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.

OUR EXPERIENCE

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

A WORD FROM FOUNDER, Antonio

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
0
Specialists
0
Happy Clients
0
Farms Managed

OUR COMPANY IN PHOTOS

OUR UNIQUE APPROACH

Now there will be water for plants, fish, fires, fishing, etc

Appropriate Technology

We already have all the technology we need to deal with climate change and make our communities healthy. Urban Crops uses the latest science to work with nature, build soil, and create mobile technology that connects you to your food.

super vegetables

Entrepreneurship

A new local food system is growing, taking the best of the past and the latest in innovation. Local food is the greatest long-term investment we can make for our communities. It takes an entrepreneurial spirit and is certainly challenging, but we think it’s the best long-term play.

Damian_crops_Tony

Systems Thinking

We think in terms of relationships and investing in building long-term, resilient food systems. People eat, and farms can produce high-quality, nutritious food that people want. Producing this food economically takes investment and putting the right systems in place.

!

Pigs at work

Working with Nature

Working with nature can help lower your operational costs, build resiliency to intense weather events, and ultimately help you grow a lot more food. The starting place is always the same: ask what would nature do?

Ivan_corn_tour

Popular Education

Food is deeply interwoven with society, our culture, and our landscapes. It’s the primary activity we do every day. As local food grows, so do changes in society and the environment—they’re all connected. Popular education is a pedagogy for learning that we can use to build better and faster local food systems.

ivan_sam_rene

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 does. Everyone has a niche that can contribute to the bigger picture.

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.

OUR CLIENTS