Matthew Jose got his first taste of the farming life while tending livestock and running various educational programs at Overlook Farm in central Massachusetts. After his stint there, he moved way out west to Portland, OR to work in a fancy French bakery, making croissants and other delectables. While there, Matthew began to get involved with small-scale community garden projects. Tired of waking up at 2 a.m., Matthew made his way back east to assist community garden groups in New York City. He returned to Overlook Farm in 2005 to focus on growing vegetables, working as an assistant grower on the farm’s 3 acre veggie operation.
After all of the travelling, Matthew returned to his hometown of Indianapolis. He eventually began working for the Purdue University- Marion County Extension Service and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, helping to organize community gardens, garden education programs, and school beautification projects. During that time, he developed the short-lived Urban Farm Project – a program that used vacant lots for vegetable production in addition to training local high school students in small-scale farming practices. At the beginning of 2009, Matthew created Big City Farms in an effort to try and meet the growing demand for fantastic-tasting, locally-grown produce. He’ll talk a good talk about wanting to change the fabric of cities and alter our society’s concepts of where food ‘should’ come from – in reality, he just likes being able to bike down the street for coffee or a drink after tending his â€˜fields’ too much to quit the city life.