Business owner William Wormley of Hesperia is a man with a green thumb, a passion for produce, and a heart for serving the community.
The 41-year-old Wormley, the owner of Wormley Orchards, is partnering with Saving Greens Homestead and other like-minded growers to host the inaugural Farm to Table Dinner.
“This month’s dinner will be a networking time with other growers and those interested in urban farming,” said Wormley, a native of Barstow. “At the dinner, we’ll discuss tips on how to plant, nurture, harvest, and sell your produce.”
They’ll also be discussions and resources on how people can get the proper documentation and certification to sell produce at Certified Farmers’ Markets, Wormley said.
Vendors must obtain a business license and comply with San Bernardino County and California Health and Safety Code requirements to sell items like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, honey, and flowers.
“Our table has room for 40 people, and tickets are starting to sell,” Wormley said. “We’re hoping for a good turnout so we can encourage those who are ready to get planting.”
Food served at the dinner will include meat raised and butchered locally and produce from High Desert growers.
Urban farming mentors
Wormley, also the owner of The Shoppe Barbershop in Victorville, said his agricultural interests first sprouted soon after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I started seeing long lines and empty grocery store shelves, I started thinking that maybe we should start growing our food supply,” Wormley said. “That’s when I started to do some research.”
With a passion to learn and no background in agriculture, Wormley enrolled in the unaccredited “University of YouTube,” where the online classroom consists of countless videos on urban farming and gardening.
Since then, Wormley has used his property to grow and harvest different types of tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelons, peppers, pumpkins, and more.
“Once I started, I connected with different growers who mentored me,” Wormley said. “It’s amazing how many wonderful people are in the High Desert who love to grow their food.”
Some of Wormley’s markets and road stands offerings include produce, organic pasta sauce, artisan organic dill pickles, dehydrated sliced tomatoes, and an assortment of dry spices.
A heart for the community
With a heart for the community, Wormley joined with other farmers to help local elementary schools with their gardens.
“We want to educate our children on how they can be self-sufficient by growing their gardens,” said Wormley, a father of four children, including Noah Wormley, 17, who recently graduated from Oak Hills High School.
Noah Wormley, who wore No. 81 when he played wide receiver for the OHHS Bulldogs, has enrolled in Fullerton College this semester and will play for the Hornets football team.
Wormley and his wife, Tiffany, also have a 12-year-old daughter, a 4-year-old son, and a 2-month-old daughter.
“Helping the schools comes from a desire to help our community,” Wormley said. “At the barbershop, we held a free movie night for families and hosted a basketball tournament for the kids.”
“Noah even taught kids how to build their gaming computer,” Wormley said. “He’s checking into school where he’ll be studying computer information systems.”
Wormley has been blessed with a community of gardeners who have invested in him and the community, he said.
“I don’t know where I’d be without them,” Wormley said. “I’m excited for us and for those who want to get their hands dirty by planting their own food.”
Wormley’s interest in agriculture is a far cry from his younger days when he was known as “Mr. Ambition,” the co-founder of “Global Mafia,” with his “Global Vision” to promote rap and hip hop culture around the world.
Wormley wrote his first rap tune at age 13, before later becoming more immersed in the “Hip Hop game,” he told HD Hip Hop Magazine in 2012.
Wormley formed the rap group “Mic Squad,” one of the first High Desert hip hop groups to produce a mixtape. He would later go on to promote events, other music artists, and his own music, he said.
As a teen, his mother would work in Panama, which allowed him to experience life in the Panama jungle among the iguanas, Wormley said.
His time in Central America gave Wormley the ambition to reach the four corners of the globe with his music, Wormley said.
Looking back at that time compared to today, Wormley said, “Same message, same vision,” but “different hustle.”
How to attend
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz