CLERMONT, Fla.—A Clermont farmer is opening up his 7 acre farm once a month to the community. There, people can get hands-on learning with sustainable farming.

What You Need To Know

  • Clermont farmer Banks Helfrich sharing his knowledge of sustainable farming with the community

  • His goal is for more people in the area to help the environment, as well as themselves

  • He doesn’t sell his produce. If he doesn’t eat it, he’ll share it

You can say Native Floridian Banks Helfrich is passionate about sustainability.

“It looks like monkey brains, however, if you taste it… it’s delicious. It’s wild passion fruit,” said Helfrich as he picks fruit from his farm.

Just about everything he does fits in the sustainable lifestyle. His love for farming started when he was younger, where he grew up on a farm.

“What I really love is I love to see things grow,” said Helfrich.

He is now passing on all his lessons from when he was younger. He’s teaching everything about sustainable living, from growing your own food to sourcing your own electricity. So as food prices increase and the area grows, everyone can do their part to helping the environment, as well as themselves. 

“People in the community come in. I teach them, I show them how to grow foods, I give them food to eat on the tour. Then I give them the actual plants where they can grow them themselves,” said Helfrich.

The common theme among Helfrich’s tour is how to best help the community. He hopes the knowledge he has gets passed around Lake County.

“The work ethic of a farmer, I think that attracts people to come to the farm tour. It’s like [people say] I get to go on a farm tour and meet a farmer. To do that, there is this admiration for farmers. Having this admiration for farmers, it’s building this community,” said Helfrich.

Rather than selling his produce, what he doesn’t eat will be picked on the farm tour or given out to the community.

“I want to give this produce away. I want to give knowledge away. I want people to grow their own things. That’s the reward that I get,” said Helfrich.

What started out as just digging in the dirt is now a lifestyle for Banks Helfrich.