Friday, February 25, 2011

Pete's Greens Outlines Plans to Reinvest Donated Funds

Owner Pete Johnson says community support will inform and inspire their work for years to come.
Destroyed barn was heart of farm operation.

Craftsbury, VT., February 22, 2011—Rising out of the ashes of a barn which was destroyed in a fire on January 12 at Pete’s Greens is an initiative to ensure that funding is available for other Vermont farmers in the future.

Recent donations through a variety of fundraisers will provide Pete’s Greens with an opportunity to rebuild the barn as a more efficient building that will better suit the farms needs. However, Pete Johnson, owner of Pete’s Greens, anticipates that within two to three years, the farm will be able to pay the money forward and has plans to create a fund that will support Vermont agricultural businesses.

“We have been so overwhelmed by how generous everyone has been and we want this money to live on again another day,” said Pete Johnson. “The idea is that in a few years from now, we’ll start to put the money into a fund that will be managed by a committee or board made up of local folks. That money will go back out into the community to be used in a variety of ways: farm disaster relief, farm to school programs or loans to new or small farms. We are committed to paying it forward. It’s being given to us with such love and thoughtfulness that we really want the funding to do more good work down the line.”

The barn that was destroyed in the January fire housed the farm’s wash-house, stored vegetables and meats, vegetable coolers, vegetable washing and packing equipment, a walk-in freezer, tractors and a significant amount of supplies. Johnson indicated after the fire that the structure was under-insured. He had set values on the barn in recent years but hadn’t added the new additions or equipment to the insurance policy. The result was an under-insurance policy for approximately 50% of the replacement cost of the building and the equipment. In addition, the $250,000 worth of stored vegetables and meats were also not insured.

“We’ve been focused on getting permits and developing the plans for the new building with the goal of breaking ground in early March,” said Johnson. “If all goes well, the building will be in full use by mid-June which means we’ll be back to full production capacity.”

Despite suffering the catastrophe of the barn fire, Pete’s Greens is gearing up for a successful spring and summer growing season for its retail and CSA membership programs. Sign-up is underway already for Summer CSA shares and joining the CSA offers an additional way to support Johnson as he and the farm crew begin to plant for the summer harvest. A spring share will also be offered and is anticipated to begin in April.

Pete's Greens is a four season organic vegetable farm located in Craftsbury, VT and owned by Peter Johnson. The farm's top priority is growing a wide variety of crops to feed Vermonters year round. Good Eats is based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model in which customers pay up front for vegetables and other farm products receiving a share each week. Shares at Pete’s Greens save members an average of 18% per week over retail prices. Pete’s Greens vegetables are also sold at regional stores and restaurants as well as local farmers’ markets. More information is available at

Contact Amy Skelton at or 802-586-2882, ext 1 for questions.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sign-Up for Summer Share/Farm Update Feb 11th, 2011

Pete's Musings
We are working hard making plans for our new building and for the growing season. Isaac and I have been busy planning the layout, researching coolers, freezers, forklifts, wall systems, and solar panels. We are going to build a very energy efficient building with the hope that in the future we'll cover the whole south roof with PV solar panels which will just about provide enough electricity for the building. Amy is doing a great job handling the financial situation, researching loans and grants and making plans for Good Eats this spring and summer.

Our crop planning is going to be more organized than ever with Melissa creating a new database to insure that we are always hitting the correct planting and transplanting dates. That will be a big help. Thanks to a couple of buddies our tomatoes, peppers and eggplant were started in Rhode Island and are being grafted in southern Vermont. On Monday we'll fire up our greenhouse and start hundreds of trays of onions, leeks, shallots, and early greenhouse crops. Spring is here believe it or not!

Best ~ Pete

Good Eats Summer CSA Share Early Sign Up Incentive
Shares purchased by April 1 will receive 2010 pricing. Don't delay, sign up now and save.

Refer a Friend to Good Eats Summer CSA Share and you'll receive a credit of a one week vegetable share free! It's just that easy. If a friend that you refer to Good Eats signs up for our 2011 Summer Shares and puts your name in the referral line, you'll receive a credit on your account.

Good Eats Summer Share
Now is the time to think about the fresh, local produce and localvore products that we will deliver to Summer CSA Share Members! The Summer Share begins June 22nd and runs through October 12th. If you sign up by April 1, you'll receive 2010 prices.

We offer four share types for the Summer CSA Program
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.
Sign up by April 1: $748 for the 17 week period ($44/week). After April 2: $765 for the 17 week period ($45/week).

The Veggie Only Share - same vegetables that Localvore members receive, but no local staples. Sign up by April 1: $476 ($28/week). After April 2: $493 ($29/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). Prices remain the same for 2011.

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. Prices remain the same 2011.
Visit our website for more details or to download a sign-up form.

Example Mid-August CSA Summer Share:

2 lbs. heirloom tomato mix
1/2 lb. baby spinach
1 lb. baby zukes
1 bu. sweet onions
1 bu. gold beets
1 charentais cantalope
1 bu. sugarsnax carrots
1 lb. cukes
1 head radicchio
2 lb. butterball potatoes

fresh mozzarella cheese*
pizza dough*
1 pint Pete's salsa*
dozen eggs*

* Included in Vegetable/Localvore
Share Only.

Check Deposit Dates

Checks will not be deposited until May 30, 2011.

Good Eats Spring Share

We hope to begin delivering a modified Good Eats share by mid April. We'll offer an update as soon as we can! Stay tuned.

Donate to the Rebuild the Barn Fund

Visit our website to donate.

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

Or copy this link:

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 Agricultural Economy have established Farm Emergency Funds and are accepting donations now. Pete's Greens can apply for these funds.

Recent Fundraising Events

The fundraising efforts have been outstanding and such a tremendous help as we continue to plan the rebuilding of the barn. Here is a quick snapshot of some of the recent events and how much they have raised.

The Bid for the Barn online auction.
You rocked the barn! It was lots of small donations and large bids, and visa-versa, that led to more than $64,000 being raised to help rebuild the barn. Thank you for being a part of it!

Hug Your Farmer Benefit Concert Raised Over $27,000
The sold out crowd of nearly 800 people came together last weekend to hear amazing musicians 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.

Love Tomorrow Today, Select Design and Higher Ground pulled together the entire show with sponsorship from Healthy Living and Gardeners Supply. They contacted an incredible line up of musicans, organized and promoted it to pull off an unbelievable event. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin even took the stage! Click here to watch a video to hear Governor Shumlin's thoughts on the incredible community support that has rallied behind Pete. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales are going to the rebuild. Thank you!

Juniper Moon Farm fundraiser raised over $11,000.

City Market, Onion River Co-op and their loyal customers and members helped to raise over $5,200.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) members raised over $7,000.

Applecheek Farm dinner fundraiser raised $4,000

Thank you to everyone that has organized an event and participated!

Fundraisers Coming Up

The Vermont College of Fine Arts is hosting a contra dance in their gymnasium Saturday, February 12th to benefit an emergency fund for organic farmers like Pete's Greens who have endured farm-affected catastrophes from fire, flood, damaged barns from snow weight, etc. The dance gets started at 7:30 p.m. with a $10 suggested donation for admission. Volunteers & donations of desserts and snack foods needed. For more information, contact: Mary L. Welz 802-828-8555 or at

Vegetable Valentine: Pete's Barn Fundraiser, Sunday, February 13th at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Starting at 6 p.m., choose from Broomball Tournament (Pete will be playing!), night skiing and snowshoeing, ski lessons, guided headlamp ski tour and snowshoe tour, dance party and potluck. Talk about putting the fun in fundraiser!

Three Course Vermont Dinner Benefit at Blue Moon Cafe now through Sunday, February 13th. The courses include parsnip gratin with Spring Brook Farm Tartenaise cheese, Winding Brook Farm leg of lamb and maple creme brulee with Vermont Artisan coffee all for only $55.

Stowe Kitchen, Bath and Linens will be generously contributing proceeds from their sales on Saturday, February 19th towards rebuilding the barn. Visit them at 1813 Mountain Road in Stowe between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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

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 event has been rescheduled and a new date will be posted online soon.

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

Go Green for Pete's Greens on St. Patrick's Day at Claire's! Claire's Restaurant in Hardwick will host a dinner and Open Mic Night on March 17th. 100% of sales will be donated to Pete's!

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

I am still working on connecting with all of our Fall and Winter share members. 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. That applies to 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). Thank you!