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Friday, January 7th, 2022
Volume 31 Issue 1

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In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

   Short Supply Chain.

‘Cave Brand’ Fruit Crate Label Art. Pajaro Valley, California. Circa 1920.

Beautiful marketing art from a century ago. The mostly agricultural Pajaro Valley abuts Monterey Bay in California’s Central Coast and includes the city of Watsonville.

Here in Maine, we have retreated to the Aroostook County version of cave-dwelling and that means long days working hard in our well-insulated and windowless underground potato storage grading through our 2021 crop of potatoes. Nature blessed Maine with a once-in-a-generation big potato crop last Summer, thanks to excellent growing conditions which trended dry until that deluge of a near record 10” of rain in September.

We’re grateful the crop looks good and the potatoes are keeping well. Orders have been coming in fast and furious. We’ve been keeping up with the immediate demand from eager-beaver gardeners in early planting locales. Most customers by now know they can place their trust in us to store until needed their order of the Organic Certified Seed Potatoes which we ourselves grew. Again, potatoes are keeping superbly in the perfect conditions of our own underground potato house, which is literally attached to our residence.

By design, Wood Prairie Family Farm is 100% free of middlemen. We offer to you the best potatoes and the world’s SHORTEST supply chain: from our potato fields to our on-farm potato storage then shipped directly to you at the proper time for Spring planting!

Please place your order now while selection is at its best. You can have confidence that we will keep your potatoes safe and sound, and that we will ship your order to you at the right time, just as we have successfully done for over 30 years.

Thanks, stay warm and stay safe!

Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Bridgewater, Maine

Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.

Shifting Gears:  Winter Finishes Outside Work on New Wood Prairie Expanded Packing Shed & Office. Northern Maine does not deal in subtlety. When the Fall turns into Winter, it is apparent to everyone.  No one is confused when snow and cold arrives, when the time for outside work passes, and the shift is made to sheltered inside work, such as grading potatoes.  Our goal for this year was to button up the outside of our new building.  We met that goal and made as much progress as the building season allowed.  After the Amish-made Raised Seam Metal Roof panels were installed, attention was turned to strapping the building’s outside and applying  green metal siding, also made and purchased from the Amish in nearby Easton.  We got the East wall covered but the other walls will have to wait until Spring.  In the photo which looks westward, Megan is driving a Clark Forklift back into its safe harbor inside the building after having moved around pallet boxes.  Halle, our Great Pyrenees guard dog looks on, overseeing her realm.

Everything is Black and White.
This is a shot taken from inside our new building. The vantage is looking upward through the wooden roof trusses and wood 2x4 strapping to which the completed metal Standing Seam Roofing has been screwed into. The visible outside of the roof is brown and the underside is white. However, that underside is hidden by the placement of black synthetic fabric over the strapping and under the roofing. The underlayment has the job of preventing moist air from condensing on the cold metal and then 'raining' inside the building.
The 72-foot long free-standing wood trusses were built for us by a second local Amish-owned company.  Their craftsmanship and fair pricing are unbeatable and we always prefer to spend our dollars in our local economy with other family businesses.

Yes Northern Maine is Still a Safe Bet for a White Christmas.   Even with the change in climate, it’s still an extremely rare year when Northern Maine does not have a White Christmas.  However, gone is our past era of reliably White Thanksgivings.  Nowadays some Thanksgivings are white, while others are not.  In this photograph, Caleb is plowing our yard early one morning last month - before the crew showed up - with his 9-foot 'Boss' snowplow mounted on a 4WD Diesel F250 Ford pickup truck.  It takes Caleb a full 4 hours to plow everything out after a 6-8" snowfall.  Every week we have tractor-trailers come in to pickup or deliver, and those big rigs need plenty of room to be able to turn around without getting stuck.

Amy Gerritsen Rescues Neveah the Cat. We’ve all heard of cats getting stuck up in trees and unable to get down.  During today’s snowstorm, Amy ventured outside only to hear the cries of a somewhat desperate cat stranded atop the snowy roof.   Old-timer Neveah (that’s ‘Heaven’ spelled backwards) had apparently discovered an unfinished nook or cranny in the new building through which she could slither to cold freedom in the outside world.    The impact of the blowing cold snow seemed to have shocked her from the ability to retrace her steps and find her way back inside.  So, Amy climbed onto some scaffolding and came to Neveah’s rescue.    Amy is now on Christmas break after completing her first semester at Husson University in Bangor, where she is an eager Occupational Therapy major.  She’s had a good start and her hard-won 3.8 GPA earned her a place on the President’s List.  Over break, she has been working steady and helping her mother Megan update, organize and bag up thousands of seed packets of our growing collections of Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Herb Seed and Organic Flower Seed.  In another week she’s back to hitting the books in Bangor.

Photographer Russell French Begins His "About Organic" Series on 'Instagram.'
Our friend, Russell French, longtime and talented photographer in Portland has begun a series on Instagram entitled "About Organic."  Here is Russell's thumbnail description:  “About Organic - Jim Gerritsen.  'The better we understand nature, the more we advance and the greater our success.' "   You’ll want to read Jim’s full statement as he has contributed a great deal to the success of the organic community in Maine.  See the link to my website in my profile. Farmers like Jim and Megan and now their kids are the cornerstone to many communities in our rural state. Thank you, Jim, for your patience and support over the years.”

And so here is that referenced Full Statement:

Jim Gerritsen, Wood Prairie Family Farm, Bridgewater, Maine

As a rule, we Americans have a poor track record when it comes to achieving sustainability in managing resources, such as in farming, fishing and forestry. From an early age, I wanted to better understand how agriculture could fulfill our legitimate needs as human beings and do so in a manner that was gentle on the planet. The right path dawned nature-centric, working in harmony with nature – and leaving the land, the fisheries and the forest in a better condition for our future generations.

What we now call organic farming originated 125 years ago as a protest against the rise of the ‘modern’ age of agriculture which heralded purchased inputs, depleted the soil and devalued experiential knowledge. Displaying full hubris, the new 'modern' agriculture promoted mankind as a conqueror of nature. But time has proven organic farming to be the agricultural paradigm the world needs. Today’s burgeoning community of organic farmers has accumulated hundreds of thousands of years of practical farming experience. Organic farmers grow healthy, nutritionally dense, good-tasting food in a resilient agricultural system which builds soil, sequesters carbon and advances humankind. Demonstrably we organic farmers have no desire or need for persistent synthetic farm toxins, which are proven beyond a doubt to be harmful to people, the environment and the planet. The better we understand nature, the more we advance and the greater our success.



Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox