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Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms : The Salt : NPR


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When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.

But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.

It's called development-supported agriculture, a more intimate version of community-supported agriculture — a farm-share program commonly known as CSA. In planning a new neighborhood, a developer includes some form of food production — a farm, community garden, orchard, livestock operation, edible park — that is meant to draw in new buyers, increase values and stitch neighbors together.

"These projects are becoming more and more mainstream," says Ed McMahon, a fellow with the Urban Land Institute. He estimates that more than 200 developments with an agricultural twist already exist nationwide.

"Golf courses cost millions to build and maintain, and we're kind of overbuilt on golf courses already," he says. "If you put in a farm where we can grow things and make money from the farm, it becomes an even better deal."

Wow! Gardening >> Golf !!

Hi Geege, 

Great post!

Serenbe I've been to. It is a national model for the future of balanced development in the U.S. focusing on land preservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, green building, walkability, high density building, arts and culture, and community living for multiple generations. I was there before it was developed. It was a little B & B out in the countryside in GA and a family farm. Now it's a lovely development.   http://www.serenbecommunity.com/serenbeoverview.html

Serenbe sounds ideal.  

I'd love to see a communal commercial-grade kitchen/dining hall where residents can prepare/cook/can/pickle the food they've collectively grown and harvested and dine together when they choose.  

Like a large family! :) That would be wonderful. An Artist's Community Development like Serenbe in California would be my ideal place to live.

This is a great idea, much easier with a group to grow a diverse amount of crops, and you also get to know your neighbors and create a sense of community, win-win.

Yes! It's surprising and amazing to see this trending in 2013.

We need more developments like Serenbe. Suburbia and commuting to work is an outdated and unhealthy way of living. Living/working/creating and growing your own food/raising livestock in a community where you know your neighbors well and help each other is a healthier lifestyle. 

We have a number of urban farms in subdivisions within Austin.  It's controversial for some residents and folks living next to them.  Mostly they complain about the risk of animal disease and that the farms, believe it or not, are a nuisance--and these are organic farms!

There has been a municipal legislative push to restrict new farms and even eliminate some of the grandfathered urban farms.

NIMBY people.

Go figure.

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