Daron Joffe was born in South Africa and raised in Atlanta, but it was his experiences in college, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, that paved the way for his career in farming and gardening. There,he studied at the Michael Fields Institute Biodynamic Learning Center, attending workshops and working on an organic farm, learning about growing healthy food with intention.
He also started paying attention to major issues in today’s agriculture: the loss of the small family farm and industrialized farming using chemicals and pesticides, to name a couple. “That turkey sandwich went over 3,000 miles to get to my plate, burning a huge trail of fossil fuels, and there were chemicals and preservatives on the tomatoes and bread your body doesn’t want to digest,” he says. “Also, we’re spending money outside of the local community when we could be supporting the local economy.”
Joffe focus is in growing and harvesting vegetables: tomatoes, squash, peppers and zucchinis, along with herbs (he’s partial to oregano). “People get intimidated by starting things from seed, but once you start you realize how quick, easy and cheap it is,” he says. “You make a little hole, add the seeds, nurture it every day, and when it grows up it becomes strong and resilient and independent. In 25 days you can have a mature arugula plant. It’s amazing.”