December 10, 2014
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Gifts & Winter Logging.
the Season for Maine Logging. Historically,
Winter has been the prime season for logging in Maine. With
the ground frozen, wet areas were easier to traverse, huge loads could
be pulled across iced roads on sleds with metal runners, and farmers
would be available for steady winterlong work. Also, there
were no pesky Black Flies.
This month we have a two-man logging
crew using European-style tracked machines cleaning up the forest
blow-downs from our fierce storm last Summer. On Saturday,
July 5, the after affects of Tropical Storm Arthur brought heavy rains
to Maine – six inches on our farm – accompanied by high winds of 40
mph. Huge trees in full leaf throughout our woodlot toppled over under
the strain. Now, the cleaned up wood is going to local mills
to be made into paper, lumber and chipboard for home construction.
Inside we’re busy shipping Holiday
orders and keeping the wood stoves fired. There’s still time
for you to place your orders and have them arrive by
Christmas. Please call us and let us know how we can help you!
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
| Tide Mill Farm
Needs Our Help To Build Organic Infrastructure in Downeast Maine!
This week, our good friends, longtime
MOFGA-Certified-Organic farmers Aaron and Carly Bell and family of Tide
Mill Farm in Downeast Maine launched their much
Crowdfunding Campaign. Their goal with
this campaign is to raise critically needed funds for the incredible
Community Poultry Processing Plant being constructed on-farm.
Please watch their short film (3:10)
and donate TODAY
to the visionary project created by this incredible young family.
The Bell family has been farming on
Tide Mill Farm since 1765 when patriarch Robert Bell, then a
sixteen-year-old immigrant from Scotland, landed on coastal
Maine. As Maine
author Mary Quinn Doyle describes young Robert’s reception,
“He was befriended by Passamaquoddy Indians and taken by canoe from
Sipayik, where the Passamaquoddy Indians hunted and fished, to Crane
Mill Stream in Edmunds. The stream cuts through the beautiful
property now known as Tide Mill Farm. It was at this spot
that Robert decided to build a grist mill to grind corn and wheat.”
Now, nine generations have
passed. Aaron & Carly are serious and
determined. They have dedicated
their lives to reviving Downeast agriculture. No one in
the State of Maine have worked harder nor sacrificed more to advance
regional organic farming than Aaron & Carly. They
were instrumental in launching the farmer-owned
Maine’s Own Organic (MOO) Milk company to keep afloat
at-risk certified organic dairy farms in isolated Downeast and Northern
Maine. In Cecily Pingree’s unforgettable film about the MOO
Milk struggles, Betting
the Farm, this young Bell family is remembered
as the stars.
We know the Bell’s well. Their oldest
girls and our daughters Sarah and Amy are the same age and have grown
up together like cousins.
Aaron & Carly are trusted friends of the highest caliber,
tireless workers and extraordinarily effective builders of local
community. Last month, Jim and Carly made a
joint presentation about regional organic farming at University of
Maine Machias. By the audience reception, it was obvious the
Bell family is true Downeast rock stars. After the event, Aaron gave
Jim a midnight-tour-by-flashlight of the stunning on-farm poultry
facility now under construction. It is
this Poultry Processing Plant which the new Indiegogo campaign is all
about. The processing plant by design
will involve the
community and will create a critical missing-link
organic production and marketing infrastructure
hub for all of Downeast Maine.
One story from Jim illustrates the quiet integrity and unquestioning
dedication of the Bell family. About a year and
a half ago in April 2013, when Maine's Joint Legislative Ag Committee
was holding the single public hearing on LD 718, Maine's Right-to-Know GMO
Labeling bill, Aaron Bell telephoned Jim around noontime
while the hearing was in progress. He asked if he was needed to
testify. Jim told Aaron the Committee really
benefited when they received testimony from real live farmers, but it
was a long way and it was up to him. Within the hour, Aaron had started out from Tide
Mill Farm on the long winding drive towards Augusta. After
four hours Aaron arrived at the State Capitol.
He was one of the last persons to testify. Aaron’s testimony eloquently laid
out the case for mandatory labeling of GMO food.
His words were powerful
and he captivated the entire Ag Committee. Aaron's major
effort and willingness to help contributed to our ultimately successful
vote out of the Ag Committee. That Committee endorsement provided the
momentum necessary to eventually pass the nation’s second GMO labeling law
with nearly unanimous votes by both houses of the Maine
For this essential poultry
processing plant, Aaron
& Carly have personally taken on the risk of the enormous
financial commitment. The funding gap is huge: $100,000.
If they are to succeed, Aaron
& Carly MUST have everyone’s help. Please WATCH
their excellent film, GIVE generously
word of their project widely with your networks.
Let's show the world the
organic community supports its own. Please do all
you can to support these
young heroes of authentic organic agriculture.
Jim & Megan
Here for Tide Mill Farm’s Indiegogo Campaign.
Tide Mill Farm's New Indiegogo
Project Needs Our Donation.
After many years of the Bells
self-less giving, it's our turn to help them out.
Sampler-of-the-Month. A popular gift idea.
| Special Offer: FREE Month of Delicious
Month after month, year after year,
decade after decade, our Wood Prairie Farm
is our Best-Selling gift! Treat yourself or a loved one to
heavenly monthly shipments. Each month’s Sampler is composed
three different unusual and delectable Organic
varieties we grow right here on Wood Prairie Farm in Northern
Maine. Every cook is sure to enjoy these scrumptious
Booklet and FREE Potato
Postcards sent with every shipment!
and we GUARANTEE
your Sampler will arrive by
husband has been ordering gift Sampler-of-the-Months for
the last 5 years, and he gets great compliments
With our Special Offer, we’ll tack on
FREE Month of Organic
Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month when you order an Eight-Month-Club
or Five-Month-Club for yourself or as gifts for your
Friends or Family. Get a FREE Extra Month
Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month offer ends Midnight Monday,
December 15, 2014.
Please use Promo Code WPF431.
Your order and FREE
Extra Month Organic
Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month Club must begin and ship by
12/17/14. This offer may not be combined with other
offers. Please call or click today!
Questions? Call Wood Prairie Farm (800) 829-9765.
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Kitchen Potato Section.
| Good Read: Unique Maine Farms
by Mary Quinn Doyle.
You would spend a long term searching
for a better gift than a copy of Mary Quinn Doyle’s excellent new book,
Maine Farms. And don’t for a minute
think this book will only be of interest to Mainers.
The fact is Maine has a remarkable
diversity of farms that will dazzle everybody, everywhere. Mary has
captured and written engaging
stories about 178 of the unique farms she discovered in her two years
of travels criss-crossing the State of Maine.
Her section headings reveal the vast
array she covers in this fascinating book: Fruit and
Flower Farms, Farms Raising Animals, Native Farming and Gathering,
Historic and Cultural Farms, Fiber Farms, Tree-Related Farms,
Diversified Farms, Aquaculture, Vegetable, Herb and Plant Farms,
Tree-Related Farms, Fruit and Flower Farms, Research and School Farms
and Farming for Everyone.
Because we focus on raising organic
seed, you’ll find our Wood Prairie Farm under “Farms with a Preservation Focus.”
Our friends, the Bells, at Tide Mill Organic Farm are to be found under
the “Dairy Farms”
Mary’s writing is warm and
engaging. The reader will be grateful indeed for the fact
that beyond being a good writer, Mary is also an accomplished
photographer. The book is blessed with over 400 color photographs
of her unique Maine farms.
The book is wedded to Mary’s exhaustive
Maine Farms website. This project has
been a selfless labor of love for Mary. Proceeds from the
sale of Unique Maine Farms will be used for educational purposes and to
provide a complimentary copy to every library in the State of
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Unique Maine Farms.
wonderful book to read or gift.
| Notable Quotes:
Dr. Arpad Pusztai on Integrity.
by Angela Wotton
- 2 lightly beaten eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups mashed
- 2 cups turkey, chopped
- 2 cups stuffing
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, whisk together the
eggs, onion and pepper. Gently mix in the potatoes, turkey and stuffing.
- In a large skillet, heat butter and
oil over medium. Drop potato mixture by ½ cup into pan and press down
- Cook 4 to 5 minutes each side,
until heated through and golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and serve.
Great brunch dish!
Makes 10 to 12 patties
Our Mailbox: Dust
From Kansas, Stand In Their Way, Holding the Bag.
Dust From Kansas.
pollen deposition in relation to distance.
Since ships in the Atlantic saw dust from Kansas during the Dust Bowl
it seems pretty silly to think that there is any adequate isolation
distance for GMO pollen.
the sun's UV radiation degrades and neutralizes the corn pollen over
time/distance. Those of us who grow seed - including in our case
organic seed corn - need the protection of just public policy which
corresponds with scientifically-valid isolation. To date, political
considerations have created scientifically undefendable, inadequate
isolations. The owner of the polluting technology must be restrained
from harming the commons. That's justice.
Stand in Their Way.
read where Monsanto was going to start producing organic seed.
That would be
seed I wouldn't trust. The credibility of organic can be distilled as
coming down to definitions. Corporations - both those outside the
organic community like Monsanto, and those who have forced their way
into the organic industry by buying up once independent organic
companies - can and do exert their influence to attempt to water down
organic standards and definitions. Their motivation in this malevolent
activity is greed and is aimed at improving their bottom line. It's our
job to stand in their way and work to protect the organic community
from self-serving invaders.
Holding The Bag.
is this not surprising in a country that focuses on Profit at the high
expense of health. CDC predicts by 2050 they will have a diabetes rate
of 66% (approx). The number of obese students and staff in my high
school is mushrooming, and it is located in a very, very rural part of
and Big Food corporations have externalized the costs of adverse
effects on health and well being. The people are left holding the bag
and the taxpayers get billed for the collateral damage. The costs
should and must be internalized. The perverted Golden Rule ("He who has
the gold, rules") applies now and the people are forced to subsidize
the effects of the elite's bad behavior. This dysfunction will NOT
continue forever. The last shall be first and the first shall be last.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm