Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pete's Greens Farm Update - May 5, 2012

Farm Update
Things are going swell here at Pete's Greens. It feels really good to be through last season's construction.  Considering how busy I feel now looking back on last year it's hard to understand how we did it. But now we are solely focused on farming and some great things are happening.
We've doubled our greenhouse space and have some really nice crops coming along in the new structures. The additional space will help with greater early and late production of cool season crop such as kale and chard but it will also allow us to grow hot weather crops such as melons and sweet potatoes under cover. Some summers it's cool enough here in Craftsbury that can be important.
Isaac and Steve spent the winter fixing, modifying, and improving a bunch of used farm equipment we bought in CA last fall. We got some sweet deals on tractors and field equipment that are a little old and small for the scale of Western farming but perfect for here. We've gone to a much wider bed which allows for fewer tractor passes and less field compaction. For years we've been frustrated by not having the equipment that we want. There is little small farm equipment manufactured in the States, and what can be imported from Europe is really pricey. So now were building our own. It was a revelation to me to discover this winter that Isaac (who built our new barn) can build things out of steel much like he builds out of wood. We look forward to setting up a better shop next winter and diving into some new projects.
Our crew is meshing well and we've all really enjoyed the addition of farm school. For a couple months we've had weekly meetings or presentations discussing different aspects of our farm or other ag. in the area. So far we've discussed many details of Pete's Greens farm, had long time resident and farmer Morris Rowell tell us about the old days in Craftsbury, toured Fairmont Farms cutting edge large dairy, visited the Cellars at Jasper Hill, and heard from Greg Georgakulis about his innovative Farmers to You program which sells Vermont food in Boston. With the addition of 3 interns this summer we plan to keep Farm School going.
We're farming two new plots this summer. High Mowing Seeds owns some land on Rte. 15 in Wolcott that they are graciously renting us and Neil Urie of Bonnieview farm has allowed us to return to his best 10 acres that we first rented 12 years ago. Both will help us keep a good vegetable rotation helping to reduce insect, disease, and weed pests.
The most fun around here these days is baby Iris. Melissa birthed Iris last fall and she comes to the farm nearly every day. She's happy, healthy, and spends most of her time riding on Mel's back or sitting in a car seat jabbering away to no one in particular. It's fun to have a kid on the farm and it's going to be great to watch her grow up here. I hope she's the first of many.  
We hope you consider joining us for the summer share. It's going to be a good one. Best ~ Pete
Good Eats Summer Share Begins June 20th
Summer Share is only 7 weeks away!  Sign-up now for 17 weeks of fantastically fresh, ever so diverse local eating.  Our summer share has the greatest diversity and is filled with all kinds of interesting vegetables with unique flavors, colors and shapes as well as all the summer staples you are familiar with. In June we will start out with tender salad greens, fresh basil, European cucumers, fresh picked zucchini, baby carrots, spring salad turnips, Napa cabbage, Asian greens, and Swiss chard to name a few.  In July your summer favorites will appear like snap peas, string beans, sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn and much more!
Last summer, members received 70+ different types of vegetables...
...and that was just the Veggie-Only Share, the Localvore Share brings you
the same fresh vegetables along with a weekly delivery of locally produced staples
and artisan products to fill your pantry. Meat Shares are available too!
Check out our Summer Share page for more information
and to sign up online or download an order form.

The Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $782 for the 17 week period ($46/week).

The Veggie Only Share - same vegetables that Localvore members receive, but no local staples. $493 ($29/week).

Pete's Pantry Share  - brings you NO vegetables, just the same local staples included in the Localvore Share.  This share is popular among summer gardeners or folks splitting a Localvore Share who both want thier own localvore items!  $289 for 17 weeks ($17/wk).

The Meat Share brings you a MONTHLY (first week of each month) selection of locally and consciously raised meats.  It features Pete's Greens pastured pork and chicken with beef, lamb, sausages, duck or possibly trout  from other producers we know and love.  $200 for four deliveries, one delivery at the start of each month of the four month share period.

Visit our website to sign-up online or to download a sign-up form
Questions? Email or give us a call 802-586-2882 x6
Traveling this summer?
Worried about missed share weeks?
If you need to skip a week for whatever reason just get in touch with us the week before and let us know. We can either credit your account towards your next share purchase or donate your weekly delivery to the Foodbank, your choice.
Are you Interested in Splitting a Share?
If you would like to split a share with someone, please check the Members Seeking page. Or if you would like to have a notice posted, send me an email and I will post on our Members Seeking page for you. This is a great way to find a share partner in your area.
NOFA-VT Farm Share
If you are on a limited income you may be eligible to purchase a share through NOFA's Farm Share program.  To learn more, visit:
Pete's Greens at Capitol City Farmers Market in Montpelier
The Market returns to its Summer location on State St today and we hope those of you who live locally will come on down. It's always good to get back to market after the long winter. 
We'll have great Spring produce for you including fresh mesclun greens, BASIL, cilantro, mustard greens, pac chi, mizuna, kale, lettuces, European cucumbers plus some storage crops like potatoes and carrots.
This year the market features 52 vendors! 
The market is held every Saturday thru October
9 am to 1 pm
State Street and Elm Street in downtown Montpelier
HUG YOUR FARMER - FRIDAY MAY 18th at Higher Ground
Come out for a great night of music and support VT farmers at the same time!
Many of the fantastic musicians who banded together for the Hug Your Farmer concert last year, the benefit concert that helped raise money for our farm after our fire, will perform together again in just a couple weeks.  This time the show will be in tribute to Levon Helm, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit NOFA VT's Farmer Emergency Fund.  This fund helps farms in Vermont when they have suffered a disaster like fire, flood, or barn collapse.
An all-star house band (Bob Wagner, Ray Paczkowski, Clint Bierman, Peter Day, Steve Hadeka, Ron Rost) with guests that include (once again) Jon Fishman (Phish), Will Evans (Barefoot Truth), The Sweet Remains, Stephen Kellogg, Ryan Miller (Guster), Josh Panda and more.
This show was a blast last year.  The mix of musicicans was amazing and the show energy was awesome.  We hope to see many of you there.  Will be a really fun night for a great cause.

Hug Your Farmer: A Tribute to Levon Helm

100% of proceeds support NOFA VT's Farmer Emergency Fund
Jon Fishman, Ryan Miller (Guster), The Sweet Remains and more...

Friday, May 18th, 9pm
Higher Ground
1214 Williston Rd
South Burlington, VT

Oustanding in the Field Returns to Pete's Greens
Wednesday September 5th - Tickets on Sale now
For the last two years our farm has provided the scenic backdrop for an exquisitely beautiful, memorable meal prepared by Chef Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood Restaurant. Each year, the touring team at Outstanding in the Field make their way across North America, bringing their signature long community table to fields, gardens and vineyards near and far. The mission of the organization is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. Outstanding in the Field connects a passionate chef with a farm and then provides all the infrastructure to make a picture perfect meal happen in very rural or remote places.

We feel lucky that OITF staff and Eric conspired to make it happen again here at the farm.  Dining at Hen of the Wood is among my top dining experiences anywhere.  Having Eric and his outstanding crew prepare a meal as part of the Outstanding in the Field experience makes it that much more special.  A place at the table includes a five course meal with wine pairings, all gratuities, producer discussions, cocktails before dinner and a tour of our farm with Pete.

Tickets are available.

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