Wood Prairie Seed Piece
            e-Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                      Friday, July 22, 2016
                       Volume 24 Issue 14


                                                  

 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:


      Into Mid-Summer.

     Maine's First Barrel Harvester for Potatoes. Necessity is the mother of invention and during the war years there was a shortage of labor on Maine farms. Potatoes were a critical component of the allied war effort and farmers then as now, are always pursuing innovations in their march for progress. This photo was taken in the fall of 1943 in the Aroostook town of Cary (near Houlton). Potaotes were harvested into 11-peck barrels and then the full barrels (165 lbs) were hoisted ('histed') onto flatbed trucks with the assistance of a hydraulic boom on a tractor.
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 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.


OSGATA Severs Ties to Organic Trade Association.
OSGATA Quits OTA.

          In a dramatic move last week, following a unanimous voted of its Board of Directors, the farmer-run national membership trade group Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) announced the end of their membership in Organic Trade Association (OTA) – and severed OTA’s membership in OSGATA because of violations of its Code of Ethics.

     “It’s important for the world to understand that it was the Organic Trade Association that killed our state GMO labeling laws by backing Monsanto’s Stabenow-Roberts bill,” said Maine organic seed farmer and longtime OSGATA President, Jim Gerritsen. 

     “It’s clear that Organic Trade Association has come under the control of a small group of lobbyists controlled by giant-food corporations that also own organic brands.  In an effort to protect their own bottom lines and those of their parent companies, the reckless actions of these large parent-owned organic companies threaten the survival of organic farmers and the organic community we have all worked so hard for decades to build.  The Organic Trade Association can no longer be trusted and it’s clear that organic farmers can no longer condone this dubious trade association’s troubling behavior.  Effective immediately, the farmer-run organic seed trade group OSGATA resigns from OTA and we call on other honest organic organizations and companies to do the same.”


     The contentious issue has been the OTA’s jaw-dropping public support – and behind the scenes lobbying for the disastrous Monsanto-backed Stabenow-Roberts DARK Act (S.764).  This bill is designed to preempt strong State GMO Labeling laws passed in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Alaska.  The extremely poorly constructed bill – which was roundly criticized by the FDA for its atrocious content and language – is at once bogus and toothless.  Described by industry-backers as “mandatory” in fact it is effectively voluntary in that it prohibits financial penalty for noncompliance and has no product recall authorization.  Imagine an income tax with no financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Many GMO foods would slip through loop holes and not be labeled.  Also, rather than requiring the simple on-package wording “Made with Genetic Engineering” the bill – which won’t take effect for two years - would  allow manufacturers to choose from a confusing patchwork of gimmicks like “QR” Codes and (800) numbers.

    The shocking duplicity and back-stabbing by OTA was too much to bear for OSGATA.  In addition to withdrawing its membership from OTA, OSGATA also terminated OTA’s membership in OSGATA for Code of Ethics violations related to public misrepresentations by OTA as it sought to fool U.S. Senators into believing the organic community was in favor of the Monsanto bill.

   The truth is there has been universal opposition to Stabenow-Roberts by the organic community.  However, the OTA misrepresentations provided Senators with the political cover needed to switch their votes.  Many Senators had already accepted campaign contributions from Monsanto – and hoped to receive more in upcoming elections.

   Subsequent to the OTA betrayal, the bill passed the Senate and the House.  The attempt is now to convince President Obama to veto the dangerous bill.  You can help by taking one minute to sign this White House petition.

   There will be further developments -  including how you can help - and we promise to keep you informed.

Thanks!

Jim & Megan

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.



 

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Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop Seed Section.
Recipe: Whole Wheat Croissants.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp organic yeast
2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp sugar (can use less)
2 Cups milk (whole or 2%)
1lb butter (at 65ºF)
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1Tbsp milk) optional

Bring the milk to room temperature in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Whisk the dry ingredient into the milk and then knead for 5-7 minutes, or mix in stand mixer on medium for about 4 minutes. Proof in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough onto lightly floured surface, fold the dough, then refrigerate in an air tight (or almost air tight) container for about 2 hours.
Using parchment or waxed paper, create an 8 x 8 inch square slab out of the pound of butter. Place the wrapped butter slab in the fridge.

Take the butter out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you take out the dough so it has a chance to soften a little. You want the butter to be slightly pliable (about 65 degrees) at the time you take the dough out of the fridge.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 14 x 14 inch square. Place the butter in the center of the dough with the corners of the butter in the center of the straight edges of the dough (a square of dough with a diamond of butter in the middle).

One at a time, fold the corners of the dough towards the center of the butter, overlapping the dough folds as you go.
All the butter must be contained in the dough package.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle enough so it can be folded into three sections, letter style.

Wrap the dough package in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Repeat this rolling, folding and refrigerating process three more times for a total of four folds. (Only about 20 in the fridge is necessary between the 2nd and 4th folds.)
After the 4th fold and yet another period in the fridge, the dough is now ready to use, or it can be kept in the refrigerator overnight and used the next morning.
Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick all over.

Make the desired shapes and treats, let proof in a warm spot for about two hours or until somewhat risen and kinda puffy, (time depends on the proofing temperature). Lightly brush with egg wash before or after proofing (optional).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees before the dough has finished proofing. Bake for about 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown.

-Megan

Recipe modified from Breadtopia


Whole Wheat Croissants.
Photo by Breadtopia.

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 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm
 www.woodprairie.com