Prairie Seed Piece
June 03, 2016
24 Issue 12
Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:
Garden Harvest. Our friend, Alan Boutiller of StarLight
Farm in North Carolina, shared with us this beautiful photograph taken
of his early garden harvest. Those awesome All-Blues,
Reds and Carolas
were all grown from our Wood
Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
These three delectable potato varieties are among those we still have
in-stock. All organic seed potatoes now ready to ship with a
We hope your plantings and crops are growing well wherever
you have your farm or garden.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.
Organic Hotspots. Clusters of Contiguous Counties Where
Organic is King.
Imagine a farm production
system which is sustainable and builds up soil over the long term,
produces healthy food for families and is good for the
environment. Now add to this remarkable ag system the
economic benefits of significantly
higher income and
lowered rates of poverty. Turns out organic farming does
these valuable things and more!
conclusive research by Penn State Ag Economist Edward Jaenicke has
uncovered significant economic benefits that are generated by organic
farming. In his Organic Hotspots
White Paper describing his startling findings,
Dr. Jaenicke identifies 225 organic-centric clustered-counties
nationwide as “Organic
is organic good agriculture
but organic also significantly
increases rural income and reduces poverty. So strong are
these economic benefits - more
powerful than many anti-poverty programs - that increasing
organic farming should be employed by regional planners as an effective rural economic
"The recently completed White Paper, titled 'U.S.
Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies,' was prepared
for the Organic Trade Association (OTA) by Penn State Agricultural
Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke. It finds organic hotspots–counties with
high levels of organic agricultural activity whose neighboring counties
also have high organic activity–boost median household incomes by an
average of $2,000 and reduce poverty levels by an average of 1.3
"Organic activity was found to
have a greater beneficial economic effect than that of general
agriculture activity, and even more of a positive impact than some
major anti-poverty programs at the county level.”
Organic farming: good for you, good for the environment, good for the
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.
Offer: FREE Organic Maine Certified New! Yukon Gem
One of the new varieties we
have been growing in our Experimental Plots is one we believe you will
want to pay attention to and try out. This new variety is Yukon
, a cross between the familiar and famous Yukon
a Scottish variety.
While - of course - similar in
many respects to its parent, Yukon Gem has some distinctive and
impressive attributes, including increased disease
resistance. Compared to Yukon Gold, Yukon Gem is higher yielding
and more resistant to Potato Scab and foliar & tuber Potato
Late Blight. Yukon Gem is a late variety and exhibits long
dormancy in storage – making it an extra
. In the kitchen, Yukon Gem’s
specific gravity is low (moist) and its taste is good.
still have good supplies of most Organic Certified Seed Potato
varieties in-stock, including Yukon Gem. Call us!
We’ll make it easy for you to give Yukon
Gem a try in your garden THIS YEAR on us!
Earn yourself a FREE One-Pound Sack of Organic Yukon
Gem Certified Seed Potatoes
(Value $11.95) when the amount
of goods in your next order totals $25 or more. Please use Promo Code WPF488.
Earn yourself a FREE Two-and-a-Half Pound Sack of
Organic Yukon Gem Certified Seed Potatoes
when the amount of goods in your next order totals $39 or
more. Please use Promo
Earn yourself a FREE Five-Pound Sack of Organic Yukon
Gem Certified Seed Potatoes
(Value $22.95) when the amount
of goods in your next order totals $59 or more. Please use Promo Code WPF490.
Organic Yukon Gem Certified Seed Potato Offers
Midnight Monday, June 6 and entire order must ship by June 17 - so
Call us at Wood Prairie Family Farm (207) 429-9765.
Here for Our Wood Prairie Garden Tools Section.
Yukon Gem. New good tasting and disease-resistant
Not all potatoes are equal when it comes to roasting - or boiling..
Gain an understanding of potato texture
and you will remove the mystery from the culinary side of
potatoes. Many years ago Megan put together our concise and
Prairie Potato Texture Cooking Guide in an
effort to explain this all-important potato texture phenomenon.
Now, a new piece
from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will benefit cooks and
the curious with an expanded explanation on potato texture.
The BBC article is entitled, The
Surprisingly Complex Chemistry of the Humble Spud.
It expertly elaborates on the varied behaviors exhibited by different
varieties of potatoes during the cooking process, based on the
character of the starch by which they are constituted.
"Baked, mashed, boiled, fried – in a general sense, it's hard to do
potatoes wrong. There's something about the fluffiness of a well-baked
potato, the crunch of a nice chip, the creaminess of mash (the best
recipe I know: keep adding butter until it stops being absorbed) that
warms the heart, as well as the taste buds.
"But if you've ever chosen the wrong potato for the job, chances are
you know it. It may not be the kind of thing explained to you in
school, but anyone who's tried to fry red potatoes or make salad with
russets knows, not all spuds are created equal. Some of them – to put
this mildly, as my smoke detector did not – are not meant for frying."
After reading these two pieces you will come away with good
understanding. You will never look at a potato in the same
Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Remarkable Reliance on Wool.
We found this fascinating article, No
Wool, No Vikings, a real
eye-opener. Relating a hands-on contemporary experience, it
the tightly-woven, integral relationship Vikings had with North
Atlantic sheep's wool. Wool was essential not only
for clothing in
the harsh Nordic climate, but also as the raw material for crafting the
square sails that powered their massive fleets of sea-faring boats.
desire to understand the
role of wool in Viking life and culture—and in
their pursuit of land and wealth as far abroad as Constantinople and
Newfoundland—has drawn me to Norway. Braute, built in the tradition of
a 17th-century fishing boat, not much different from the boats the
Vikings sailed, may be my best chance to experience Viking life—both
the wild and the wooly...
"In 1989, workers repairing the roof of a medieval church in Trondenes
in northern Norway found pieces of 600-year-old
stuffed into the attic. While it dates from about three centuries after
the height of the Vikings’ dominance, it belongs to the same sailing
tradition. Chemists, historians, textile experts, and archaeologists
have pored over the chunk of fabric. They learned it was a variation of
wadmal, the basic woolen cloth woven for everyday use throughout the
North Atlantic region, from Viking days right through the Middle Ages.
The wool itself came from northern European short-tailed sheep—the kind
the Vikings kept. Jørgensen says their unusual coat was a key element
in making woolen sails...
"But they need a mind-boggling quantity of wool...Researchers at the
Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, calculated that by the
mid-11th century, the Viking fleet—fishing boats, coastal traders,
cargo ships, and longships—carried roughly one million square meters of
sail, requiring the equivalent of all the wool produced in one year by
about two million sheep...”
We think you will find this excellent piece well worth your time!
Jim & Megan
Here for our Wood Prairie Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.
Thousands of years of close interaction.
|Notable Quote: Robert Frost on Fences.
Ginger Oat Squares.
2 c chopped rhubarb
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 c sugar
1 c water
Combine the rhubarb, fresh
and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb has softened and is falling
apart, about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl pressing on the rhubarb and
ginger to release the juices. Pour the strained rhubarb-ginger syrup
into a bottle or jar and refrigerate. (Save the syrup and use as sauce
over ice cream or mix with seltzer for a refreshing
the rhubarb pulp to cool. Remove and discard the sliced ginger.
Preheat oven to 350 F
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into
the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, brown sugar,
walnuts, and butter in a bowl. Work with your fingers to a crumbly
a 9x9 square baking dish. Pour 3/4
of the oat mixture into the dish and press firmly to cover the bottom
of the dish. Spread the rhubarb pulp over this and then top with the
remaining 1/4 of the oat mixture.
for 30-35 minutes. Cool and then slice
Delicious summer treat.
Ginger Oat Squares.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Mailbox: Organic As Positive Good and GMO Gene Spread Inevitable.
Organic As Positive
I think developing additional marketing strategies
should be a high priority. Consumers are creatures of habit and will
continue to shop at their routine choices. Those choices are
supermarkets with thin margins. They pay wholesale to the farmers, but
farmers need something between wholesale and retail, or they need
higher prices if they only slel a few items as at a farmer's market. We
need massive direct sales. Some farmers do it right from their farm
because they are located to heavily populated areas. Others drive many
miles to sell to CSA customers. That isn't enough to displace a
significant part of the supermarket sales.
The power of the organic Hot Spots
White Paper is that it has the power to help shift the conservation
away from the tiresome, relentless self-serving attacks on organic by
Industrial Ag. The fact that organic farming actually has been
documented to benefit rural economies is a positive good that everyone
can and should get behind.
Yes, the reality of inadequate farm
gate prices must be addressed. It is clear that organic family farmers
continue to struggle financially and they should receive economic
justice. A bushel of Certified Organic soybeans for which the farm gate
price is $20, then made into Certified Organic Soy Milk, is worth $500
of soy milk at retail. Justice would dictate that farmer should receive
a higher percentage of the overall retail price. The system should pay
that farmer at least $5 or $10 per bushel more for her foundational
contribution to the organic community.
GMO Gene Spread
Now in lawns. Roundup
Ready Kentucky Bluegrass: Benefits and Risks.
"In the summer of 2011 Scott's turf company announced the release of
the first genetically engineered turfgrass. Scott's chose to
genetically engineer Kentucky bluegrass, a widely used lawn grass, to
be resistant to glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the
common non-selective herbicide Roundup."
This allowance of GMO grass will be a
contamination-disaster because it has already happened. Spread of GMO
grass genes is "inevitable": "In any case, it is highly unlikely that
spread of the GMO bluegrass could be prevented. An Ohio State
University scientist noted in the Dispatch article that heavier pollen
from bluegrass is not as likely to spread as lighter bentgrass pollen,
which escaped from an Oregon field trial at distances in excess of 20
kilometers. But spread it will, even if at a somewhat slower rate than
report 10 years ago from the National Research Council
noted that gene spread from commercialed GMOs is virtually inevitable.
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm