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Organic News and Commentary
From Maine
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
 Volume 29 Issue 7

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   Late Easter Late Spring.


Winter Won't Let Go of Northern Maine.

Old-time Mainers had a saying “Late Easter Late Spring” and that seems to be holding true this year.  This week we woke up one morning with a new 8” snowfall.   That morning Megan trudged through the snow to the barn with two buckets of ground up cull potatoes for our Irish Dexter cattle and American Guinea Hogs. Both of these breeds relish and fully digest uncooked potatoes.  Meanwhile, our Great Pyrenees livestock guard dog, ‘Halle,’ digs into the snow following a scent. You can learn the scientific answer of how Spring in your area is proceeding by checking out the National Phrenology Network and inserting your Zip Code.

Despite this April being on the cool side, our snowpack built from the Winter storm's totaling ten-feet of snowfall, had only been a few days behind schedule up until this recent snow event.

Inside our Packing Shed we continue to work overtime trying to keep up with the unprecedented huge flood of seed orders experienced by American seed companies thanks to food security concerns of citizens heightened by the Covid-19 crisis.  

While we are steadily catching up on orders we still have a turnaround of about a week.  We are doing the best we can and we appreciate your patience and understanding! We have taken inventory of our supplies and are happy to report improved amounts now available for sale, including some varieties available to market growers in full 45-pound carton quantities.  Website listings are current, and if you have the space to grow more potatoes we have the seed for you.

We are grateful for your support and wish you the best during these trying times.

Please follow us on our Wood Prairie Blog and on Facebook and Instagram. https://www.woodprairie.com/images/littlemoose.png

Be well and stay safe!
Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
Our Best Selling Products!


     Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.

Aftermath of our Late April Snowstorm. This photo, looking west over fields of Wood Prairie Family Farm, was taken not long after the storm’s last snowflakes arrived sideways in a stiff westerly wind.  All of a sudden the snow stopped falling, the front’s clouds passed eastward and brilliant blue sky suddenly appeared.  These home farm fields grew organic Seed Potatoes last year and were planted to an organic Winter Rye grain crop immediately after harvest.  The Rye was already beginning to re-grow in patches bare of snow before this latest snowfall.  We’ll harvest the Rye crop in August. These fields will be planted back to potatoes in 2023 and will be in soil-building sod cover crop until then.

Caleb Plowing Snow in Another April Snow Storm. Back on April 10th another April storm dropped a foot of snow on Northern Maine.  Normally we’re patient with April snows and typically will opt to let the sun melt it, particularly when the ground underneath has thawed out and is no longer frozen.   This time around, however, we already had one tractor-trailer drive in at day-break and he quickly got himself stuck in the deep snow.  Caleb plowed a donut around his semi and then freed the truck up by pulling him backwards with a logging chain until his tires were onto snow-plowed ground.  Since the Town plow truck had not yet come along, Caleb ended up plowing the entire half-mile section of Kinney Road all the way up to Bootfoot Road so the trucker could get back on his way.

Loading a Pallet of Potatoes in a March Snow Storm. Life goes on in Northern Maine throughout the Winter.  Snow or no snow, trucks come and go and need to be loaded.  This shot is of Caleb loading a pallet of 2500# of our organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes onto an awaiting truck.  We have customers in all 50 States and ten months a year we ship seed potatoes in amounts ranging from one pound to 10,000 pounds.  Potatoes are a heavy crop and having forklifts around help to save backs.

Amy & Caleb Working Late in Wood Prairie Packing Shed. Working late one evening after the day crew had gone home, Caleb (right) and his sister, Amy, work to “box up” orders that have been assembled (“tubbed up”).  This time of year each week we ship out over a thousand orders to both home gardeners and market farmers all across the USA.  The big surge of seed orders - thanks to the Covid-19 crisis - have keep all of the Wood Prairie crew hopping.  It was twenty-nine years ago, back in 1991 that we built this on-farm packing shed.

Caleb Boxing Orders on Wood Prairie Family Farm. Caleb works boxing up seed orders beside the Packing Shed’s one window.  Our longtime Postal rural carrier, Larry, delivers our mail around noon, and then will load up as many of our out-bound packages as will fit into his car.   At 3pm we take the day's balance of parcels and haul them into the Bridgewater Post Office located four miles away.  For 30 years we've been the little Bridgewater Post Office's biggest shipper.  Toby from Fedex Ground and Josh from UPS back up their trucks to this same loading dock door anywhere between 3:30 pm and 5 pm to haul away the day’s parcels.  This work of "Critical Workers" is repeated five days a week.  On the weekends we replenish inventories.

Cooper Soaking Up the Rays on a Sunny Morning. Once April rolls around the packing crew will validate the occasional sunny, mild day by opening up the Packing Shed’s south-facing garage door and let in the outside light and warmth.  Cooper the cat also knows a good thing when he sees it.  By April, everyone in Maine ready for Spring.

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