January 13th, 2018

Welcome to the agrihood: golf courses out, urban farms in as upscale developers invite buyers to grow fruit and vegetables

Read the full article by Kavita Daswani at South China Morning Post

At Miralon, an upcoming development in Palm Springs, southern California, 25 hectares (62 acres) of olive groves will be planted rather than building a golf course – a standard feature for which the city is known.

“It’s a twist on a typical agrihood,” says Brad Shuckhart, president of the California division of development firm Freehold Communities.

Miralon has contracted with the Temecula Olive Oil Company, which will tend the olive trees and harvest their fruit with the help of residents, who can help press the olives and be allocated some of the oil produced; the rest will be sold on site and through farmers’ markets.

“We wanted to create an environment that was more all-inclusive than a golf course implies,” Shuckhart says. “The actual use of that open space is really only for golfers. The olive groves are open to all the residents, to take walks in, to enjoy the shade and the vistas, and then to harvest the fruit.”

The 1,150 Modernist-inspired homes will be move-in ready towards the end of 2018; also on the property are several planned garden plots that will be maintained by the homeowners’ association. Because many of the residents of Palm Springs do not live there full time, having access to the gardens is a way for homeowners to be involved with the property when they are there.

“The produce that is grown in the common beds will be distributed to residents, who will also be encouraged to plant their own fruit and vegetables,” Shuckhart says. “Everyone will be welcome.”