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It's a Beautiful Day in the Agrihood

What is an agrihood? The term might be fairly new but an agrihood, short for "agricultural neighborhood," has roots in both historical and contemporary movements that emphasize sustainable living, community engagement and a connection to agriculture. Simply put, it’s a mixed development that combines food and real estate. Unlike traditional neighborhoods where houses are surrounded by purely ornamental landscaping, agrihoods prioritize farming and food production as central elements of the community.

Currently there are an estimated 200 agrihoods in the United States, and Sebastian, located in Indian River County, is about to add to that number. As the Treasure Coast’s first agrihood, Spirit of Sebastian will feature 586 homesites on 182 acres positioned west of Old Dixie Highway and south of CR-512 in Sebastian, and will be the area’s first natural gas community. All utilities will be underground with dark sky friendly lighting.

In addition to popular amenities including a vibrant community center, lighted pickleball courts, RV and boat storage, and 12 acres of serene lakes, Spirit of Sebastian is designed for sustainable living and seamless coexistence with the local ecosystem. U-shaped garden beds that will positively impact the productivity, accessibility, and aesthetics of the agrihood area will be the highlight of the community, providing residents with environmentally friendly food sources for a farm-to-table lifestyle. Before construction, the soil was tested by the University of Florida and determined to be perfectly suited for the intended use.

Ample greenspace will include a variety of native plants and trees to incorporate “pollinator pockets” throughout, nurturing local flora and fauna and contributing to water conservation and soil health.  During the clearing for the infrastructure, the developer saved more than 30 Sabal and Sylvester palm trees and transplanted them into a temporary nursery until they can be reintegrated into the community landscape.

There are also 100 beehives onsite which are producing emerald green honey! The honey, along with fresh produce from the gardens will be available at monthly community farmer’s markets in Heritage Park, adjacent to the Heritage Hall Community Center.

Spirit of Sebastian is bound to inspire the spirit of more sustainable and eco-friendly living.  While these kinds of communities are still somewhat novel, demand is expected to grow as younger families enter the home buyer's market. Today, 73% of Americans consider access to fresh, healthy food a top priority. Also, younger homebuyers are driving change in the real estate market, ditching large cookie cutter homes on golf courses for smaller homes in walkable communities, greener  living, and a better connection to nature and neighbors.

Builders Ryan Homes and Holiday Builders expect to open their models in March of 2024.


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