Pete’s Farm Stand is currently owned and operated by Mike Janiszyn, like his father and grandfather before him. Mike describes his style as 1930’s farming because he values a more simple way of life and farming that was more prevalent then. Pete’s Farm Stand has established a dedicated customer base over the 40 years it has been in operation. The produce is picked from their gardens and brought directly to the farm stand for sale to the customer. Mike says, “we pick fresh everyday and you can’t beat that.”
Mike admits that farming is a difficult life. “It’s a tough life to do, the chips are against you” then he adds, “it’s a worthwhile thing to do. It’s really necessary, I’m sure, to the survival of the community.” It is his commitment to the community that prompted him to join Monadnock Menus. He believes that Monadnock Menus will help keep money in the local economy when institutions buy from local farmers. Furthermore, he hopes that this will create a community network where local farmers and institutions will be able to help each other out. “When you’re a part of the community, and you do business in the community, money has less of a value and it becomes more of a relationship.” It is important to work together to gain more flexibility and when farmers have more places to sell to, food will not be wasted.
Pete’s Farm Stand has focused on direct retail sales to the consumer. Selling wholesale has been a challenge in the past. Wholesale requires the use of more packaging, processing and uniformity. Mike plans on growing vegetables that can store well so sell through Monadnock Menus, such as carrots and potatoes.
The ability to use and preserve all food that is grown at Pete’s Farm Stand is part of Mike’s vision of a return to 1930’s wisdom. If you go back to just your grandparents generation, they had the knowledge for using all of the food a farm grows without waste. Knowing how to can and process food would make use of such things as oversized zucchini and beets. Mike hopes that this knowledge can become more mainstream again, not only so people can save some money, but because knowing how to use all the food that our area produces will help us become more self-sufficient. “This area can feed everyone in the area. There’s such good farmland, some of the best farmland in the country, in the world, right here. So…we can feed ourselves. People just have to know how to do that.”
by: Erika Stimpson