5 for Friday :: Farmer D aka Daron Joffe

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

missionI met Farmer D several years ago at a friend's wedding. I knew in advance we had SO much in common (us being urban farmers and all) that I offered to pick him up from the airport and drive him to the wedding venue out in Carnation. We'd never met before, but I was stoked to connect with a kindred spirit. So, there we were, two strangers who dig on urban farming, hanging out like old friends, and it's pretty much been the same ever since. The love I have for this man is deep and feels old; I am pretty certain we've crossed paths in other lives. D is my hero, truly. Check this out………

Farmer D is an urban farmer (and rural farmer!) extraordinaire. He owns Farmer D Organics - "an environmentally friendly, socially conscious business that creates farms and products for the earth and its people." I mean….come on. He has been farming biodynamically since the mid-90s and is a figurehead for living a green life. Several years ago he created biodynamic compost (which, BTW, you can have shipped to your garden!) in his then-hometown of Atlanta and opened a handful of small retail stores to support budding urban farmers in Georgia. He also works with his lovely father to create signature veggie boxes, also for sale in their online shop. They are beautifully constructed and an excellent investment, as they'll last for years.

In his spare time (as if) Farmer D consults on large-scale projects like the amazing Natirar Farm at Virgin Spa in NJ. And when I say "Virgin", I mean Richard Branson i.e. Virgin Records, Virgin Air - you feelin' me on this?? Truly, there is too much to tell you here, so if you'd like to poke around, check out this mans amazing gallery.

In short, he's a one-man dynamo who seems never to lose steam. (Check out #3 below, to see what I mean.) I'm so honored to call him a friend and I'm so excited to be ever-learning from him. And, OF COURSE, he's now written a book about his mission - Citizen Farmers! The book is illustrated with photographs of gardens designed by Farmer D as well as line drawings and advice on establishing a biodynamic garden, composting, soil composition and replenishment, control­ling pests and disease, cooperative gardening practices, and more. A mouthful! I can't wait to read it, and you should too. Order direct from D here. And meet him here………

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? I ate poached eggs on millet with arugula, avocado, and hot sauce.

2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I spend time in the garden with my two year old son Tilden.

3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would set up demonstration farms in communities around the world to teach people best practices in sustainable and biodynamic agriculture and social enterprise. These demonstration farms would help foster healthier, more resilient communities around the world.

4. Where is your 'happy place'? In the garden or on the tractor

5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? Collard Burritos. Instead of a tortilla, I slightly braise whole collard green leaves and then stuff them with all kinds of fillings: from mexican rice and beans to indian curry. I always have a grain (brown rice or quinoa), farm-fresh veggies, and a protein (like black beans, free-range chicken or quinoa). It's fresh and delicious every time.