Farm to Table Housing Development?


#1

This seems like a marketing gimmick to me. A new housing development outside of DC is jumping on the ‘farm to table’ bandwagon. Color me skeptical.
This is from their website:

"This is what it’s all for. Shared pleasure over farm fresh food. A morning walk through rolling pastures. Wide-eyed wonder at a butterfly’s new wings.

And daily living that adds up to a pretty memorable life.

Welcome to Willowsford, the Capital Region’s only farm-to-table new home community. From our award-winning home designs to our amenities and gathering spaces, every element of Willowsford was inspired by the natural environment, community connections, and the joy of living well."

http://www.willowsford.com/home/


(Elwood) #2

Yuck! Faux-country, McMansion community marketing taken to a frightening extreme.


(John) #3

Wow they’ve replace the golf course with a “farm” the scale of the “farm” in realtion to the endless cul-de-sac mc mansion suburban tracks tells you exactly how much of a gimmick it is.

It’s all very adorable and precious and while I don’t particularly mind the idea of replacing golf courses with pastures the pretense of the whole thing makes my skin crawl.

edit to add anybody living in a 3500SF+ $1M Mc Mansion built on a greenfield harboring any pretense of living “sustainably” just makes me crazy.


(Elwood) #4

At least with a golf course, you can get some exercise. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. I mean, you must burn some calories drinking twelve dollar chardonnay while watching grossly-underpaid Central American immigrants pick weeds from the arugula beds, right?


(John) #5

yes, of course, it also takes some effot to hop in an out of your truck, ahem, Land Rover, plus you get to wallow in the “significance” of your lifestyle

There is something significant about knowing the first names of the people who grow your food. Or being able to watch your child’s face light up as he bites a sun-ripened raspberry he picked for himself. Or being able to ask someone just what, exactly, you are supposed to do with kohlrabi

Above one of the particularly vomit inducing passages from the site - it is so rich really there is just too much material the whole site is just dripping with inane hypocrisy. In fact all of the things in this passage I can do living in a gritty industrial inner city neighborhood

A place like Willowsford makes me happy to have grown up in a legit elitist snobby suburb where at least there as no pretense of not being pretentious.


#6

I wonder if the HOA meetings will discuss whether to grow kale or arugula? Maybe they’ll decide to turn one of the swimming pools into an organic tilapia pond.

The whole thing is just. plain. weird.


#7

We had a similar set up here about 10 years ago. They set up a faux old fashioned town with a faux farm. This was just outside of a real historic town surrounded by farms. They hired some people to run it and it ended up with “unfriendly” signs admonishing people to keep out and leave the animals alone. The farm was sold to private owners so now there are Private property signs all over.


(Elwood) #8

At least it’s not a WalMart?


#9

Persoanlly, if I were moving back to America, I would check it out. The amount of pollution that maintaining a golf course puts into the environment is astounding. Anything to get rid of those castastrophes would be most welcome.

Tilling a garden plot involved a lot of exercise, all body exercise with the pay off is food grown in one’s own environment. People probably wouldn’t believe me if I told them that there are solid taste and health reasons I have for preferring to use the olive oil that is pressed from olives growing out my window, unless you’ve actually had the experience of literally eating off the land.

On the small farm where I live, there are seasonal fruits and vegetables that are miles ahead in flavor from store bought ones (even in Italy) because you can pick them when they are absolutely ripe.

I wouldn’t drive a LandRover, but a lot of modern house construction is much more energy efficient than old house construction in lower middle class neighborhoods.

I would encourage this kind of development for people who want it – many of whom, I hope, will.


(Elwood) #10

Nah, you’ll find little disagreement here about that.

The real estate development and marketing practices in this part of Virginia, however, is another story.


#11

Well, given the choice between 9 different kinds of evil in American neighborhoods, I think I’d go for the one that held out at least some promise of getting me in a neighborhood that would service my needs – a fundamental one being not needing to drive long distances to get decent produce. I will also confess a soft spot for living with animals. In one of the places I have in Italy, there are a lot farm animals around, and one really loves seeing them on walks.

I took a moment to look at the actual development and marketing material, and of course it is a huge disappointment to see so many lawns – and I guess a HOA to enforce certain styles and conformity that would make them hard to get rid of. There also doesn’t seem to be land set aside for community plots. (One could hope that the people buying into such a community might take the next logical steps). But the actual house prices are fairly modest for that proximity to DC, and the interior amenities are indistiguishable from what most people do now when they buy a 4-bedroom house in terms of creating a kitchen, family room etc. I really don’t see a lot of “sin” in people buying one of these houses readymade as opposed to buying one built in the 40s or 20s and then ripping up everything to duplicate what these people are selling.

I doubt I personally could ever live anywhere with an HOA, but I have lived in the American suburbs, and pretentiousness comes in lots of different forms – including in the city too. Read a real estate brochure sometime for a $2.5 mil closet for sale on the Upper East Side of Manhttan, with concierge service.


(John) #12

This is too true. Did I mention I attended an oyster shucking and tasting workshop hosted by my local urban farm today?:wink:


(John) #13

Yes they made no nod to new urbanism, small lot development or real walkability. Its typical cul de sac car oriented suburbia. No diversity economically, no town center, no mass transit. No townhomes or apartments that may appeal to seniors or young people.

No, these people probably dont even plant kitchen gardens. What? Get their hands ditry? Thats for the farmer but at least you can feel good because you know his name.


(Robin ) #14

I asked about this on another thread. :wink:


#16

On the other side of the “town” is a real farm that sells produce and eggs with real prices and not so precious. It is welcoming to families. The fake farm did not have this competition when it first opened. It is a more recent development. No Walmart there anytime soon as you only have mostly the faux town to support it. There is more development moving in the direction of the faux town, mostly businesses. This is all detrimental to the real businesses in the faux town because I think they are paying higher rents so harder to compete.


(Junior) #17

Haven’t the Amish been doing this forever?


#18

While this particular implementation may have flaws, I think the concept is a move in a good direction. I hope it is successful to encourage more developments along these lines - proof of concept and all that.


#19

If it were a winery I might be more interested. :wine_glass: Virginia has some surprisingly good Cabernet Franc and Viognier.