I’m Derek, a farmer at Fresh City Farms and founder at Homestead T.O.  This is my #WhyIFarm story...

While my farming journey began 12 years ago as a hobby, I left my career in finance to farm full-time when I realized that this is how I want to make a difference in the world – by teaching others to grow food and by donating fresh and healthy food to those in need.

In particular, I like to bring people closer to the food that we all rely on, through teaching them where our food comes from and how to respect the plants and the land. This is the purpose of Homestead T.O., a full-season vegetable gardening program designed to give participants the knowledge, experience and confidence to grow vegetables organically – plus they share in all vegetables grown.

Farming is also a great way to meet new people – more than anything else, growing food unites us all. People from all parts of the world and from all walks of life know how to grow food and are willing to share their knowledge. Despite all of the food I’ve grown, I still learn something new virtually every day.

In addition, farming is a way to get outside. Having spent years working in an office building, I knew that I wanted to work outdoors and it was just a matter of finding my passion. It was a slow progression, starting with a balcony garden, but the passion quickly became evident and it has grown through community gardens, food security initiatives, farming courses and, finally, through becoming a full-time farmer and educator. I could not be happier. And this is #WhyIFarm.