Pete’s Greens And Dartmouth Symposium
Our Know Your Farmer video this week is Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT. Farmer Pete Johnson has built one of the Northeast’s leading organic vegetable farms. His CSA based farm grows a profusion of vegetables. He is remarkably innovative and always hard working. His many farming ideas have spread to farms across the Northeast. That is why Eliot Coleman chose Pete as his nominee to the Agrarian Youngers. Pete helped organize the first rally to Keep The Soil In Organic at the 2015 NOSB meeting in Stowe, Vermont. He made it look easy to bring together 50 farmers in two days. And it was fun!
Pete’s Greens grows 200 varieties of vegetables on 300 acres of land. They also have pastured chickens. Their extensive greenhouses help them produce vegetables all year. Their soil fertility program keeps their land improving year after year.
Pete was also one of the sixty farmers who went to the final Rally to Protect Organic at Jacksonville, Florida. And was one of the many who testified to the NOSB to keep organic in the soil.
The symposium is called Earth In Human Hands- A Path Forward. It will be held April 3 and 4 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. We have assembled an amazing group of speakers to challenge our thinking and to help find a path to a better way of farming and a better way of living on the planet.
For the first time in the history of Planet Earth, we are facing an extinction event caused by a self-aware species. And so, for the first time in our history, we have the opportunity to save our species. We are challenged by our beliefs more than by our technological limitations. We know how to change our farming for the better. We just don’t know HOW to bring about this change. Farming based on the beliefs and practices of real organic farming is the path forward. This symposium will be a dialogue among farmers, eaters, scientists, and writers on how we reclaim our food system and our movement.
Speakers will include Paul Hawken, Chellie Pingree, Eliot Coleman, Peter Whoriskey, Emily Oakley, JM Fortier, Fred Provenza, David Grinspoon, Glenn Elzinga, Tyrone Hayes, Jennifer Taylor, Alan Lewis, Anne Ross, Javier Zamora, Hugh Kent, Linley Dixon, Ben Dobson, Forrest Town, Ralf Carestia, and other farmers and advocates.
The symposium will build on the success of last March’s Dartmouth Symposium that challenged and changed us all. Please join us for this annual gathering where we gather some of our best thoughts and try to find our way forward.
I will be sending out short descriptions of the speakers in upcoming letters. In the meantime, please visit our website to see who will be speaking. Farms certified with the Real Organic Project get free admission for two people.
And as we end the second year of the Real Organic Project, please take a moment to consider supporting our efforts. We only can succeed as a movement. We have made tremendous progress in a short time. We now have over 250 farms across the country certified with the Real Organic Project. More are coming in every week. We have made a number of Know Your Farmer videos. We have built a community of concerned citizens who want something better than corporate organic. They want to be able to find and choose real organic food.
We have pushed the National Organic Program to move in the direction of integrity, successfully getting them to prohibit glyphosate immediately before organic certification for hydroponic producers. We continue to push to have them require a three year transition period in greenhouses, tunnels, factories, shipping containers, and basements. Right now prohibited pesticides are being permitted right before certification. This is not permitted for any kind of field production and creates a loophole for continuous transition in and out of organic production.
And we are hosting the annual symposium where we can all gather and deepen our understanding of what real organic stewardship means and why it is so hard to make that a reality. We have created a scholarship fund to enable farmers to attend from far away. This is being generously supported by people who care. Real Organic Project is entirely supported by donations. Much of our work is done by volunteers, but we also have a hard-working, passionate staff fulfilling our mission. Our supporters include many eaters, farmers, and foundations. We decided that we wouldn’t build this effort on the backs of the farmers, so we are asking those of you who care to make a gift.
So please make a donation as you can afford. Send a check to:
Real Organic Project
82 Wilson Rd
East Thetford, VT 05043