Who Are Your Farmers? — Abby

Abby Getman — Planting & Production Manager in Granby

Abby is in charge of the fields and greenhouses, from seeds to weeds.  The Granby farm produced most of the early season crops, like the first successions of cucumbers, melons and tomatoes, as well as the majority of storage items like sweet potatoes, onions and cabbage.

In the Spring, you could find Abby in the greenhouses, banging out tray upon tray of onions, cucurbits or micro-seeding all of those exotic heirloom tomatoes!  These days, there’s a lot of bulk harvesting going on, so she’s usually found on a tractor or in the field with the crew, bringing in the bounty.


How did you get into farming?  I grew up on my family’s small farm in Northern Connecticut.  My great-grandparents bought the land when they came over from Lithuania and worked in the textile mill down the street.  My mother spent her summers growing up there, so she convinced my dad to buy the farm and they’ve been farming the land for the past 28 years.  My mom got my sister and I into vegetables by forbidding us to go into the garden, so we’d snack on carrots, peppers and spinach when she wasn’t looking. Cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas were prime targets, and to this day she claims that she never got to eat a ripe pea pod until we were in high school and too busy to ravage the garden.

I was the weird kid who brought sandwiches of whole wheat bread with leftover ham (not deli sliced) and lettuce to school. I’m glad that kind of whole, local eating has become increasingly popular! Being a farm kid, or eating local and organic wasn’t that cool when I was growing up. Staples of my childhood were  broccoli, macaroni and cheese with fresh goat’s milk (yes, straight from the udder), home made sausage and eggs from our chickens. I took all of that healthful food for granted until I was studying Human Rights abroad and kept seeing major food security issues permeating the societies I was studying and living in.  Seeing, experiencing and reporting on those issues made me realize my skills as a farmer were needed much more on the farm than off.  Having grown up on the land, I also crave a certain connection to my food. Finding the amount of productivity and satisfaction from your daily labor can be hard to find in a lot of jobs these days, and the rewards of farming are so delicious!


What role does farming play in the rest of your life?  I see farming as a meaningful lifestyle.  I’ve always been involved in growing my own food, be it from bottle feeding calves or staking tomato plants, and I know that growing food suits me.  It combines the essential elements of being active, eating well, and living seasonally.  I expect to be able to share my connection with the land when I have my own family someday.


What’s your favorite vegetable? How do you cook with it?  I don’t have just one, but I always love the “first” of every season.  The first cucumber of the season, pepper, or melon, it all depends. We just started harvesting parsnips, so I would have to say I’m digging them right now, ha! Parsnips are one of the crops I spent a lot of time on the tractor cultivating, so I’m enjoying their sweet, peculiar taste.  I love making parsnip fries with olive oil, garlic and rosemary, or adding them to a hearty soup.


What do you like to do when you’re not farming?  I enjoy all of the requisite New England activities, especially those I can do with my dog Lucy; she’s the best hiking partner!  I love biking, reading and enjoy making incredible feasts with my housemates and friends. Right now, much of my off-farm time is consumed by school; I’m taking a couple night classes and considering perusing an alternative healing degree.  I want a career that will keep me involved in nutrition and health, while allowing me to have my own small farm someday.




Abby with Hamida in front of the Granby Farmstand.