One thing we have learnt this week – agrihoods

My newest apple tree in blossom.

My newest apple tree in blossom.

Agrihoods- neighbourhoods and communities based around (usually) urban farms.  No I’d never heard of them either until this week.  One of the big problems with peak oil is our current food systems oil dependency. We have covered this in our book and here. Climate change will present another challenge.

One partial solution is to grow food in urban areas.  This is the apparent aim of many agrihoods.  However, having a look at this site with a list of agrihoods I have some concerns.  First many of the agrihoods are not urban but in the country.  Land is lost for building which slightly defeats the aims of agrihoods.  The second is that they are obviously businesses.  Nothing wrong with that, but its not the article implies.  The housing is built around the farm and looks very white, affluent and middle class.  Again nothing wrong with it, but my idea of community includes more diversity.  I’m also not sure having large open air swimming pools makes the agrihoods very sustainable.  Many seem to be building their own schools and health centres.  I’m uncomfortable with the idea of isolation I would prefer to live in a community that shares and uses the amenities around it rather than cuts itself off from them.  Looking at the websites the agrihoods look very controlled and remind me of what I have read about Disney’s town of Celebration.

In principle the idea is a good one.  What I assumed was that the agrihoods consisted of was the following;  a group of people who purchase some land in or on the edge of an urban area and cooperate on growing and selling their food whilst interacting with the community around them.  This is not what the above are.  Please post any agrihoods that you know of that are genuinely  cooperative.


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