunteer opportunities there for residents and donates surplus produce to the organization.
Harvest is a 1,200-acre community with 3,900 single-family homes situated in Argyle and Northlake, Texas. The community was developed out of the nostalgia and environmentalism that sit at the roots of agri-living. Though Harvest is fairly new, the farm’s history dates all the way back to 1877, when the Faunt family purchased the farm and went on to operate it as a farming family, serving the North Texas area for more than five generations. Now, this residential community features the charm and utility of community farm living, but with a modern spin — a walkable neighborhood with brand new homes, one-of-a-kind amenities, and close proximity to many major cities including Dallas, Denton, and Fort Worth.