Vermont Organic Farm Destroyed by Fire

CRAFTSBURY, Vt. --

One of Vermont's best-known organic farmers watched his main barn, including the entire stored winter crop, burn to the ground Wednesday morning.

Pete Johnson, who started Pete's Greens nearly 10 years ago, estimated the loss at $250,000.

Johnson woke up early Wednesday morning to find his main barn engulfed in flames. Firefighters couldn't save the barn, but did keep the fire from spreading to Johnson's nearby home and greenhouses.

"I don't think any of us really have a sense of what this quite means to us yet. We're going to figure that out in the next few days," Johnson said.

Johnson started a year-round farm share several years ago and supplies crops to every area of the state. He said the barn held all of his winter storage.

"It was filled with potatoes, carrots, beets, kohlrabi (and) napa cabbage. ... (They were) all things that we were going to be selling until April," Johnson said.

Johnson had to suspend the current farm share, but said he planned to rebuild the barn and start planting the spring crop in his greenhouses Thursday.

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