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WHAT TEN-DAYS GROWTH LOOKS LIKE. Sunday – the day before last Monday’s big 1.7…


WHAT TEN-DAYS GROWTH LOOKS LIKE. Sunday – the day before last Monday’s big 1.75″ rain – we planted this Cover Crop Combo of Buckwheat (the larger light green leaves in a row) and Biofumigant Rapeseed (the scattered and much smaller, darker green seed leaves). Then yesterday, ten days later, Jim took this shot of growth achieved.
The much larger Organic Buckwheat (https://www.woodprairie.com/product/buckwheat-seed-organic-common/) Seeds sprouted quickly and emerged in six days. It takes the smaller Brassica Family-member Rape (seed size similar to Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower) longer to emerge plus like most crops it is slower growing than Buckwheat.
The Buckwheat will continue with its rocket-like growth overshadowing the Rape until ‘Summer’ crop Buckwheat is cut down next month by our first frost. Then the frost-hardy-Rape will takeover dominance. It will grow until the cold weather of November, when heat units have run out, growth has ceased and when we’ll plow down the Cover Crop mat under, right before the ground freezes solid for the Winter.
In the last 24 hours we’ve had another 1.5″ of rain. With some 80oF days in the forecast ahead, growth will continue fast with all the water now in the soil. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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AMY DISCING ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Ahead of the Summer Nor’Easter arrivin…


AMY DISCING ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Ahead of the Summer Nor’Easter arriving today around noontime, Caleb’s sister, Amy, was discing the last of next year’s Potato fields. Justin & Jim had spread barnyard manure on the fields, Caleb had plowed and now Amy is smoothing out the plow furrows with our 92 HP Oliver 1850 Diesel pulling a 15-foot wide John Deere “Tandem Disc Harrow” aka ‘Disc.’ By 8pm last night Jim had seeded the field to a combination of Buckwheat (https://www.woodprairie.com/product/buckwheat-seed-organic-common/) and Biofumigant Rapeseed cover crops.
This rich soil is 6-7% organic matter.
The Buckwheat and Rape we planted on other fields a week ago Sunday evening/Monday morning ahead of that last 1.75″ rain took 6 days to sprout and pop up through the soil.
Seeding just ahead of a rain gets a cover crop off to a fast start and disadvantages weeds. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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POTATO BARREL ROLLING CONTEST. PRESQUE ILSE, MAINE. Circa 1940. Rolling barrel…


POTATO BARREL ROLLING CONTEST. PRESQUE ILSE, MAINE. Circa 1940. Rolling barrels figures into the “What Are You Doing on the Fourth?” ‘Maine Tales’ in the New issue of our ‘Wood Prairie Seed Piece.’ Here’s an excerpt. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.woodprairie.com/newsletters/081222.html#Article_1

“…Now, the first European-American settler to land in this locale was Nathanial Bradstreet in 1827. Along with his sons John and Joseph, he left the safety and civilization of the central Maine Town of Palermo to search for a streamside mill site to start and whittle down the forested wilderness which in time would become the Town of Bridgewater. Once the trees were removed the forest was soon converted over to farm fields in which to grow mighty potatoes. Jump down about four generations and you come to Bridgewater Seed Potato farmer Dan Bradstreet (1912-2006), grandfather to our friend, contemporary Seed Potato farmer, Ryan Bradstreet.

“Jim worked for Dan in his Potato House the Winter of 1976-1977. There had been a devastating drought in Europe the Summer of ’76. The demand for the export of Maine Certified Seed Potatoes to the Old World was strong. In addition to hanging 50-pound paper sacks for domestic trade, they’d fill and lug 50-kg burlap bags (110-pounds) into rail cars bound for Winterport, where sacks were reloaded onto boats headed to Europe.

“The young men hung (filled), weighed and sewed the bags shut. Dan and a couple of older helpers graded out Potato culls on the inspection table portion of the grading line. Dan’s son, Wayne, kept the hopper full with a mechanized Potato shoveler and made sure the line was flowing well. Whenever Potato varieties had to be switched – and at the end of the day – it was time to clean up the floor of spilled and crushed potatoes and dirt. They’d also roll 11-peck Cedar Potato barrels full of ‘Seconds’ (smaller B-sized potatoes) separated out by a mechanical sizer to an awaiting bin. Some of the men were so talented at rolling barrels full of 165-pounds of potatoes that they did it effortlessly with one hand while walking beside the barrel. They could also skillfully and efficiently roll a full barrel up a single 12-foot 3”x 8” plank to a height of three or four feet, to allow the barrel to be emptied into an awaiting bin…”




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BRAND NEW ISSUE OF ‘WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE’ NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE! Our NEW ‘Mai…


BRAND NEW ISSUE OF ‘WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE’ NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE! Our NEW ‘Maine Tales’ – “What Are You Doing on the 4th?” – takes a look back 45 years and how Maine’s Lone Summer Holiday intersected with the Maine aftermath of severe European Drought.
Plus Organic Garlic Seed Special Offer! New Farm Photos! & More!
Find the new ‘Seed Piece’ here: https://www.woodprairie.com/newsletters/081222.html
Caleb, Megan & Jim Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
(207)429-9765
www.woodprairie.organic




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YES, A MOLDBOARD PLOW IS A TOOL USED BY ORGANIC FARMERS. In 2010 Megan & Jim to…


YES, A MOLDBOARD PLOW IS A TOOL USED BY ORGANIC FARMERS. In 2010 Megan & Jim took part in a week-long research tour of organic farms and grain milling facilities in Denmark. Denmark has progressed further down the organic path than here in the USA. In 2010, 10% of all Danish farm production was organic and the national government was pushing hard to double that figure over the next ten years.
On that 2010 tour, EVERY Danish farm we visited owned a moldboard plow and the organic farmers universally felt a plow was an important tool for successful weed control.
While the use of a moldboard plow is criticized in some organic circles, we believe its judicious use makes it a valuable tool for weed control on organic farms.
On Wood Prairie Family Farm, during our 4-year crop rotation, we use a moldboard plow just once or twice.
Here, Caleb is driving our 105 HP ‘White 105’ Diesel tractor. The 105 has the same 92-HP Perkins engine as is in an Oliver 1850 Diesel, but the added benefit from a turbocharger increases its power. The White tractor is pulling our 5-Bottom Wil-Rich moldboard plow, made in North Dakota.
Caleb is plowing down a heavy sod crop and getting the home-farm fields ready to grow our crop of Organic Seed Potatoes in 2023. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.mofga.org/resources/international/new-england-farmers-visit-viskinge-farm-and-mejnerts-mill-in-denmark/




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NEXT YEAR IS ALREADY HERE! This week we’ve been working on getting next year’s …


NEXT YEAR IS ALREADY HERE! This week we’ve been working on getting next year’s Organic Seed Potato fields ready for planting to next Spring.
First, we chopped down a thick-growing sod crop that will help add organic matter to the soil.
This second step is spreading barnyard manure. In this photo, Justin is driving our old-timer gravel-pit-brute Michigan Payloader with its 4.5-yard bucket to shovel up the cow manure.
Jim is driving the green Oliver 1850 Diesel pulling the IH (International Harvester) 530 Manure Spreader. The Spreader flails out a more-or-less even 12-foot span of cattle-gold with every pass. The manure adds fertility, inoculates the soil and improves soil tilth.
This job goes fast since one bucketful fills the spreader. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS? FOREIGN-OWNED LAND IN THE USA. ‘Agri-Pulse’ posted …


DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS? FOREIGN-OWNED LAND IN THE USA. ‘Agri-Pulse’ posted this article about a USDA study. The accompanying eye-popping color-coded map shows Foreign land ownership in the United States. Break down is by America’s 3,006 counties. agri-pulse.com/articles/17107-foreign-interests-keep-buying-us-acreage-with-focus-on-southwest?fbclid=IwAR2kAUA_dDC-3kn16CRvvilZbat8GwmuJpdgaqiFgeenyvXX78jrGAO49Dk
Here in Northern Maine, it’s Canadian timber companies – like ruthless J.D. Irving – which own much of our forest. Jim https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/06/06/news/what-have-irvings-done-new-brunswick

“Four of Maine’s northernmost counties — Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset — contained not only the most foreign-owned land of any county in the U.S., but also the most forestland.

“Aroostook County alone holds more than 2 million acres of foreign-owned land and, according to the report, more than 1.9 million of those acres are forested. Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset counties follow, all holding a combined total of over 1.3 million acres of foreign-owned land, almost all of which is used for forestry.

“Nearly 82% of the foreign-owned land in Maine, which shares its northern border with Canada, belongs to Canadian investors. It is likely that most of the foreign-held acres in these counties are held by Canadian citizens.”




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“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE POTATOES – SURVIVAL FOOD.” That’s right! And that’s the tit…


“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE POTATOES – SURVIVAL FOOD.” That’s right! And that’s the title of this engaging brand new Video (29:16) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RirqIEpf7NE) which just posted.
Stacy (of ‘OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY’ fame) was joined by her guest, the very knowledgeable Terry Durham. Terry conducted an experiment in his garden and grew out 18 varieties of our Wood Prairie Organic Certified Seed. He shows off his beautiful harvest and the two discuss each variety and compare the different yields after having planted one-pound each of seed potatoes.
This is a fun program and we think you’ll enjoy watching it!
By the way, Terry bought his Seed Potatoes from our website: www.woodprairie.organic. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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HEALTHY ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED POTATOES GROWING IN WOOD PRAIRIE ‘LONG TUNNEL.’ …


HEALTHY ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED POTATOES GROWING IN WOOD PRAIRIE ‘LONG TUNNEL.’ Shot taken this morning of luxuriant growth inside our 600-foot-long ‘Long Tunnel’ covered with heavy-duty, extremely-fine-mesh “Aphid-Excluding Netting.”
Seven weeks ago we planted vigorous Potato Minitubers. The Minitubers we grew last year from tiny “Tissue-Culture” disease-free Potato Plantlets which were grown in our netted ‘Short Tunnel.’
The first variety visible on the left is a new variety from Hungary called “Sarpo (pronouned ‘Sharpo’) Mira” which we hope to introduce for sale this Fall after harvest.
The first variety on the right is the spectacular, high-yielding and delicious “Huckleberry Gold.”
Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.woodprairie.com/product/organic-certified-huckleberry-gold-seed-potatoes/




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