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.
Daron Babcock left a successful corporate career in private equity along with his comfortable home in Frisco, Texas to serve in the inner-city community of Bonton. Although Bonton is historically known for its high crime, poverty and violence, he believes another world is possible. Daron’s broad professional experience coupled with his heart for serving inner-city communities brings a fresh and innovative perspective to solving problems there. He founded Bonton Farms in 2014 where he currently serves as Executive Director. Daron and his wife Theda have lived and served in Bonton since 2012.