Friday February 07, 2014
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Sur to Big Snow.
Sweet Soil (photo credit: NY Times).
longtime friend Tom Willey of T & D Willey Farms in Madera,
California, stated that the Esalen garden soil at Big Sur smelled good
enough to eat, Jim could not be stopped from verifying Tom’s
assertion. The moment was caught by the NY Times photographer
sent to cover the Agrarian
last month at Big Sur on the
California coast. Wise Tom was right. You can see this and other photos
of the farmer elders at Big Sur when you read the good New
York Times article “The Elders of Organic Farming”
by talented Bay Area writer Carol Pogash.
News Out of New England This Afternoon.
The Vermont Senate
Agriculture Committee voted today 4-1 in favor of Vermont’s strong GMO
Labeling bill! This is the same bill passed last Spring by a
huge margin in the VT House. The bill currently does NOT contain a
trigger mechanism delaying implementation until additional requirements
are met. Next, VT’s GMO Labeling bill goes to the VT Senate Judiciary
Committee for action. Action by the full Senate is expected
soon. We expect Vermont to join Maine and Connecticut with
successful history-making GMO labeling legislation. New
Hampshire and Massachusetts are also hard at work on similar GMO
Meanwhile, the potentially precedent
setting trial for de-certified
Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh
- contaminated by
Monsanto's GE canola - begins on Monday February 10. The
trial over Steve's lawsuit is expected to last 3 weeks and our
side believes we have a strong case.
With slightly more daylight in the
evenings now, Winter is moving along faster and the pace of our organic
shipments is also picking up as Spring comes once
again to the southern states.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
Organic Seed Integrity. Good book and two ways to get
| FREE Book!
OSGATA Publishes 'Protecting
Organic Seed Integrity.'
Unveiled at last week’s biennial 7th Organic Seed Growers
Conference, Organic Seed Growers and Trade
made available to all 430 organic seed farmer attendees complimentary
copies of it’s newly published peer-reviewed book, Protecting Organic Seed Integrity
– The Organic Farmer’s Handbook to GE Avoidance and Testing.
The timely new book is a one-stop tool
that organic and non-GE farmers, seed farmers, gardeners, seed
companies and seed handlers will find will help them avoid
contamination and navigate and master various testing options and
protocols so that they do not inadvertently and unintentionally place
GE contaminated seed into organic trade channels. The 64-page book is
written in layman’s language and was peer-reviewed by three scientists
with doctorates and many decades of seed experience.
The printed book is
also available in an online
version available as a FREE electronic download.
Interested persons may also
request a copy of the printed book at no charge (cost of S & H
is $4) by clicking here.
Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Seed Potatoes.
| Twelve with one
Snow - New Guinea Hog Piglets on Wood Prairie Farm.
Wednesday’s snow warmed things up in Northern
Maine to the mid-teens above zero. Boo, the oldest of our
purebred Guinea Hog sows decided the calm snowy afternoon would be a
good time to farrow and gave birth to six healthy piglets.
Led by her example, Winnie our youngest sow, decided to follow suit and
she farrowed her own six piglets several hours later around
9pm. So our barn is now teaming with a dozen squirming baby
piglets. Click here for a YouTube video
(0:27) of the baby piglets nursing, nested and snug next to Boo under
dry hay bedding in our barn.
American Guinea Hog is a recognized heritage breed noted for
a very mild temperament and its ability to thrive on grass, hay and
vegetable waste and virtually no grain. Guinea Hogs are the
perfect pig breed to raise for family pork because if you have a modest
grassy patch and a garden with some excess vegetables you can raise
excellent, tender meat with a major reduction in the purchase of
Along with growing organic
seed potatoes and other crops we raise and sell registered purebred
certified organic Guinea Hogs for both breeding stock and for meat
animals. If you are interested, please call or email Megan
Jim & Megan
o. (207) 429-9765
Click Here to
Watch Any of Our Other 36 Wood Prairie Farm You Tube Videos.
Piglet Warming Up in Office. Now eleven more
where she came from.
| Notable Quotes:
Pastor Martin Niemoller on The Wages of Apathy.
Day Chocolate Cake
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Almost Flourless Valentines Day Chocolate Beet Cake
9 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
3/4 c (1 1/2
6 eggs, separated
3/4 c granulated
1 c pureed
about 5 medium
Preheat oven to
chocolate and butter in a bowl set over barely simmering water. Stir
until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth. Let cool to room
the egg yolks and sugar until light and well-blended. Whisk yolks and
sugar into chocolate mixture, whisking well. Stir in the pureed beets
and spelt flour.
Beat egg whites
with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites
into chocolate mixture until just combined.
Pour batter into
6 - 8 greased cups. Bake 15 minutes. Centers will jiggle slightly when
done. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to garnish.
| Special Offer: FREE Organic Dakota
Ivory Corn Meal
We received two excellent reports today from the GE content testing
lab! Both our 2013 Wood Prairie Farm organic corn seed crops
passed with readings of “No Detect” - that would be both our Organic
Dorinny Sweet Corn Seed and our Organic
Dakota Ivory Flour Corn Seed.
This “No Detect” reading means
that in both cases, the submitted representative 10,000 kernel samples
passed with flying colors: not a single kernel of the requisite 20,000
kernels we sent contained genetically engineered genes. Had
we experienced an invisible GE contamination incident, the
state-of-the-art laboratory PCR test would have detected that GE
contamination. Because of the prevalence of GE corn crops
across the United States there are many locations where contamination –
primarily via pollen drift – is difficult to avoid because of GE corn
crops grown in close geographical proximity to organic and non-GE
Our isolation on the edge of
the North Maine woods is incredibly valuable for growing seed of
at-risk varieties like organic corn. At Wood Prairie Farm, we have
ALWAYS had a policy of refusing to sell as organic seed any seed lot
which tests hot for GE content. We believe that
is what you expect as our seed customer and that is what we will always
provide to you as your organic seed company.
If you have not yet enjoyed
Dakota Ivory Corn Meal you are in for a real
treat. The fresh taste of this short-season northern flour corn will
amaze you. Dakota Ivory was bred by our North Dakota friend
and well-respected organic seed farmer Steve Zwinger.
Here's your chance to earn a FREE 2 lbs Sack of our Organic Dakota
Ivory Corn Meal (Value $13.95) when the value of good in
your next order is $60 or more. FREE 2 lbs Sack of Organic Dakota
Ivory Corn Meal offer ends Midnight Monday, February 10,
2014, so better hurry!
Please use Promo Code WPF1170.
Your order must ship with FREE 2 lbs Sack of Organic Dakota
Ivory Corn Meal and entire order must ship by 5/8/14.
Please call or click today!
This Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed Section
Organic Dakota Ivory Corn.
Makes the very best corn bread anywhere.
Our Mailbox: Health
and Wholeness, Explaining 'No Detect' and About Those Market Reforms.
Here are some photos of harvests over
the last few years from Wood Prairie Farm Seed at the Austin State
Hospital Children and Adolescent Garden in Austin, TX. Thanks for
Thanks so much! You have put together a recipe for
health and wholeness.
I am confused...have the labs developed new
testing standards? In my last round of testing with Genetic ID
non-detectable did not mean 0% content but rather they could not 0%
World Wide Web
OSGATA's policy on GE contamination of organic
seed states that no seed should be called organic if any GE content
whatsoever is detected in the test sample. The phraseology of this
policy is either "No Detect" or "Not Found In." The current
state-of-the-art procedure is a 10,000 kernel PCR test which is capable
of detecting down to a single kernel which has GE content (0.01%). If
GE content is detected, our OSGATA members feel it should NOT be sold
as organic seed. We agree.
Testing for GE is destructive in nature
in that the 10,000 kernels are destroyed by the testing procedure. So
the only way one could determine with 100% certainty that a 10,000
bushel grain bin had absolutely zero percent GE content would be to
test (and destroy) each and every kernel in that bin via many many
thousands of expensive ($200) PCR tests. Obviously, that would be
anything but practical. So, instead we employ the best representative
sampling techniques which meet the requirements of sound statistical
analysis. This is ethical, scientifically justifiable and is what we
mean when we refer to a 'No Detect' standard. Unfortunately, this
testing protocol is an expensive procedure. Innocent victims at risk of
contamination through no fault of their own should NOT have to foot the
bill which is polluter Biotech's responsibility. However,
the reality is the victims are now and have been forced to pay for this
testing alone and that MUST change. Additionally the Biotech industry
should have to pay for the extinguished value of the organic crops they
have recklessly polluted and ruined. The monetary losses are huge for
the organic community.
About Those Market
You mentioned "market reforms which pay
fair farm-gate prices to farmers who produce good clean food" - can you
elaborate on what you mean by that?
Here's one reality. A lot of farmers
sell to food companies which manufacture processed food from the
farmer's raw crop. The farmers I know who sell this way are
often exploited by the food corporations. The farm gate price
they receive is low, particularly in relation to the generated product
value at retail.
I can offer two examples.
Friends who raise organic soybeans receive $20-30/bushel.
When that bushel of soybeans is turned into organic soy milk the value
of the soy milk at retail is $500.
Example two: local conventional potato
farmers who sell to our local french fry factory. The farmers
receive less than $3000/acre for their potatoes, about equal to what it
actually costs to raise an acre of potatoes in a normal year.
We don't see "normal" years very often any more. When that acre of
potatoes is processed, it makes about 16,500 lbs of french
fries. Valued at $6/lb when sold at fast food restaurants,
that acre's worth of french fries generate approximately $99,000 at
retail. If all those french fries were sold in the State of
Maine where there is a 7% Meals Tax, the State would take in $7000.
Remember, the farmer doing all the work and paying for all the expenses
in raising a crop gets less than $3000 for that acre.
Bottom line: there must be more equity.
The farmers responsible for all of our nation's food abundance deserve
to be treated fairly in the economy. If family farmers were paid
adequately so they could earn a decent living, we would have plenty of
farmers and they would grow plenty of food.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm