Agricultural-based neighborhood plants its roots in Mukwonago

By BRANDON ANDEREGG - Freeman Staff

April 14, 2018

       

The Agape Agrihood has a communal barn in the center of the development owned by the Wiebelhaus family. Curt Wiebelhaus said the barn will house horses and operate similarly to commercial horse boarding houses in the area.

Submitted photo

TOWN OF MUKWONAGO — The town of Mukwonago is now home to possibly the first “Agrihood” in the state of Wisconsin, a 36-acre farming- type residential community that offers a ‘life on the farm’ experience with the proximity of a tight-knit community.

Curt and Jodi Wiebelhaus, who own Agape Agrihood, LLC, are the minds behind bringing the more than $1 million agrihood layout to the southwest corner of Highway NN and Red Brae Drive in the town of Mukwonago.

People not familiar with the agrihood model can imagine a cluster of homes with a garden, barn and pastor serving as the center of the subdivision as opposed to a golf course, for example. Or, a mixed-use development of sorts that some have described as the intersection of rural America and suburbia.

The development includes an apple orchard, more than one mile of walking and horse riding trails, horse or small farm animal boarding in the on-site barn, over 14 acres of open space, and seasonal canning and garden harvest classes for the community, according to the Agape Agrihood website.

The neighborhood is composed of 10 1.5 acre lots ranging in price from $125,500 to $130,500. The minimum single- floor home would be 1,800 square feet in size and the minimum two-story home would be 2,200 square feet.

        

The Agape Agrihood is a 36-acre mixed-use development with 10 homes and a communal area that includes a garden, chicken coops, a horse barn and more. The above photo is just a rendering and the actual structures, layout and landscape may vary.

Submitted photo

Growing a community

Although Wiebelhaus is the developer of the Agape Agrihood, he’s also in the process of building a home for his family within the community. Wiebelhaus said he first discovered the agrihood concept while looking for a hobby farm for his wife and their three kids. What Wiebelhaus found is that this style of development offers the experience of getting to know neighbors through a communal area and a unique environment for raising children, but without being tied down with owning an entire farm, he said.

“Our motivation was to find a place to live that had all those pieces to it,” Wiebelhaus said. “The people that have bought lots all have young families and I think that’s a big piece of it too. They want to give their kids a different experience and teach some of those responsibilities that are tough to teach without having that atmosphere.”

Each family will have the opportunity to use the chicken coops, a livestock barn and a communal garden, but the level of involvement is up to the family.

“There will be opportunities for the kids to do chicken chores and collect eggs,” Wiebelhaus said. “Maybe it’ll be just a day a week that they sign up for. Some people don’t plan on having animals and the like the idea of having the animals in the backyard as far as the atmosphere.”

Residents will have to pay dues through a community association, which will cover the normal maintenance costs that would be found in suburbs. As far as communal services, those are pricedbased on the level of involvement.

With both the agrihood and locally grown concepts gaining traction across the nation, Wiebelhaus suspects that developments similar to his will become more common. If all goes well, he may branch out and begin similar developments in Waukesha County he said.

banderegg@conleynet.com 262-513-2657