Allen Farms was started in 1987 by Debra Barrett. Deb was previously a home economics teacher before embarking on her farming career, with degrees in food science and nutrition, home economics and textile design from the University of Rhode Island.
In May of 1987, upon the birth of her first child, Emily, Deb decided to utilize her surrounding acreage to start an organic farm. Deb wanted to be close to her children while they were growing up and with a passion for growing and quality of life starting the farm was the ideal solution for her.
Having young children around the farm and produce, Debra did not want to expose them to the various chemicals that are used in traditional farming practices, so she went organic. Striving to raise her children in a healthy, organic manner, Deb started with one greenhouse where she started growing a variety of herbs and greens. As time went on and her children were getting older, Deb was able to devote more time into her passion and expand the farm. With help from her family, children, and close friends Deb was able to work the farm and establish it from the roots up.