Monday, January 31, 2011

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 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

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

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.

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

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