O'Brien Nurserymen is a retail nursery specializing in hosta, America's #1 selling perennial. We carry many hard to find shade perennials that compliment the hostas including lady-slippers, epimediums, asarums, etc, etc. We have extensive display gardens that feature Japanese maples, conifers, rhododendron and sunny perennials as well as the shade perennials. We look forward to your visit.
11 Questions for a Granby Farmer
Each month, the Granby Drummer publishes an interview with a local farmer from our town. Read on to lean more!
1)How did you get started in farming? My folks had a half-acre vegetable garden and I was a weeder. So, you’ll notice I barely have a vegetable garden now! I moved hay bales for farmers as a kid, and then when I was 15, I got hired at a nursery in our hometown of Shelburne, VT. I worked there through college, and the more I learned, the more I liked.
2)What's your favorite product/service that you produce? Plants, plants and more plants! Which one? That depends on the day of the week or the month of the year – it sure makes my job fun! During the 6 month growing season, my favorite changes from week to week. Right now, it’s Hosta ‘Stained Glass,’ which has a gold center with a green edge, a fragrant flower, and it sun tolerant.
3)What will your farm look like in ten years? Bigger, better, and everything will be older. This week, I pruned a 25-year-old Japanese white pine and removed about half of the lower part of the plant. It’s gone from a shrub that served as screening in the yard to a real, open tree. I never know what it’s going to look like, but I always know that it’s good to do the pruning. So, the farm in 10 years? I can’t wait to see!
4)How does the community benefit from agriculture? It’s just good to have your hands in the soil. I am amazed by how many 90-year-old hosta growers there are across the country. It keeps you young!
5)From whom did you learn the most when you were getting started? The folks at Gardenside Nursery in Shelburne, VT were my mentors.
6)What do you wish more people knew about farming? How rewarding it is.
7)What's on your farm's wish list? Rain 3 nights a week and sunny days, particularly on weekends. Imagine what we could do with Mother Nature’s cooperation.
8)What's the biggest issue facing agriculture today? Restrictions on the access to water. It’s not as big an issue in this part of the country, but it is becoming one.
9)What's next at your farm? It’s time to plant the new garden, down across the pond. I’ve cut down 11 Acer rubrum (red maples) to let in more light and lessen the root competition. The soil is good and I can’t wait to work it.
10)What's the most amazing thing you've seen on your farm? That, too, depends on the day of the week! Last week, I saw a painted turtle in the front yard that just came up from the pond – it still had duckweed on it. The other night, I was walking near the barn and a hummingbird came flying around the corner, at me. He stopped on a dime and we were eye-to-eye for about 6 seconds, when he finally decided I was in his way and he flew around me. Then there are the piliated woodpeckers, the Baltimore Orioles that sun themselves in the treetops in early spring before the leaves come out, the 11 painted turtles on the edge of the pond, the coyote I saw through the field… the more you do, the more you see, the better it gets.
11) What's the best thing about farming in Granby? It’s a great location. The people here are great, and it’s easy for those who aren’t close by to get here from Boston, Albany, New York, Providence, and Vermont.