Suburban residents have opposed large-scale farms in their neighborhood before, but developers are finding they can attract residents to new neighborhoods by including a smaller operation for the community to rally around.
Suburban community farms are the latest offering by developers interested in building an area of residents with joined interests. NPR reports development-supported agriculture is a farm-share program developers are creating to attract new buyers, increase property values and mend the community together.
The farm is a budget-friendly addition for a developer to provide compared to a neighborhood pool or golf course which could cost millions to build and maintain over the years. The farms are also creating a stronger community as neighbors share common interests.
Farms include any and all of the following: livestock, orchards, vegetables and other forms of community gardens. The idea is a more intimate version of community-supported agriculture.
"These projects are becoming more and more mainstream," says Ed McMahon, a fellow with the Urban Land Institute. According to NPR, McMahon estimated at least 200 neighborhoods with some type of development-supported agriculture nationwide.
The idea is polarizing, potential buyers can be turned off, or buy in, instantly.
A development of more than 1,000 houses in Fort Collins, Colo. is planning to hire a full-time farmer to oversee the operation and plans to include a plaza for a farmers market.