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Agrihoods offer alternative to traditional development

by Jack Jacobs

Our family operates a small farm in this valley and is supporting a new idea for future housing developments to be focused on farming and conserving open space while building an even stronger community.

We have learned from operating a berry farm for the last 10 years there are many benefits a farm provides, beyond safe and flavorful berries. Social relationships between the farmer and the public, job opportunities for students and others, and a healthy lifestyle are just a few benefits. A typical visit by our customers starts with conversation about our farm, but more often leads to learning more about each other and building friendships.  These are valued conversations that build community…a great place to live.  

We are proud to have established a place to sell local produce grown at our farm.  As we learned that local farming was desired and valued by our customers, we began to focus on how could it be expanded with more farms. It was time to do some research.



Over three years ago, after studying the future of agriculture in our valley, I began investigating an idea commonly called “Agrihoods”.  This idea is about having housing developments built around a farm…similar to a golfing development, but it produces food.  This seemed to be exactly what we were learning at our farm, but has a broader application.

This was then expanded by forming our “Agrihood Interest Group” in 2017 with a broad and knowledgeable group of local people to perfect this idea for the Carson Valley. In January 2020, we held two days of workshops with an even broader group to identify critical strategic issues to guide future Agrihoods in the valley.  This work resulted in finalizing a strategy for the county to move forward with, and to be sure any Agrihood developments would provide the greatest value to our community.  We are pleased the county has accepted this strategy giving encouragement that this could be a great place for Agrihoods.  



Further, I am pleased we now have an opportunity to actually show what an Agrihood can do for the Carson Valley. David Park, representing a long-time family with deep roots in our valley, is proposing the Buckeye Farms at Park Ranch https://buckeyefarmsatparkranch.com/. I find David very authentic and equally passionate about providing both great food and a wonderful place to live.  I encourage the reader to look at his proposal and get informed. 

Jack Jacobs is the owner of Jacobs Family Berry Farm and has been an advocate for agrihoods in Carson Valley.