News and Commentary
Saturday, March 14th, 2020
Issue of The
Wood Prairie Seed
Brand. Ivanhoe Mutual Orange Association,
Turlare County, California. Circa 1930.
This beautiful California
Citrus Crate label – which once adorned wooden crates
of oranges headed to market, complements another fruit
crate label image featured in the last Wood
Prairie Seed Piece, which also highlighted
Yosemite National Park’s stunning allure.
Here in Maine, orders are coming
and going fast and furious as we ramp up to peak
shipping from now until the end of April. Usually by
mid-March – with the sun higher in the sky – we stop
dropping below zero at night. That makes shipping
perishable seed potatoes a simpler process.
Snow depth on the farm is now about
two feet deep. Last week, Caleb and some friends took
their snowmobiles up to the Allagash country and there
he reports the snow depth is 4-5 feet.
Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
|Brand New Amazing
Video of Northern Maine’s ‘Can Am International
Dog Sled Race 2020.’
Northern Maine's Can
Am International Dog Sled Race 2020. Spectacular
new video with Bird's-Eye-Views.
You will enjoy this spectacular
video (4:28) of the 28th Annual 250-Mile ‘Can Am’ sled
- including lots of Bird's-Eye-View
drone footage - which took place just a couple of weeks
ago. Race begins and ends in Fort Kent, Maine, the
Aroostook County town at the very top of the Crown of
Watch the mushers and the sled dogs working together as a
team "with perseverance and determination" both in the
daylight and at night using headlamps. Teams confronted
below zero temperatures and "raging snowstorms."
Maine's Can Am race spans the lonely Allagash wilderness
in North Maine Woods and serves as a qualifying race for
Alaska's famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
Caleb, Megan & Jim
Click Here for our Certified Organic Cover Crop &
Offer: FREE Organic Adirondack Red Seed
Striking pink-fleshed Organic
was released by Cornell
University at the same time as its more famous
blue-fleshed cousin Organic
. Organic Adirondack
is a good keeper Mid-Season potato which grows
reliably and produces handsome smooth-red-skin tubers. In
the kitchen, Adirondack Red
is a moist, low-solids
potato making it ideal for steaming or Au Gratin.
Earn yourself a FREE
1 lb. Sack of Organic Adirondack Red Seed Potatoes
(Value $11.95) when your next Wood Prairie order totals
$59 or more. FREE Organic
Adirondack Red Seed Potatoes Offer
ends 11:59 PM on
Monday, March 16 . Please use Promo Code WPFF471. Your
order and FREE Organic
Adirondack Red Seed Potato Offer
- must ship no
later than May 5, 2020. Offer may not be combined with
other offers. Please place your order TODAY!
Organic Adirondack Red. Reliable cousin of Cornell's
|Wood Prairie Family
Back-Dragging Snow on Wood Prairie Family Farm. After a recent
snowfall, Caleb uses our ‘Boss’ V-Blade snow plow to back
drag snow away from our packing shed and potato house. The
plow shape-shifts with hydraulic controls operated from
inside the cab of the truck: up, down, straight blade right,
straight blade left, V-middle-buster and scoop (pictured
here). It takes Caleb about four hours to plow us out after
an 8” snowfall.
Megan Working Pallet Jack in Underground Potato House. In the
underground cellar there are two main jobs this time of
year. 1) Keeping the upstairs crew supplied with a steady
amount of loose potatoes which they will bag up into sacks
at the end of one week to ship out the orders going the next
week. 2) Putting up 50-pound cartons onto pallets going out
to larger farmers and seed companies. The yellow Yale
forklift is battery powered, kind of like a farmer’s Tesla.
Caleb Loading Pallets onto a Tractor Trailer.
On a Winter’s day, Caleb performs the task of receiving full
pallets of potatoes pushed out by the underground Cellar
Forklift with a Clark forklift. He then navigates the snowy
ground to move and push pallets weighing from 2000-2500
pounds onto the awaiting truck.
Fingerweeder on Organic Seed Farm in Oregon.
Last month Caleb & Jim attended the biennial Organic
Seed Growers conference held at OSU in Corvallis, located in
the world famous seed growing haven known as the Willamette
Valley. As always, the best part of the conference is the
full-day of field trips criss-crossing the Valley. Here on a
good-sized organic farm is a well-designed, unusually wide
Fingerweeder with hydraulically-controlled drop down wings.
This wing set-up allows easy travel on highways and farm
roads and in-the-field efficient weeding of small weeds in
Heavy Wood Beams and Solid Wood Seed Bin Walls.
Our field trip included a tour of a large seed cleaning
facility. The huge cavernous building was built after WWII,
about 70 years ago. It was explained to us that the builders
were common sense farmers and not engineers. Because the
Willamette Valley is located close to the mountains and wood
country, the farmers had ready access to an unlimited supply
of inexpensive #2 grade rough cut lumber. These farmers knew
to how build strong. Here, the bin walls at left and in the
background are made from 2” x 6s” stacked on top of one
another to create rugged, solid 6” wide wooden bin walls.
Seed Cleaning Mill Screen Collection. The
heart of this seed cleaning plant was an enormous
multi-story seed cleaning machine. The seed cleaner featured
a dizzying maze of multiple screens perfectly matched for
the size and shape of each specific seed crop. The good seed
was separated out from the weed seed and chaff. A wall of
yellowed paper ‘recipe’ sheets detailed exactly which screen
went where and in what order for this crop or that. The seed
mill foreman had worked in this one mill for 40 years.
Oregon Grown Premium Quality Grass Seed. In
a system common across the Willamette Valley, bags full of
cleaned grass seed – ready for sale and planting - are
carefully stacked on extra-large hardwood pallets, five bags
per layer. Pictured here is probably conventional Annual Rye
seed - light and fluffy compared to small dense seeds like
clovers and Timothy grass.
Grass Seed Stacked Clear to the Rafters. Each
pallet has eight layers times five 50-pound bags. Four
pallets high, this one stack weighs 8000 pounds, or about
one-sixth of a tractor-trailer load. With seed-cleaning
season now winding down, this gigantic warehouse was chock
full of similar stacks of grass seed which reached the
|Little Wood Prairie
Family Farm Wins Two Big Awards.
Wood Prairie Family Farm is a bonafide family farm located
out in the willywags on the edge of the North Maine Woods.
First and foremost we are farmers and we have been growing
organic seed crops for over forty years. If there’s anything
unique about us it’s that 30 years ago we figured out that
for us to continue to make our living farming we better zero
in on selling the Certified Organic Seed we raise.
We decided at that time we’d target selling seed directly to
home gardeners and market farmers. Back in those days that
meant putting together a mail order catalog. Of course, in
later years the Internet came along and so we added our
transactional webstore (www.woodprairie.organic)
to supplement our garden seed catalog.
To this day we remain a small family-run outfit.
Neighbors who have worked for us for many years help our
family grow the crops, answer the phone and ship out your
orders. Our catalog and our website - and this newsletter -
are still put together right here in our farm office.
It seems this year our efforts have paid off. Award-winning
has included Wood Prairie on its 2020 list of the '8
Best Gardening Catalogs and Websites.’
They are a leading informational website about gardening and
in 2019 they won the 'Best Gardening Website Award' from
GardenComm (the new name for the well-respected group
formerly known as 'Garden Writers Association').
Also, this Winter, Feefo conferred upon Wood Prairie their “2020
Gold Trusted Service Award.” Established
in 2007, Feefo has become one of the world's leading
Customer Review platforms. Wood Prairie has earned a
lifetime Feefo score of 4.8 (out of a possible 5). Feefo’s
top-tier 'Gold Trusted' status recognized Wood Prairie for
exceeding their threshold score of 4.5 for all of 2019.
What sets Feefo apart is that they independently and
exclusively collect 100% Customer-Verified Reviews. Feefo
Review submissions are accepted only from individuals
who have actually made a Feefo-verified purchase.
Feefo’s integrity and careful protocols virtually eliminate
fraudulent Reviews which have become a huge online
credibility dilemma for retailers like Amazon.
Caleb, Megan & Jim
Click Here for our Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Wins Two Awards. A family farm that done good.
|Notable Quote: Fromm
on Real Wealth.
12-15 small Dark
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with at least
an inch of
water. Boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until the potatoes
completely tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 30
Place the cooked potatoes on a clean dishtowel. Let them
drain and sit
for a minute or two. Fold another dishtowel into quarters,
and using it
as a cover, gently press down on one potato with the palm
of your hand
to flatten it to a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Repeat
with all of the
Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; put
a sheet of
parchment on top of the foil. Carefully transfer the
to the baking sheet and let them cool completely at room
If working ahead, refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Heat oven to 450 F. Sprinkle the potatoes with about 3/4
tsp salt and
pour olive oil over them. Lift the potatoes gently to make
sure some of
the oil goes underneath. Roast until they are crisp and
around the edges., 30 - 40 minutes, turning over once
gently with a
spatula halfway through cooking. Serve hot.
Crispy Smashed Roasted
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm
Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(207) 429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox