Going Organic: Childhood Garden Sowed Seeds of Rootbound Farm
Ben Abell didn’t grow up on a farm. He grew up in Frankfort, with a lawyer father and a stay-at-home mom.
But days spent with his family in a large family garden — “we would put away tons of green beans, tomatoes, pickles, pickled peppers,” he recalls — imprinted on young Ben, and started his passion for growing food. He joined the Future Farmers of America club at his high school, whose progressive advisor taught food production and diversification.
From there, Abell went to study natural resources management at the University of Kentucky and cobbled together a degree that included agriculture classes, mingling the two. Those were the days before the university started its Sustainable Agriculture program.
After graduating, Abell went to work for a nearby farm that grew certified organic produce for consumer markets, but also grew wholesale vegetables conventionally, allowing Abell to develop skills in both.