You don’t have to go off the grid to commune with nature, dig your nails deeply into the dirt, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. In fact, some of the most bustling, diverse, cultural hubs in the United States boast innovative urban farms that are thriving on their outskirts and city centers.
As explained by Gardening Know How, agrihoods are “residential areas that incorporate agriculture in some way, be it with garden plots, farm stands, or an entire working farm. However it’s laid out, it’s an inventive way to create a living space that’s at one with things that grow.”
These environmentally-conscious, farm-centric developments offer unique opportunities to become a part of a farm-friendly community for the city-dwelling and the serenity-seeking. Not to mention, farm-fresh foods can be found in abundance and, as you can imagine, these farmers’ markets are what dreams are made of.
According to the Urban Land Institute, there are currently more than 150 agrihoods across America. But the bests green spaces are brimming with so much more than natural beauty. No matter their distinctive charm, harvest events, or forward-thinking agro-innovations, they all come with a chance to take a trip into a simpler time. On top of being all about living off the land, you’ll likely get to try some of the best homemade honey, pies, cheese, and produce you’ll ever have the luxury of tasting.
Here are some of the most buzzed-about, detour-worthy agrihoods on the map.
Agritopia, Gilbert, Arizona
Deep inside the Phoenix metro area, Agritopia boasts 11 gorgeous acres of urban farmland, farm-to-table dining, and a place for “people to come together.” This nature haven also has two pretty famous restaurants on its turf: Guy Fieri-approved Joe’s Farm Grill and winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, The Coffee Shop.
Taste what the local winemaker has to offer. Shop where craftsmen sell their finest handcrafted goods. Take a trip to do as the Agritopians do across this 166-acre mix-use planned community. Here are some of the best vacation rentals this Agrihood has to offer, compliments of Vrbo.
Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Detroit, Michigan
Locally famed for its community gardens, Detroit has been instrumental in the agri-farm movement. Michigan Urban Farming is a nonprofit that is now considered to be America’s first truly sustainable urban “agrihood.”
The three-acre farm is focused on growing foods to feed the community and those passing through. And so, the bountiful produce is free to all, and every Saturday morning, anyone interested is welcome to harvest.
South Village, Champlain Valley, Vermont
Want to join the open-minded Vermont residents bringing country living to the suburbs? South Village offers that opportunity and then some. As Vermont’s first conservation community and agrihood, this viable village continues making a rightful name for itself and its four-acre organic farm.
Per South Village’s official website, “at the heart of South Village is a 12-acre organic farm that plays a vital role in connecting South Village residents to local food production, farm programs, open space with amazing views, and a seasonal community space for everyone to gather.”
Aside from the finer things within their borders, they’re doing true good for the surrounding region in a number of ways. For instance, they’ve begun producing carbon-free electricity from the heart of the community all the way to South Burlington.
Prairie Commons, Olathe, Kansas
Most agrihoods are marketed as hip havens for the forward-thinking young folk, but Prairie Commons is a little different. It’s designed primarily with senior citizens who want to take it easy in mind; however, it’s also known for giving a warm, midwest welcome to visitors of all ages.
From the farmer’s market to community gardens and cooking classes, Prairie Commons is all about staying healthy, communing with nature, bonding with others, and giving back. It’s also one of Olathe’s fastest-growing, exploration-worthy communities.
Willowsford, Loudoun County, Virginia
Craving farm-fresh produce without the hassle of doing the work yourself? Want your kids to learn how to cook while you’re at it? Planning a trip to Virginia? Consider a visit to the fancy, farm-covered community of Willowsford.
As the first farm-to-table community in Northern Virginia, taking up residence on this 4,000-acre oasis doesn’t come cheap. In this award-winning planned community, homes are currently priced in the millions (and definitely worth ogling). Some notable perks come with the price tag, including harvesting privileges for all on the 300-acre farm.
The Cannery, Davis, California
Once the Hunt-Wesson tomato canning facility, The Cannery was the first agrihood to set up shop on formerly industrial land. To the east of San Francisco, this 100-acre project boasts almost 600 energy-efficient, solar-powered homes, but you don’t have to buy real estate to experience what this nature-oriented (and California-level pricey) wonder has to offer.
Located in this farm-to-table development, you are invited to enroll at the Center for Land-Based Learning. This nonprofit team has created agricultural educational programs for aspiring farmers and those who just want to know more. But if you just want to visit, those who’ve passed through say it’s more than worth the day trip.
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