Born in Taiwan, Endeavour and his brother were sent to the U.S. to live with relatives and work in their restaurant. Their parents hoped immigrating to America would offer more opportunities for their children, but working in the restaurant by day and sleeping on the floor there at night was a tough life. Endeavour’s relatives renamed him from the Taiwanese name he was born with, Shen Yen Ting, to Jeff.

When he enlisted with the Navy at 21 years old, Endeavour was given the opportunity to choose his own name. Inspired by the book he was reading about James Cook and his ship, named the HMS Endeavour, he chose a name and gained U.S. citizenship. He deployed in support of OIF and spent 8 months off the coast of Iraq, working up to 20 hours a day.

Endeavour took a class at Archi’s Acres in 2015 and began growing hydroponic basil, while continuing to work as an accountant and real estate agent. In 2016, Endeavour purchased an established orchid business from a grower who was retiring after 30 years. Now Endeavour, his wife Debra and their two kids, run South Coast Orchids and Sundial Farms under the Homegrown By Heroes label with the help of 12 employees, some of whom are also veterans.

FVC awarded Endeavour a Fellowship in 2018, which he used to purchase pumps for his hydroponic system (see the photo of Endeavour smiling in front of his new pumps, looking “pumped”). He also used his award to buy supplies to build a prototype seeder, which improves the efficiency and accuracy of seeding the 128 cell trays.