Neighborhood or Agrihood?

Neighborhood or Agrihood?

by Danny Summers

If the interest in gardening and nature could reach even higher, there are a number of new communities being planned that will be solid evidence it can and will. They are called Agrihoods and they are described in a number of ways such as "Farm to Table Lifestyle" or "Farm & Garden Communities" and even "Healthy Living: Garden & Farming Neighborhoods."

Do a quick web search for the term "Agrihood" and you will see a number of them already in existence or in the planning stages all across the country. One such planned community called "The Grow" east of Orlando, Florida, recently received county approval for its 1200+ acre site. Here's a portion of their narrative:

"a residential farm and garden community inspired by healthy living and rural lifestyle, enabling people to forge a relationship with the land and each other amongst a working farm, community gardens, and social amenities, in an idyllic setting that is steeped in nostalgia and mindful of nature." Here's the shortlist of planned features...

  • 9 Acre Working Farm
  • 21 Acres of Community Gardens
  • 20-Acre Community Park*
  • 12 Miles of Recreational Trail Facilities*
  • Edible Landscape Trails*
  • On-site Agriculturists
  • Farmer’s Market Street*
  • Farm-and-Table Restaurant*
  • Bike Share Program
  • Florida Farmhouse Architecture
  • Event Lawn and Barn
  • Orange County Public Elementary School
  • Equestrian Facility
  • Over 650 Acres of Open Space

             *Open to the Public

The Grow is just one "Agrihood" in the works among others across the country. When Jean Seawright read an article in the Orlando Business Journal about The Grow, she said, "About the only additional thing they will need is a Garden Center!"

And if you have been active in The Group and receiving GROUPtalk this past year, you already know about Agritourism. We shared earlier details of NAFDMA, the International Agritourism Association as well as the work John and Souny Kennedy have done in Agritourism such as creating Some Centers in The Group that have a Farm Market position or are heavy in fall festival-type events also participate in NAFDMA. One such Center is Waldoch Farm in Minnesota. This month the Green Profit edition features Waldoch Farm's Doug Joyer on the cover and an article by John Kennedy titled "The Case for Agritourism." You can read the article by clicking on the cover shown here. Just like increased interest in spring gardening, similar patterns are showing up in fall festivals and farm-related activities.

So "If the interest in gardening and nature could reach even higher..." it appears these trends such as AgriTourism and what we might call AgriLiving, all help support a resounding YES, it can and it will continue.

The fact is playing in the dirt, and enjoying plants, flowers and nature is more important than ever. And as Florence Williams told us, it is a prescription for joy and healthier life. As I read some of the descriptions of these "Agrihoods" it sounds like they have been reading 'The Nature Fix' as well.

Make sure your Center's messaging is feeding the need. If you want some ideas, be sure to visit our "Training - The Nature Fix" page. Go to the Clients-Only menu and then scroll down to it.

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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