‘Small Pond’ on Maine’s Wood Prairie Family
Our Small Pond is located close to our shop and nearby
residence. Its one-third acre in size and eighteen
feet deep. We dug out this pond ourselves almost
twenty years ago. It’s main function is to
provide irrigation water for our organic crops.
Deep and shaded by trees, it remains cool and refreshing
all Summer long and offers a great opportunity for
As you can see in this
photo, this year’s hot and - so far – dry weather has
caused us to pump our Small Pond down a foot. Our
other irrigation pond we began digging in 1985, and have
enlarged twice up to its current 1.5 acre size. At
its deepest point the ‘Big Pond’ is twelve feet deep.
June tied a record as the
driest June on record up here with just 1.16” of rain
falling. May was on the dry side as well.
Meanwhile evaporative draw in June alone was 5.5”.
Until the last week, thunderstorms have been missing our
farm. However, our prospects are looking up.
In the last week two rain events dropped a welcome
Our new crop of Organic
Maine Certified Seed Potatoes looks good and is growing
well. We will begin potato harvest in late
September and will start shipping orders on rainy days
beginning in October.
Our seed potato crop -
dug and shipped daily since Sept 2019 - is now
exhausted. All seed potato varieties are now sold
out until the new crop is dug in
Cover Crop Seed
Tools and Supplies
are still in-stock
and we are filling your orders for those items daily.
Thanks for your
support. Stay safe and have a wonderful Summer!
Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Our Best Selling
Wood Prairie Family
Unloading New Oliver 77 Tractor.
Back in May while the ground was still too cold
to plant potatoes, Caleb and Jim ventured north up to
Fork Kent, at Maine’s northernmost tip, to check out a
1951 Oliver 77 Gas tractor which had shown up on Craig’s
List. Turns out the owner was anxious to sell so
we got ourselves a good deal.
Yet to be
decided is whether we’ll run this tractor or,
alternatively, strip it out for parts. We
must rebuild another tractor we’ve owned for 25 years, a
somewhat newer Oliver ‘Super 77’ which needs a new
engine, radiator and replacements rear wheels and tires.
Hand Rock Picking Crew.
this day in June we had finished planting potatoes early
afternoon. We decided we’d push ourselves and end
the day by picking this potato field’s bigger rocks. In
the photo, Caleb’s sister, Amy, is driving tractor,
pulling the hydraulic-equipped dump cart. On the
ground (from left to right) are Caleb, sister Sarah and
farmhand Ken. We picked 16 rows per pass – at one
thousand feet per row - and by the end of the field had
generated one full cartload of 2 yards of rocks.
In decades past, we would often fill a cart with a
single round trip of just 16 rows. This is proof
positive that we’re catching up on the many rocks left
by Northern Maine’s twenty past glaciers.
in the Wood Prairie Shop.
an attempt to save our backs from the repetitive
stoop-labor-job of intensively hand-planting
tissue-cultured Potato Minitubers into soil in our
aphid-excluding screen house, we took a day to hobble
together a prototype ‘Lay-Down Planting Cart.’
Forty-five years ago, Jim worked on a flower bulb farm
in Brookings, Oregon. There, the farmhands
would work on a similar tractor-drawn cart featuring
six pairs of what were called “Ironing Boards”
which workers would lay prone on. Our
first-year-copy-cat concept was a success. Though
crude, we got the job done faster - and with less effort
- than ever before.
Newly Tranplanted Organic Seed Corn Crop on Wood
Prairie Family Farm.
year’s hot and dry weather made it hard to schedule corn
transplanting. We delayed corn planting in an
attempt to let the hottest days pass us by.
Finding a narrow window, we transplanted and then immediately
set up irrigation
to water the corn and hopefully
minimize transplant shock. The technique worked
well, and this year’s crop of Organic
Dorinny Sweet Corn Seed
Moving Tulip Crates with Clark Forklift.
Our friend, Tim, at ColorBlends in Connecticut
imports flower bulbs from Holland. He has
graciously supplied us with these versatile plastic
We use them for just about
everything, especially handling seed potatoes and plants
in the Spring and then in the Fall for potato and corn
work. We try to palletize everything we can to cut
down on effort and labor.
Goose the Cat
on Truck with Caged Water Tank.
pallet-mounted ‘caged water tanks’ hold 275 gallons of
water and are incredibly useful. Tanks typically have an
8” capped opening on top and a threaded two-inch shutoff
valve at bottom. Here, yearling ‘Goose’ (“Gray
Goose”) navigates the bed of an old 4WD Ford F150 used
for years as a ‘Yard Plow Truck’ (Maine vernacular for a
truck no longer roadworthy
nor able to pass State
Vehicle Inspection, but perfectly suitable for plowing
snow in one’s own yard). That Ford truck is now a
water truck for our cows and hogs.
Irish Dexter Cows on Pasture.
farm generates waste. On our organic seed farm,
our potato culls (‘grade-outs’) are
waste-converted-to-resource by being fed to our
Dexter cows and American Guinea Hogs.
are heritage breeds and famous for converting fiber
(like grass, hay and cull potatoes) into protein with
minimal grain. That field these Dexters are
grazing has been in Clover/Timothy sod for a couple of
years. It will be rotated and planted to produce
Organic Certified Seed Potatoes next year.
on Wood Prairie Family Farm.
wildflowers add to beauty on well-designed organic
farms, providing important insect habitat.
Beneficial predator insects hold in check harmful pests.
It’s been written that on a healthy, diversified organic
farms, 90% of the insects in a field are beneficials
which help to control crop damaging pests like aphids.
On our farm, yellow ‘Buttercup’ flowers often compliment
the purple flowers of wild legume, ‘Cow
Caleb & Jim &
Wood Prairie Family
49 Kinney Road
(207) 429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox