Friday, January 14, 2011

Time to Re-Open and to Come Together

The image at left, taken in late Spring, is a reminder of the abundance we enjoy from Pete's Greens. This week's fire has been a shock for us, coming during our winter break just before we returned to prep the kitchen to re-open this coming Monday. As neighbors, we talk with Pete or his staff, go by the farm, receive deliveries, and serve the food he grows every day. Our staff is strongly connected to his. We're always pleased to see Pete and everyone who works on the farm come in for dinner or enjoy a beer at the bar. Pete's Greens is our largest provider and we are among his top customers. We count everyone at Pete's Greens among our family.

For our community, the loss of the barn, equipment, and stored food is a social and economic loss. The growth of his farm has been one of the most important parts of our local food system, sustaining our environment and numerous families. This is a setback for Pete, for his staff and the families who depend on them, and for the businesses like ours who count on the quality food Pete grows, as well as the countless other businesses nurtured by the dollars first earned on the farm.

Despite this loss, we are nonetheless optimistic. The fire is something we will work through as a community, and like any setback, it provides the opportunity for growth and renewal as we all pull together. So the photo of the farm taken in the Spring is also a symbol of regrowth.

We will open on Monday with produce that came from Pete with the deliveries prepared just before the fire. We are fortunate as well to have more than two dozen farms we work with, and a number of others who have inquired about providing food for our pantry. Of course, this might mean we'll have to venture a bit farther down the road than the 15 miles we are used to, our menu might be a bit shorter, and we will certainly be on the phone more frequently to rustle up enough produce for the kitchen.

And all of us in and around Hardwick will be pulling together. We're working with Pete to see how best we might fit into his plans to raise the capital needed to rebuild. In the meantime, please go directly to his website at and contribute to the Pete's Greens Farm Fund.

You might also come by on Monday and after to enjoy some of that legendary produce.

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