What was once a thriving tobacco farm is now being transformed into sprawling 230+ acre agrihood by Wetrock Resources, LLC, a real estate development company that specializes in sustainable land development. Wetrock’s mission, “to provide resources and deliver value for partners interested in building exceptional places for people,” fits right in with this new community model, already under construction in northern Durham County. The first of its kind in North Carolina, the Wetrock Farm agrihood is planned to include an amenity farm, more than 100 acres of preserved open space complete with hiking trails and access to natural springs, a fitness center, and a large covered pavilion where gatherings and educational workshops can be held.
What is an agrihood?
Agrihoods, also called “farm-to-table” housing developments, are a new type of suburban neighborhood marketed to a new generation of homeowners, those wishing to escape city or town limits and return to nature. Agrihoods, where the farm meets suburbia, are
cropping up around the United States, from Hawaii to Washington State, Vermont to the Georgia Hills, this new type of development is taking the States by storm. Agrihoods offer residents of a planned master community with the amenity of access to fresh, organic, and hyper-local produce, often grown less than a mile from their homestead. Planned around a preserved block of farmland, agrihoods are not communes—residents are not obligated to donate their time to the farm in order to gain access to produce—but follow a village model, and usually include a subscription to Community Supported Agriculture, or a CSA, which is a membership that delivers farm-fresh local produce to your doorstep.
Wetrock Farm Agrihood
With land cleared and broken ground, Wetrock Farm plans to complete 141 home sites, backed up to 140 acres of open “preserved space” or conserved forest and farm pasture land, that includes a 15-acre fruit and vegetable farm, a muscadine vineyard, and hiking trails. Homes will range from $300,000-$400,000. HOA fees will include a subscription to a weekly produce bundle, or CSA, from the farm. A farm manager will live on site and manage the farm and pasture land in order to meet community preferences and needs, including adjusting growing schedules and produce items. A farm stall will be open to residents and non-residents on a designated basis as a way to sell the excess produce left over from CSA bundles, and as a way to generate revenue for the farm.
Why an agrihood?
In accordance with the popular return to more locally sourced and chemical-free diet, and with access to a large portion of natural clean space, the agrihood community model meets the demand of homeowners with dreams of farm-living, but who are beholden to the demands of a 21st century profession that don’t allow for 24/7-365 farm upkeep and maintenance.
In addition to potential residents, real estate developers are also interested in agrihoods, particularly in relation to the agrihood business model. With relatively little investment, as low as $50,000 in some cases, to begin a farm, the agrihood model is a lot more cost-effective and requires less of an upfront investment as compared to the money-sucking maintenance required of an elite golf course, wherein as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent annually to keep the greens in tip-top shape. Additionally, many sustainable farms are revenue-generating. Currently, many golf courses and country club communities have been developed into these revenue-generating farms.
Other Agrihoods throughout the USA:
- Agritopia in Phoenix, Arizona
- Rancho Mission Viejo, California
- Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia
- Kukui’ula in Kauai, Hawaii
- Hidden Springs in Boise, Idaho
- Prairie Commons in South Olathe, Kansas
- Harvest in Northlake, Texas
- South Village in South Burlington, Vermont
- Willowsford in Ashburn, Virginia
- Skokomish Farms in Union, Washington