Friday, April 27, 2012

Pizza Hippo at Taylor Farm "Fresh Air Day"

Pizza Hippo will make our second mobile appearance of the season this Saturday, April 28 from 11AM to 3PM.  This great cause brings inner city kids out to the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont to commune with livestock, walk barefoot in the grass, and better understand "where our food comes from".  Kites will be made and flown, and pizza will definitely be served.  A portion of the proceeds go to the Fresh Air Fund, which makes days like this one possible.  Forecast is 50 degrees and sunny...another beautiful spring day in New England.  Come on out and join us at Taylor Farm in Londonderry...

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for an update on our Townshend Pizza Stand, farm-to-table pizza in Townshend, Vermont, in progress.

Amber and I worked several hours yesterday at the Kindle Farm School greenhouse and on the grounds.  We tilled a new bed and planted twenty beautiful little blueberry bushes right outside the Sacred Seeds garden.  Amber then spent several hours transplanting tiny starts to the six packs folks can purchase for their gardens at the upcoming annual Kindle Farm plant sale (and Pizza Hippo Townshend Pizza Stand opening day) May 19th.  Miles and I worked on planting two hundred new seeds, fifty each of thyme, dill, parsley, and cilantro.  These, along with the 60 basil plants we've already started, will be eventually planted in the new herb garden in front of our house on Windham Hill Road.

For me personally, starting so many things from seed and nurturing them along to flower and then fruit gives so much more meaning to the cooking process.  Using herbs started in April to flavor sauces in August adds a sense of time, a sense of the life cycle, and a sense of the earth's minerals you just can't get from ordering spices that get delivered on a truck from some far off location.

Developing a personal relationship with the garden, with each individual plant, also gives meaning to the process.  Checking each, say, broccoli crown daily for weeks before harvesting just at the optimal moment and then using that produce IMMEDIATELY to feed the community a delicious, healthy value-added food product on-site (can you say ZERO carbon footprint?) just does something for me.

Look for more updates as we progress towards the West River Valley's first Farm-to-Table Pizza in Townshend, Vermont.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Townshend Pizza Hippo Stand is a GO Baby

Pizza Hippo thanks everyone who generously gave both financial and emotional support to this now funded project.  Especially the financial supporters.
All joking aside, the overwhelming support of my friends is nothing short of an extraordinary vote of confidence to me, to the Pizza Hippo concept, and to the philosophy of sustainable agriculture.
While the uncertainties of opening a business often ravage my psyche and rape my confidence, your belief in me never allows me to fall too far.  I laugh at my self doubt and walk fearless into the unknown, knowing I will not fail.  Knowing failure is a possibility, but that I will somehow evade it.
Now that I can completely turn my attention away from fundraising, the real work and the real fun can begin.
In the next four weeks, we will pass health inspection, mill trees into boards and then build a building, work several mobile events, start the farmer's market season, and kick off the grand opening of our Townshend Pizza Stand at the Kindle Farm School. 
Of course we won't get a dime of the Kickstarter money for about three weeks, so this list is slightly more challenging than it may seem at first :)
Never fear friends.  I have a plan.  More updates to come.  
Thank you all again for your phenomenal support.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Townshend Pizza goes Baba!

Townshend Pizza got a little better, y'all.

Yesterday, at the Putney School Earth Day Fest, we debuted a new pizza.

Baba Ganoush with Taylor Farm smoked Gouda cheese and arugula, brainchild of my lovely wife, Amber O'Reilly. Man, was it awesome.  We sold out of it pretty quickly (not quick enough for me - I made one for the staff and we ate it during service).  I was surprised at how many people didn't know what baba ganoush was, but decided to go for it anyway.

In case YOU don't know, baba ganoush is roasted eggplant blended with tahini, garlic, olive oil and spices.  I've been eating it for years thanks to Lebanon's Cafe in New Orleans and a ton of other middle eastern eateries I've found since.

The Kindle Farm School grows several outstanding varieties of eggplant, and I've planted thirty seeds for my (my = Amber's) home garden.  Y'all are going to love all the things we're going to do with it.

Come see us next week at Taylor Farm (details at to try some more and to support their Kite Day set up to expose inner city children to the wonders of walking in grass barefoot, communing with cows and playing outside in the Green Mountain State.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pizza Hippo in the Press (Townshend, VT)

Pizza Hippo had a nice write up in The Commons newspaper for our soon to be open new business, organic farm-to-table pizza in Townshend, VT.

You can check out The Commons article here.

Thanks to Thelma O'Brian for the write up.


The Hippo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pizza Hippo at Putney School Earth Day Fest

Hello hello!

What a gorgeous week we've been having here in southern Vermont!

We're in our last week of fundraising at our Kickstarter Campaign.  Click here to contribute!

It's also only five days until Pizza Hippo opens the season at the Putney School's Earth Day celebration.  The weather is supposed to be less than stellar on Sunday, mirroring last year's auspicious start.  Hopefully we'll have more cloud and less rain!

It will be an amazing feat when we set up Sunday morning, though.  Svetlana, our 88 Volvo Pizza Wagon, needs a new transmission and will not be getting one.  She's on the auction blocks...anyone who wants a great parts car can check out our craigslist ad here.

Instead of Svetlana, we'll likely be converting Amber's Toyota to the new Pizza Wagon and saving up for a little pickup truck.  Should be a fun rest of the week scrambling to make this happen!

Pizza Hippo has also been approved vendor status for the Frendly Gathering this June 14-16 right here in Windham, Vermont!  Great line up, great people, and now great pizza, too!  Can't wait to for our Windham slash Townshend pizza to represent the local food scene in a very legit way!

Finally, Pizza Hippo is officially going to be the newest addition to the Townshend Pizza scene here in Vermont.  Opening day coincides with the Kindle Farm stand plant starter sale and a KF fundraiser.  Any bands interested in donating their playing time should call Malcolm at 802.874.0321 to make arrangements.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pizza Hippo: Get Ready for Organic Pizza Townshend, Vermont

And I'm bringing you a love that's true
So get ready, so get ready
I'm gonna try to make you love me too
So get ready, so get ready, 'cause here I come (The Temptations)

Incredible to think about.  Pizza Hippo will in fact open our first organic pizza stand in Townshend, Vermont at the Kindle Farm School in May.  (Tentatively May 19 for you calendar watchers :)

As we hurtle towards May 19, time management is becoming my biggest challenge.  For example, I just lost 30 minutes trying to get my plumber OUT of the house after he finished the job.  Every second counts at this point as we attempt to cross every t and dot every j before inspection May 1 and then opening day.  

Will we have our portable sink built, the building construction under way, have all the little chemicals the state says we MUST use in our food operation.  We must use chemicals! Not to mention the insurance costs.  High!  Like you needed me to write that to know it.  When will I get our sign painted and hang it up with a coming soon notice?  What about completing the mobile unit?  Piece by piece by piece.  

We are also working on a bid for our first Pizza Hippo wedding catering.  Exciting bit of news.  Really wonderful young woman who has no idea how she heard about us.  Will keep y'all posted on this progression.  As someone who just got married, these things are always more involved than you think they're going to be...

Speaking of time sucks, I just took the Food List challenge on Facebook. I know.  In the middle of writing about time management.  Sorry!  My cousin Stacy Williams has tried two more foods than me!  This is not totally surprising, but it does bother me.  She also travels more than me and is probably better at non English languages.  

Our PR machine seems to be working.  People are starting to recognize the Hippo and have spontaneously shouted "It Hits the Spotamus" to me in the streets.  Well, I had a dream where this happened.  And someone did tell me they have seen the Pizza Hippo fliers around town.  So, yeah, it's working.  Look for a feature on Pizza Hippo and Kindle Farm in The Commons next week...

Speaking of PR machines, when I retweeted an article about Monsanto potentially suing the state of VT if the GMO labeling bill passes, someone from Monsanto replied directly to my twitter account with a link to a Monsanto response page disputing this claim.  Freaky!  

What do y'all think about this last bit?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vermont's Best Organic Pizza Update: The Hippopotamus is Alive

Just a quick update on Pizza Hippo dream.  It's going to happen!

As of April 3rd, our little project on has been funded to 90% of our minimum goal of $5000.  Yes, we probably need more than $5K in all honesty, and yes, we may end up raising more than that, but either way, we'll have the baseline capital to at least get this project off the ground.  Exciting!

It's nice that 51 people so far believe I'm smart enough to make this dream into a reality, and have, on average, invested $87 per person.  Hopefully more folks, specifically more local folks, will get in on the action, pre-buy some Vermont Organic Pizza and help us crush our minimum goal.  Perhaps our upcoming press piece in The Commons will push us over the edge...stay tuned Vermont.

Hey Brattleboro!  It's official!!!  Pizza Hippo has been accepted by a jury of our peers to sling organic goodness at the Brattleboro Farmer's Market this summer.  We'll be there on Wednesdays starting in May.  It was an awesome feeling to hear Martha, membership director, complement our pizza so warmly and welcome Pizza Hippo to Brattleboro.  Hopefully we'll hear more of the same from the other market's we're still waiting to hear from...come on y'all, the Pizza Hippo Pizza Wagon is nearly complete and ready to roll!

We also wanted to mention a strategic partnership in the works with Jamaica Cottage Shop.  Still working on the terms, but it feels like we should end up with a great structure for the Kindle Farm Stand location.  Hope we can work this deal out and keep it classy, Vermont.

That's all for now...sweet dreams.

Mr. Hippopotamus