Snowstorm Drops Ten Inches of New Snow on
Last Saturday it was unseasonably cold all across the
eastern United States, down as far south as northern
Georgia. Here in Maine, much of the State received over
half a foot of snow. In our northern part of Maine the
wind came up and turned our ten inches turned into
snow drifts up to four-feet deep
. Heavy rain on
the following Monday melted much of the weekend snow,
but then it turned cold on Tuesday and once again new
snow whitened the ground.
That April and now May have been cold in Maine won’t
surprise many. Maine soil is still cold and field work
is getting off to a slow start. Some farmers are pushing
the envelope and beginning to plant their potatoes. We
believe in waiting for the ground to warm to 50ºF
(at a soil depth of 4” at 7am) before we start planting
This year, waiting for warm ground serendipitously has
allowed us more time to work inside the packing shed and
continue to whittle down the unprecedented flood of
which continue to roll in. Our
turnaround is still about one week and we very much
appreciate your understanding and patience! While we are
running out of some potato varieties, but we still have
many in stock, including several in larger bag sizes. Website
listings are current. Supplies of organic Vegetable
seed are good.
Thanks for your support and kind words for our family
Please follow us on our Wood
and on Facebook
Be well and stay safe!
Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Our Best Selling
Wood Prairie Family
Pallets of Wood Prairie Seed Potatoes.
On a snowy morning last month Caleb used our
Clark Forklift to load potatoes. With icy ground under
the new snow cover wood ash has been shoveled to gain
traction. Truck driver Ross Grass is with
three-generation M.E. Grass & Sons Trucking in
nearby Mars Hill. Caleb and Ross went through school
together and were two of the thirty graduates of Central
Aroostook High School’s Class of 2012.
Bella Enjoying Thawed Out Kinney Road.
April brings about the thawing of the surfaces of
plowed roads in Aroostook County. The road beneath the
graveled surface layer is still frozen, often down to a
depth of four to six feet. The snow banks have been
“winged” back by Billy Brewer, the Town snowplow driver.
The goal of ‘winging back’ snow (with a snow-plow-truck
mounted ‘wing’) in the late Winter is to create
additional room for plowing day-to-day snowstorms. Billy
has long been a truck driver. Back in the 1970s, Jim
worked as a cooper (‘Barrelmaker’) and Billy was a
‘Nailer’ at Bridgewater Barrel Company
both helped make many thousands of cedar potato barrels
for local farmers.
in Underground Potato House.
ceiling in our underground potato storage is fourteen
feet high. This height allows us to triple-stack
four-foot-cube pallet boxes full of potatoes or
quadruple stack 34” ‘Carrot boxes’ (used for graded
potatoes). We maintain the potato storage at a
perfect 38ºF and high humidity for the duration of the
Now that it’s mid-May, the temperature has
slowly crept up to 41ºF. We built this underground
storage in 1999. We constructed the building around the
battery-powered Yale Forklift so that Yale has lived
down cellar for twenty-one years. Like most equipment
owned by family farmers, we bought this unit secondhand.
And yes, those are American-made Carhartt
pants and vest
, what we wear around
Amy Getting Ready for Kayak Run.
snowmelt in April – often accompanied by rain - pushes
local steams to their high water mark. Taking advantage
of the fast flow, under gray skies on the afternoon of
Thursday April 16, Caleb along with siblings Peter,
Sarah & Amy donned wet suits and kayaked down
nearby Prestile Stream
from the dam in Robinson
(‘Raw-baa-sun’) to the Canadian border. With rains
following our 14” snowfall on April 10, flow had peaked
on Monday the 13th. By the 16th leafy thatch in
streambank bushes indicated the water had already
dropped three feet. The run was exhilarating and
fortunately no one fell into the ice cold water. Sunday
the 19th Caleb and Amy kayaked down the still high
Meduxnekeag River from the Maine Woods at Harvey Siding
down to U.S. Route 1 in Monticello
During May Snowstorm.
is looking southwest from the edge of our farmyard.
Unmoved from where it was parked last Fall and open to
the west wind, our biggest and best 92-horsepower 1968
Oliver 1850 Diesel tractor was blown free of snow during
our recent 10” May snowfall. The wind accompanying
the storm made drifts four or five foot drift high
including on the leeward (east) side of our north-south
oriented 132’ long ‘high tunnel’ (modern name for an
above-ground plastic-covered greenhouse). A week later
the remnant of that snow drift was still around.
Packing Shed One Sunny Late April Afternoon.
Looking southward, most of our Winter’s snow has
melted and departed except for the piles shaded by woods
and buildings. Mornings, the Post Office sends out a
truck which we load up with packages of seed. Then at 3
o’clock we take the balance of that day’s parcels into
the Bridgewater Post Office located four miles from the
farm. Here, preparing to drive in to the Post Office,
Caleb is loading his F350 crew cab Ford truck. He
bought this truck used and completely rebuilt it
beginning with the diesel engine
and going all the
way back to tailpipe. Caleb is a natural mechanic and in
2014 completed the two-year Diesel Hydraulics program at
Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. If it
makes noise and belches diesel fumes, you’ve caught
Caleb & Jim &
Wood Prairie Family
49 Kinney Road
(207) 429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox