Pete's Greens Craftsbury, VT
Pete Johnson of Pete's Greens has been growing organic vegetable for many years in Craftsbury, Vermont, the southern edge of the agriculturally renowned Northeast Kingdom. He has been getting his hands dirty in the garden since age 3 and even had a booming pumpkin business at age 9. He has also long been making elaborate plans in his head for mechanical cultivators, and he built a solar greenhouse on the Middlebury College campus for his senior thesis. The experiments conducted there convinced him that greenhouse production of vegetables could help make a farm profitable. Ever since then, Pete's Greens has been growing as a four season vegetable farm in a cold climate where they are always pushing the limits of what crops can be started earlier, extended longer, or held through the winter. Their philosophy is that as more people eat locally, we will become healthier as communities and as individuals. Pete's Greens grows about 200 varieties of vegetables on over 300 acres of land. They grow a vast array of specialty vegetables with an emphasis on baby greens, heirloom tomatoes and root crops. They cover crop extensively and apply prodigious quantities of rich compost in order to grow the best tasting and most nutritious vegetables. They use greenhouses, heated with recycled vegetable oil when necessary, root cellars, and other season extension techniques to provide the greatest diversity of vegetables for as much of the year as possible.