Agri-Hood to the Rescue

Could new urban model save Green Gate Farms?

photo source: Green Gate Farms/ FB

Green Gate Farms proprietors Erin Flynn and Skip Connett have been concerned about the future of their farm and their livelihood since March, when Arizona-based Roberts Resorts purchased a large chunk of East Austin property that includes the land.

Flynn and Connett have farmed at the historic old Bergstrom homestead since 2006, building Green Gate Farms into an integral part of the local organic farm community. Since the sale of the property, they've enlisted the help of everyone from members of their CSA to the media, as well as members of the city's sustainable food policy board, to help convince the new property owner of the farm's inherent value to the community.

Turns out the potential solution to their problem was the lead story on CBS Sunday Morning on Nov. 22. The cover story focused on the proliferation of "agri-hoods," the name being given to real estate developments that feature organic farms as the vital centerpiece to planned neighborhoods. The story focused on one of the most successful of these developments, Serenbe Farms southwest of Atlanta, but also mentioned the Cannery near Sacramento, Prairie Crossing outside Chicago, and Willowsford in the Washington D.C. area. The viability of the new development trend is now the subject of magazine articles and books, and is certainly worth considering in the Green Gate farm situation. Why couldn't Roberts Resorts feature Green Gate as an amenity to their planned luxury RV and manufactured home community? Perhaps rather than seeing a working farm as an impediment to his plans, developer Scott Roberts can be persuaded to view the farm as the asset that it is.

We have reached out to the Green Gate for comment and will update this post when they get back to us.

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