High End Development, Down on the Farm
This article first appeared in NAHB Now, a blog by the National Association of Home Builders. Originally published on July 14, 2017.
Home builders and developers design homes, but they also design communities. If 4,000 acres of land nestled into four adjoining areas in rural/suburban Northern Virginia were your canvas, what would you paint?
You might look at the people who would be buying your homes, and what they like. High-end, organic produce grocers are thriving in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Farm-to-table restaurants are popular. And people are happily paying for farm produce from farm shares and gourmet-style meal-prep kits.
So people today like farm fresh produce. A lot. And they also want to be healthy, have places to walk, to run, to exercise. And everyone wants to offer their kids safe and ideally wide-open spaces to stretch their legs and their minds. Read: People don’t want to be boxed in. “Give us nature.” And of course, nice open floor-plan homes and luxurious amenities whenever possible.
Enter the agrihood.
Agrihoods have been popping up across the country — dubbed by some as an alternative to the golf course planned community — wherein a functioning farm or food growing is the shared amenity of a new residential development.
With the 4,000-acre blank canvas of mostly farmland and forests in Northern Virginia they’d purchased, developers of the Willowsford community created four “villages” surrounding a true family farm, as well as expansive outdoor space including 45 miles of trails, playgrounds and activity areas, two main community buildings with pools and other recreational and outdoor gathering areas.
Did we mention that this community includes its own farm? Chickens, goats, pigs, vegetables and farmers to work the land and tend the herds. The food they produce is sold onsite at a farm stand and market style and via CSA food share. And there are cooking demos for children and adults in the community’s large kitchens and meal prep spaces.
Is it a gleaming, high-end development? Yes. Is it also a return to the healthy eating and outdoor space focus we had before the microwave meal generation? Yes. It’s both. It’s an agrihood.
Willowsford Agrihood: By the Numbers
Willowsford has received several local and national awards, including Community of the Year from NAHB’s Nationals awards program in 2013. Willowsford Lodge, a visitor’s center for the community, was a 2013 NAHB Best in American Living (BALA) Gold Award recipient. And Willowsford has won several awards through Northern Virginia Building Industry Association’s Great American Living Awards (GALA) program, including Community of the Year in 2014.
Willowsford Ramblings is a blog by Willowsford, a community of new single-family homes in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia.55 and older communities, active adult communities, adult communities, agri-hood, agrihood, ashburn va new homes, home communities, homes aldie va, homes for seniors, main-level living, NAHB, new build homes for sale, new home builders, new home communities, new home developments, over 55 communities, retirement communities, retirement living, senior independent living, senior living, Willowsford, willowsford conservancy, Willowsford Farm, willowsford va, Willowsford Virginia