Ep 106. Daron Babcock on Regenerating Communities through Urban Farming

How can farming heal communities? 

Daron Babcock, Executive Director of Bonton Farms, is our guest this week and we’ll talk about how he regenerates his community with the largest urban farm in the United States! Operating out of Bonton in Dallas, Texas, Bonton Farms is driven by the mission to restore lives, create jobs, and ignite hope in a once forgotten and neglected neighborhood with some of the most marginalized people. What started out as a garden in a small lot has grown into two fully functioning farms and the Bonton Market. They grow organic food with hope for a better tomorrow.

They also house free-range chickens, goats, turkeys, rabbits, and beehives that provide an abundance of fresh eggs, milk, and honey. Join us today to hear all about how Bonton operates and how the community benefits!

In This Episode:

What inspired Daron to shift from a successful corporate career into farming 1:51

What the early days of Bonton Farms were like 9:45

What Daron’s farming background was before he got started in Bonton 12:42

What a typical week looks like on Bonton Farms 13:43

What products Bonton provides 15:18

About the hardest part of Daron’s farming journey 20:24

What Daron would do differently at the beginning given the opportunity to turn back time 26:30

How Bonton takes farming further than other farms 33:21

What the Director of Discipleship does on Bonton Farms 38:16

Where Bonton started selling their products 42:40

What advice Daron has for new farmers 46:05

How big the vegetable garden part of Bonton is 48:56

Where you can find out more about Daron and Bonton Farms 50:43

About the Guest

As a young man, Daron Babcock became a successful corporate employee, living everywhere from Oklahoma to Oregon, but life events and struggles ultimately led him to Dallas, TX. After connecting with the community of Bonton through a friend, Babcock began to serve in the neighborhood. His heart broke for the marginalized and overlooked people who called Bonton home so he decided to leave his career along with his comfortable home in Frisco, Texas and moved to Bonton.

Daron leads an effort for community restoration and renewal. To date, some of those efforts have manifested into social enterprises such as Bonton Honey Company, Bonton Housing, The Market at Bonton Farms, a coffee house, farmers market, and most notably, Bonton Farms, the largest urban farm in the United States. He serves as Founder and CEO. Daron’s broad professional experience coupled with his heart for serving inner-city communities brings a fresh and innovative perspective to urban transformation and renewal.

Resources and mentions

Website – www.bontonfarms.org

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bontonfarms

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bontonfarms/

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.