Thanks for a great 35 years!
I have been farming in Westtown for the past 37 years. Starting as a dairy farmer in 1986, where Rustin High School now stands, I never dreamed I would get into a retail business such as Pete’s Produce Farm. The next year, I experimentally grew a little patch of sweet corn and sold the fresh ears at the end of the driveway from the back of my pickup truck. The enthusiasm from my first “customers” led me to transition my efforts toward retail farming. I had never received such accolades for my milk! Listening to what the customers like and don’t like has always been the key to our success. It has been a tremendously satisfying career growing fresh produce and providing it to the community.
I sincerely thank all our hard-working employees (over 300), our loyal customers, Westtown School, and Westtown Township for supporting our farming business in the community. Danni Pinzone has been the face of the retail business for the majority of the years. Her energy and good nature have made Pete’s Produce Farm an enjoyable experience for customers and employees alike, and I wish to thank her from the bottom of my heart. Her commitment to managing the store and the greenhouses has allowed me to focus on farming and make a success out of the farm.
Growing for the Chester County Food Bank has been part of our mission from the very beginning. They’re one of the few food banks in the country that actually cultivates fresh produce for their clientele. One of my greatest joys in farming has been a successful collaboration with CCFB farmer Bill Schick. Bill is an amazing farmer, supervising hundreds of food bank volunteers working the land at Pete’s Produce Farm. Through our combined effort, over the past 20 years this farm has literally produced hundreds of tons of fresh produce for those in need in Chester County.
I would also like to thank my colleagues in the farming and marketing businesses who I’ve worked with closely over the past 30 years: SIW Vegetables in Chadds Ford, Wolff’s Apple House in Aston, Linvilla Orchards in Media, Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown, and Viereck Farms in New Jersey, along with many Amish and Mennonite farmers in Southern Chester County and Lancaster County. The support of the farming community is incomparable, and through hail, fire, and early frosts, I’ve been blessed by your generosity and friendship.
Most of all, I’d like to thank my wife and children for endless patience and flexibility, missing out on a lot of good summer activities due to the demands of the farm. I am grateful that both of our kids have had a chance to work on the farm and incredibly grateful to my wife for supporting me through the hard times and challenges of operating such a consuming business.
As a long-time member of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, I look forward to serving next year as the President of this fine organization. I plan to stay involved in agriculture, helping pass the hoe to the next generation.
Aerial View of the Farm in Autumn
From the blog…
Pennsylvania! Birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States; home to the country’s oldest brewery, the world-famous Philly cheesesteak, and of course Hershey, “The Sweetest Place On Earth”—there’s a lot to love about the great...
Sweet corn season is here! And, once again, folks are gathering around the husking tables to exchange all kinds of intel: tips on how to pick out a good ear, techniques for cooking (or whether to cook it at all), the shelf life of sweet corn from the time that it’s...
The annual pruning of the blueberry bushes in early springThe more you learn about blueberries, the more you may be puzzled by the expression “as American as apple pie,” which arguably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at all. A DNA test has revealed that apples...