Instead of organizing around a golf course or tennis court, a new suburban community is centering itself around green space, healthy living, and community agriculture. It calls itself an agrihood.
It may be the first time you’re hearing this term, but we guarantee it won’t be the last. Agrihoods are growing quickly in popularity and in number. Here are a few things you should know about these charming neighborhoods, two of which can be found in town.
What is an Agrihood?
An “agrihood” (a portmanteau of “agriculture” and “neighborhood”) is a planned community centered around a working community farm. The farm is designed as a sustainable food system that provides produce for the whole community.
First developed in 2014, these neighborhoods contain community gardens or urban agriculture systems, and many also include individual garden plots for homeowners to grow their own produce. Many such communities also feature edible landscaping, conservation areas, trails, farm-to-table restaurants, and a resident farm instructor who instructs residents on proper gardening methods.
What are the Benefits of Living in an Agrihood?
At their core, agrihoods are designed to “offer residents an organizing principle and community gathering places”. According to the Urban Land Institute:
Agrihoods offer proven financial, health, and environmental benefits—to the stakeholders involved in their implementation, to surrounding communities, and to the planet.
Agrihoods incorporate agriculture with other healthy living features shown to increase neighborhood happiness and safety. These include physical closeness and interaction with neighbors, proximity to amenities, cultivated and wild green spaces, and varied architecture (which fosters the sense that the space has existed for a long time). Those features promote health and social interaction for residents, as well as offering environmental benefits. The farm itself can create jobs and support the local economy. And residents, in return, can expect an attractive return on their real estate investment.
No wonder the trend for agrihoods is growing!
Developers love agrihoods, too. According to the ULI, “including food-production spaces in residential or mixed-use developments can be less expensive to build and operate than certain other amenities, such as golf courses” or swimming pools. That lowers the costs of development while retaining a larger return on investment.
Where Can You Find a Local Agrihood?
As of May 2020, the ULI estimated there were around 90 agrihoods around the U.S. This includes both finished communities and those currently in development. The organization Building the Agrihood puts the number at just over 100.
With so few agrihoods in the nation, it may be surprising to know that there are two right here in Asheville.
Located alongside four babbling streams, Creekside Farm continues the 100-year-old legacy of low density and environmental sensitivity. The community has repurposed an old red school house (circa 1920) as the Creekside Farm Education Center. It serves as the hub of the neighborhood, hosting farm-to-table meals, community events, and nutrition courses from local professionals. The 50-acre community farm supports more than 100 varieties of vegetables. It’s also home to cows, miniature donkeys, chickens, pigs, ducks, and even bees.
Best of all, Creekside Farm is located within Western North Carolina’s premier wellness community, The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. Naturally bounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest, the Cliffs offers mountain vistas alongside an award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Learn more about The Cliffs at Walnut Cove.
Olivette Riverside Community & Farm
Olivette Riverside Community is a 346-acre planned community along the French Broad River, north of downtown Asheville. Instead of a lavish clubhouse, Olivette has a small event venue that hosts farm-to-table dinners. Instead of a swimming pool, there is river access with rafting trips and fishing guides. A four-acre farm offers an array of vegetables for farmers markets, restaurants, and CSA members.
Ready to Find Your Perfect Agrihood Home?
As the real estate market leader in WNC, we at Beverly-Hanks have the local and professional expertise you need. As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of The World®, we’re proud to work with the very best companies across the globe. We have professional connections to 565 market-leading real estate firms in 65 countries. And we can help you discover agrihoods all over the world. We have the ability to truthfully declare, “We’re Local. We’re Global®.”
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, it’s important to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in a Western North Carolina agrihood. View all Beverly-Hanks real estate listings.