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Organic News and Commentary
From Maine
Saturday, June 13th, 2020
 Volume 29 Issue 9

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   Cast into Summer.


Potato Planting on Wood Prairie Family Farm.

With the remarkably strong demand for organic seed from the pandemic, the last three months have passed by as a blur and we’ve worked hard to keep up with the unprecedented surge of orders which has engulfed the seed industry.  The day after we finally got caught up with shipping your orders, we started planting our own crop, only a little bit behind when we normally start.   It’s been unseasonably dry here in Maine, but those conditions made for fast planting and we finished getting our field crop of organic Maine Certified Seed planted right before a recent rain.

We’re now sold out of quite a few varieties of Seed Potatoes.  However, we have numerous varieties still in-stock, including Organic Dark Red Norland which is still available in good quantities including Big Bag Sizes.  If you have a corner left in the garden, consider planting it to a quick crop of potatoes – the harvest will be great for your family’s use or to sell to neighbors!

Organic Vegetable, Herb and Cover Crop seed remain in-stock and are in good supply.  While we will sell out of Seed Potatoes – like always - by July 4, we will continue to ship orders throughout the Summer and into Fall and Winter, including all of our other seeds – plus Smart Bags, Organic Fertilizer, Harvest Sacks and Supplies

Come Fall, we’ll again begin to ship our new crop of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes in October.

We're grateful for your support of our family farm!

Please follow us on our Wood Prairie Blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Megan Working on the Trigger Line. Once we warm up the seed potatoes we’re going to plant, we run them over a Roller Table grading line for a last inspection and to spray on some organic biological seed inoculants.  Megan stands by the Roller Table.  Note the white rollers which roll seed tubers over and over for superior inspection and for 100% spray coverage from two spray nozzles positioned 15” above the rollers.

Tuber Unit Planting on Wood Prairie Family Farm. Our two-row Potato Planter started out life as a Lockwood Planter.  We modified it by removing the two pick-wheel assemblies and replacing them with two homemade segmented conveyer belts.  We fill the large hopper next to the crew with whole sprouted seed tubers.  Two people work a single row together, and cut tubers into 1.5 ounce seed pieces.   Seed pieces are then placed on the conveyer and plopped sequentially into the ground by the planter mechanism. Working from left to right are Caleb; his sister, Amy; mother, Megan; and co-worker Kenyon.

View From the Planter Tractor Seat. Jim drives the Oliver 1750 Diesel which pulls our Potato Planter.  Clipboard, flags, calculator, watch and pencil are the primary tools for keeping track of the locations of over seventy seed lots of Certified Seed.  It’s common for Olivers in Northern Maine potato country to be outfitted-from-the-factory with super-low creeper gearing which allows very slow ground travel, a real plus for harvest-time digging.  In the distance, Caleb is working ground yet-to-plant with a John Deere Disc Harrow.

Wood Prairie Dog Doing the Rounds. Walking on freshly harrowed ground which awaits planting, Halle, our Great-Pyranees-Kuvasz cross Livestock Guard Dog inspects her territory of thousand-foot long rows.  Our planter creeps along at a half-mile per hour operating in juxtaposition with the workers on back who feverishly cut 1800 seed pieces per thousand foot row every thirty minutes.
Caleb Repairing the ‘Red Roguing Cart.’ Twenty-five years ago we fabricated this high clearance cart designed for carting away ‘rogues’ – or diseased potato plants - out of the field in a repetitive Summer inspection task known as ‘Roguing.’  It’s six-foot wheel base fits perfectly on potato rows planted three-feet-apart.  In the Spring, the Roguing Cart gets additional duties and is hitched to the planter and carryies additional seed so we won’t run out before a double-two-thousand foot round-trip is completed.  Here, Caleb repacks the grease into a bearing, again proving the accuracy of the old adage that it’s a squeaky wheel which gets greased.

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