Monday, January 31, 2011

Farm Update - January 28th, 2011













Pete's Musings

We have heard from so many of you in the past two weeks. Thanks for your supportive words and for letting us know why our work is important. We are going to come out of this fire stronger, a better farm with a clearer sense of purpose.

To share members:
So many of you have been generous and have donated the remaining value of your CSA share to the farm. Others of you have asked for credit towards a future share and others have requested a refund. I know this is not a small amount of money and I appreciate the careful consideration many of you took in making the decision.

We have been overwhelmed by the fundraising efforts of the Vermont community towards rebuilding our barn. The level of support is well beyond what I would have predicted. We are accepting this money as we were underinsured and we need it to rebuild. But we have committed to "pay it forward". In 2-3 years time when we are back on stable financial ground we'll pay forward the money that has been donated to a special fund to support Vermont agriculture. We
haven't figured out the specifics but the fund might support farm disaster relief, farm to school programs, or a small farm lending program. This money has been donated with such care and thought that we want it to circulate through the Vermont farm community many more times.

We hope that you will consider signing up for our June-October Good Eats Share. We will be put back together by then and expect it to be our best summer share ever. Best ~ Pete




Donate to the Rebuild the Barn Fund.




Or visit
www.petesgreens.com to donate.

Or copy this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LGPK54ZZPQ2K4

Checks can be mailed to:
Pete's Greens Rebuild the Barn Fund
266 S. Craftsbury Rd
Crafstbury, VT 05826







Tax Deductible Donations

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you must give through a non profit.

Both NOFA-VT and the Center for an Agricutural Economy have established Farm Emergency Funds and are accepting donations now. Pete's Greens can apply for these funds.

ssa Jacobs)


Pete talks with WDEV's Mark Johnson

Pete and Robin McDermott talked with WDEV's Mark Johnson on Wednesday about the fire, the response from the community, and the Pete's concept of treating the communities generous donations as a loan and "paying it forward".

Listen to a podcast of the interview.


Hug Your Farmer
Benefit Concert at Higher Ground Feb 3rd

*with special guests Jon Fishman and Page McConnell

Tickets go on sale today at 11:00 am!

Click here for tickets


Immediately following the fire, the good people at Select Design in Burlington and Love Tomorrow Today pow wowed with Alex at Higher Ground and folks at Healthy Living to brainstorm a fundraiser for the barn.

The resulting all-star jam session brings together Vermont's local music scene including Russ Lawton and Ray Paczkowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Bob Wagner, Clint Bierman and Peter Day (The Grift), Rich Price (The Sweet Remains), Jer Coons, Joshua Panda, Michael Clifford and Matt Hagen (Lendway), Will Evans (Barefoot Truth) and special guests Jon Fishman and Page McConnell of Phish.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 day of show.
100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the rebuild.

Love Tomorrow Today's interview with Pete May 2010

Rich Price from Love Tomorrow Today worked hard to pull together the concert at Higher Ground. Rich met Pete back in May when LTT came to the farm for an interview. Pete talks about the farm, the greenhouses, the CSA model and making the choice to eat locally or organically.

Click here to watch

Love Tomorrow Today's mission is to bring innovative ideas together in order to inspire people to make small changes in their lives toward sustainability.



Fundraisers


The Bid for the Barn auction is going great with lots of amazing donations still coming in, including Celts tics, Benefit concert tics, Farm dinners and tours, and lots of very unique items and opportunities. The bidding ends at 10:00 am Sunday January 30th. For those of you who have your hearts set on a specific item on the auction, be sure to go to the BidfortheBarn.org website on Saturday. There will be important tips for how to plan your bidding strategy so that you are not disappointed. The Bid for the Barn folks are also adding more items today. The best way to keep up with the latest news about the auction is to “Like” Bid for the Barn on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/bidforthebarn). Check it out soon!

Gardeners Supply's Williston and Burlington stores are matching donations made at the stores toward the barn dollar for dollar, up to $2000.

Juniper Moon Farm, a wool farm and participant in the knitting, wool, yard community has gathered wool and knitting related prizes with donations made going to the barm. Pretty cool.

Applecheek Farm is hosting a dinner at their farm featuring a nearly all local menu and music on Feb 4th.

Onion River Sports is donating the proceeds from their annual Frozen Onion Bike Race, a bike race that takes place on the Nordic ski trails at the Morse Farm. The race takes place Feb 6th.

The Vermont College of Fine Arts is hosting a contra dance in their gymnasium on Feb 12th to benefit an emergency fund for organic farmers such as Pete's Greens in Craftsbury, which lost a barn to fire.

The Highland Lodge in Greensboro will host a fundraising dinner on March 5th. Pete will attend to talk about farming.

Claire's Restaurant in Hardwick will host a dinner, passing the hat, on St. Patrick's Day March 17th.

Photographer Jordan Silverman is selling some beautiful prints of the farm to raise money for the rebuild.

There are more folks putting fundraisers together and we'll keep you updated as we know about dates of events. If you are considering an event and need to coordinate with someone at the farm, please contact Melissa.

Note to Fall/Winter Members
Re: Share Credits, Refunds or Donations

If you haven't heard from me yet, I apologize. I am making it through a good number of emails each day, but between my other tasks at the farm, it's not been as fast as I would like. I should make some headway in the next few days!

If you need a refund and need it quickly, please email again so that I can get that done for you. And if you have not emailed me yet about what to do with your remaining fall/winter funds, please do.

I need to know whether you would like to donate your share funds to the rebuild, have them retained as a credit for a future share, or have them refunded. Meat shares too. I can also donate a portion/credit a portion/refund a portion. And I can split between share members.

NO need to email me again if you have already done so! (unless you need a quick refund)




Good Eats Spring Share

As much as we'd like to begin offering the Spring Share RIGHT NOW, we need to regroup and make sure we can deliver on any promises we make.

We hope to begin delivering a modified Good Eats share by mid April. We'll be sending another email about a Spring Share sign-up as soon as we are able.

G
ood Eats Summer Share
We expect the Summer Share to begin on June 22nd and to run the full 17 weeks til October 12th. By then our shares should have returned to their full diversity.

We are offering four share types for the Summer.
Sign Up Now!



The Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $748 for the 17 week period ($44/week)



The Veggie Only Share - same vegetables that Localvore members receive, but no local staples. $476 ($28/week).

Pete's Pantry Share - brings you NO vegetables, just the same local staples included in the Localvore share. This share costs $272 for 17 weeks ($16/wk)



The Meat Share brings you a MONTHLY selection of local meats. The Meat Share features our own chicken and our own pork with beef and lamb from other producers we know and love (and who are excellent stewards of their animals and their land). $199 for four deliveries, one delivery at the start of each month of the four month share period.
 


Visit our website for more details or to download a sign-up form.

Farm Update - January 21st, 2011














Pete's Musings

It's been an interesting, emotional, and crazy 9 days since our barn burned. I find myself missing the barn as a friend, she was graceful and pretty and full of good food. And there is a huge hole in the skyline of the farm, that is hard to get used to. Thanks to Steve, Isaac, Ben, Paul, and Lucas who got the mess cleaned up in record time and to our faithful neighbor and friend 81 year old Greg Williams who came 5 days in a row to root through the rubble. Greg made a goal for each day and one night had us working in the dark because we had to finish the corner he'd decided must be finished that day. Thanks to the Schulz family for the use of their excavator and to all our neighbors who kept us fed the past few days.


What next? We are working hard to plan for a new facility. This has already included visits to Quebec and around Vermont. We need to build quickly but we need to build correctly, producing a facility that will be an efficient aid to growing, washing, and storing produce.


We have heard from so many of you and I can't express how powerful your support is. Thanks for the checks that will help us get up and rolling quickly and thanks for the heartfelt and encouraging words. We did not realize how many people our work touched and I know that your encouragement will cause us to do even better work in the future. Best ~ Pete


Donate to the Rebuild the Barn Fund.




Or visit
www.petesgreens.com to donate.
Or copy this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LGPK54ZZPQ2K4


Checks can be mailed to:
Pete's Greens
Rebuild the Barn Fund
266 S. Craftsbury Rd
Crafstbury, VT 05826








Tax Deductible Donations

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you must give through a non profit.

Both NOFA-VT and the Center for an Agricutural Economy have established Farm Emergency Funds and are accepting donations now. Pete's Greens can apply for these funds.


The Crew at the Farm (Photo November 2010)




















Back Row: Pete Johnson, Paul Lisai, Steve Perkins, Deb Rosewolf, Tim Fishburne, Ben Uris, Annie Myers Front Row: Amy Skelton, Isaac Jacobs, Caroline Glover (Inset: Melissa Jacobs)


Fundraisers
Photographer Jordan Silverman is selling some beautiful prints of the farm to raise money for the rebuild.

City Market in Burlington is generously donating 1% of their store sales to the farm Jan 20-23rd.

The Mad River Valley Localvore Project have pulled together a fabulous silent auction featuring very special, unique dining experiences and other cool stuff. Bid for the Barn begins January 23d (through Jan 30).

Craftsbury Outdoor Center will host a BLK ski race at (new time!) 2:00 pm. on Saturday January 22nd complete with 2K skate race, lollipop race, treasure hunt for kids, ribbons and hot chocolate for all.

At Sterling College at Craftsbury Common a Contra Dance Benefit will be held in Dunbar Hall at 6:30 PM on Saturday January 22nd. This event has been created as a way for local kids who, through the Farm to School Program, have built a connection with Pete's Greens. Great kids event following a fun day at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Amercian Flatbread (all restaurants)will be hosting a fundraiser on Thursday January 27th where a portion of all flatbread sales will go to the farm.

Applecheek Farm is hosting a dinner at their farm on Feb 4th.

Onion River Sports is donating the proceeds from their annual Frozen Onion Bike Race, a bike race that takes place on the Nordic ski trails at the Morse Farm. The race takes place Feb 6th.

The Highland Lodge in Greensboro will host a fundraising dinner on March 12th. Pete will attend to talk about farming.

Claire's Restaurant in Hardwick will host a dinner, passing the hat, on St. Patrick's Day March 17th.

There are more folks putting fundraisers together and we'll keep you updated as we know about dates of events. If you are considering an event and need to coordinate with someone at the farm, please contact Melissa.

Meanwhile at the Farm
While Pete and Isaac try to nail down what to rebuild and work through all the questions that arise when considering any construction project, Melissa and I are working away keeping track of everything else. It's been kind of a crazy week. I don't think any of us have paused for a minute since the fire.

The clean up began the following day and finished in 5 days (!). Most of our crew are now resting up at home for a while until there's work again. Tim was able to find wholesale buyers for Deb's eggs, thank goodness. The girls at Pa Pa Doodles Farm were not about to take a break from laying.

Melissa has been holding down the fort at the farm, answering phones, keeping track of donations, helping folks who want to have a fundraiser, helping Pete and Isaac put together lists of lost items for our insurance company and generally keeping us organized. I have been looking into various means of funding the rebuild, including various types of Ag loans and grants. I am just on the other side of the work I had to do immediately following the fire and can now move on to responding to Good Eats members.

In the midst of all this, we are also gearing up for Spring. We expect to begin to have greens for wholesale by the end of March. We expect to have enough variety of crops to be able to be able to offer a modified Spring Share by mid April.

The New Building
Many of you probably wonder what kind of building Pete is dreaming up. Although we long for the nostalgia and beauty of putting a new wood frame barn where the old one was, the reality is that we will be building something much different. What we build will probably be constructed of lots of concrete and steel and will probaby be partially underground/built into a hillside. Since what we grow a lot of at the farm is roots and storage crops what we really need is a giant energy efficient root cellar! So something built into a hillside is logical and efficient.

We are still in planning stages, learning all we can from seeing other buildings. Along with the efficiency gained from in ground construction, we also hope to incorporate renewable energy. Another major consideration is to build this structure so that we can use fork lifts to move crates of food around, rather than people. In the old barn the roof was so low that fork lifts weren't practical. All the many thousands of tons that passed through each year were moved around by people power. It's a work in progress, but we will have to nail it down in the coming weeks. We hope to break ground in March and we will have lots of design and planning to do before then.

Fundraising Efforts Thus Far
Let me just say that the response from all of you and our community has been incredible. So far, through our website paypal link, we have raised almost $22000. V-PIRG sent a blast out to their membership list and raised nearly $7000. We have received another approximately $7000 in individual check donations that have been mailed to the farm. There was a fantastic turnout at the Craftsbury Community Dinner and Art sale held Wednesday night and the event raised nearly $3700! The same night Parima in Burlington held Mildred Moody's Full Moon Masquerade in Burlington and raised over $400.

Good Eats Fall/Winter Share Credits, Refunds or Donations
By now I have heard from most of you regarding what to do with your remaining Fall/Winter Share funds. If you have not heard back from me, fear not. I will get to you. It's just taking time.

If you have not emailed me yet about your spring share funds, please do. I just need to know whether you would like to donate them to the rebuild, have them retained as a credit for a future share, or have them refunded. Meat shares too. I can also donate a portion/credit a portion/refund a portion. NO need to email me again if you have already done so!



Good Eats Spring Share

As much as we'd like to begin offering the Spring Share RIGHT NOW, we need to regroup and make sure we can deliver on any promises we make.

We hope to begin delivering a modified Good Eats share by mid April. We'll be sending another email about a Spring Share sign-up as soon as we are able.

G
ood Eats Summer Share
We expect the Summer Share to begin on June 22nd and to run the full 17 weeks til October 12th. By then our shares should have returned to their full diversity.

We are offering four share types for the Summer.
Sign Up Now!



The Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $748 for the 17 week period ($44/week)



The Veggie Only Share - same vegetables that Localvore members receive, but no local staples. $476 ($28/week).

Pete's Pantry Share - brings you NO vegetables, just the same local staples included in the Localvore share. This share costs $272 for 17 weeks ($16/wk)



The Meat Share brings you a MONTHLY selection of local meats. The Meat Share features our own chicken and our own pork with beef and lamb from other producers we know and love (and who are excellent stewards of their animals and their land). $199 for four deliveries, one delivery at the start of each month of the four month share period.
 


Visit our website for more details or to download a sign-up form.

Fire at the Farm/We Will Rebuild - Jan 15, 2011

Fire at the Farm - January 12th, 2011


Wow, what a day we had Wednesday.

Our delivery truck leaves very early on Wednesdays to deliver produce and localvore goods to Good Eats drop sites, stores, and restaurants as far away as Burlington. I was up at 2:30 a.m. to help load the truck and Tim set off at 3 am to make the deliveries. I returned to the house and my warm bed. At 4:20 a.m. I thought I heard a truck in the driveway and noticed that the house windows were glowing orange. I got up to investigate and the whole front of the barn was engulfed in flames.



The barn housed our washhouse, vegetable coolers, vegetable washing and packing equipment, walk in freezer, and tons of supplies. Upstairs lived 2 tractors, many implements, and lots more supplies. It burned fast and was actually calming down by the time the fire department arrived. It is a helpless feeling to stand and watch the heart of your business and a beautiful old barn go up in smoke.



There's no way to sugarcoat the fact that we clearly did not have enough insurance for the barn and all that it contained. We set values on the barn and contents a while ago. Since then, additions have been built, walk in coolers and freezers added, and much processing equipment added to the washhouse. We had been building a new large addition to the barn and that too had not yet been added to the policy. The end result is that we were insured for only about 50% of the replacement value of the building and equipment. Unfortunately the $250,000 worth of stored produce and frozen meat was not insured at all.



The tears were flowing at the farm yesterday. From employees who have spent years building and remodeling the barn to those for whom the washhouse was like a second home it was an emotional day for us all. I found myself not tearful about the fact that the building burned but choking up by the overwhelming support that came our way. We have heard from so many folks, people who support what we do and want us to keep doing it. We are already making plans to rebuild.

It will take months to get us back on track, but we are looking ahead to our spring planting and producing food again. I am very uncomfortable asking for and receiving financial help but we do need it and I really appreciate your support ~ Pete












The Fire - 4:38 AM, 5:20 AM, 8:20 AM


Donate to the Rebuild the Barn Fund.




Or visit
www.petesgreens.com to donate.
Or copy this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LGPK54ZZPQ2K4

Checks can be mailed to:

Pete's Greens
Rebuild the Barn Fund
266 S. Craftsbury Rd
Crafstbury, VT 05826


















The washhouse, before the fire. Steve washes potatoes in the barrel washer. Deb rinses greens in the tank.


We are grateful for our community

By 6:00 in the morning, the morning of the fire, neighbors were bringing food to the farm and that continues. I have been unable to answer all of the supportive letters I have received from people over the last several days. Offers of assistance and physical labor continue to come in. This response from all of you has been amazing and though we have been unable to respond to you all, know that we are hearing your thoughts and that they are energizing us all. Thank you. ~Amy


Fundraisers
In the coming days and weeks there will be a number of fundraisers happening to raise money for the new barn. These are the ones I know about at this point:

Kismet is selling a very special Pete's Greens soup.

Photographer Jordan Silverman is selling some beautiful prints of the farm to raise fund for the rebuild.

January 19th - The United Church of Craftsbury, the Art House, Stardust Books & Café, and the entire community of Craftsbury will hold a benefit supper and art sale on Wednesday, January 19 at 6:00 PM at the United Church of Craftsbury, in Craftsbury Common.

Juniper's Restaurant in Lyndonville will hold a fundraising dinner on Thursday January 20th.

The Mad River Valley Localvore Project will be holding a Bid for the Barn Silent Auction on January 21st.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center will host a BLK ski race at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday January 22nd complete with 2K skate race, lollipop race, treasure hunt for kids, ribbons and hot chocolate for all.

Amercian Flatbread (all restaurants)will be hosting a fundraiser on Thursday Jan 27th where a portion of all flatbread sales will go to the farm.

Applecheek Farm is hosting a dinner at their farm on Feb 4th.

There are more folks putting fundraisers together and we'll keep you updated as we know about dates of events. If you are considering an event and need to coordinate with someone at the farm, please contact Melissa.


Offers of Labor and Services

Many of you have offered to come up to the farm for an old fashioned barn buildin'. It's too early for that just yet. We could use help right now with heavy equipment however.

When we begin work on the building we will send word to you all. I know we have heard from many carpenters and we can envision having a great framing party, or a siding party. There's some chance we may send out a call next week for 10 able bodied folks to help with the last of the clean up after all the big pieces of charred remains are cleared away.

If you happen to have an excavator hanging around and time on your hands, please email Melissa. And if you are a carpenter or would like to be involved in a work party and want to be notified directly when we hold one, please email Melissa.

















Ben, Isaac and Paul clear debris yesterday, while Steve manned the excavator


New Facebook Page, new Twitter Account

I have been meaning to get more active with these media and seems like now is a good time. This week we created a new facebok biness page. I hope you will all visit and like us and that it will be a good way to quickly share news updates. Have also started a Twitter account so you can follow the news there too.

Good Eats Fall/Winter Share has ended prematurely
Due to the fact that all our harvested crops and meats were burned up in the fire, we will not be able to continue delivering shares for the remaining 5 weeks of the Fall/Winter Share. Please contact me to let me know how you would like me to handle the funds that remain on your account. You may ask for a refund, or we could retain a credit on your account toward the next share, or you could donate remaining funds to the rebuild effort.


Good Eats Spring Share

As much as we'd like to begin offering the Spring Share RIGHT NOW, we need to regroup and make sure we can deliver on any promises we make.

We hope to begin delivering a modified Good Eats share by mid April. We'll be sending another email about a Spring Share sign-up as soon as we are able.

G
ood Eats Summer Share
We expect the Summer Share to begin on June 22nd and to run the full 17 weeks til October 12th. By then our shares should have returned to their full diversity.

We are offering four share types for the Summer.
Sign Up Now!



The Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $748 for the 17 week period ($44/week)



The Veggie Only Share - same vegetables that Localvore members receive, but no local staples. $476 ($28/week).

Pete's Pantry Share - brings you NO vegetables, just the same local staples included in the Localvore share. This share costs $272 for 17 weeks ($16/wk)



The Meat Share brings you a MONTHLY selection of local meats. The Meat Share features our own chicken and our own pork with beef and lamb from other producers we know and love (and who are excellent stewards of their animals and their land). $199 for four deliveries, one delivery at the start of each month of the four month share period.
 


Visit our website for more details or to download a sign-up form.















Before and After

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - January 5th, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Russet Potatoes; Gilfeather Turnips; Orange Carrots; Cippolini Onions; Bag of Claytonia Greens...

Frozen Squash Puree
Pete's Greens Pesto


Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Bread
Elmer Farm Black Beans
Butterworks Farm Wheat Berries
Taylor Farm Gouda Cheese

THIS IS A MEAT SHARE WEEK!

Meat Share members take note: we are now labeling meat shares with share member's name on each purple meat share bag. Please be careful to look for and take only your meat share.

On to Holland
I spent much of my childhood in Washington State in a town settled by the Dutch. We used to have a family joke "if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much". That pretty well sums up the Dutch greenhouse industry and the Dutch attitude about the Dutch greenhouse industry. The Dutch believe that all greenhouse innovation originates in Holland and flows to the rest of the world. While they are innovative, I was struck that they are innovative in the same way that very large California vegetable growers are innovative. They are excellent at what they do but have not really considered many alternatives to what they do. The Dutch greenhouse scale is astounding. 25,000 acres of glass greenhouse in the country, most of it concentrated in 3 or 4 towns. Those towns are a sea of glass.


After my 3 days in Iceland I arrived in Holland greeted by 5 inches of new snow. The plan was to bike in Holland as well and I wasn't sure how it would go in the snow. I had relatively smooth, skinny tires, not the best for traction, and cautiously set out from the airport. Soon I was being passed by Dutch grandmothers on their single speed cruising bikes and decided that I could bike in the snow just fine. I spent the next 5 days riding in varying conditions of snow and packed ice and while it slowed travel it really wasn't a problem.


Holland contains more bikes than people and there are bike paths everywhere. At first I thought it was the greatest thing to be riding on a path away from traffic but as the days passed I grew weary of the bike paths. While they have good signage with directions often times the bike paths don't follow roads and also don't consistently go in the direction of travel. They wind around alot. This makes it really hard to navigate by sense of direction or by trying to follow a road that you know is going the proper direction. I had to be constantly alert in order to not miss bike path signs and sometimes they were covered with snow. To make it more difficult you are forbidden to ride your bike on many main roads and the Dutch take bike laws seriously. By the end of the trip I longed for Route 100, cars rushing by my side, being sure of where I was going.


The Dutch organic greenhouse vegetable industry is very small. There are only about 5 operations of significant scale in the whole country and I was able to visit 3 of them. The one most similar to what we do is owned by a guy named Rob who has about 2 acres of greenhouse in which he grows peppers and cukes in the summer and pac choi, lettuce, and mache in the winter. His greenhouse is 30 plus years old, his tools simple, his attitude very cheery with his wife and children working with him.


Then I visited Bijo, a 20 acre plus operation. They have one of the most modern greenhouses in Holland. Their goal is to be carbon neutral and towards that end they use hot air from the greenhouse peak in the summer to heat water that is pumped 600 ft down into the aquifer. The aquifer is heated all summer and then the warm aquifer water is used to heat the greenhouse in the winter. It is really cool, pretty high tech, big investment, but offers a good payback and greatly reduces natural gas consumption. They grow baby greens (one of the few baby greens operations in Holland) tomatoes, peppers and cukes.


We have alot more to learn from the Dutch. They operate with great precision, are anal about order and tidiness, have excellent tools and equipment. But it was discouraging to see how little organic production is going on there - and most of it is not even sold in Holland. It seems the Dutch consumer has not yet caught the organic bug. ~ Pete





























Storage and Use Tips


Gilfeather Turnip - In the late 1800's Wardboro, VT native John Gilfeather either developed or discovered an unusually sweet and creamy turnip with the ability to reach a very large size without becoming woody and while retaining its sweet flavor. Fully realizing how special his turnips were, he sold them at markets throughout his lifetime - with the tops and bottoms cut off. Turnips and rutabagas both have the same seed generating ability... You can store a turnip with tap root and tops intact in a root cellar for the winter, plant it in early spring, and it will immediately go to seed, producing enough seed quickly enough to generate another crop the same season. By cutting off the tops and taproots, John assured that he was the sole marketer of the superior "turnip" and prevented it from being altered by breeding. When John died, his turnips seed made it into the hands of several of his neighbors who began to grow them. One of these folks eventually trademarked the name and registered the vegetable as an heirloom with the Vt Agency of Agriculture. In Wardsboro, an annual festival celebrates the special turnip serving up dozens of dishes featuring it. It may be roasted (delicious), used in soups and stewed, mashed with or without potatoes, and it is even good raw sliced thinly into a salad. This "turnip" may actually be a rutabaga though, as its large size (8 lb roots have been recorded) and wide taproot suggest. Turnip or rutabaga, it is truly the cream of the crop.

Frozen Squash Puree - More squash puree this week just in time for the return of cold weather (wasn't last weekend lovely?) and soup making. This puree is just pure sweet butternut squash. It can be used in many recipes calling for winter squash or pumpkin. It's fantastic for soup and making emergency pumpkin pie.

Pesto - Last summer we grew a lot of basil and stockpiled pesto for Good Eats. After much deliberation and fiddling with recipes using different oils, nuts, cheeses, we settled on a simple pesto. It is made with our own organic basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. It has no cheese or nuts. We went this direction in order to make this pesto acessible for everyone whether they were vegan or had nut sensitivities or not. If you like your pesto really garlicky, add some. Add a TB or two of your favorite pesto cheese or 1 TB of crushed pine nuts or some walnuts if you'd like. We are pulling it from the freezer for you and it may have thawed when you receive it. If you will not use it right away, refreeze it. You can just throw the whole container in the freezer, or dole it out into an ice cube tray. After the pesto cubes have frozen, pop them out and place them into a plastic bag. Then you can use just what you like when you need it.

Cippolini Onions - Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee. These are the short, disk-shaped yellow onions in your bag. Originating in Italy, cippolinis are very sweet and delicious. Try roasting some whole. Peel them, toss with a liberal amount olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375F oven for around 30 minutes, or so. Serve as a side dish. Store in a cool dark place.

Claytonia - Claytonia greens again this week. Claytonia is a cold-hardy salad green, that is also known by the name of "miner's lettuce." During the gold rush, miners foraged for the wild-growing green. It provided a rare source of fresh vitamin C during the winter, thus staving off scurvy for the hungry miners. Claytonia has a mild, but lush flavor. We love it for its ability to grow through many weeks of a Vermont winter in an unheated greenhouse.


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Beef, Pork, Chicken and Turkey Available

We have a great selection of meats available and will soon have more. We sent 5 beef off last week and hope to have the meat available in a week or so. We'll have some more of our pork soon too. Order our pastured chicken any week for $3.75/lb, or only $3.50/lb if you order 5 birds.

Meats can be delivered to your pick up sites any week except a meat share week. Order now for delivery on Jan 12, 19, or 26.

Pete's Pastured Chickens are grazed on our greens fields all summer, moved from field to field. They fertilize and aerate the fields while growing into beautiful vitamin packed table birds. We still have a few turkeys left too (only 8 left), raised in the same manner as our chickens.

In summer our pigs are raised on 20 acres of pasture on the farm. They graze and forage all day and their diet is supplemented by huge amounts of vegetables from the farm. Now that it's winter they are lounging in a barn with Paul's cows, subsisting on a local mix of corn, soybeans and haylage. Our cows have been raised on pasture in summer, and local hay supplemented with beets and soybeans in winter.

You can see and taste the difference in pastured meats. These meats have less fat, and far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals have received no hormones or medications either. This is very healthy, tasty meat.




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Localvore Lore


This is a particularly RICH localvore week! Red Hen bread, black beans, wheat berries and a beautiful cheese from Taylor Farm.

At Red Hen, Randy has been thinking of you all, planning another special offering for Good Eats...
Although we usually think of the baguette when we think of French bread, prior to the mid 1800’s, pain de campagne was the bread of pre-industrial France. The baguette is made possible by the refined flour that a roller mill produces and the leavening and flavor that can only come from commercial yeast. Since both of these things came into being in the late 1800’s the bread that was eaten in France for centuries looked and tasted (hopefully) something like what is in the share today. It was always made from stone-milled flour (usually with some of the bran sifted out), usually with as much as 10% rye flour (because most wheat fields had some rye growing in them), and was always naturally leavened (the European method of making sourdough which is much less sour that San Francisco sourdough). We’re calling this week’s bread Vermont Campagne because, although the method is French, the ingredients are from much closer to home. There is a combination of white flour from Aurora Farms by way of Champlain Valley Mills, whole wheat and stone ground sifted flour from Gleason Grains, and a little whole rye (8%) from Quebec. The scale on which the grains in this bread were grown and produced is much closer to the scale that the original pain de campagne ingredients were grown in France, so this seems like the right bread to make with this local bounty. In Europe, before mechanical mixers, people would bring their loaves to their village communal oven for baking. We’ve done it all for you today, but the bread should still last you most of the week (if you don’t eat it more quickly than that). ~ Randy

At Elmer Farm in Middlebury, Spencer and Jennifer Blackwell and their two children grow 4 acres of certified organic mixed vegetables in addition to 15 acres of black beans, winter wheat and other grains. The black beans in the share week come from Jen and Spencer. The Blackwells purchased the Elmer Farm through the Farmland Access Program of the Vermont Land Trust in 2006. Currently they grow 2 acres of black beans each season which yield 800 pounds per acre in favorable growing conditions. The beans are planted in early June and harvested with their 1970's John Deere combine in late fall after a heavy killing frost when the beans are completely dry. The combine cuts the plants and sucks them into a thresher, which separates the beans from the stems, leaves, dirt, weeds and other foreign material. The beans are then unloaded into a seed cleaner which uses fans and various-sized screens to further sort the good beans from the damaged beans, small stones and other debris. And from there the beans are hand sorted even further to produce the product you will receive this week. Please check through your beans for stones before using, you may still find a few. Also, though these beans are mostly dry, it's a good idea to open the bags and let them breath and dry further. Or transfer them to a jar and leave the lid off for a while. Or just cook them up!

The wheat berries are from Butterworks Farm. Jack Lazor grows several varieties of wheat on the farm, he is pictured at right in a field of Red Fife. Wheat berries are the unprocessed seed (or kernel) of wheat. To make flour, dried wheat berries are ground in a mill. Unsifted, you will end up with whole wheat flour. White flour is ground wheat berries with the bran and germ removed. These are the same wheat berries that were used to make the whole wheat pastry flour we sent out back in November. Instead of grinding these wheat berries, however, try cooking them. They make a great salad, pilaf, stuffing, casserole, salad garnish or substitute for rice. You can cook any kind of wheat berries. Softer wheat varieties may soften faster than hard varieties, but I think another factor is how dry the wheat berries are. Just like beans, if they have been sitting in your cupboard for 3 years they will probably take longer than those harvested 8 months ago.

At Taylor Farm, the Wright family make Vermont's only Gouda cheese and it is truly outstanding. Their Gouda is traditionally made using milk from their 50 cows on their 180 acre farm in Londonderry, VT. This cheese is great for snacking, sandwiches, and it melts beautifully for cooking.

Meat Share

This month we have four very versatile selections for you.
Pete's Pastured Chicken - Once again we have a chicken for you and this week I have included a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. Yum.
Pete's Pork Chops - These are pork chops from our pigs. Pork chops are great because you can do so many things with them. They are just waiting to be flavored up in a recipe.
Pete's or Maplewind Farm Hot Italian Sausage - most of the sausage going out this week is our own hot italian sausage from our pigs. We didn't have quite enough for everyone though so some is coming from Beth and Bruce, our friends at Maplewind Farm in Huntington. A couple of you may receive Sweet Italian. These sausages are terrific on their own but also fantastic in a pasta dish.
Applecheek Farm Veal Cutlets - John and Rocio Clark are very proud of how they run their farm and raise their animals. Their meat is all certified organic. Although not in the business of raising veal, male calves are part of the reality on their organic dairy. According to Rocio, "Our veal is raised the old fashioned way, with plenty of milk from their mothers. They nurse whenever they choose; with plenty of grass in our certified organic fields and with plenty of fresh air and sunshine. As a result, their meat is rosy pink with a robust flavor and great tenderness and is very high in nutrients. The calves are born in the spring and slaughtered in the fall." Pounded thin, coated in breadcrumbs and fried in butter, these cutlets make awesome Wiener Schnitzel. Serve them with braised cabbage and German potato salad and you'll be in Alsatian heaven. They may also be used in recipes calling for veal chops. Below I have given a classic recipe from Julia Childs.

Recipes

Zesty Wheat Berry - Black Bean Chili
Make this chili! It's delicious, I am eating it for lunch today. I put the beans in a bowl to soak last night, and cooked the wheat berries last night. I cooked the black beans for an hour this morning to soften them. And just now, in the midst of writing, I went into the kitchen and whipped up the rest in 20 minutes, with another 15 minutes to simmer it all to let the flavors meld. I didn't have the chipotle peppers but I am sure they'd be terrific, nor did I have avocado and cilantro. I did have some frozen hot peppers in freezer and added one. Top dressed with a bit of cheese and it's really good. From EatingWell March/April 2007. Makes 6 servings.



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large yellow bell pepper,chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3-4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed (from about 1/2 lb dry)

4 cups diced tomatoes or tomato puree

1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 cups cooked wheat berries (from around 3/4 cup dry)

Juice of 1 lime

1 avocado, diced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro



Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chipotle to taste, broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.


Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro.




Wheat Berry Cooking Instructions
To cook wheat berries, just put them in a pan of salted water with a ratio of 1 part wheat berries to 3 or 4 parts water. Bring them to a boil and simmer for 45-60 minutes until they are cooked and softened. Then drain. They might take a bit longer. Cooked wheat berries will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days and you can freeze them too.

Wheat Berry Salad
This is a basic recipe for a wheat berry salad from the Barefoot Contessa. I include it here as a starting point and hope that you will take all sort or liberties with it and make it your own using ingredients you have on hand. You can swap scallions out for minced onions, shallots or an onion/garlic combo. You can add some grated cabbage or turnip or radish for additional crunch.


1 cup wheat berries

Kosher salt

1 cup finely diced red onion (1 onion)

6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar

3 scallions, minced, white and green parts

1/2 red bell pepper, small diced

1 carrot, small diced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

claytonia greens



Place the wheatberries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45-60 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.


Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl, combine the warm wheatberries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheatberries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature on top of a bed of claytonia greens if you wish.

Gilfeather Turnip Soup
A simple soup. Delicious with a hunk of fresh bread on the side.

1 TB butter
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1.5 to 2 lbs gilfeather turnips, peeled and sliced
1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced.

Melt butter in a 4 qt sauce pan. On medium/low heat add onion and garlic and simmer til softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and turnip and enough vegetable broth or water to just cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes and turnips are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or in a blender. Return to the pot and add just enough milk to thin to good consistency. At this point, you can either season with salt and pepper, or add sour cream or cream fraiche and then season.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

An excellent, well reviewed recipe from Gourmet, November 1996. Yield: 9 cups


4.5 cups black beans, cooked and drained

1 cup drained canned tomatoes chopped

1 1/4 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup minced shallot

4 garlic cloves minced

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

4 cups beef broth
2 cups pumpkin (or butternut squash!) puree
1/2 cup dry Sherry

1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice

3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar


Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds


In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.


Veal Chops Braised with Herbs
This is the classic, mouthwatering preparation from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of Cooking. Veal chops or cutlets may be used in this recipe. Delicious with potatoes on the side. The recipe calls for 6 chops but you can use the same recipe for 2-3 chops. You'll have plenty of sauce!

6 veal chops or cutlets
2 TB butter and 1 TB oil, more if needed
Salt & pepper
3 TB butter, if needed
3 TB minced shallots or green onions

Optional: 1 clove of mashed garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 tsp mixed basil and thyme, or tarragon

1/4 cup stock or cream
salt and pepper
1 to 2 TB softened butter

a 10-12 inch heavy skillet or dutch oven with a lid

Dry the chops on paper towels. Heat the butter and oil in the skillet until you see that the butter foam has almost subsided, then brown the chops, two or three at a time, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. As they are done, season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

Pour all but 3 TB of fat out of the skillet. If fat has burned, pour it all out and add butter. Stir in the shallots or onions and garlic, and cook slowly for 1 minute. Then pour in wine, add the herbs, and simmer for a few minutes, scraping up the coagulated sauteing juices.

Add the chops to the pan and turn them to baste them. Then cover the skillet and simmer on low on the stove top for 15 -20 minutes, turning them 2-3 times during this time to further baste them. They are done as soon as their juices run yellow when the meat is pierced with a fork.

Remove the chops to a hot platter. Add the stock or cream to the skillet and boil rapidly for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Correct the seasoning. Off the heat, swirl in butter by bits. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve.

Chicken and Dumplings

Comfort food at its very best. Adapted from Epicurious.com. Use a wide pot so the dumplings don't stick together. Serves 6.



For the soup

2 tablespoons sunflower oil, bacon fat or olive oil

1 (3-4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces

1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 medium turnips, cut into large chunks

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
shoots



For the dumplings

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 3/4 cups heavy cream



Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, then brown them in the oil over medium heat, about 2 minutes a side. Remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, turnip, bay leaf, thyme, turmeric, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the stock. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the first five dumpling ingredients. Add the cream and mix until just combined. Drop about 12 heaping tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into the pot. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes more. To serve, scoop the dumplings and chicken into bowls, then cover with broth. Garnish with the shoots.