Charleston’s First Agrihood: Kiawah River Cultivates Community with Nature
“Charleston is … a mighty force on the nation’s food scene … with creative chefs who redefine what we think of as farm-to-table cooking.”
– Conde Nast Traveler, Best Restaurants in Charleston
Charleston has long been home to world-famous chefs who cultivate relationships with local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors as a means to preparing their extraordinary dining experiences.
Now, you can live in Charleston’s first “farm-to-table” neighborhood – also known as an “agrihood” – at Kiawah River.
Dining and entertaining, and spending time outdoors are essential elements of Southern culture. Agrihoods connect people to the land and to one another by providing fresh produce through Community Shared Agriculture programs, educational opportunities, and events.
Kiawah River’s agricultural neighborhood engages residents with the rare experience of a working farm right outside their doorsteps. Walking down the trails, our neighbors can walk to see the cows or pet the goats, or enjoy the rows of farmland filled with seasonal fresh produce.
Agrihoods are growing in popularity due in part to the realization that living among nature has been proven to have a positive effect on well-being. Combining nature and farming in an agrihood also promotes social interaction, and emphasizes the importance of sustainability and community coming together.
Kiawah River’s farms support local Johns Island’s farmers. Our fields have been farmed since the Revolutionary War with rice and indigo, cotton and vegetables as the primary crops. We will continue to do so for many generations to come.
Stewarding our land has taken years of intentional active land and wildlife management by our Chief Environmental Officer, Jeff Snyder. “I watched my son grow up on this property, and it gave me some of my greatest memories.” Snyder said. “The thought of other kids having a chance to build those memories is a driving force in my vision of the future of Kiawah River.”
Our globally-recognized land planners and architects, who specialize in New Urbanism and sustainable design, created a community master plan, around our farm fields.
Families will enjoy the pleasure of an active lifestyle, taking a break from technology to feel the relaxation of fresh air and coming face-to-face with farm animals and produce. You can taste the sweetness of our honey, smother crackers with fresh goat cheese and pick out the seasonal produce from our farms. Kiawah River’s walking trails run along views of the water, farmland, live oaks and other indigenous plants, and lead you toward discovering new things every day.
We have partnered with local farmers Rosebank Farms and Freeman Farms, who are planting and harvesting seasonal crops and maintaining our cattle. As the seasons change, these farmers provide us with a share of their crops. We have a of colony of bees managed by a friendly beekeeper from Seaside Farm, and the goats from Burden Creek Dairy call Kiawah River their home.
Our cattle are managed by Three Gates Cattle in Mount Pleasant, which specializes in breeding purebred Belted Galloway cows that have a wide white stripe (or “belt”) around their bellies. They are one of the oldest and purest cattle breeds in existence and are commonly known as “Belties,” originating from Southwest Scotland’s famous Galloway region, raised locally to produce beef of the highest quality.
Kiawah River Farm will soon evolve a Community Shared Agriculture program, in a partnership between our farmers and our residents who will receive fresh produce at their doorsteps to cook healthy meals with ease and convenience. We can’t wait to watch the vision of our agrihood to continue to unfold.
We invite you to pet the farm animals, try our honey and goat cheese next time you visit! You’ll might find yourself longing to move closer … to your farm.