Sundial Farm began as an idea to grow fresh, healthy produce in our veteran family-owned farm in north San Diego. We chose hydroponic growing because of the imperative need for water conservation in Southern California. Growing hydroponic vegetables in our greenhouses fulfilled both our deep-rooted commitment to good food with low water use while having as little impact on the environment as possible.
We believe in: SUSTAINABLE FOOD, which means being authentic in our growing methods so that food can be grown to conserve all of our important resources.
As a family business, we take pride in our endeavor to grow beautiful and delicious produce.
Endeavour Shen wears many hats as any small business owner. Endeavour is very hands-on and is involved in every aspect of the greenhouse, from growing the vegetables to growing the business. He has a love for serving the public and has served four years in United States Navy.
We strives to achieve family environment in our farm. We provide educational tour to our local schools.
When most of us were nine years old, our biggest worry might have been losing a soccer game or getting put in school detention for passing notes in class.
When Shen Yen Ting was nine, his biggest worry was where he’d find a comfortable place to sleep on the floor of the restaurant where he worked. A new immigrant to the United States, his parents had sent him and his brother here from Taiwan in hopes they’d have better education and economic opportunities than were available in their country.
“It was a rough life,” he says, understatedly. “We were sent to live with a close relative of my dad who lived here in the US. Our relative soon decided he didn’t want us sleeping in his house and told us we would have to stay in the restaurant where we worked washing dishes, cleaning, and taking out trash.”
Another aspect of his new life that may have been disorienting to most kids: his relative renamed him “Jeff,” a name which would stick with him throughout his teens. A child living and working in a foreign country without his parents, stripped of the name he was born with, sleeping on the floor of the restaurant where he worked. Not exactly a recipe for a story with a happy ending…
The relative’s restaurant soon went bankrupt, and they all moved to Champaign, Illinois. More stress and hardship ensued. Only a portion of the money Jeff’s father was sending to their caregiver actually made it to Jeff and his brother. When Jeff was 11, his brother decided he’d had enough and moved out of the US. To earn income, Jeff began working wherever he could: cleaning restaurants and bars and even cutting chicken leg quarters for $2 an hour.
Rather than telling his Taiwanese parents that he was taking care of himself, Jeff forged on. “I didn’t want my dad to feel bad since he was paying a lot of his money for me to be here.” This upbringing forged a fierce independence, strong work ethic, and desire for success in Jeff.
When Jeff turned 21, he decided to join the U.S. Navy. During enlistment, the Navy told him he could choose whatever name he wanted for himself. He was in the midst of reading a book about the famed British Naval explorer, Captain James Cook, and the research ship he used to explore the Pacific ocean, the HMS Endeavour. “I want my name to be Endeavour Shen,” he told the Navy.
Under his new name, one he’d finally chosen for himself, Endeavour became a United States citizen and a soldier. He soon found himself aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, as part of the first battle group off the coast of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was on aboard the ship for 8 months, working up to 20 hour per day during the height of the war.
Four years later, a back injury caused him to leave the Navy. He got married and moved to Texas, but once his wife became pregnant, the couple decided to move back to San Diego. Endeavour took night classes to become an accountant, an occupation that he excelled at for a decade. However, something was missing. He wanted to feel more connection and more purpose in his career.
Then he heard about Archi’s Institute, a program started by a Marine that teaches veterans the basics of starting a hydroponic farming business. In 2015, Endeavour started growing and selling hydroponic basil, and was instantly hooked. The problem was he was still a full-time accountant and real estate agent with a wife and two children. Free time and financial resources to make a career change were not abundant. What to do? For three and a half years, Endeavour worked three jobs, saving money and waiting for the right time or the right opportunity to make a full transition into hydroponic farming.
Then one day he found out about a septuagenarian who wanted to retire and sell his commercial orchid growing business. It was a large operation, far beyond anything Endeavour had ever done before. Undeterred, he was able to find and secure investment capital through a church friend to buy the land and the business. The day he purchased the business was Halloween Day, October 31, 2016–perhaps an omen of some tricks and scary treats coming his way…
The day he officially quit his accounting job, someone hit and totalled his car. (Thankfully, his old company, Eldorado Stone, offered him an SUV at a discount so he still had reliable transportation.) From November through December, the weather in San Diego was the worst he’d ever seen: rain every day and no sun. For an operation that relied on San Diego’s free and abundant sunlight, that translated into a financial loss of $20,000 in the first month of business operations. During the third month, the weather had improved, but his business deliver truck’s engine blew out. Then his son got a kidney infection.
Most entrepreneurs might have thrown in the towel at this point, rather than choosing to sail forward. However, a life of hardship and persistence had trained Endeavour for this moment.
“In Taiwan, we call business owners ‘never dying cockroaches,’ because no matter what happens to them, they figure out how to keep going,” Endeavour says, laughing.
His deep faith also plays a huge role in his life and in his ability to endure hardship. “My pastor’s wife always says, ‘what is bad is not necessarily bad and what is good is not necessarily good’.” During the midst of this string of seeming disasters, Endeavour made it a habit to pray every day before going to work. One Saturday morning, as he was doubting his decision to start this new venture, he prayed to God asking if this was what he should be doing with his life. When he entered the greenhouse, a cross was illuminated on the door just above his “Welcome, Enter Here” sign. The light reflection was coming from a small 2” cross hanging from his car rearview mirror 60 feet away. The hair stood up on the back of his neck at the sight; his spirits were lifted and his determination redoubled.
One year later, the storms have largely passed and the oceans have calmed. Endeavour now has nine employees operating two farms on his 4.5 acre operation. South Coast Orchids (the upstairs portion of the greenhouse) provides cut orchid flowers for area businesses, and Sundial Farms (the downstairs part) grows hundreds of pounds of edible greens per week for area restaurants, businesses, and the Escondido school district.
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Sundial Farms' Living Leafy Greens. If you have other questions don’t hesitate to Contact us at: email@example.com
If you purchased a Sundial Farm Living plant in a plastic sleeve you should store all varieties, except basil, in your refrigerator (the ideal temperature is between 38°F and 45°F). The refrigerator is too cold for basil, which is best stored at temperatures between 50°F and 55°F. When storing basil choose an environment that is warm with access to partial sunlight. The kitchen can be an ideal place. The Living Plant you purchased comes with water in the sleeve, however, you will want to check the water ever day or so to replenish as necessary. 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of water should be sufficient. Remember less is more. No need to over hydrate your plant. Snip off what you need and continue to store properly.
Our products are intended for immediate culinary use and we suggest that you use them to create an instant herb garden in your kitchen. However, you can certainly try to replant our greens, but we don’t guarantee that they’ll transplant successfully. Sundial Farm varieties are grown hydroponically in a climate-controlled environment and many of our greens simply cannot survive the transition to a home garden. If you do attempt to replant them, here are some tips that may help in the transition:
Sundial Farm Living Leafy Greens are packaged with the roots intact so you get the freshest greens possible. Since they are still alive they last much longer than traditional cut greens. When you use Sundial Farm Living Leafy Greens you are utilizing these plants in their freshest state which enables you to experience their rich flavor as intended.
Some varieties are heartier than others but, on average, our plants should last between 6 and 10 days from the time they are harvested at our greenhouse facility. Following proper storage guidelines is essential to extending the life on all plants.
It’s not dirt! We grow our plants in a soilless media called peat moss, which is a natural growing medium that is harmless to your health. Simply remove the plant from the root ball when you are ready to use them.
Saturday: 8 am - 1 pm
Vista Courthouse Complex
825 South Melrose Drive
Vista, California 92081
Sunday: 10 am -2 pm
Paul Ecke Elementary-185 Union St
Encinitas, California 92024
The Farm Stand West
2115 Miller Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
"I LOVE the produce from this place. And the staff are very friendly!" -Cecil Brown
"Just so happened to stop by the Carlsbad Farmer's Market and stumbled upon this gem.
Fresh lettuce! I think butter lettuce is my new fave."- QC BE
"Perfect lettuce period!" -Stefany Alvarado
"Great produce, doesn't get any better than this!" -Ronda Heaton Ussery
"Just left their stand at Vista farmer's market. Such fresh and delish veggies at a super price! The basil lasted me two weeks!"- Jennifer Lambycakes
"Fresh! The best." -Hank Stelzl
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
814 Sunset Drive, Vista, California 92081, United States
07:00 am – 03:30 pm