According to a recent article by CityLab, “Environmentally conscious construction and building systems are old news at this point, but building-integrated food production is a relatively new and growing area of focus.” As real estate continues to strengthen in a number of U.S. cities, real estate developers are looking to small-scale food production to augment their plans. At the same time, food activists are beginning to recognize how even luxury builders can advance their cause.
Many of these developments view agriculture and farms as an added amenity for homeowners, similar to a gym or a media lounge. Having fresh, local food readily available is an incentive homebuyers are valuing. Henry Gordon-Smith, who advises Boston schools, builders and cities as they roll out farming projects, says he now receives up to 10 calls a week from builders and architects inquiring about integrated food production or, increasingly, seeking experienced growers. “The building has to be productive,” he says. “All of that creates better residents and better citizens. Food is the next frontier in this,” says Gordon-Smith.
Food activists are starting to see the long-term benefits of integrating agriculture into existing or new infrastructure. The green aspect of integrated food production is cutting down on the energy use and fuel emissions associated with transporting the food. More important, store-bought meat and produce can seem far from risk-free. At Adena, a new private club community in Ocala Florida, owner Frank Stronach placed a high priority on hormone-free, grass-fed, all-natural meat of the highest quality. The club’s supply of beef and other proteins will come directly from Adena Springs Ranch, another Stronach Group entity created to supply the company’s restaurant venture Adena Grill.
Adena, along with other communities nation wide, are making the phrase “down on the farm” hip. The trend of integrated food production in real estate will grow as long as Club Members, Developers and homebuyers continue to see the benefits.
To learn more about Adena in Ocala, Florida, www.DiscoverAdena.com