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In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

This edition of the Seed Piece may be found in our Wood Prairie Seed Piece Archives.

 The Days Lengthen.

Roguing Organic Seed Potatoes on Wood Prairie Family Farm in Maine.

       This photo from our new Wood Prairie Catalog was taken last Summer in a plot of Organic Elba Seed Potatoes in blossom. Megan is driving the Farmall tractor which pulls the ‘Roguing Cart.’ Cassidy is in view walking among the Elba rouging for Potato Virus. To Megan’s left is the tail end of our plot of ever-popular Organic Rose Gold Seed Potatoes which have already shed most of their blossoms.

     Megan’s tractor straddles an in-field bed of Beneficial Flowers which have been planted to provide nourishment and protection to Beneficial Insects which help keep in check economically harmful insect pest like Colorado Potato Beetles, Potato Leafhoppers and Aphids. We plant our own special blend of fifteen different Flowers which excel at their job of helping Beneficial Insects over the entire Potato-growing season. Visible in this photo are Organic ‘Best Find’ Phacelia, Organic ‘Seashells’ Cosmos, Organic 'California' Poppy, Organic Annual Blue Flax, Organic ‘Tapmaster’ Tillage Radish and Organic Buckwheat.

     This brand new issue of the Wood Prairie Seed Piece features a new ‘Maine Tales’ entitled Tournament Week Snowstorm. It includes Farm Photos and stories about farming and Farm Life in Maine. We also showcase a delicious Recipe for Fresh Blueberry Muffins and have a fertile limited time Offer for FREE Organic Fertilizer. Plus, towards the issue’s end you’ll find a pithy Notable Quote from Socrates.

     Finally, scroll down to our How-To Garden Resources section to find a link to a great new short video about How-To-Plant Organic Seed Potatoes in Raised Beds by our friend Travis Keys of ‘Lazy Dog Farm’ in Georgia.

     As you must know by now, we’ve been farming in Maine 100% organically for just shy of 50 years. From the very beginning EVERYTHING we grow and EVERYTHING we sell has ALWAYS been Certified Organic. Consider us to be YOUR Organic Experts. We’re here to help! Please, rely on us for Organic Seed Potatoes, Organic Sweet Potato Slips, Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Herb Seed, Organic Flower Seed, Organic Cover Crop Seed, Organic Fertilizer, and Tools and Supplies.

Thanks so much for your business and for your support of our Maine Organic family farm!

Stay Safe & Stay Warm!


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



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Maine Tales. Tournament Week Snowstorm. 
                                                                 Medway, Maine. Circa 2002.

Travel on Snowy Maine Highways.  As a rule, Maine’s large fleet of plow trucks do a good job in keeping the roads open and therefore allowing life to carry on more or less as normal. Often the biggest challenge comes when the wind kicks up and blows around the snow during or after a snowstorm. Thankfully, as the most forested State in the nation with almost 90% of its land area in forest, our Maine trees usually help the wind from getting carried away.

     Thinking back, it would have been a better idea just to pull off and grab a piece of Blueberry pie at the diner and read the paper.

Basketball Mania

     Maine does have its quirks. Elsewhere, folks may call it “President’s Week,” but here in Maine that holiday week which contains Washington’s Birthday is known by everyone as “Tournament Week.”

      With the piles of snow Maine receives, for practical reasons the outside game of Football never caught on. However, Basketball is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. For many generations Mainers have developed an extreme affection towards High School Basketball. Truth be told, it’s more mania than moderation.

      Boys and Girls teams play a packed schedule of well-attended Basketball games against other area High School teams for a couple of months during the early portion of Winter. Then, come Tournament Week, top local teams travel down to Bangor, one-hundred-fifty miles south, to compete in Quarterfinals and Semifinals. Local enthusiasts, family and friends make the long trek to Bangor to cheer their team on.

Exciting Times

     Way back decades ago, Jim was a cooper and made Potato barrels at Bridgewater Barrel Company. Ken was a co-worker, kind, easy-going, quick-to-pull-out-his-pipe-and-commence-to-setting-and-telling-stories. He was also pushing retirement age. During his high school years at ‘Bridgewater Classical Academy’ Ken had been the Basketball star who led his team to miraculously win the State Championship. Blockbuster Potato crops and Spelling Bees aside, that one State Basketball Championship was acknowledged to be the most fame to ever grace our little farming Town of Bridgewater. As a result of his achievement, for the rest of his life Ken was revered by townspeople. Basketball had allowed Ken to peak while still a teenager living at home with his parents. Amidst our small and proud community Ken was able to rest on those laurels for the rest of his life.

     Now, for a string of years two decades ago, USDA’s locally-directed ‘Heart of Maine’ RC&D (Resource Conservation & Development) demonstrated vision and would hold inexpensive, intensive, three-day-long Soils Schools in Bangor. They were always held during Tournament Week. Each year world class Soil Health experts from all over the USA, including legends Neal Kinsey, Arden Anderson and Gary Zimmer, were brought in to see if they could teach fortunate Maine farmers a thing or two.

Winter Snow Storm

     One Winter, our three-day-Soil-School concluded on a Tournament Weekday about mid-afternoon. Outside it was snowing at a good clip. Because there were still a couple of hours of daylight left, it made sense to hit the road and head up the interstate towards Aroostook County while we still enjoyed the benefit of light of day.

     It was snowing hard on I-95 and the snow was getting ahead of the snowplows. After about thirty miles of making good progress we came up behind the red tail lights of a veritable convoy of turtle-speed homeward-bound Tournament goers. It turns out our talented local Central Aroostook High School Basketball team had completed their playoff game ahead of when our Soil School got let out. Apparently, rusty at driving long distances under snowy conditions, the CA convoy was traveling en masse at an overly-cautious 30 mph through the hundred miles of woods between Bangor and Houlton.

     With the slow lane decently free of snow thanks to the work of State plow trucks, there really was no need to creep along so slowly. However, any attempt to pass meant switching over to the unplowed passing lane which contained four inches of untouched sticky snow. Trying to pass the slow-moving horde meant changing lanes and speeding up in treacherous snow which grabbed at the tires and made any effort to pass a potentially careening and risky proposition. We tried to pass several times then gave up.

Blueberry Pie

     In the end it became clear that trying to pass the entire turtle-convoy was not going to be possible until a State plow truck with a driver’s side left-wing-plow would take at the snow-covered passing lane. However, in the middle of a snowstorm clearing that passing lane was a low priority. High priority was keeping open the single slow lane our wagon train was proceeding upon.

     So, we settled back and acted as caboose at the end of the long turtle-train in the snow-plowed and very, very, very slow lane. In hindsight, had we pulled into the diner in Medway for a piece of pie and plenty of refills of hot tea, we could have let the slow-traveling convoy gain many miles on us. In the end we would have gotten home no later than we actually did and with a lot less exasperation.

     So, lesson learned. Blueberry pie is often the right answer. But it helps when you have figured out what the question is.

Caleb, Jim & Megan


Megan's Kitchen Recipes:
Fresh Blueberry Muffins.

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour

3/4 rolled oats

1/3 sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 beaten egg

3/4 c milk

1/4 c cooking oil

3/4 c fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture.

In another bowl combine egg, milk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Fold blueberries into batter.

Spoon batter into buttered muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake in 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins



How-To Gardening Resources.

NEW! Lazy Dog Farm Video (15:38): THIS WAS TOO EASY!  Raised Bed Potato Planting.
Click on Image to Open.


Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.

Will This New Potato Ever Replace ‘Dark Red Norland’? Though the tradition was interrupted by Covid, it’s common and popular in farm country to hold outside Field Days for farmers. Last Summer, on August 17, a Field Day was held at the Aroostook Farm Potato Experiment Station in nearby Presque Isle, located twenty-five miles from Wood Prairie Family Farm. Field Days create the opportunity to introduce farmers to advanced techniques developed for good farming, and in the case of Potatoes, exposure to promising new varieties. A new and still numbered Red skin/White flesh variety from North Dakota (ND) and being developed by Aroostook Farm (AF) is “NDAF113484B-1.” Retiring Maine Potato Breeder and Agronomist Dr. Greg Porter has had his eye on this variety for years and believes one day it may give the ever-popular Dark Red Norland a run for its money. Trials to date indicate NDAF113484B-1 is a good yielding , mid-season (a week later than DRN) variety with good taste and bright Red skin which maintains its color throughout storage. Our name is one the list to get seed when it’s first available so we hope to be growing it out in the next year or two.

Tools of the Trade. Moving Snow with a Pickup Truck. In this photo, Caleb is using an older 4-WD Ford F-250 Diesel Pickup ‘Yard truck’(a Maine term for an older rusted-by-road-salt truck no longer able to pass vehicle inspection for use on public roadways) outfitted with a ‘Boss’ 10-foot-wide V-Blade snowplow. The truck has tire chains on all four tires. The bed has had weights added it to provide the truck with extra traction. The wings on the snowplow are hydraulically controlled and are adjusted by control valves located inside the heated cab (up/down, V-Plow, Straight-Blade or V-Scoop). Years back we used to plow with a 2 WD Oliver 770 Gas tractor (no cab!) that had tire chains and an angled Straight Blade, 8-foot wide. The pickup is not only way warmer, but plows twice as fast and doesn’t get stuck nearly as often as the tractor did. For every 6” of snowfall it will take Caleb about 6 hours now to plow everything out. Northern Maine gets 100"-120” of snow a year.

Shipping Out Pallets of Wood Prairie Potatoes. One reason Caleb must keep the yard plowed out is that every week throughout the Winter we have Tractor Trailers come in to either pickup Potatoes or to deliver supplies. Here, on a cold morning last week, hooded Caleb has added a final layer of 50-pound cartons of Organic Seed Potatoes to finish up a full 2500# pallet. Surrounded by Canada on three sides, it’s a sure bet that when Potatoes leave Aroostook County, Maine, they are headed south to someplace warmer. Caleb keeps his feet warm with thick insulated pull-on rubber boots. If you can keep your feet warm you are halfway towards being comfortable in extreme cold weather. Conversely, if your feet are cold you won’t ever get warm. Caleb uses our reliable, always-starts ‘New Holland’ Skid Steer loader to navigate the crusty yard and load those heavy pallets onto the awaiting truck.


Notable Quotes: Socrates on Thought.


Quick Links to Popular Products.

Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(207) 429 - 9765 / 207 (429) - 9682
Certified Organic From Farm to Mailbox