"Agrihood" Builds on Popularity of Farm-to-Table in Northern Virginia

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Viriginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey talks to residents of an "Agrihood" community in Loudoun County that promotes farm-to-table living. (Published Thursday, Jul 24, 2014)

    A neighborhood in Northern Virginia is following a new national trend of "farm-to-table" living known as "agrihood." 

    Willowsford Virginia is an upscale subdivision in Ashburn with a working farm at its core. The 4,000-acre development opened in 2011 -- half of the property is preserved in a conservancy and
    300 acres is dedicated to a fully functioning farm.

    Farm manager Mike Snow oversees egg and milk production while also growing more than 150 varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers. The farm operates as a separate enterprise from the homeowner's association so residents pay a fee that entitles them to a weekly share of fresh, organic food, though residents from outside the community can also buy food from the farm stand. 

    Christine Fouad moved to Willowsford from Arlington two years ago. She said she was drawn by the idea of living just down the street from a farm. She said her family is eating healthier now, with far more vegetables in their diet.

    Residents can also get their hands a little dirty if they'd like by working in the garden or picking their own berries or flowers.

    This week, a second demonstration kitchen will open in one of the community centers, with rows of sleek, stainless steel tables. There is also a cooking area, complete with cameras and an overhead big screen so class participants can follow the culinary director's every move.

    Currently, 250 families call the Willsford agrihood home, and eventually, the plan is to house more than 2,000 families.