Posted by on May 20, 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Agritopia, one of the wonderful Agri-tourism places I visited as part of my Agritainment trip through Arizona!

Agritopia is an AGRIHOOD!

What, you may ask, IS an Agrihood!

That was my question; here’s what I discovered.

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Agrihoods are communities designed around an urban farm environment. In the same way some communities are centered around a golf course or lake. Agrihoods have an urban farm – with community gardens, produce sharing – at their center. Agrihoods promote a strong sense of community and  pride in being part of a community.

While there are at least a dozen projects across the country of farm-focused tracks where a whole new group of folks want to enjoy open spaces, verdant fields and fresh food, Agritopia was among the first.

Comprised of 450 residential lots along with commercial, agricultural, and open space tracts. it is aesthetically designed  with tree-lined streets and pathways, making the entire project accessible to pedestrians. For AZ locals – its major connecting street within the community is , which arcs its way from Ray Road north and east to Higley Road.

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And the beauty of this urban-farm development is that it is in close proximity to ASU Polytechnic (2 mi), Chandler-Gilbert Community College (2 mi), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (2 mi), Crossroads Park (1/2 mi), San Tan Village Regional Mall (1 mi), Mercy Gilbert Hospital (2 mi), and the award-winning Cosmo Dog Park (adjacent).

At least 16 of Agritopia’s 160 acres are certified organic farm land with row crops artichokes to  zucchini, fruit trees include: citrus, nectarines, peaches, apples, olives and dates, and livestock includes chickens and sheep.

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117 unit assisted and Independent Living Center is set to open this summer.

The epicenter of the neighborhood is a ‘Village Square’ with a coffeehouse, Joe’s Farm Grill farm-to-table restaurant, and an ‘honor-system’ Farm Stand where residents can purchase fresh products from the farm. The Square is also where residents line up on Wednesday evenings to claim  bulging boxes of just-harvested produce, eggs and honey – which come with a $100-a-month membership in the community-supported agriculture, or C.S.A., program.
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Commercial Farm
The largest portion of the Farm at Agritopia is set aside for our commercial farming with row crops, the citrus and stone fruit orchard, and the date palm and olive tree grove. Throughout Agritopia sidewalks and pathways surround each area and grapevine lined pathways and arbors criss-cross the row crop portion of the farm.

Crops from the farm is sold to both retail customers and restaurants, and at Gilbert Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, and at the Farm Stand.In that same location, across from The Coffee Shop, the farm operates a 24/ 7 self-service stand stocked with some of the best selling items. The farm also sells its produce to over 20 different restaurants, including Joe’s Farm Grill.

Community Garden
This community garden is made up of over 40 individual 20′ x 20′ plots along with a communal tool shed, gathering area, shaded sitting areas and pathways. The community garden gives the residents at Agritopia the opportunity to learn about growing their own produce and a full hands-on to enjoy it! Although the garden is only open to residents, there are pathways through it open to the public, so that they can check out the gardens, too.
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What I liked about Agritopia was it’s small town feel; it had a country village kind of hominess. The homes are attractive, the tree-lined streets are lovely. The community gardens are beautiful and full of produce; the commercial farm and orchards are expansive. It is like an verdant oasis in the desert. I also love the fact that the residents have the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food, and enjoy the pleasure of doing so in their own community garden.
To learn more about Agritopia and Urban-Farm Communities visit – www.agritopia.com