Prairie Seed Piece
October 6th 2017
25 Issue 15
Issue of The Wood
Center, Maine Circa 1960
Maine has always been a good place to
live. So it
shouldn’t be hard to understand that Maine is where a Mainer wants to
be when that life is coming to an end.
Megan’s great grandfather was a hard-working Maine farmer by the name
of Arthur Libby, born in 1872. “Grandpa Libby” bought his
family’s farm in the western Maine town of Turner in 1902. At
close of WWI, he sold that farm and bought another smaller farm in
Turner Center where for decades he kept cattle and pigs, and grew
apples and blueberries. Like most any
Maine farm, the
family’s hard work brought about a decent living, though of course no
one ever approached getting rich.
Grandpa Libby was active in his community, serving in the Grange, the
local church (it was a Universalist Church) and town government.
Interestingly, Julia, Arthur’s wife was fourteen years Arthur’s
senior. In fact, as a young woman Julia had taught Arthur in
Libbys were married for many years, and then Julia passed in
1944. Shortly after the end of WWII, Grandpa Libby resettled
to Florida with his daughter, Hilda.
The years went by in Florida. When Grandpa Libby realized his
time was coming near, he surveyed the options in front of
came to the conclusion that he, by gory, was not about to die anywhere
but in his great State of Maine. So during the
1959-1960, with help, he made his way back north to the farm he still
owned in Turner Center and was taken care of by his other daughter,
Libby, by nature, was resolute and a Mainer of few words.
to Mainers, particularly of his generation, Mr. Libby had effortlessly
long, long ago mastered the art of frugality. Frugality itself was not
an insubstantial reason behind Grandpa Libby’s farming success, and
behind the success of most every Maine farmer.
One morning, after having gotten settled back into Maine for a week or
two, Mr. Libby decided it was about time to lay things out.
his priorities straight, at breakfast one morning, to dispel any
misconceptions, he curtly explained, “I change my teabag on
It was late that
winter that Grandpa Libby, at the age of 84, died in his own
in his own house, in the great State of Maine.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed.
Incredibly winter-hardy Organic
Winter Rye Seed
is a wonderful winter-time cover crop. Even here in the north
will start growing in the cool soil of Fall after potato harvest and
remain green and alive all winter under snow cover. Then in
Spring, it will start growing lush and fast when everything else is
still asleep from Winter.
Here’s your chance to earn
some FREE Organic Winter Rye
Cover Crop Seed
for your garden. Receive a FREE
2.5 Lbs. Sack of Our Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed
(Value $9.95) when your next order totals $49 or more. FREE
Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed Offer
ends 11:59 PM on
Monday, October 9, 2017, so please don’t delay!
Please use Promo Code WPFF414
. Your order
and FREE Organic Winter Rye
Cover Crop Seed
must ship by May 5, 2018. Offer may not be
combined with other offers. Please
call or click today!
Here for for Wood Prairie Certifed Organic Cover Crop Seed
The perfect Winter cover crop.
|The Fight to
|DEFENDING THE INTEGRITY OF
By Eliot Coleman
indisputable raw material of the organic farm is a biologically active
fertile soil. Soil fertility does not require purchased inputs. It is
endlessly renewable with compost, crop rotation, green manures, grazing
livestock and other time-honored practices that nurture the boundless
energy of the earth. Truly fertile soil produces food of the highest
nutritional quality. Pest-free plants and animals with active immune
systems are a direct result of a biologically active fertile soil that
induces pest resistance in the crops. Research into the miraculous soil
micro-biome is opening new vistas for understanding the parameters of a
wholly “biological” agriculture. What organic farmers have accomplished
to date is just the beginning of the transformation of our human
relationship with the planet. We need to protect the hundred-year-old
meaning of the word “organic” so its future potential is not
compromised by association with mercenary industrial production systems
that bear no relation to the environmental promise the word has always
my role as president of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association I
have attended the last six expert citizen advisory National Organic
Standards Board (NOSB) meetings and I will also be at the late October
NOSB meeting in Jacksonville. These meetings are real
and one gets a front row seat to the increasing corporate-takeover of
has the Organic Trade Association (OTA) sold out,
led the loss of organic integrity, partnered
worked to pre-empt Maine and Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law and generally
worked to facilitate the agenda of GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Assn)
corporations? Because these same GMA corporations have bought
their way into organic and now run the OTA. We are facing a
and untenable situation.
What is developing
is a perfect-storm-threat
to authentic organic family farmers and therefore, to
virtually everyone in the real organic community.
our perspective from Maine:
grain farmers are facing ruin from lost markets and depressed prices
due to fraudulent
being imported from Turkey and
*Honest organic dairy farmers who play by the rules are facing lowered
prices and reduced quota due to a milk glut created by illegal
CAFOs out West
which do not meet the required
pasture access rule. One single bogus "Certified Organic" 10,000 cow
dairy operation in the West produces more milk that all of Maine's
organic dairy farmers combined.
*How can an authentic Maine
Certified Organic pasture-raised layer or broiler farm compete with illegal "Certified Organic" CAFOs
containing 200,000 to 1,000,000 birds
which provide no
outdoor access as required by the
? They can't win when the
deck has been stacked against them. Who
do you think is buying and feeding out all that fraudulent East
European "organic" grain?
*And now we have an invasion
by mega mega scale
(crops grown without soil in water and fed by soluble nutrients) who
are mounting a sophisticated campaign with the backing of
Wall Street money. In collusion with USDA, Big Hydro is out
con the organic industry into accepting that genuine organic farming is
is in fact the absolute foundation of the revolutionary definition of
organic farming going back 100 years.
Soil is what makes organic work, what makes the taste and nutrition of
our food superior, and
through carbon sequestration what contributes materially to combating
*Greenhouse tomatoes grown in Holland, if marketed domestically would
be prohibited from being called "organic." However, export
to the USA and USDA allows these same tomatoes to be labeled “Certified
Organic." Even well-intentioned produce managers don't know
undifferentiated "organic" tomatoes they are selling came from fake Corporate Hydro "organic"
*Corporate Hydro fake "organic" doesn't stop at tomatoes. It
includes greens, peppers, cukes, blueberries and more. Those
crops represent a huge portion of honest organic vegetable farmers
gross income. Backyard
a Maine Hydro operation was recently bought out by a Corporate
"organic" Hydro operation in the Midwest. How long will it be
before Backyard Farms gets a sell-out certifier to certify their tomato
production as "organic?" What percentage of authentic Maine
organic vegetable farm sales do tomatoes account for? What
the future hold for authentic vegetable farmers who try to compete
against corporate Hydro tomatoes marketed as Maine, Local and “Organic?”
Will Backyard Farms’ future production stop at "organic tomatoes?"
A decisive 2010 vote by the NOSB
- 12 to 1 - determined hydroponics is not an acceptable organic
However, hostile and renegade USDA ignored that clear NOSB
consensus. The cat is out of the bag and we now know USDA has
been allowing financially-conflicted certifiers to invent their own
‘rules’ and certify mega corporate operations like Driscolls and
We are in a grueling fight for
the soul and survival of organic as we have built it over many decades.
Should corporate/governmental collusion prevail and organic production
be severed from the soil, many of us believe there will be an
accelerated loss of organic integrity. How much more degradation of
organic integrity must occur before we entirely lose the confidence of
organic consumers? The
robustness of organic integrity impacts all of us regardless of what
crops a farmer may grow or a consumer may eat.
The chief battleground now is Hydroponics because that is the issue on
the front burner and now facing a vote at the Jacksonville NOSB
meeting. A lot of hard work has gone into keeping-the-soil-in-organic
and fighting the corporate takeover of organic. But we need
help. Our series
of Rallies across the country
are being held now and leading up to the late October NOSB
meeting. The Rallies are an effort to channel farmer and
resistance against further degradation of organic integrity, authentic
organic farming, and the demise of organic family farmers.
Please, go our alliance
to see how you can help.
Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
|Notable Quotes: John Carroll
on Free Societies.
3 T shortening or lard
3/4 c sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
1 c cooked, mashed potatoes
1/2 c milk
1 c whole wheat
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg
shortening or cooking oil for deep frying
shortening or lard and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add egg yolks and egg white and beat until thick, about 1 minute. Add
mashed potato and mix to combine. Sift together the whole wheat flour,
all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, mace and nutmeg. Alternately
add flour mixture and milk to batter, beating after each addition until
Cover dough and chill for 2 hours.
out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough until 1/2 inch thick.
Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Reroll as
Fry doughnuts, 2 or 3 at a time, in deep, hot fat,
(365 F), about 1 minute on each side or until golden, turning once with
a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnut
and doughnut holes.
Good with milk or tea.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Big Elba Crop.
Just wanted to give you an update on our potatoes.
Elbas yielded two bushels per 100 foot row. This compares to a little
over a bushel for our Kennebecs in years past. Same organic material,
from same cows and a much better growing season this year (better
rainfall and less bugs). We probably left close to a half bushel of
potatoes per row due to bites and holes. We got them out yesterday with
the upcoming rainfall from Irma scheduled to give us 2-4 inches here in
Western North Carolina starting tomorrow evening and into Tuesday. Hope
you and family are well and having a good Fall. The second pic is of
them spread out to dry in the garage before we put them in the root
and a great looking crop of Elbas!
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox