Urban Crops

Hi, I’m Antonio, Urban Crops founder and In 2009 I started a food growing experiment called the loft because I wanted to understand food. The result was 200 square feet growing over 70 varieties of plants and providing limitless fresh food for 2 adults.

I learned first hand that local food had great opportunities for business, society and the environment and I wanted to be part of it, so I started Urban Crops in 2011 in order to design more local food systems.

Over the past 7 YEARS we have worked with farmers, restaurants and local food organizations to grow. 24 CLIENTS have been able to improve their local food business by connecting to nature. Thanks to the thousands of local food eaters in the Greater Toronto Area.

In 2014 we moved our headquarters from Toronto to Schomberg in order for the opportunity to start a 65 acre ecological farm called Cavaleiro Farm. What we learned over the last 4 years is very valuable to landowners and change makers.

Ecological farms are the food of the future and we are in the early stages. As eaters  demand to know more about their food and environment, so to will the demand for local food grow.

The challenge today is that building ecological farms is very difficult and we don’t have time. The next 10 years will see significant changes to land ownership and there isn’t enough new farmers.

Our vision at Urban Crops is to create a road map for other landowners and land-stewards to quickly build and operate an ecological farm.


Local food Growing - 9 Years
Design & Engineering - 7 Years
Cooperative Organizing - 6 Years
Business Incubation - 4 years


Growing up in a city I never thought anything about farming. Now I have a company that builds ecological farms, I operate Cavaleiro Farm where I plant thousands of trees and have a flock of sheep. Never could have imagined.

I got here because I wanted to know where my food came from. Simple. Local food has given me all these opportunities and its been so rewarding be part of the local food culture. Its healthy, I’ve met amazing people and now I have nice animals and plants all around my daily life.

Urban Crops is what I wish existed when I first started and felt overwhelmed by everything food. I want to help other communities build their own food system and make local farms productive again.

Antonio Gomes

Engineer / Farmer/ Еntrepreneur / Urban Crops Founder
Happy Clients
Farms Managed



Systems Thinking

We think in relationships and investing in building long term resilient food systems. A pragmatic approach that is based on cold facts. People eat and farms can produce high quality nutritious food that people want. You can produce this food economically with the right systems in place. This takes investment, it takes systems thinking.

Working with Nature

Working with nature is like sailing a boat. Patience, observation, and the right technology and you can go around the world. Ecological food systems catch natures wind to produce food, medicine and fuel. You will not need to go around the world because you’ll have everything you need on the farm.

Diverse Team

Over the years Urban Crops has collaborated with a diverse group of freelancers, designers and growers. We bring in these diverse perspectives into our work, just like nature there is a niche for everyone.


In this world its hard to find good simplicity. Local food is just that. We are committed to local food and you can see that in our actions. We take the best of the past and the present to create a bountiful future. We are consistent, timeless, and simple.

The Story Of Agriculture

Agriculture is the art of growing plants on fields. Fun fact, but most of the plants we eat come from 5 places in the world and almost all of the annual plants we eat were weeds when we started domesticating them. Weeds grow on bare soil, that’s why its a field culture, or agriculture.

The problem with agriculture is that bare soil and the process of continually growing these annual weeds is that we loss fertility over the years. That’s why the area none as the craddle of life in Iraq where agriculture comes from is a desert now. Any society that abuses soil can’t thrive, it goes down hill.

In the past the damage didn’t happen that fast so few noticed. Now with industrial agriculture the damage is happening faster. Only 30% of the world is really on this aggressive food growing system. Read further if you would like to know about my 4 big reasons agriculture as we know it is doomed to fail and why we shouldn’t be investing in it.

The Story Of Permaculture

Horticulture is the science of growing vegetables, fruits, flowers or other plants. It doesn’t require bare soil, and has more options of species and systems that can work. These food systems can actually be regenerative. Imagine an ever increasing capacity to grow food instead of a depletion of resources.

Permaculture and agroecology provide frameworks for designing horticultural food systems. It’s such a potent mix that actually 70% of the worlds food comes from these systems. It’s the industrial agriculture model here in Canada that’s on weak legs.

The UNFAO has caught on to the benefits of agrocological systems for people, the land and local economies. They released a report that concluded that we should change to these types of food systems.