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Food Supply Anxiety Brings Back Victory Gardens

"THE FIRST YEAR IS THE HARDEST." A modern-day nationwide grassroots "Victory Garden" effort is underway aiming to encourage Americans – and coordinate needed resources like seed, soil and know-how – to plant individual gardens THIS YEAR in order to increase resiliency and security at the family level.
This brand new group is called "Cooperative Gardens." We are involved and hundred of volunteer leaders like ourselves are quickly building out an infrastructure to help everyone grow successful food gardens.
A new website will soon be up and you can COUNT ON US to share all the particulars as they happen.
This new 'NY Times' article provides interesting background including quotes from our friend, organic seed farmer Nate Steinman of NJ who came up with this wonderful idea.
Stay tuned! Caleb, Megan & Jim

Food Supply Anxiety Brings Back Victory Gardens

Americans were once urged to plant in every patch of available soil — and produced about 40 percent of the nation’s fresh vegetables.


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CALEB GERRITSEN LOADING PALLET OF ORGANIC SEED POTATOES ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY F…

CALEB GERRITSEN LOADING PALLET OF ORGANIC SEED POTATOES ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Circa March 2020. In Northern Maine we're still getting snow, including three more inches yesterday.
The work goes on. Seed companies across the nation – like our own (www.woodprairie.organic) – are straining under the huge surge of orders coming in recent weeks. Thanks for your patience and know that we are turning orders around just as fast as possible!
Seed work, like a lot of farm work, involves long hours of often repetitive work. Caleb & Jim work in our underground on-farm 'Potato House' (Storage). Their job is to sort and grade our twenty varieties of Seed Potatoes so the crew upstairs can bag it up and ship them out.
They often listen to podcasts while they work and here's a recent one: a Joe Rogan interview from three years ago with a knock-your-socks-off interview (3:38:51) with Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson about comets and human history. Over 6.8 Million views so far! Listen for just 15 minutes and we think then you'll become hooked as well! Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Economic fallout from coronavirus is also hitting farmers

HOW ARE FARMERS FARING IN THE CURRENT CRISIS? This report from the 'Minneapolis Star Tribune' offers a glimpse into crisis challenges being faced by farmers.
Importantly, here's where the government MUST ACT NOW: grocery stores are being considered as "Critical Services." Since food comes from farms, that 'Critical Service' designation MUST IMMEDIATELY be extended to farms, Farmers Markets and farm workers. Spread the word!
We can attest that seed sales are very strong, led by increased numbers of people wanting to plant their own "Victory Gardens." Planting a home garden is a GREAT idea and private sector work is underway to help this effort.
Anecdotally, we have received two reports from organic seed companies who have been experiencing increased sales in the area of 180-300%.
Stay safe! Caleb, Megan & Jim

"The beef cattle market has collapsed in the past two months. Milk demand is threatened by school closures. Pork prices remain stubbornly low…

"Milk prices also had rallied toward the end of 2019, but they have dropped almost 20% since mid-December."

Economic fallout from coronavirus is also hitting farmers

Dairy prices also suffering, could get worse if schools close, lowering demand.


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MAINE RURAL WOMAN WORKS WHILE GIRL PLAYS WITH CAT. Circa 1942. An image depict…

MAINE RURAL WOMAN WORKS WHILE GIRL PLAYS WITH CAT. Circa 1942. An image depicting a different time, taken by photographer Bernard Hoffman and appearing in 'Life Magazine.'
Offering great detail of the era, the woman (the girl's grandmother?) is churning butter. In the background, a 'Federal' wood cookstove keeps things warm including the vertical hot water tank behind it. Old-fashioned door latches, cane rocking chair and mitten pigeon holes. The water kettle looks to be aluminum. A second cat is camouflaged almost invisible. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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MEGAN WORKING PALLET JACK IN WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM UNDERGROUND POTATO STORAGE…

MEGAN WORKING PALLET JACK IN WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM UNDERGROUND POTATO STORAGE. Certified Seed Potatoes store best – for greatest vigor which translates into highest yields – at 38oF and high humidity.
We harvest our Certified Organic Maine-Certified-Seed-Potatoes in late Sept and October. Then we ship farm-direct to home and market gardeners all Fall, Winter and Spring from this on-farm potato storage. www.woodprairie.organic
We ship anywhere from 1 pound to 10,000 pounds. We also sell Organic Vegetable Seed and Organic Cover Crop and Farm Seed plus farm supplies.
Seed companies are reporting a big surge in demand for seed as new Victory Gardens are planned.
Back in the 1980s, in the final decade of the Soviet Union, fully HALF of the entire Soviet potato crop was grown by individuals on their own private plots. Any farmable ground was fair game: front yards, backyards and even median strips in boulevards. To Russians, having a supply of potatoes meant having security. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Image: Welcome to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A HAPPY DIVERSION FOR ALL: VISIT 5 OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS WITHOUT EVER LEAVING HOME. These days most of us would benefit from some relief and relaxation.
What better way than to refresh than to explore nature?
Use this link (https://artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/) to view the beautifully filmed, "The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks."
"Follow rangers on a journey most people never go." Park visited include 'Kenai Fjords' in Alaska, 'Hawai'i Volcanoes' in Hawaii, 'Carlsbad Caverns' in New Mexico, 'Bryce Canyon' in Utah and 'Dry Tortugas' in Florida. Caleb, Megan & Jim

Image: Welcome to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Found on Google from national-park.com


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All the reasons why organic food doesn’t deserve such bad press

HEADS UP! BEFORE YOU LEND CREDENCE TO ARTICLES BEATING-UP ON ORGANIC, ASK YOURSELF, "WHO BENEFITS WHEN ORGANIC IS TRASHED?" They say, 'the best defense is an offense.' Powerful Industrial Ag corporations have been increasingly threatened by the transformational and nature and broad benefits of Organic Farming.
Should anyone be surprised that self-serving malicious outfits like Monsanto have been identified as fueling attacks on Organic? https://usrtk.org/…/monsantos-fingerprints-all-over-newswe…/
This new article in 'New Scientist' offers valuable perspective and reassures readers that Organic Farming remains on track now, as it has been for its 125 years of existence. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"People are keener than ever to make ethical, environmentally friendly food purchases. But a spate of bad press about the environmental impact of organic produce may leave some people scratching their heads…

"But the findings from this study and similar ones are too simplistic and ignore important positive aspects of organic farming. We have analysed such studies and found that the method they often use doesn’t give the full picture…

"Such assessments fail to fully account for the role of land degradation, biodiversity decline and pesticide impacts of intensive agriculture.

"Consider biodiversity, for example. The variety of life on Earth is an incredibly important factor in the health and resilience of ecosystems. But worldwide, it is in decline – insect and bird populations are being decimated, something that has been repeatedly linked to the damaging practices of intensive farming. Organically managed land, however, has been shown to support biodiversity levels around 30 per cent higher than conventionally farmed fields…

"Widespread use of pesticides is also a concern – between 1990 and 2015, global pesticide use has increased more than 70 per cent. Pesticide residues can be harmful to land and aquatic ecosystems, as well as our health. The avoidance of synthetic pesticides in organic farming, and the overall much lower levels of pesticide use in general, is a factor that is often overlooked in LCAs. In the 34 studies comparing organic with conventional agriculture that we reviewed, only nine looked at pesticide-related impacts.

"The debate around the environmental impact of organic farming has become too simplistic and narrow. Our review, published in Nature Sustainability, shows that organic farming’s strengths and environmental benefits are often overlooked by the current research, and simply claiming that organic farming is worse for the environment is misleading."

All the reasons why organic food doesn’t deserve such bad press

Negative headlines about organic farming’s carbon footprint are missing the bigger picture about its environmental benefits, say Christel Cederberg and Hayo van der Werf


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