Welcome to the agrihood—where the food on your table comes freshly harvested from the most bountiful crops in your own neighborhood farm. Your daily routine might include a walk to the farm store to select organically grown produce, where a member of the farm team explains what herbs and heirloom vegetables are in season. This is where you learn the story behind your food.
The farm store may also sell farm-raised eggs, poultry and other food products from local ranchers, fisheries and artisans who share your farm’s high standards for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. If you’re keen on growing your own produce in your healthy community, help is just around the corner from staff agriculturalists.
Considered a healthy lifestyle community, an agrihood is generally surrounded by expansive open space, offering pastoral views of forests, tranquil watershed, and natural wildlife habitat—often set aside as conservation land. You’ll have miles of groomed trails for walking, hiking and cycling—which may be alongside orchards or edible landscapes.
The list of amenities found in agrihoods is endless, and typically include resort-style clubhouses, pools, state-of-the art fitness centers, wellness spas, yoga studios, meditation gardens, boating, fishing, horseback riding, cafes and restaurants.
Although you’ll often see estate-size American farmhouse homes with rocking chair porches—this not your grandparent’s house.
Although you’ll often see estate-size American farmhouse homes with rocking chair porches—this not your grandparent’s house. The agrihood concept is relatively new, and homes are sustainably built with the most advanced energy conservation features such as “net zero” capability, solar power, geothermal energy, Energy Star® appliances and fiber-optic technology.
A number of agrihoods are built on heritage farmland, where original barns, silo, and windmills dot the landscape. Behind the rustic walls of that repurposed vintage barn, however, might be a sleek and shiny culinary kitchen, where residents partake in gourmet cooking classes taught by members of the farm team, visiting chefs and sommeliers.
The agrihood life is a bountiful life, and it’s no surprise that many communities keep winning awards for “best places to live” and “green building.” What’s more, they are surprisingly close to metropolitan areas and major airports. Currently, there are about 100 urban and suburban farm-centric communities across the nation, and many more on the way. Take a look at these amazing agrihoods.
PALMETTO BLUFF | South Carolina
Palmetto Bluff is situated in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry between Charleston and Savannah and is the largest remaining waterfront property on the East Coast. The 20,000-acre resort and healthy community features the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, nine restaurants, extensive nature trails, a vibrant village center and is home to the AAA Five Diamond Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort and Spa. Sporting enthusiasts can enjoy boating along 32 miles of riverfront, tennis and golf at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Residents can grow their own fruits, vegetables and flowers in a member-only garden.
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Freehold Communities for Miralon
MIRALON | California
Miralon, located in Palm Springs, California offers several model homes designed in sleek Mid-Century modern architecture that harmonizes with Palm Springs’ heritage, as an agrihood aims to do. A highlight of Miralon’s 309 acres is its grove of 7,000 Spanish, Italian and California olive trees, nestled among community gardens and walking trails with mountain views. The Club at Miralon reflects a chic desert esthetic with swimming pools, a spa, outdoor recreation space, outdoor demonstration kitchen, cabanas, a state-of-the-art health club, coffee bar, full-service bar and lounge.
THE CLIFFS | The Carolinas
If you lived in one of the seven vibrant communities spread among 20,000 acres at The Cliffs in the Carolina mountains, you’ll have access to an agrihood of seven integrated wellness centers, seven champion golf courses, dozens of restaurants and an infinite array of activities. Two communities within The Cliffs have working organic farms, including the five-acre Broken Oak Organics at The Cliffs at Mountain Park in Marietta, South Carolina and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. A 60-acre farm with a 100-year history, Creekside Farm at Walnut Cove offers residents a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Jack Nicklaus Golf Course.
Kukui'ula is located on the south shore of the ancient, astonishing island of Kaua’i, where every view is a geological wonder.
KUKUI’ULA | Hawaii
Kukui’ula is located on the south shore of the ancient, astonishing island of Kaua’i, where every view is a geological wonder. Kukui’ula offers many luxury home models, each with breathtaking views and indoor/outdoor lanais. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are steps away at The Upcountry Farm, making it a classic healthy and amenity-filled agrihood. Kukui’ula residents and guests can enjoy watersport, golfing, edible walking trails, a resort-style clubhouse, wellness complex, meditation garden and an 18,00-square-foot full-service spa. The Lodge, operated by Destination Residences Hawaii, offers luxury vacation homes and cottages for rent, and the nearby Shops at Kukui’a have a dozen restaurants and many fine retail shops.
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J. Ashley Photography for Serenbe Farms
SERENBE FARMS | Georgia
Serenbe Farms in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia is a 1,400-acre agrihood located just outside of Atlanta, and comprised of five distinctive hamlets with diverse landscapes, creeks, lakes and ponds. Serenbe is well known for its cultural amenities such as the Serenbe Playhouse, artist-in-residence program and numerous activities. The architecturally stunning town square includes five restaurants, boutique shops, spa, art gallery, bookstore, professional workspaces and townhomes. The 25-acre organic farm produces more than 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
PENDRY NATIRAR | New Jersey
Pendry Natirar is located in Somerset County, New Jersey, just one-hour west of New York City. Pendry Natirar’s 90-acre domain is an agrihood surrounded by 400 wooded acres of conservation land, offering fly fishing, and trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Formerly home to the King of Morocco, the 100-year-old exquisite Tudor-style mansion is being restored to feature a Pendry resort from the luxury brand Montage International. For 10 years, the 12-acre organic farm has served the renowned Ninety Acres Restaurant and cooking school. Pendry residences include 2,400 square-foot Farm Villas and 3,600 square-foot Estate Villas exclusive of an expansive penthouse level deck.
WILLOWSFORD | Virginia
Willowsford spans more than 4,000 acres in the heart of Loudon County, Virginia, just ten minutes from Dulles International Airport, and 40 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. More than half of the land is designated as open space under the stewardship of the Willowsford Conservancy. The professionally managed farm produces more than 150 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers. The Willowsford community offers numerous family-friendly and healthy lifestyle activities and a strong culinary program. Four distinctive villages offer residents premier quality homes.
SEROSUN FARMS | Illinois
Serosun Farms is an innovative, sustainable and healthy conservation community located in Hampshire, Illinois, just an hour from downtown Chicago. Situated in more than 400 acres of picturesque countryside, Serosun offers homes with superior craftsmanship on one-acre lots with breathtaking views. The 160-acre working farm supplies fresh organic produce, and residents can enjoy the community center, swimming pool, fishing ponds, 40 acres of woodlands and eight miles of trails. The architecturally stunning equestrian center offers professional boarding and care for the best in equestrian living.
OLIVETTE | North Carolina
Olivette is a 346-acre planned healthy community and historic farm, located along the French Broad River, just 6.7 miles from downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Olivette has won awards for best sustainable community of the year by the state, and the 2019 Best in American Living Award for Best Green Community by the National Association of Home Builders. Residents have access to seven acres of riverfront parkland, a large private river island, several miles of walking trails, community gardens, a pavilion, amphitheater and many events and activities. The six-acre organic farm utilizes the highest level of sustainable growing practices, and offers many thoughtful conveniences to residents. Award-winning homes offer geo-thermal heating and cooling and fiber optic technology.
WALDEN MONTEREY | California
Walden Monterey is an idyllic 600-acre agrihood with majestic views of the Monterey Peninsula and California coastline. Residents will have their own 20-acre parcel and live in a carbon-neutral environment with no fossil fuels or removal of trees. Amenities include a sunrise/sunset yoga platform, calming treehouse, Zen meditation garden and membership to world-class dining and fitness at Teham. Homebuyers can temporarily live in a futuristic cabin that can be moved around to assess vistas from different vantage points. After your new home is completed, the cabin is yours to keep as a guest house.
Anna DeSimone is author of Welcome to the Agrihood—Housing, Shopping, and Gardening for a Farm-to-table Lifestyle. She received the Axiom Business Book Award in Personal Finance, Retirement Planning and Investments for her book, Housing Finance 2020. www.annadesimone.net