Bonton Farms started small. At first, it was no more than a tiny vegetable patch on a vacant lot beside Daron Babcock’s Habitat for Humanity house, a small plot of green in a dangerous, run-down, historically disadvantaged South Dallas neighborhood full of society’s most marginalized people. There was no greater vision than to give the community’s residents, most of them former felons, something to do every day. A side benefit was providing food for them to take home every night, because Bonton was a food desert where getting to the closest grocery store involved a three-hour roundtrip bus ride.
Today, Bonton Farms consists of two fully functioning organic farms and a food market dedicated to growing the best-tasting, healthiest produce in the city. Its food is an intentional catalyst, nurturing bodies but also prompting far larger changes: restoring lives, creating jobs and igniting hope. Daron Babcock believes the parallels are profound: just like a seed, every human being has the potential to live a healthy, prosperous life if they are given the right nutrients and support.