February 17th, 2022

South Florida Agrihood Resident Spotlight: Matt and Katie

Arden, the first and only South Florida agrihood, is a unique community with a strong network of residents connected by nature and the love of healthy living. For Matt and Katie Hazi, Arden helped them live greener lives, try new things, and make lasting connections.

 Q: Why did you move to Arden?

Katie: We are a small family of three. We moved to Arden in October of 2020.  We both work in IT, and we have a small kid. I’m a South Florida native and Matt has been here for about 30 years now. We were excited to learn that there was a brand new agrihood in South Florida.

Matt: Before we moved here, we were in West Palm Beach, about 45 minutes away. We were looking for a larger house in a different community. We had just had a new baby and we were looking for a place with a great school district and we came across Arden. When we first came into Arden, just the number of people out and about, walking, biking, out in the parks, we just fell in love with it. It was something that was so unique as the only agrihood in South Florida.

Katie: Just walking around Arden, it has the most beautiful view I’ve seen in all of South Florida. When you first drive through the gate, the whole lake is in front of you, and it looks so scenic and so green.

Q: Which amenities do you enjoy using the most?

Katie: We love the pool and splash pad. We were there almost every day for a few months teaching our kid how to swim. We get a huge amount of use out the trails for nighttime walks. I absolutely love the green spaces.

I love that everything is a lot greener here. And not just the color green. They promote recycling and reusing, and I think the farm is just the coolest thing. I love that you can go and see the Event Barn and you can go explore when they host their Second Saturday Farm Tours every month. It’s nice that everything stays down-to-earth, the complete opposite of city life. Plus, you don’t just have a neighborhood, you have an agrihood – and it’s the only agricultural neighborhood in all of South Florida, so that’s really special.

Q: What has been your experience with the Arden Farm?

Matt: When we went on our tour, farm directors Tripp and Carmen showed us all of the lemongrass bushes around and it’s been a great hit. Whenever we go to my parents’ house, we’re responsible for bringing the lemongrass. The You-Pick Garden is just incredible.

Katie: And the farm share is cool too! I had never even heard of a farm share before Arden, and it’s been such a great experience learning about how all of that works and trying new things. I found some new vegetables that I didn’t even know that I liked. We love the locally sourced food, but we also go to Arden’s General Store occasionally to pick up treats for our kid and get jellies and jams.

Q: What community events do you enjoy going to?

Katie: The entire community puts on events that are fun. We had a fruit tasting where you could try a bunch of locally sourced fruits – that was amazing. I think we’ve been to all of the Arden-sponsored events since we moved, and definitely all of the agrihood type events. We’ve made so many friends here because of those events.

Matt: Even during the height of COVID-19, the Arden Lifestyle Director sent out activity boxes with things we could do inside our home and still do events ourselves or with our close friends. We still felt like we were a part of a strong, well-connected community.

Q: Tell me about your home.

Matt: We’re in a Lennar Easton, I think the last one that was sold. It’s so spacious and such a step up from our previous home. It’s the perfect mix of luxurious living and being in a down-to-earth community.

Q: If you had to sum up your experience living in Arden in a sentence or two, what would you say?

Katie: Arden is so beautiful and so friendly and so community-oriented. We are living healthier and greener, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else. Plus, we could never leave our Florida agrihood!

Currently living in Arden and interested in being our next resident spotlight? Reach out to @ardennaturally on Facebook or Instagram to be featured today!

Enjoyed reading about Matt and Katie’s life at Arden at the South Florida agrihood? Check out our latest interview with another Arden resident, Maria Megathlin here.