By Shelley Sakala
As a Realtor, I keep a close eye on trends. Whether it’s a trend in features, design, paint, or décor, it helps to know what’s hot, what’s in-demand, and what’s going out of style. Knowing these things helps me super-serve my clients. I can guide homeowners as they prepare their homes for sale…and I can advise home buyers looking for on-trend design features. But every once in a while I come across something that transcends styles and trends…something that starts as an interesting idea, gains momentum, and eventually turns into a full-fledged movement. This is happening right now at a new home community in Phoenix called The Village at North Glen. Created by the master home builders at MAK Construction, this gated 40-home community was designed with a truly amazing point of differentiation: edible landscaping. Drive through the front gates of the community and you’ll notice fruit-bearing apple trees. Take a swim in the community pool and you’ll find yourself surrounded by banana plants. While it’s not uncommon for Arizona homeowners to have a few lemon or orange trees on their property, The Village at North Glen features more than 200 trees, including 137 citrus trees. And that’s just the beginning. Throughout the common areas residents enjoy edible plants, flowers, shrubs, and bushes such as artichokes, Jamaican roselle, canary melons, and moringa. Walk through the grounds of the property and find fruits, vegetables, and a delicious variety of edible greens that can be prepared as salads, seasonings, and even teas.
The home and property design at The Village at North Glen began as the brainchild of Mark Doerflein, President of MAK Construction. Mark shared the inspiration for the design: “We wanted to create a true community where people felt connected to not only their fellow residents, but to the community itself. Introducing the concept of sustainability was a big first step toward achieving that goal.”
And that’s where Justin Rohner comes in. Justin is the founder of Agriscaping Technologies, a Valley company specializing in sustainable landscape design. They are known for “elegant, edible landscaping.” Justin has been helping people around the world grow their own healthy, fresh foods at home for more than 25 years. Mark brought in Agriscaping to help bring to life his vision for the community – and it has been a perfect fit. “Almost every tree, plant, and flower here is edible,” says Justin. “One of my favorite parts about what I do is educating people about growing food. The residents are genuinely interested in learning about what we’ve planted.” According the MAK Construction, the sustainable design of the community is one of their most popular and asked-about features. “This is an urban community that offers farm-to-table produce,” says Mark. “The ability to consume food that never spent time on a truck or in a processing plant…that’s pretty incredible. Our homeowners definitely appreciate it.”
Mark and Justin are currently collaborating on plans for private herb gardens for each homeowner. Sounds delicious!
To find out more about The Village at North Glen:
To learn more about Agriscaping: