Friday November 01, 2013
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Look For Our Holiday
2013 Catalog Soon in Your Mailbox.
The photo above is the
day after a December snowfall on Wood Prairie Farm.Catalogs are mailing
Right on schedule, we
harvested the last of our organic
last Friday. Since harvest
we've been working on getting our firewood in. Jim interrupted that
effort to spend one day at an excellent Soil Health Conference held at
the Southern Aroostook
. Most notable was Ray Archuleta, a
dynamic speaker from USDA NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service).
He spoke frankly of major problems now being encountered nationally by
what we would call a wrong-minded concept of agriculture and
mis-management of our soil. Of course, we've been hearing about this
land crisis for many decades at organic conferences. But now to hear it
from the mouth of a USDA circuit-speaker - representing new
re-directions in policy from the highest levels of the USDA in
Washington DC - was really quite something to behold.
The dead end of chemical agriculture
has become an acute problem and brought our nation risky food
insecurity. We think you'll enjoy this YouTube
video (1:30:15) which captured Ray's similar presentation
last year in South Dakota. Ray has given this soil health class to over
5,000 farmers in well over 30 states on his way to traveling to all 50
states. His approach is effective. He deserves credit for being a
straight shooter delivering a message that some in the audience would
find hard to swallow.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
John Bunker. His
legacy is heirloom apples.
Maine's Heirloom Apple King.
Part-time Maine resident Martha Stewart
a fine article on our friend John Bunker and his
lifelong search for the finest heirloom Maine apples. Included in her
article is "John Bunker's Apple Pie" recipe designed for comparing
apple-to-apple excellence as a pie apple. "For the past 40 years
preservation pomologist John Bunker has turned four of the 100 acres of
his Super Chilly Farm, in Palermo, Maine, with its more than 200
heirloom varieties, into a living testament to the history of apples in
New England. Not only does the 62-year-old's land preserve varieties
that are more than 200 years old, but Bunker also aims to revive an
appetite for them with a CSA
that delivers 12 pounds of unusual heirloom apples every other week to
its 70 devoted shareholders...Red Delicious these apples are not; their
flavors are so far from what we would come to expect from the produce
aisle that they are seldom something we would just chomp into. 'Our
customers actually want the apples no one else has heard of,' says
John is also the main force behind
phenomenal ten-acre legacy Heritage Orchard of
over 500 extraordinary heirloom apple trees. Read about and view some
of those great
heirloom apples in the orchard in this MOFGA article.
Jim & Megan
Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Pommes de Terre
(Apples of the Earth)
Country in the World.
We find this news
easy to believe. A new
study shows Denmark on top as the world's
Three years ago we were part of a research team from Maine
and Vermont which traveled to Denmark to study their organic bread
wheat system. From what we could see Denmark is a strong model which
America can learn a lot from. Danes have every right to be happy. "The
six factors for a happy nation split evenly between concerns on a
government- and on a human-scale. The happiest countries have in common
a large GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy at birth and a lack of
corruption in leadership. But also essential were three things over
which individual citizens have a bit more control over: A sense of
social support, freedom to make life choices and a culture of
After our travels to Denmark we
wrote a paper on one of the organic farms we visited. Find that paper
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Grain Section.
Denmark. Happy bikers. Half of Copenhagen commuters get
to work by riding a bicycle.
Gandhi. Guiding the way.
Quotes: Gandhi on Fear.
enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear."
- Mahatma Gandhi
1869 - 1948
Roasted Fall Vegetables & Ricotta Pizza.
a shallow baking dish, roast the following vegetables with 2 T olive
oil, salt and pepper in a 400ºF degree oven for about one hour:
diced into 1/2" chunks
, separated into cloves with skins removed
oil, for baking sheet and drizzling
oz mozzarella cheese, grated
c ricotta cheese
T fresh rosemary leaves, (optional)
oven to 475 degrees. Brush a large baking sheet with oil. Roll and
stretch dough into a 12-by-16-inch oval and transfer to sheet
dough with half the mozzarella. Scatter vegetables on top, and dollop
with ricotta; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and, if using,
rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake
until bubbling and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.
No Pizza Rut Here. Roasted vegetables rock.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Rose Finn Apple. Finnish
| Special Offer: FREE Organic Rose Finn
Apple Fingerling Potatoes.
If you would like to taste a great potato that
was enjoyed nearly two centuries ago then you should try our Rose Finn
Apple Fingerling. Our research about this wonderful heirloom potato has
found documentation that Rose
Finn Apple has been grown continually since at least the
1840s. Roast Rose Finn Apple with olive oil and thyme
and you will know why it has been a favorite for
Now here's your chance to earn a FREE
$15.95) - 2 lbs Sack of Organic Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
- when the goods on your next order totals $55 or more. FREE 2 lbs Sack of Organic Rose Finn
Apple Fingerling Potatoes offer ends Midnight on
Monday, November 4, 2013, so you better hurry!
Please use Promo Code WPF1161. Your order and FREE 2 lbs Sack of Organic Rose Finn
Apple Fingerling Potatoes must ship
by 12/10/13. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call
or click today!
Click here for our Wood Prairie
Farm Organic Fingerling Section.
Mailbox: New Hampshire Progress, Bona Fide Organic, Public and
Progress on GMO Labeling.
NEW HAMPSHIRE TAKES FIRST
HISTORIC STEP IN PASSING MAJOR RIGHT-TO-KNOW GMO LABEL BILL!
With a motto of "live free or
die" NH should have been the first to pass anti-GMO legislation.
World Wide WebWPF Replies.
of strong & sound GMO Food Label legislation in the UNited
States is to come up to the world standard for the labeling of food
made from GMOs, the acronym for genetically modified organisms. It is
unrealistic to imagine one can leap frog past the European level of
transparency. We in the USA will be fortunate when we can match the
European/world standard which is what our GMO Food Label law effort's
are all about. Consistent with world standards, if GMO salmon becomes
allowed it will have to be labeled as GMO because it is a genetically
engineered organism. Consistent with world standards, the products from
a cow (milk, meat) itself NOT genetically engineered would NOT be
labeled because that food does NOT originate from a genetically
engineered organism. The principle is to label food which is derived
from genetic engineering. That is the world standard we in the USA are
seeking to emulate.
It is expected that next week (likely
November 7) the full NH House Enviornment and Agriculture Committee
will discuss and vote on HB 660. If you are in New Hampshire, now is the time to
telephone members of the full Committee and urge their support of
Right-to-Know GMO Labeling in NH. Find all the
details you need here from our friends at NOFA-NH.
Trouble for regular organic consumers is
the bad guys have co-opted the language and they lie, so you end up
paying more for the same poison.
World Wide Web
That concern is not correct. In the United States
the word 'organic' is now (since Oct 2002) regulated by the USDA
National Organic Program (NOP). In other words, unlike the meaningless
'natural,' organic has a legal definition and it is a good one. Those
of us who are certified organic farmers must comply with a public and
transparent set of production standards which meet the world norm for
bona fide organic production. Our operations are carefully monitored by
our USDA-accredited certifier and the certifiers employ an independent
inspector to inspect our farm and our paperwork in an annual mandatory
review process. Organic food processors undergo a parallel process of
USDA-accredited organic certification. The organic certification system
was created decades ago (we have been certified organic for 31 years)
by the organic community to protect its members from fraud in the
marketplace. I served as a volunteer on the MOFGA Certification
Committee for over 20 years and I can vouch for how well organic
certification is run. I believe 'certified organic' continues to be the
best system assuring genuine food integrity which serves the American
consumer very well.
A guy is claiming that organic potato
farmers use DOW chemicals to treat the potatoes and they aren't
organic. What say you?
New York, NYWPF Replies.
Your 'guy' is mistaken. Certified organic farmers
are strictly regulated by USDA-accredited certification agencies who,
along with independent third-party inspectors and a verified paperwork
trail, make sure we adhere to USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
standards which are public and consistent with the world norms for
practices and inputs appropriate for organic production. This
regulation includes the monitoring and use of authorized organic
inputs. As is common knowledge, the Ag industry has been undergoing
consolidation for decades. The point where we now find ourselves is
that there is monopoly control of many basic Ag inputs like seed and
even organic biological inputs. I am not familiar with the man you
refer to nor the inputs he in turn is referring to. However, if a
certified organic farmer is using an input, that material must be
approved and consistent with the norms of world organic production, as
reflected by NOP regs. Certified organic potato farmers, of course,
must adhere to these same solid organic standards.
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm