Posted on

Lemon Potatoes: 2 pounds small red potatoes, pictured are Rose Gold, scrubbed a…

Lemon Potatoes:

2 pounds small red potatoes, pictured are Rose Gold, scrubbed and halved (quartered if large)

1 1/2 tsp grated zest and 2 T juice from 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, plus 2 cloves, minced

1 c chicken broth or water

Sea salt and pepper

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 T finely chopped fresh parsley

Place potatoes in colander and rinse under running water, tossing with hands until water runs clear. Drain potatoes well.

Bring potatoes, lemon juice, smashed garlic, chicken broth or water, and 1/2 tsp salt to boil in large nonstick skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Discard garlic cloves and add oil to pan. Turn all potatoes cut side down and continue to cook until deep golden brown, about 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsely, lemon zest, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Source: Cook's Illustrated magazine, "Summer Entertaining 2011"


Posted on

Apple Whole-Wheat Muffins There seems to be a bounty of apples this Fall. Here&…

Apple Whole-Wheat Muffins

There seems to be a bounty of apples this Fall. Here's a good seasonal recipe.

This is a good dinner muffin, slightly spiced and not too sweet. Serve with roast pork, ham or poultry.

4 T butter

1/2 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 c Wood Prairie whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c milk

1 c chopped peeled apple

1/2 c raisins

1/2 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and eggs together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. In another bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon, and stir together with a fork or wire whisk. Add the combined dry ingredients, the milk, apple, raisins, and walnuts to the creamed mixture, and beat with a spoon until all ingredients are just mixed.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup about three-quarters full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins

Source: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book


Posted on Leave a comment









Long-time potato farmer selected for efforts to protect family farmers.




Bridgewater, Maine – Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic potato farmer with a decades-long record of community involvement and activism, has been named by the editors of Utne Reader to the magazine’s 2011 list of 25 “People Who Are Changing the World.”


Gerritsen was selected for his ongoing work leading efforts by independent family farmers to protect themselves from the threat of Monsanto litigation related to the corporation’s patents on genetically modified seeds, an effort he sees as critical to the preservation of organic farming itself and organic foods as a choice for consumers and their families. 







Each year, Utne Reader selects 25 people “who possess an inspiring combination of imagination, determination and energy,” said Utne Reader‘s editor-in-chief David Schimke in a statement. “These are people who don’t just think out loud, but who walk their talk on a daily basis.”


Working with Other Family Farms for a Better Planet


Gerritsen, who grows organic seed potatoes on his family’s Wood Prairie Farm in northern Maine, is president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (, the national membership trade organization of the organic seed community, lead plaintiff in the OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit.


OSGATA is joined in the lawsuit by 82 other family farmers, seed businesses and agricultural organizations.  The plaintiff organizations have over 270,000 members, including several thousand certified organic family farmers.


This landmark organic community lawsuit asserts that Monsanto’s patents on transgenic (gene-spliced) seed fail to meet the “social utility” requirement of patent law and are therefore invalid.


The suit also seeks court protection for innocent family farmers from Monsanto patent infringement lawsuits in the perverse situation where their farms are contaminated by Monsanto genes through unwanted genetic trespass, such as when wind-borne transgenic pollen is blown from one farm to another.


“Our lawyers asked Monsanto to provide a legal covenant not to sue our group of family farmers, and Monsanto refused.  We thus are forced to seek justice and protection in court,” said Gerritsen.


The lawsuit is currently in pre-trial procedural motions.


A Longstanding Commitment to Community


For 35 years, Gerritsen and his family have owned and operated the organic Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine.  Located in Aroostook County, which is the top potato producing county in the country, Wood Prairie Farm is a small Certified Organic family farm producing various types of seed and specialty potatoes, including the award-winning Prairie Blush variety discovered by the Gerritsens, plus vegetable and grain seed.


The farm’s modest scale allows Gerritsen and his family to focus on growing the highest quality seed potatoes for an ever-increasing number of committed catalog customers in all fifty states.


Gerritsen believes organic farming produces a superior result and is better for the land. “Northern Maine has been growing potatoes for 200 years, and some of the best potatoes anywhere in the world come from here,” says Gerritsen.  “And I like to think our hard work and commitment to our soil and  organic farming at Wood Prairie Farm produces some of the best potatoes in Aroostook County.”


Gerritsen is a tireless advocate for organic farming and family farms, regularly speaking at conferences and events, including the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Common Ground Country Fair and Farmer-to-Farmer Conference, The Organic Seed Growers Conference, the Slow Food Terra Madre Conference in Italy, and other conferences across the United States and Canada.


About the Utne Reader Visionary List


In addition to Gerritsen, others on the 2011 list include David Simon, creator of HBO’s The Wire and Treme; Azzam Alwash, Nature Iraq founder and marshland rehabilitator; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a congressman working to foster dialogue between Muslim and Christian interests; Gary Paul Nabhan, an author called “the father of the local food movement”; Debbie Sease, national campaign director of the Sierra Club; and Humira Saqeb, founder of a women’s magazine in Afghanistan.


The Utne Reader’s “People Who Are Changing the World” profile of Jim Gerritsen is available at


About Maine’s Wood Prairie Farm (; 800-829-9765)


Wood Prairie Farm is located in Aroostook County, the largest county east of the Mississippi River and Maine’s historic center of potato farming.  For over 35 years, Jim Gerritsen, his wife Megan and their family have used organic farming techniques on the fertile land of Wood Prairie Farm to grow the finest potatoes, seed, vegetables and grain nature will produce.  Wood Prairie Farm is MOFGA Certified Organic, and its seed potatoes, kitchen potatoes, seeds and other products are available direct to the customer by mail order from its website and catalog.  Wood Prairie Farm is on Facebook at 







Posted on Leave a comment

Articles on Farmers, Food, Agriculture & Science

eNews Park ForestUSDA Under Fire for Rules Permitting Agribusiness Interests like Monsanto to Intimidate Scientists PEER Petition Exposes Systemic Intimidation at USDA. (04/12/15)

Weather Underground. Winter Storm ‘Nemo’: A Historical Perspective. Among Top Five Storms on Record. (02/10/13)

EWG. The Top 10 Stories of the Year in Agriculture, Food and Water. Drought, Prop 37, GE Crops. (12/21/12)

ILSR. Bangladesh Fire Shows Why We can’t Trust Walmart to Green Its Supply Chain. The Real Walmart. (12/20/12)

New York Times. Lawyers From Suits Against Big Tobacco Target Food Makers. Forced into Truthful Marketing. (08/18/12)

James Hansen. Storms of My Grandchildren’s Opa. Practical Progress for Dealing with Climate. (12/13/12)

The Asian Age. Independent Science in Jeopardy. Independant Research Does Not upport GE. (12/05/12)

Farmer to Consumer. Jury Vindicates Farmer of Criminal Charges Related to Minnisota Food Buying Coop. Consumer  Right-To-Choice Upheld. (09/27/12)

The Sustainable Man. Take Back The Land. Excellent Short (1:40) Vandana Shiva Video. (06/30/12)

Common Dreams. Our Hunger Games. Vandana Shiva Article. (08/28/12)

IPS News. Rural Women in Peru Key to Adaptation of Seeds to Climate Change. Valuable Farmer Resources. (05/29/12)

Wake Up World. Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto: Appeal Filed!  Petition Supporting Farmers in OSGATA v. Monsanto. (05/28/12)

Food & Water Watch. Public Research, Private Gain. Collusion at Land-Grant Universities. (04/12)

Huffington Post. ‘Agent Orange Corn’ Debate Rages As Dow Seeks Approval Of New Genetically Modified Seed. Resistance to New GMO Corn. (04/26/12)

Grist. ‘Pink slime’ is the tip of the iceberg: Look what else is in industrial meat. Investigative expose. (03/19/12)

AAAS. Science: Common Crop Pesticide Harms Bumblebee and Honeybee Species. Colony Collapse Disorder. (03/29/12)

NPR. A Mom and A Baby Find Out What’s Really Rural In California. Lisa Hamilton & Real Rural. (02/08/12)

GroundTruth. HUGE Win! Arysta pulls methyl iodide nationwide. Consumer Resistence Effective. (03/20/12)

Raw Milk Freedom Riders. Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community. Farmer Vernon Hershberger of WI. (02/27/12)

Mother Jones. The Making of an Agribusiness Apologist.  Philpott Exposes Atrazine Shills. (02/24/12)

The Cagle Post. FBI Targets Food Activists as Terrorists. Open Up And Say “Ahh” (12/23/11)

Grist. Top 10 Food Stories of 2011. The good food news of 2011. (12/22/11)

John Bunting. Pithy reports on the dairy industry. (12/11/11)

Grist. Inside Eye-Opener. Confessions of a former Big Food executive. (11/02/11)

Grist. Drawing the Connections Between Economy & the Environment. From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Earth. (10/27/11)

Deutsche Welle. Interview with UN Special Rapporteur. Speculation on basic foodstuffs is catastrophic. (10/16/11)

Mother Jones. Tom Philpott on Big Ag Concentration & Power. Foodies, Get Thee to Occupy Wall Street. (10/14/11)

Stupid Grin Blog. Harvest in Aroostook County. Article on Aroostook County Potato Harvest. (09/26/11) Article on National Heirloom Exhibition. Down to Earth. (09/09/11)

Ann Arbor. D. Landeth Seed Company Needs Help. Home and Garden: America’s oldest seed company is in danger of closing. (09/02/11)

Daily Yonder. Speak Your Piece: The President and Seed. Obama’s Midwest tour Misses Mark. (08/23/11)

Western Farm Press.  New limits proposed for federal farm payments. Federal Farm Payments Article. (06/10/11)

North American Potato Market News. Aribitrator Rules – Now What? Maine Potato Farmers and McCains. (05/06/11)

The Washington Times. Feds sting Amish farmer selling raw milk locally. FDA Pursuit of Interstate transaction. (04/28/11)

New Yorker. The truth wears off. Monsanto Scientist Quits USDA. (12/13/10)

Michigan State University. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996-2008. Seed Industry Structure Chart.(2009)


Posted on Leave a comment

Background Articles on Organic Food & Farming

Grist. Willie Nelson: The man, the myth, and what he means to farmers. Friend of the American Farmer. (04/21/15)

Portland Press Herald. Maine farmer, seed curator forms new grass-roots group.Willl Bonsall Feature with Video (2:27) (02/20/14)

African Centre for Biosafety. New Seed Legislation Spells Disaster for Small Farmers in Africa. Top Down PVP Threatens Africa. (04/03/13)

Write to Farm. The Food Safety Saga and Why It Matters. How Food Safety Overhaul Effects Your Family. (03/19/13)

Corporate Crime Reporter. Evrett Lunquist, Organic Inspection, Libel and USDA Culpability. USDA Gets Failing Mark. (12/13/12)

Farm to Consumer. Victory in Michigan! Shady Grove Farm Protected by Right to Farm Act. Right-To-Farm Validal. (12/19/12)

Mother Jones. 5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short. Philpott Corrects the Record. (09/05/12)

Cornucopia. Thinking Outside the Processed Foods Box – Health and Safety Advantages of Organic Food. Mark Kastel on the Value of Organic Food. (09/04/12)

Activist Post. Cargill and Others Behind anti-Organic “Stanford Study”. Smoking Gun At Stanford. (09/05/12)

Opinionator. Celebrate the Farmer!. Bittman on Broken Food System. (08/21/12)

Organic Week CA. ORGANIC No question about it. Chart Compares Organic, Natural and Local. (05/03/12)

Food Navigator USA. US Organic market continues to outpace conventional food sales growth.  Consumers Choosing Organic Over GMO. (04/24/12)

Food Navigator USA. Eric Ripert: Consumers need to increase budgets for fresh, sustainable, non-GMO foods. Food vs. Luxuries. (03/28/12)

Green Living Review. Organic Farming: A Mind Set. Bryce Stephens Interviewed. (04/16/12)

SavingSeeds. Where’s the (Real) Beef? Accountability Rally & March for Food Sovereignty April 17. Support Farmer Dan Brown. (04/04/12)

Food Navigator USA. Are all-natural claims worth the risk? Corporations Becoming Wary. (03/26/12)

George Stroumboulopoulos. FULL (EXTENDED) INTERVIEW: Vandana Shiva. Excellent interview (22:35) by George Stroumboulopoulos. (03/25/12)

Good. How Young Scientists Are Determining the Future of Organic Farming – and Craft Beer. Organic Plant Breeder Graduate Student Brook Brouwer. (03/09/10)

The Rock River Times. To Your Health!: Small farmers, beware of Big Government.  To your Health!: Small farmers, beware of Big Government. (12/14/11)

Raw Milk Freedom Riders. Wisconsin Claims Bail Violations – Could Arrest Peaceful Farmer. Update on Vernon Hershberger. (02/29/12)

Open Source Global Village Construction Set. Open Source Ecology. Building A Village Starts With Building The Tractor. (02/19/12)

Ninty-eight scientists studys cited. The Atlantic. Organic Can Feed the World. (12/05/11)

Excellent Essay on Potatoes as Good Food. Carol Deppe. The 20 Potato a Day Diet versus the Nearly All Potato Winter. (11/28/11)

Cornucopia Exposes Corporate Greenwashing. Mercola. Beware of These Organic Brands. (11/19/11)

OH Reverses Bias Against Organic Labeling. Organic News Room. Consumers win the right to know about their food. 11/14/11

More Americans Choose Organic. Organic News Room. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families say they purchase organic foods. 11/2/11

NOC letter: Organic funding and 2012 Farm Bill.National Organic Coalition. Sign on Letter. 10/25/11

Connection Between Food Movement & Occupy Wall Street. Grist. Why the food movement should occupy Wall Street. 10/18/11

Cong Pingree Introduces Ag Reform Legislation to Aid Famly Farms. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will introduce major agriculture legislation. 10/24/11

Frances Moore Lappe’ 40 Years After Diet for a Small Planet. The Nation. The Food Movement: It’s Power and Possibilities. 09/14/11

Eye-Opening Chart: Dwindling Varieties. National Geographic. Our Dwindling Food Variety. 08/11

Nutritional Value of Food Declining. Grist. Not your grandma’s strawberries.08/02/11

Landmark Case on Chemical Tresspass. Star Tribune. Wafting Poison makes fertile ground for suit in Stearns County7/26/11

Grist Corrects Scientific America’s Organic Lapse. Grist. In defense of organic.7/21/11

Future of Food Conference. Washington Post. The future of food is now.05/10/11

Wendell Berry’s Seven Step. Washington Post. ‘The future of food is not distinguishable from the future of the land’5/10/11

Greeks Protect Seed & Support Organic Farming. AFP. Greeks mobilise to protect endangered seeds. 05/15/11

Three Studies: Avoid Pesticides During Pregnancy. Time Healthland. Exposure to Pesticides in Pregnancy Can Lower Children’s IQ. 04/21/11

Eliot Coleman on Organic Farming. Grist. Organic agriculture: deeply rooted in science and ecology. 04/21/11

Resulting from Resisting Restrictive Euro Seed Law.Enjoy France. French organic seed producers Association Kokopelli fined. (03/03/08)


Posted on Leave a comment

Background Articles on Patent System

Scitable. Diagnostic Testing and the Ethics of Patenting DNA. Downside of Patenting Lifeforms. (2008)

ScienceInsider. Supreme Court Rejects Key Biotech Patents. Unanamous Ruling Against Biotech. (03/20/12)

GENET. DuPont suit claims Monsanto infringed GE corn patent. Monsanto & Dupont Corn Patent Dispute. (10/21/11)

The PPJ Gazette. GMOs: Invasive Species Council and USDA Ignore Environmental Infection and Contamination. GMOs ignored by Invasive Species Counsil and USDA. (07/22/11)

Farm Wars. Monsanto Given Patent for Conventional Melon. Melons now a Monsanto “invention” (05/17/11)

Patenting Week. GM Foods and Patent Infringement. Patent Attorney Article. (05/07/11)

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Monsanto Facing GMO Lawsuit. Why Monsanto Patents Are Invalid (04/11/11)

PatentlyO. Monsanto sued over transgenic seeds. Transgenic Patent Lawsuit Filed. (04/01/11)

Think Progress. Patent Madness. Dysfunctional Patent Office. (12/10/10)


PubPat. About PubPat. Public Patent Foundation. (08/06/03)