Prairie Seed Piece
January 18th 2018
26 Issue 2
Issue of The Wood
Shortage of Black Flies.
Maine Logging Camp, Circa
Maine loggers have always done a lot of
their work in the winter time. Logs dragged through the snow are
cleaner and easier on saws at the sawmill than logs drug through the
mud. Also, log drives on high-water-rivers in the Spring would soon
follow Winter cutting. Plus there are very few Black Flies in the
Winter to torment men in the windless woods.
Our deep drifts of snow have settled
some with a January thaw. We're busy pre-grading our crop of seed
potatoes and should be done around the annual target of the end of
January. We may be the only farmers around who wish for a longer Winter
in order to get our work done.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
|The Life of a Maine Logger.
So what was it like in years-gone-by to live the
life of a Maine logger?
Working and living
in a logging camp was hard work, for sure. Here in
Bridgewater, on the edge of the Maine North Woods, we had neighbors who
used to, in their young adult years, grow potatoes in the Summer and
then head into the woods in the Fall only to come out months later with
mud season in the Spring.
in logging camps could be extremely good.
Whereas wages didn’t vary much from camp to camp, wise logging camp
owners knew a good way to keep hold of the best workers was to offer
excellent food. While this no doubt included plenty of beans
and pork and biscuits, it also meant barrels of doughnuts and buckets
of hot coffee.
fondly as 'The Pine Tree State' has a long, rich history of logging.
Before gaining its statehood in 1820, Maine was part of the
Massachusetts territory and was involved in the lumber trade with
England. In the early days, beautiful pines were harvested from Maine’s
forests to supply masts for England’s navy. Settlers to the region also
used wood to build homes and other buildings in their settlements.
Logging is still a thriving industry in this beautiful state today,
particularly in the northern regions.
offers an interesting glimpse into the
hard-working life of the iconic Maine logger.
Jim & Caleb
Here for our Organic Maine Potatoes for the Kitchen.
Days Gone By:
Great Northern Paper Mill, Millinocket, Maine. View of 21
The heirloom potato aka "Purple Marker."
Organic Maine Certified All-Blue Seed Potatoes.
Way back the heirloom variety Organic
All-Blue was also known as “Purple
Marker.” It received this nickname from potato breeders who
would use it to clearly separate plots of promising white potatoes from
one another. Little did those potato breeders imagine the
tremendous future popularity of this original blue-skin blue-flesh
potato, much less its legendary level of healthful
Now you can earn yourself a FREE
1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine Certified All-Blue Seed Potatoes
(Value $11.95) when your next order totals $59 or more. FREE
1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine Certified All-Blue Seed Potatoes Offer
ends 11:59 PM on Monday, January 22 , so don’t delay!
Please use Promo Code WPFF419. Your order
and FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic
Maine Certified All-Blue Seed Potatoes Offer must ship by
May 5, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Please click today!
Here for for Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
What's New in This Year's
Maine's Seed Company Catalogs?
Longtime Portland Press Herald garden writer Tom
Atwell recently reviewed new offerings in Maine’s four well-known seed
companies – Fedco, Johnny’s, Pinetree and Wood Prairie - in the article
he entitled “Garden Catalog Dreamin’ on Such a Winter’s Day.”
highlighted our new Potato
Plant Protection Kit.
Potato Plant Detective, a new product from Wood Prairie Family Farm in
Aroostook County, won a national Green Thumb Award from the Direct
Gardening Association. Company founder Jim Gerritsen, who recently
turned the operation over to his son Caleb, said the new product
stemmed from a discussion the two had about how they use two varieties,
King Harry and Island Sunshine, as bellwethers to figure out problems
in a potato field.
which has hairy leaves, is resistant to insect damage and Island
Sunshine is disease resistant. So if most potatoes in a field are doing
poorly, but King Harry is strong, the problem is insects. If Island
Sunshine is doing well, the problem is disease.
As always with Tom's writing, it's an
for our Wood Prairie Organic Vegetable Seed.
Prairie Potato Plant Detective. The new Green
Thumb Award winner.
Superior to Conventional Farming.
By most important
metrics organic is the hands down winner.
is Proving Organic is Superior.
But why has there been confusion over the fact of
the superiority of organic farming? Here’s one big reason:
long orchestrated disinformation campaign concocted by highly-motivated
profit-minded detractors of organic farming like monopolist Monsanto.
Their relentless methodology has been to denigrate organic at every
turn and to paint organic as if it were nothing more than a marketing
scam. I believe they call that wishful thinking.
The truth is organic farming was
started 100 years ago as a
reform movement dedicated to improving soil heath and in thereby food
quality. Organic pioneers held serious concerns
that at great peril, the developing 'modern agriculture,' ignored the
importance of improving soil in growing good food.
Now a growing wave of peer-reviewed
scientific studies are proving what we knew all along: the organic
pioneers were right. Soil-based organic farming
offers superior results for food and the environment. Plus
its talent for sequestering carbon is essential for planetary health.
Main stream farm magazine American
Vegetable Grower reports.
|So where does science come down
on organics? There have been many studies over the years to find out
just that. American Vegetable Grower® reached out to leading production
researchers to share the studies they find most significant. Some of
these studies date back multiple years, but have withstood the test of
The research team, led by L.E. Drinkwater, who was with the Rodale
Institute at the time and is now at Cornell University, conducted
detailed micro-plot studies using a tracer to follow nitrogen. The
study showed differences in how nitrogen is partitioned from organic
vs. mineral sources, with more legume-derived nitrogen immobilized in
microbial biomass and soil organic matter (SOM) than fertilizer-derived
The results show even in the study’s maize and soybean agro-ecosystems,
plant-species composition and litter quality influence SOM turnover
“Greater retention of both carbon and nitrogen suggests that use of low
carbon-to-nitrogen residues to maintain soil fertility combined with
increased temporal diversity restores the biological linkage between
carbon and nitrogen cycling in these systems and could lead to improved
global carbon and nitrogen balances,” the researchers concluded.
Most especially coming from farm-chemical-ad-reliant AVG this report is
a sign of enormous changes now occurring.
Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop & Farm Seed.
|Notable Quotes: Jefferson on
Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Cake.
1 3/4 c whole wheat
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea
2 large eggs
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c roasted or canned pumpkin
3 oz dark chocolate, melted
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add butter, buttermilk,
and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Fold in pumpkin. Add wet ingredients
to dry all at once, whisk just until no lumps remain.
Divide batter in half. Add melted chocolate and cocoa powder to half
the batter; stir to combine. Alternately add batters to pan. Using a
knife, swirl through batter. Bake 50-60 minutes until cake has risen
and crackled. Let cool 20 minutes.
Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl Cake.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox