ASH ABEYTA (she/her)

Ash has been farming for 9 seasons on farms not her own. She was in culinary school and wanted to have a better understanding of local food, so she began interning at a 15 acre CSA farm and worked her way up over the years to managing the farm. She has then gone on to work in hydroponic greenhouse production, and now farms at a diversified vegetable farm in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

I am a fiercely proud New Mexican, but along with my New Mexican pride I also carry some shame about my Hispanic heritage. My dad’s side of my family is Hispanic (of Spanish origin) and my mom’s roots are Latinx and Hispanic. My family has lived in New Mexico for 300 years, and I am acutely aware that some of my ancestors were colonizers. They took land that never was theirs to take. I carry deep shame about that. In some ways I think that’s why I want to take care of the land that I farm on… to in some small way give back for what we have taken.

I’VE MET MY BEST FRIENDS FARMING. I LOVE KNOWING THAT I’M GIVING BACK TO MY COMMUNITY AND THERE ARE NO STRONGER BONDS MADE THAN THROUGH SHOVELING KNEE HIGH CHICKEN SHIT OUT OF A 102 DEGREE BARN.

You could say i’ve struggled with my gender identity through the years. i definitely present very masculine in my appearance. androgynous and non binary are words that people have used to describe me. most cis people assume i’m a guy when we first meet and most queer people assume i’m a trans man. I’VE ALWAYS IDENTIFIED AS A BUTCH LESBIAN.

It’s actually kind of nice in farming world because it’s a pretty male dominated field. Most cis men tend to respect my opinion more if they assume I’m also of the male variety. Later when they figure out I’m not a dude I generally already have their respect.
Fucking patriarchy, am I right?

On past farms, I’ve run into problems with farm owners not respecting my experience or my opinion. It’s difficult for farm owners to let go of the reins. They think they know what is best for the crew even though they don’t spend as much time managing the people that work for them or doing the work that the crew does all day. I feel like sometimes they think that they know everything that is going on in their company, but they forget the day to day things and that has been a challenge to communicate.