The suburban sprawl is the culprit behind thinning agricultural lands. In an effort to maintain balance in land distribution, the Agrihood model for suburban development has been proposed. North Carolina is among the first few states to believe in and embrace this concept, since many Carolinians are known to enjoy both the tranquility of the country and the cultural and employment opportunities of the city.
The Agrihood is a farm-centered model of suburban development which offers a unique blend of country and city, a solution to narrow the gap between metropolitan areas and the surrounding rural areas and prevent the loss of agricultural lands.
Conventional suburban development usually prioritizes bringing the people close to urban opportunities, manifested in the inclusion of strip malls, transportation, and recreational facilities, more than bringing them close to the country. But the medium to the high-density nature of residential developments places a strain on the agricultural sector. Here’s how the Agrihood development model will address the following concerns.
It’s All Good in the Agrihood
The model aims to protect the balance between city and country and to redefine farm-to-table living. Usually, suburbs are designed around the city so that residents can live in a peaceful place and still be a few minutes’ drive from business districts.
The Agrihood model, on the other hand, brings residential communities closer to local farms to encourage people to connect with nature and support the livelihood of farmers. Usually, urban and suburban residents only get to buy local produce from farmers’ markets, but Agrihood residents can go directly to the farms to buy produce, redefining farm-to-table living.
But more than that, the Agrihood model also aims to rekindle people’s connection to the natural world in the hopes that it will cultivate a spirit of environmentalism and stewardship of the shared land.
The Wetrock Farm, a development project led by Durham, plans to build about 141 homesites in around 140 acres of conserved forest and pasture land, which will include a muscadine vineyard and amenity farm where residents can actively take part in farming operations.
A quick glimpse of the masterplan will show how this project will benefit the community for the long term. Neighborhood farms will replace the conventional neighborhood park, convention center, or strip mall. Residents will be able to watch plants grow from seedlings to maturity and gain a sense of where their food comes from. Having a direct and honest source of high-quality produce and homegrown products will significantly reduce the need to buy processed goods from the supermarket.
This way, residents get to support the livelihood of local farmers, keep their businesses running, and bring home fresh and nutritious food for the family. Having neighborhood farms will also encourage children to go out more and bring the community together in ensuring food security for all, increasing resilience and self-sufficiency.