When Colorado developers Quint and Jenny Redmond set out to create more sustainable suburbs, they uncovered one big obstacle — the carbon footprint being left in the wake of transporting food to suburbs.
So they came up with a development in which food is grown locally that they call Agriburbia.
The idea of a development that devotes its green space to farming food for its residents may sound a little odd, but what if it could work?
Farmstead, an Agriburbia being developed in North Carolina, acts as a good case study to explain how these communities function.
Like many developments, Farmstead incorporates a variety of housing types — from single family residences to town homes — a playground, watershed and green space. But Farmstead’s playground is in the middle of an orchard of fruit trees, and its green spaces, including backyards upon resident request, are mixed vegetable and fruit farms.
Instead of hiring landscapers, housing association funds pay farmers to tend the land. The food is then sold at an on-site farmer’s market and the profit returns to the HOA. Residents who choose to dedicate some of their yard to farming can either consume the produce, or apply the money earned from its sale to their HOA fees.
The houses are designed to be energy-efficient and are required to contain root cellars for storing harvested food.
This kind of development not only provides locally-sourced food for its residents, but also allows for unique learning experiences for both children and adults — such as opportunities to help on farms and the ability to see first hand where their food comes from farm-to-table.
When you consider that even urbanites are starting to turn their Twin Cities yards into farms, with organizations like Backyard Harvest’s guidance, it becomes hard not to see Baldwin’s open space as a possible local food source.
What do you think? Is Baldwin township a good place for Agriburbia?