The Agrihood Project

March 11, 2016

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.

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Members of The Agrihood Project, Verge grads Anaya Lea, Andrea Rocchio, and Rob McWilliam are part of a group of Calgarians seeking a more connected and rewarding rural life. Their dream: To bring people together and create a showcase community that is self-sufficient, balanced, and deeply committed to the stewardship of the land.

What’s an Agrihood?

An agrihood is a housing development built around a market garden and food forest. Residents work together, contributing their labour and skills to grow delicious and nutritious food. This arrangement keeps the cost of food affordable and helps make farm to table living an achievable reality.

What’s The Agrihood Project?

Located east of Calgary, The Agrihood Project is intended to provide sustainable living for up to 24 families. Its design revolves around several key permaculture-inspired components:

  • A Diverse Community: Based on collaboration and consensus. The Agrihood Project will value existing community spirit and expects to attract people keen on enjoying all the benefits of living in a small town. Members believe that life is richer and more resilient when people live connected to others.
  • An Educational Focus: Activities around resilience and self-sufficiency will be hosted in order to breathe life into the existing community building space. The goal for The Agrihood Project is to become a model and demonstration site that showcases a variety of building methods and food growing techniques in a dry, cold prairie climate. Educational programs will be offered in tandem with the physical development of the site, allowing participants to help design, build, and contribute in a multitude of ways.
  • Market Garden & Food Forest: Food security is paramount to The Agrihood Project; much of the property will be dedicated towards food production. A large greenhouse will enable year-round food production, and produce will be provided to the local community so that residents have the chance to buy local. The goal is to build a resilient and adaptive community that in turn becomes an agri-tourism attraction.
  • Sustainable Housing: Housing will comprise energy-efficient and healthy homes constructed from environmentally responsible materials. The project will include 16-24 on-site units to house 30-50 residents.

What makes The Agrihood Project Special?

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  • It will be the only one of its kind in Alberta.
  • It will reinvigorate a dying town by breathing life into an abandoned community building and property.
  • It will strive to become a premier showcase for sustainable community living.
  • Negotiations for the property are underway, with work scheduled to begin by early 2017.

Interested in Learning More?

There will be employment opportunities through the project, along with chances for new and existing businesses to be located on-site, though these should not be the main focus for those wishing to become involved. Rather, The Agrihood Project seeks individuals who possess first and foremost the pioneering spirit and desire to realize a unique resilient community.

The next information session is planned for March 23rd. Follow The Agrihood Project through the following channels to learn about upcoming details:


Facebook Page:

Phone: Anaya Lea (403.703.1798) Andrea Rocchio (403.616.0060)

Rob Avis

Rob Avis is a petroleum engineer turned permaculture teacher, designer and public speaker. He graduated from the University of Alberta and also have international training and certifications in renewable energy and regenerative design. He and his wife Michelle have been running Verge Permaculture in Calgary for the past 5 years.

Tags: agrihoods, building resilient communities