Retirees who want to live sustainably, adopt a farm-to-table way of life, and connect with those around them in new ways are finding great appeal in communities called “agrihoods.” Short for agricultural neighborhoods, these organized communities integrate agriculture into residential life, providing homeowners with the amenities of a rural farming community along with the convenience of a larger metropolitan area.
Suburban agrihoods first began popping up in the United States in the 1990s as an alternative to golf-focused communities. These communities have taken root all over the country to emphasize farm-to-table living and ensure sustainable, protected outdoor space. There are currently about 150 agrihoods in the U.S. with more on the way.
Most agrihoods are built around working farms as their focus, according to the Urban Land Institute, with plenty of green space and outdoor community kitchens. Some even feature greenhouses and row upon row of vibrant, blossoming fruit trees. Here’s a look at three age-restricted communities that are ideal for active adults interested in exploring an agro-focused community.
Chickahominy Falls – Glen Allen, VA
With a focus on outdoor living, Chickahominy Falls in Glen Allen, Virginia will include 400 homes upon completion along with a fully functional farm. Homeowners can explore their passion for birdwatching and beekeeping and still have easy access to downtown Richmond, which is only 30 minutes away.
This age-restricted community boasts an outdoor pool and patio, an extensive system of walking trails, plus fishing ponds situated along the Chickahominy River. Plenty of open spaces are ideal for picnics, nature study, or cloud watching. Some features still to come include a farmers market area, event space, and open spaces for large community dinners.
Amblebrook – Straban Township, PA
Just minutes from the historic town of Gettysburg, Amblebrook a new 55+ community in Straban Township, Pennsylvania, will be a haven for active adults who crave a sustainable lifestyle. The age-restricted community will offer a farm-to-table way of life with a farm stand, coffee shop, community clubhouse, as well as a bar and grill. Residents will be able to stroll the miles of walking trails that wind through acres of preserved natural space. The approximately 2,000 single-family homes are designed to fit naturally into the area’s landscape to honor its agricultural heritage.
Del Mesa Carmel – Carmel by the Sea, CA
Del Mesa Carmel, a 55+ community just off the Pacific Coast in Carmel by the Sea, California, offers residents some of the best of farm-to-table living coupled with a serene, relaxed lifestyle. Here residents can plant and harvest their own fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs at gardening plots throughout the 289-condo community. That food is then used at the community's very own restaurant.
Homeowners can mix and mingle at Friday Lunch Brunch, Prime Rib Night, and Movie Night. Residents of Del Mesa Carmel stay active at Tai-Chi, water aerobics, and yoga. There’s also a putting green and designated green space for neighbors to challenge each other with a friendly game of lawn bowls. Nearby Monterey provides residents with top-notch boutique shopping, fine-dining establishments, and access to nature reserves and beaches.