There is a young man in your very own backyard who is doing some really cool things.
But don’t look now, and don’t be afraid.
“Backyard” is a figurative term for “near you,” and a literal term for outside. “Cool things” is also general and applicable to many things, but if you would ask most people, growing your own food and teaching others how to do the same, can very well be categorized as really, freaking cool.
When Darren Andrew of Nephi was 19-years-old, he was at a crossroads. Living on the East Coast in a suburb of Maryland at the time, he was working at a restaurant when his mom suggested he look into an opportunity that would not only expand his knowledge of the food industry, but deepen his awareness of food.
According to Andrew, his mom suggested he look into an organization titled Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), which offered opportunities for individuals like him to travel the country and learn about farming from those who know best.
WWOOF is a cultural exchange program where people like Andrew can live and work on farms in order to gain knowledge that they can in turn share with others along the way, and that’s what Andrew is doing.
First, let’s take a step back into that moment when Andrew’s mom suggested he pursue this opportunity of a lifetime. Do you think he thought he’d wind up in Nepi, Utah? Well, according to Andrew, the answer was no.
In fact, he didn’t start in Nephi, but his first place was actually Castle Valley in Grand County, where he spent his first three weeks.
“The first farm that responded was one in Castle Valley,” Andrew recalled. “It was a self-sustaining town, and it was such a beautiful experience that taught me so many self-sustaining agricultural practices. I wanted to build that for myself.”
But it wasn’t just growing food out of the ground that Andrew learned through this experience. He worked on a vineyard and hiked goats at a goat dairy. Eventually, he found himself in Nephi with a group of skydiving instructors on a quarter acre of land building his own sustainable farm that he hopes to share with the community.
How’s that for a plot twist?
For the past two years, Andrew has been planting, caring for, harvesting, eating AND preparing food for those he lives with all from a self sustaining farm he created on his own.
“I never thought I’d be in Nephi, Utah more than two weeks, but now I am here with a vision of creating a space where anyone can come and feel comfortable and be themselves,” he said. “What better way to bring people together than with food and being in the dirt? I’m super stoked to be able to share what I’ve learned with others.”
Andrew’s farm is located at 875 N. Airport Road in Nephi. He can also be found on Instagram @entropy_gardens.