Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                   Friday, January 1st 2016
                         Volume 24 Issue 1

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 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    A New Year Ahead.

     A New Year Maze of Media.  Sorting through a drawerful of clippings allowed us to recently finish up on a project of cataloging Wood Prairie Family Farm press coverage over the years.  Click anywhere on the mosaic we have created above and you will be re-directed to a similar page with live links. Then, click on any single icon and be whisked away to an article, feature, interview or video which somehow involves Wood Prairie Family Farm.
     This home-grown Media project has had a purpose.  It is part of a new Crowd Funding campaign the Next Generation of Wood Prairie Family Farmers are putting together which will soon be launched.  As we greet this New Year, now is the time-to-transition Wood Prairie Family Farm over to our children Peter, Caleb, Sarah and Amy.  After 40 years we love it here and you can bet we’ll still be around.  Like all family farms, we’ll help out wherever we’re needed.
     Their Crowd Funding campaign will go live very soon.  And when it does, we’ll be sure and let you know about it and just  how you can help this Next Generation at Wood Prairie Family Farm lay a firm foundation and successfully take over the reins.

 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.

Where America's Certified Organic Farms Are Located. This Map was included in our first Webinar.
Next Thursday: You Are Invited to the FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #2.

     We had our first Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar before Christmas and - according to the comments we received - it was a big hit.  In this premier Webinar we discussed The Martian, greensprouting potatoes, the variety Butte Russet, tips for getting the best yields and answered many of your potato questions .  If you missed it - don’t worry - you can watch our Webinar #1 “Butte (Say BEAUT-iful)” anytime on You Tube.  

Next week we’ll be having our second Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar – “So THAT’S How They Multiply Seed Potatoes” - on Thursday January 7, 2016 at 1pm ET (10am PT) and we hope you will attend.  In order to assure yourself of a space in the classroom we recommend you reserve your spot TODAY by registering now.  

    In next Thurday’s FREE Webinar, we’ll explain the modern process of multiplying Certified Seed potatoes, tell more tales about Butte Russet, and answer your questions with the Live Chat function.
    Here are some of the Comments we received about our first Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar:

     *Very interesting.  I learned a lot. Thanks very much.
     *Thank you so much!
     *Jim, thank you so much for such a wonderful and informative webinar.  Excited about having more.  Many thanks.  All the best!
     *Great speaking for sure! Great stories too!
     *Good job, Jim.
     *And Jim, you are a very eloquent educator.
     *Thanks from VA where I’ve successfully grown Wood Prairie potatoes for years.  Jim personally answered my questions when I was a novice.  Many thanks.
     *Thank you. Great information and interesting to listen!
     *Thank you so much!! I learned a lot and very inspirational!
     * Thank you, look forward to the next one!
     *Please notify me so I can tell folks about future Webinars.

Now we hope you’ll join us for round two of our Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar series from the comfort of your own home. Please sign up today!

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

Special Offer: FREE Organic Butte Certified Seed Potatoes. 

     If you have ever grown and tasted Organic Butte Russets, you will immediately know why we are so enamored by them.  As a rugged and reliable potato variety to grow organically, they are hard to beat.  They are equally valuable in the kitchen and surpass all expectations as a very high quality dry (high specific gravity) baked potato and for incredible light and fluffy mashed potatoes.

     So outstanding is this now rare 50-year-old Butte variety, that it earned its place as the potato variety we covered in our first Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar.  In next week’s Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #2, we’ll share the story of the pivotal role McDonalds played in tossing this excellent variety towards the scrap heap of history.  We don’t hold grudges and be assured this was neither the first nor the last mistake McDonalds will make.

    So whether Butte Russet is new to you or not, here is your chance to try out our maverick Wood Prairie Farm Organic Maine Certified Butte (Value $11.95) on your next order where the goods total $39 or more.  Please use Promo Code WPF478.  Your order and FREE One Pound Sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Maine Certified Butte must ship with order and by 5/3/16. Offer Expires 11:59p.m., Monday, January 4, so please hurry!

Click Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Farm Vegetable Seed.

Butte - One of the Best Potatoes. Butte was part of our first webinar and there will be more Butte tales in Webinar #2.

Big Tree Big Crowd. One of 15 excellent old logging photographs.
 Rare Collection of Great Old Logging Photographs.

     We recently came across this FREE website which has some great offerings of historical photos.

     You will not want to miss this one very remarkable collection: fifteen large-format photographs of logging operations taken one hundred years ago.  Just look at the size of those trees!

Jim & Megan

Click Here For our Wood Prairie Farm Certified Organic Cover Crop Seed.

Notable Quote: Hitler on The Big Lie.

Recipe: Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette.

3 T pure maple syrup
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 whole allspice berries
1 small whole clove
1 whole star anise
1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 T apple-cider vinegar
1/3 c neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 oz mesclun salad mix
5 oz head frisee, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 small carrot
1 small parsnip
1 small turnip
1/4 c shelled sunflower seeds, toasted
4 oz aged sharp Cheddar, crumbled

To make the vinaigrette, combine the maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, clove, star anise, ginger, and 1 T water in a 1-quart saucepan. Simmer on medium-low heat to infuse the flavors and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Assemble the salad by combining the mesclun and frisee in a large bowl. Peel the carrot, parsnip, and turnip. Using the peeler, shave each into thin ribbons into the bowl. Add the sunflower seeds and half the cheese. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, then toss the salad with enough to coat. Serve sprinkled with the remaining cheese.


Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Our Mailbox: Soil-Like Conditions and Wrong & Unjust.

Soil-Like Conditions.

Dear WPF.

     I have been trying to store potatoes from my garden in my root cellar in ordert o replant them next spring. I followed the recommendations in a root cellaring book by Mike and Nancy Bubel to store them in sand. Howver, they are sprouting ilke crazy, and I'm afraid they won't be much good come spring. What do you reccomend I do? Thank you for the work you do! All the best.

Topeka KS

WPF Replies.

     Potatoes store best in soil-like conditions: dark, cool and moist.

Dark - Keep the light out to prevent potatoes from becoming "light struck" - greening up and becoming bitter.

Cool - Ideal storage temperature for potatoes is 38-40ºF

Moist - 95% Humidity is best. A moistened burlap sack covering potatoes simply placed in a wooden apple box prevents potatoes from losing moisture (shriveling) and keeps them dark.


Wrong & Unjust.

Dear WPF.

    What to do about the upcoming transgenic crops for 2,4-D and its relatives that not only drift but also volatilize from off the sprayed vegetation?


WPF Replies.

     I have read reports that 2,4-D is so volatile that it has been measured 75 miles away from point of application. This EXTREME drift tendency is absolutely unacceptable. Such a monsterous flaw - on its own - should be sufficient for 2,4-D registration to be immediately revoked. We have organic farmer friends in North Dakota who are concerned that trespass contamination from 2,4-D may force them out of business. This is so wrong and unjust. Government is abdicating it's responsibility to protect all farmers.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (207) 429-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm