Do you live in a “hood”?
Even in the country, farmers often consider their environs, and nearby friends and folks, as their neighborhood. Well, there’s a new kid on the block. ‘Agri-hoods' are interestingly becoming neighborhoods of choice.
Big-time developers are designing these master-planned communities near large cities around the U.S. Enticed by the fashionable farm-to-table movement — which was originated by farmers for their families centuries ago, thank you very much — people love the idea of getting their hands dirty in community-supported agriculture patches.
Some homes even come with a ready-to-grow backyard garden. I vote for a webcam at every home to watch how diligently the gardens are tended, and who volunteers to apply the manure compost.
The ‘hoods' may offer orchards for berry- and fruit-picking. Will we see canning factories springing up again? “Natural features like lakes and waterways” are also advertised. I’m sure that means no manure lagoons or cattle ponds.
They also talk about “greenbelts and open space.” Our greenbelts are waterways between fields, and the open space is never-ending lawns to mow. Trails, not livestock paths, and roundabouts — which is what we do in the barnyard to gather errant cattle — are to “create connectivity.” I’m not able to share our family’s version of connectivity with errant cattle!
My favorite hood benefit is the projected 2-mile edible landscape trail. Bikers and joggers are encouraged to feast on surrounding vegetation. Wait until they find chicken and sheep contributions along their stroll!
According to a woman who has contracted to build a home in an agri-hood near Seattle, “In this scheme, we will have a farm without all the responsibility.”
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute.