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Gabby introduces children to life on the farm

In this Cultivate feature we visit Gabby’s Farm near Eden Mills where TVOKids has been shooting an educational children’s show about farming with six-year-old host Gabby

EDEN MILLS – Life on the farm can come with a lot of hard work but it can also be a lot of fun. Just ask Gabby, the six-year-old host of Gabby’s Farm, a new TVOKids educational program premiering May 17 on TVO.

“Some kids will think it is really fun and it is pretty fun because there are some games in this show,” said Gabby. “My favourite parts so far, were when we got to slingshot tiny pumpkins and the obstacle course with goats. We also went through a maze and a field of sunflowers.”

The show follows Gabby as she visits the animals and does her daily chores on her family’s farm near Eden Mills.

“I collect the eggs,” she said. “I wash the eggs. I feed the lambs a bottle. We have nine lambs. We have cows, boy cows, sheep, lambs, chickens, a horse and we have two dogs, Oakley and Maggie.” 

She has also visited farms throughout Wellington County including Strom’s Farm & Bakery west of Guelph, Mapletwiss Farm in Kenilworth, Heartwood Farm & Cidery in Erin, River’s Edge Goat Dairy in Arthur and Elliot Tree Farm in Erin.  

“We have about five more shows to shoot,” said show producer Chloe Gray from BGM Sphere Media. “There will be 30 episodes and it is a mix of Gabby’s farm and neighbouring farms with different kinds of agriculture. Tomorrow morning, we have an early start because we’re visiting a dairy farm.”

Gabby is the youngest of four siblings, with some family members, including her father Michael and mother Tanya, featured in the series.

By request, Gabby’s last name has not been published to protect her and her family’s privacy.

“I have two sisters and also I have a brother named Thomas and he is 12,” she said. “My sister and Thomas are always very stinky because they are on the tractor.”

Thomas, who Gabby affectionally calls Tommy Boy, is featured in the very first episode with Gabby collecting eggs and caring for the chickens.

“They filmed her combining wheat with her dad,” said Tanya. “They’ve done corn silage and sheared the sheep here at the farm.”

Gabby’s charm, intelligence and passion for farm life made her an ideal choice to host the show that is made for a pre-school audience.

“We did have a whole bunch of auditions with different kids and then narrowed it down,” said Gray.  “The first time we came to visit Gabby she climbed the fence into the sheep and was running around playing with them and calling to us, ‘Come with me. Let me show you the sheep.’ We knew right away she was the one for the show.” 

Gabby’s Farm will be accompanied by 20 episodes of a short-form series called Count with Gabby where the young host uses her math skills to explore and count the animals on the the farm.

After a year of working in television, Gabby considers herself a bit of an industry veteran but giggles at the idea of being a celebrity.

“I was five when I started this,” she said. “I’m not really sure what a celebrity is, but I am excited to see myself on tv.”

Her mother said Gabby has already been asked to sign autographs and was kidding her about becoming a household name.

“Go watch Gabby, that’s what the moms and dads will say to their kids,” said Tanya. “You just wait until somebody sees you and says, ‘That looks like Gabby from Gabby’s Farm.’”

She hopes the show will help her reconnect with her friends and classmates at Harris Mills Public School in Rockwood.

“Most of my friends know about the show,” said Gabby. “Some of my friends don’t because I never see them. They probably don’t even remember me now, but they will remember me on May 17.”