Monday, January 31, 2011

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 to donate.
Or copy this link:

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)

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.

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.

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