Agrihood, a new trend in the US

Representing a more sustainable lifestyle, a kind of eco-neighborhood called agrihood is very trendy in the US but still largely unknown In France. Is this a revolutionary lifestyle or a blast from the past?

Serenbe farm, the agrihood of Serenbe; Photo : Erik S. Lesser

     Source : Serenbe farm, the agrihood of Serenbe; Photo : Erik S. Lesser

An agrihood is a large cultivated area that provides fruits and vegetables to all houses in the neighborhood.

Thirty minutes’ drive from Atlanta is Serenbe, a well-known agrihood  of 1500 inhabitants. This proximity farm is the main reason attracting people moving to this neighborhood. This allotment is mainly for wealthy city-dwellers craving nature and bored of fast food. Central to the community is a farm created from scratch and composed of a 10-hectare field where many types of vegetables are grown (salads, zucchini, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, etc). There are also chickens and cattle.

 

Operation

People don’t have to get their hands dirty working the land because it is managed by professionals. They simply profit from its production of vegetables, eggs, etc. Of course, everything is organic and local, so residents can eat more healthily. The farm of Serenbe is managed by an operator and three apprentices who deliver farm produce to each house twice a week. Thus, the vast majority of the food consumed by the inhabitants comes from the farm.

The farmers are paid with co-property charges.

 

Advantages

The point of an agrihood lies not only in its local food consumption. In fact, the houses on the allotment are energy self-efficient, using solar panels and geothermal facilities.
A social benefit: the farmers are not alone in their fields with no one to speak to. In an agrihood, they can chat regularly with locals.
Moreover, they no longer need to go to the stores where the customer is disconnected from the food he buys.
Finally, agrihood stimulates the local economy. In Serenbe, there is a school, a grocery shop, a weekly market and 3 restaurants. Thus, residents have, in theory, no need to leave the village. A sense of community develops.

 

A home in Serenbe overlooking the farm costs about 600.000€. Why such a high price? According to the property developer, customers are willing to pay to regain self-sufficiency.

However, there are more affordable agrihoods in other countries such as Belgium.

 

Modern comforts and the lifestyle of the last century are reunited.

 

Sources :

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/ameriques/etats-unis-quand-un-quartier-se-cree-autour-d-une-ferme_1255995.html

http://serenbe.com/

http://serenbefarms.com/

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