Prairie Farm Seed
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Friday, February 25, 2011
Recipe: Potato and Celery
mornings ago we talked to one of our farmers in
northern Georgia who was looking forward to a nice sunny day in the low
seventies. Folks have been dry down South. While
this can present problems for starting
and growing crops it is a
gift for getting tillage and planting done quickly and efficiently A
any other time of the year in the humid East is a problem for farmers
gardeners. But during planting and harvest, dry weather is always
Here in Maine we
are still in winter’s grip. Today
be getting half a foot of snow.
follows a pretty sunny week with cold morning lows around
highs inching up towards +20ºF. After today’s snow
we’re forecast to drop down
below zero again Saturday night.
of the ordinary. Beginning in mid-February northern Maine typically
from Minnesota and North Dakota as the cold corner of the country. In
this actually simplifies shipping out our seed potatoes because we know
it’s warm enough to get them out of Maine they will have a
The real cold begins running out of
April our days of
fretting about the cold affecting shipments are fast fading. And
then our life is carefree until
Thanksgiving when we begin the winter cold watch once again.
Begining to Warm Up. What
possibly go wrong?
Potato and Celery Root Gratin.
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c whole milk
1 small onion, halved
2 large garlic
Butter, for greasing baking dish and foil
1lb celery root, peeled and halved
1 1/2lbs Yukon
Gold potatoes, peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces aged Gouda cheese, grated
Bring the heavy cream, milk, onion halves, and garlic to a boil in a
medium saucepan. Remove from heat and let steep for 30
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Generously butter an 8-inch square
dish and one side of the foil. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, thinly
slice celery root and potatoes. In prepared dish, arrange a layer of
celery root and potatoes. In a prepared dish, arrange a layer of celery
root slices followed by a layer of potato slices; season to taste with
salt and pepper. Repeat layers two more times.
Remove oinion and garlic from cream mixture and discard. Pour mixture
over casserole. Cover pan with prepared foil and transfer to oven. Bake
for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle top of gratin with the chese. Return to oven
and bake until bubbly and golden, about 15 minutes more. Allow to rest
15 minutes before serving.
Source: Country Living magazine, February, 2011.
here for Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetables
by Angela Wotton
and Celery Root Gratin.
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Mailbox: Success with Potatoes.
grew your Yukon Gold potatoes last year for our CSA and farmer's
market. While the CSA raved about the flavor, our farmer's market
provided the real testimonial to the quality of these potatoes. For the
entire season we charged $3.00 /lb for Yukon Gold potatoes - and we
consistently sold them all! Thank you for being part of our farm's
Spring Grove MN
sells itself. Jim.
Hi Gerritsens. Hope you are managing this winter. We are
records in CT.....I've had enough! I am writing this because a friend
of mine at a Whole Foods asked me for some good general info about
GMO's. They went online and hear both sides, organic vs. Monsanto, but
really want a good source of general info. I know Jim has been active
in this, do you know of a good source for this info?
You bet. The only way we'll win is if
we do our
homework and learn the issues. Here are four trusted links for good
information on the GMO issue. Jim.
Center for Food
Responsible Technology. http://www.responsibletechnology.org/
We're in zone 6b, new to growing potatoes and found
information about planting them the end of February to planting in late
April. If you have any advice or suggestions, we'd appreciate it.
We can ship your seed potatoes whenever
like them. For planting potatoes we reccomend letting the soil warm to
50ºF and that should be about early to mid April for you. Upon
arrival you can warm the seed to room temperature and that will get
them off to a good start. Jim.
In the past
thirty days, responding to good
old boy relationships and to agribusiness pressure while ignoring
serious environmental and economic risks, USDA
has in quick succession announced decisions to de-regulate Roundup
Ready sugar beets
Monsanto has been the beneficiary of kid glove treatment by USDA when
to their GMO (genetically modified organisms) applications.
Now, the depth of illegitimate
and dishonest dysfunction in USDA’s regulatory role is
portrayed in an
excellent Truthout Report by Mike Ludwig. You won’t want to
expose’ which documents
such egregious behavior as USDA requesting electronic text for the
purpose of extracting
“cut and paste” information directly out of
Monsanto’s submitted petitions and inserting
same into USDA’s
here to read the article.
Assertions in Huber Letter to Vilsack.
Something USDA needs
17, USDA Secretary Vilsack received an urgent
letter from a senior soil scientist experienced in protecting against
warned of a newly discovered pathogen apparently associated with
overuse of Roundup
and GMO crops.
organism may have
the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortions in
livestock and potentially,
humans. The letter urged resources be committed to a high level
for further assessment and urged an immediate moratorium on the
approval of Roundup Ready
letter was hand delivered a full ten
days prior to the USDA announcement of the de-regulation of Roundup
The letter was written by Dr Don M.
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University and coordinator the American
Society’s Emergent Diseases and Pathogens Committee, part of
Disease Recovery System.
letter began “A team of senior plant and animal scientists
brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic
appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals and
human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very
is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and
corn - suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence
the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and
agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological
including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based
on this experience, I believe the threat
we are facing from this
pathogen is unique and of high risk status. In
layman’s terms it should be treated
as an emergency.”
concludes “We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of
animal diseases and disorders.
pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem.
significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical
read the full text of Dr.
Huber’s letter on our Wood Prairie blog.
Can we attest to the veracity of
Huber’s assertions? Of
point nobody can.
precisely why an investigation must
When one of
top experts calls the situation an “emergency” the
action is to heed
the advice and get to the bottom of it.
Can we trust the USDA? Given
the USDA track record of being a rogue
agency and a puppet of biotech the clear answer is
What evidence is there to conclude that USDA
is taking this matter seriously? Not
days after receiving this letter Secretary Vilsack ignored the warning
deregulating RR alfalfa.
order he then also
sugar beets and RR ethanol
corn. Mr. Vilsack’s public GMO approvals indicate that he is
ignoring the expert private
advice of delaying GMO approval until the facts are in. Is
he also ignoring the expert advice to investigate
the pathogen? This
is too important a
question to be left unanswered.
Has USDA never heard of the Precautionary
up: when in
of proof is
the action occasioned by the greatest risk of harm. Delay of GMO
represented the correct choice and least risk. Secretary
Vilsack made the opposite choice. In
of Dr. Huber’s letter, Mr.
Vilsack owes the American public an
What can be done? Evidently
executive branch is unable to
see clearly and act in the public interest. We need Congressional
Committee should immediately hold hearings to insure that an honest
of Dr. Huber’s assertions will be made. They
must assure the people that this
potential threat to our national
security by Roundup and GMOs is very much the concern of our elected
and that they will represent the people’s interests over the
interests of Monsanto. Jim
|Seven Steps to Fair
Our friends at National Organic
created a seven point plan that addresses the need to transparently and
fairly protect the organic community from unwanted contamination by GMO
crops. This concise one page document is destined to become the
foundation in the fight to preserve our right to clean organic food and
here, read the piece and
circulate copies to your friends and
Companion Cover Crop Manual.
In the last issue of the Seed Piece we
offered a link
for a FREE
download of an excellent color Cover Crops manual.
Now here's a
companion manual "Managing Cover Crops Profitably" that you'll want to
add to your farm library. Great content and readability on an important
and interesting topic. Click
here for your FREE
for the Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop seed
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm