August 17th, 2018
27 Issue 16
Issue of The Wood
Farming Here and There.
Mingus Grist Mill, Great
Smoky Mountains National Park, Circa 2018.
After attending the Summer Conference of the Direct Gardening
Association in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last week the entire Gerritsen
clan went camping at Elkmont in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National
Park. Everyone enjoyed the exhibits at the Oconaluftee
Mountain Farm Museum
, on the North Carolina side
of the Park, including the operational (rebuilt shortly after the Park
was established in 1934) 1886 water-turbine-powered Mingus Grist
Mill. The ingenuity, craftsmanship and substantial
back-woods-engineering of this largest grist mill in the isolated
Smokies was very impressive.
Meanwhile, back home, our
time-consuming efforts at irrigation work seem to be succeeding in
turning the tide away from dry into a pattern of nearly sufficient
rain. Our rain gauges show that so far in August we’ve had
2.65” with another inch or two on the way for tonight and
Tuesday. We’ve talked with farmers in New Hampshire and
western Massachusetts who got inundated with 9-11”of heavy rains last
weekend. When it rains, it pours!
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Landmark victory against Monsanto earns unanimous
Jury rejection of Monsanto lies.
| Is Justice Catching Up With
Monsanto Company has been around for over one
hundred years. Over that time Monsanto has earned legendary
disdain worldwide for its greed-driven, self-serving agenda and
outlandish aggressive behavior. Over its dreadful history
Monsanto has caused extraordinary harm to people and the
A good argument could be made
that this last week has been one of the worst weeks ever for reviled
corporation Monsanto, all too well-known for its malevolence and
Last Friday, in a “verdict heard round
the world,” a Superior Court jury reached a unanimous
decision and ordered Monsanto to pay groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson $289
Million in combined compensatory and punitive
damages for harm caused by Monsanto’s profitable flagship herbicide
known as “Roundup.” The jury’s verdict not only
found Monsanto’s Roundup presented a substantial danger to people using
their Roundup products, but importantly, Monsanto behaved
egregiously and concluded there was “clear
and convincing evidence” that Monsanto officials acted with “malice or
oppression” in failing to adequately warn of the risks in using
Mr. Johnson’s case
is the first Roundup lawsuit Monsanto has had to face. As of
now, a jaw-dropping 4000
similar Roundup lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto.
Then, two days ago on
Wednesday, the California
Supreme Court rejected Monsanto’s challenge in which it asserted that
its herbicide 'Roundup' should not be listed by the State of California
as a cause of cancer. The Prop 65
California listing followed the 2015 classification of Roundup’s main
ingredient, “Glyphosate,” by a branch of the World Health Organization
as a “probable human
Now that the truth is finally
emerging, is justice finally catching up with Monsanto?
Here for our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes
Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed.
In many ways, Organic
is the standard by which other cover
crops are measured. As a cereal grain it is commonly planted
in the Fall and harvested for grain the following Summer.
While being renowned for its extreme winter-hardiness and therefore as
an excellent protective winter cover crop, Winter Rye may also be
successfully planted as a cover crop during the Spring or Summer.
Rye is considered a highly allelopathic crop meaning it releases high
levels of natural allelochemicals which give Winter Rye a big leg up
against weed competition.
Do keep a good supply of cover
crop seed like Winter Rye on hand on-hand. That way, a
valuable cover crop may be immediately
sown in order to properly protect and improve the soil.
Earn a FREE
2.5 Lb. Sack (enough for sowing 500 square feet) of Organic Winter Rye
Cover Crop Seed
(Value $9.95) when your next order totals
just $39 or more. FREE Organic Winter Rye
Cover Crop Seed Offer
ends 11:59 PM on Monday, August
20. Please use Promo
. Your order and FREE Sack of Organic Winter Rye Cover
must ship by September 7, 2018. Offer may not be
combined with other offers. Please place your order today!
Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Cover Crop Seed.
Organic Winter Rye. This photo with clovers growing
underneith demonstrates the incredible cover cropping capability of
this legendary cereal grain. (Photo by Jean English)
|Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.
& Jim Gerritsen Share Their Views in Caleb's Repair
Last month, during our record hot July, four staffers from MOFGA (Maine
Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) went on a tour of Aroostook
County and stopped by Wood Prairie Family Farm for a visit.
Here, Caleb (left) responds to one of their questions in his Repair
keeps the equipment running on this farm and that is one tall order
which keeps him plenty busy. Thanks to generous
folks like you, we held a successful crowdfunding project back in 2002
and that helped us build Caleb’s slick 30’ x 70’ Quonset hut Repair
Shop. Caleb is a natural at all things mechanical (he’s been
driving farm pickups since he was 5 years old) and earned a degree in
‘Diesel Hydraulics’ from the wonderful local Northern Maine Community
Prairie's Big Pond Looking East.
MOFGA Editor Jean English snapped this shot of our Big Pond which has
been used for irrigation during this dry Summer. If you look
closely, you can see water ripples being made by members of our
resident pond family of Wood Ducks.
Prairie's 'Petunia' Dexter-Cross Calf. Little
Petunia – a cross between her Irish Dexter mom and a Lowline Angus bull
- is dwarfed by some tall Yellow-Blossom
Sweet Clover just prior to that pasture being
chopped. She’s standing in the ‘Elm Field’ which lies west of
the Big Pond. Our four-year rotation calls for this field to
be planted next year to grow Organic
Certified Seed Potatoes.
Winter Rye Growing on Wood Prairie Family Farm.
Caleb’s sister, Sarah, is a budding photographer and she captured this
beautiful shot from our field of Organic
Winter Rye. We’re waiting for a few
days of bone dry weather and then we’ll harvest this cereal Rye crop
which will be used as top notch cover crop seed and to be ground into
flour for delicious Rye bread.
Wood Prairie Felines Chub & Cooper at Rest. A
rare shot of two of our barn cats perched high, resting and in
observation mode. Old timer Chub (left) is Jim’s
favorite (perhaps because he is more like an
attention-seeking dog than a stand-offish cat) and often
during the winter will come down to visit him in the cellar as he is
grading potatoes. Despite appearances, our crew of barn cats
are hard-workers and effectively keeps down rodent populations around
the farmstead and farm buildings.
Horizontal Grindstone. Peter’s (Caleb's
brother) thumb-to-pinky 9” hand-spread on a millstone in the remarkable
Mingus Mill in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mill utilized a water-powered
cast-iron turbine which generated 12-horsepower – enough
to run the many functions in the mill including two pairs of 36-inch
horizontal mill stones, grain cleaner, huge bolter for separating
fineness of the ground flour, and a bucket elevator for conveying grain
up to the second floor so grain – usually corn - could gravity feed
down to the grindstones on the first floor. For numerous
reasons corn has always
been king in the Smoky Mountains, including its superior
resilience and performance in a challenging climate with lots of Summer
thunderstorms and 85” of annual precipitation. The main corn variety grown was
the heirloom Hickory
Cable Grist Mill in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National
Park. Another not-to-be-missed activity in the
Park is to drive (or bicycle ride on Wednesday and Saturday mornings
when automobiles are excluded) the beautiful
twelve-mile loop road around Cades Cove, a 2000-foot elevation,
isolated historic mountain valley on the Tennessee (north)
side of the Park. Probably because we have grown and milled
organic grain, the Cable Mill also held a lot of fascination for
us. While a waterwheel was less efficient and certainly less
sophisticated than a water turbine, all waterwheel components could be
fabricated on-site from native hardwoods, including the
gears. The inventiveness and workmanship skill involved in
these two grist mills was extraordinary.
Gregory Gravestone Behind Primitive Baptist Church in Cades
Cove. During the Civil War, both the Primitive
Baptist Church and the nearby Methodist Church in Cades Cove had among
its members Union and Confederate sympathizers. Both churches
closed their doors for the duration of the War as a peaceable solution
for mighty differences of opinion. “Gregory Bald,” located in what
is now the Park, seven miles southwest as the crow flies from these
Churches - on the Tennessee/North Carolina state border –
was named after Mr. Gregory. He was one of Cades Coves’ most
prominent citizens and a Union patriot. While 150 years later
there are varying
accounts of the details which resulted in his tragic death,
there is universal acceptance of the family’s belief that patriarch
Russell Gregory was in fact shot and killed in 1864 by Rebels from
|The Dalai Lama on Education.
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat
1/2 cup rolled
1 T baking
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c chopped pecans
1 medium zucchini
3/4 c salad oil
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease (12) 3" x 1 1/2" muffin pan cups.
In large bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl,
beat eggs slightly; stir in grated zucchini and salad oil. Stir egg
mixture into flour just until flour is moistened.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and
toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox