Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
              Wednesday, February 04, 2015
                        Volume 21 Issue 3

          Enjoy Receiving The Seed Piece?
          Please Donate today and
       support our continuing educational
       work which includes The Seed Piece.          Thanks!


 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    New England Survives Snowstorms.

     Three Storms in one week behind us. The snow and cold of recent weeks is a far cry from digging potatoes in Northern Maine. However, when you live in Maine’s Potato Empire of Aroostook County potatoes and potato harvest are never far from thought. The above picture is from the harvest of 1916 in the farm town of Perham 35 miles north west as the crow flies from Wood Prairie Farm. It’s obvious from the photograph that it was a strong harvest. Note that the potato tops have been completely removed to better show off the nice crop of bright potatoes. Also notice the gentleman on the right in the stiff-collared shirt who is a fertilizer salesman. Reminding us that there is always someone wanting to sell a farmer something.

 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

OSGATA President Pulls No Punches in New Food Sleuth Interview About Organic Farming.

     The best interviews happen when the interviewer has done her homework and the interviewee is unguarded and speaks the truth on important matters.  You decide whether Food Sleuth's talented Melinda Hemmelgarn and Wood Prairie Farm's Jim Gerritsen met the mark in this nationally-syndicated PRX interview (28:00).

     Topics include why Organic Farming is superior, why genetically engineered crops are a danger and discussion of the OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit.  "'The first thing you have to understand about genetic engineering is that it was not an invention designed to improve production or agriculture. It was an invention to take away from the Commons the ownership of seed. That's the express purpose of genetic engineering.'"

Jim & Megan

Click Here For Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Seed Potatoes.

Special Offer: FREE Organic French Chantenay Carrots.

         We had a particularly delicious crop of Organic French Chantenay Carrots last year. The carrots are holding very well in storage and we’re able to ship them if you act quickly.

    Now we’d like to share our Organic Chantenay Carrot Bounty with you!  Get a FREE 2 lb. Bag of Organic Chantenay Carrots (Value $12.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $45 or more. FREE 2 lb. Bag of Organic Chantenay Carrots offer ends Midnight Friday, February 6, 2015.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 448. Your order and the FREE 2 lb. Bag of Organic Chantenay Carrots must ship by 4/5/15. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Questions? Call Wood Prairie Farm  (800) 829-9765.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Fresh Vegetables Section.

Windy USA. Which way's the wind blowing?

Real Time Wind Map of the USA.

     We recently came across this interesting wind map on the Internet. It shows in graphic detail the intensity and direction of the wind across the United States all in near real time. Click here to get a look. Jim.

Click Here for our Organic Cover Crop Seed.

Notable Quotes: Gandhi on Struggle.

Homemade Potato Chips and French Onion Dip.
Photo by Angela Wotton
Recipe: Homemade Potato Chips and French Onion Dip.

French Onion Dip

2 T olive oil

3 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 3 cups)

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

2 T white wine vinegar

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces and softened

3/4 c sour cream or yogurt

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the vinegar and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the vinegar has evaporated, 1 minute. Let the onions cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a food processor. Add the cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt, mayonnaise, and cayenne and pulse until mostly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the dip stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can develop. If necessary, thin with a little water. The dip can be made up to one week ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Homemade Potato Chips

1-1/2 lb. Butte potatoes, well scrubbed

6 c peanut or canola oil

Fine sea salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Slice the potatoes crosswise 1/16 inch thick, preferably using a mandoline; transfer the slices to the ice water as you work. Let soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Drain the potatoes and discard the ice. Refill the bowl with cold water, add the potatoes, and stir to release more starch. Drain and spin the potatoes dry in batches in a salad spinner or blot dry on paper towels.

Place the potatoes on lengths of paper or cloth towel without overlapping them. Roll the slices up in the towel (to further dry them) and keep them rolled up until ready to fry; they can hold for up to 2 hours.

Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side of a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan. Add 2-1/2 inches of oil and heat over medium heat to 350 to 360°F. Line a large mixing bowl with a length of paper towel long enough to drape over the sides. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.

Carefully add about 20 slices of the potatoes to the oil. Fry, stirring gently and occasionally with a skimmer, until light golden brown to deep brown in places, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the oil and transfer the chips to the prepared bowl, and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. salt. Grab the ends of the paper towel and shimmy it back and forth to gently toss the chips with the seasoning and absorb excess oil. Transfer the chips to the prepared baking sheet to cool. Repeat in batches.

Allow the chips to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before eating; they’ll crisp more as they cool.

Our Mailbox: Definitely Superior and Sitting Ducks.

Definitely Superior.

Dear WPF.

     Hi Jim! I enjoy your FB pages very much. Keep up the good work!
     I have a question for you. I have stopped eating potatoes because it seems to increase arthritis pain from inflammation in my joints. I recently wondered if the problem is related to the chemicals used in commercial potato farming, rather than the potatoes themselves.
     If you think that I might be able to eat organic potatoes without the increased inflammation, could you suggest varieties that might be less inflammatory? Thank you in advance for your help.


WPF Replies.

     I appreciate your expression of support. Thanks!
     Certainly one's intuition would tell us that applying heavy doses of poisons to our food is likely a big factor. Of course, chemical potatoes are sprayed in the field - and increasingly with systemic insecticides and fungicides which translocate the poison throughout the entire plant including the edible tuber. However, potato tubers are also normally sprayed (and/or gassed) - DIRECTLY on the skin, post-harvest, with both fungicide and diluted herbicide known as 'sprout nip'. So yes, I think organic potatoes make sense and are worth a try. Our experience is some organic potatoes are often superior to others which might be more commonly available in chain supermarkets. Here's where to find ours. Jim. 

Sitting Ducks.

Dear WPF.

Ancestors' exposure to DDT may contribute to obesity, study says. I grew up in suburbia in Connecticut. The neighbors would all chip in and hire a spray plane to spray the entire neighborhood each year to kill mosquitoes. Our parents were so clueless as we would be outside playing as the planes covered us with DDT. You'd see the birds falling off the power lines dead...I'm not sure we don't still produce DDT in America to sell to Third-world countries.


WPF Replies.

     Upon introduction, farm chemicals were mis-portrayed by industry as being entirely good with no downside. Years ago, one local old-timer potato farmer told me that back in the early 1950s farmers were never told that there was any danger with the chemicals. To illustrate the point, he related he actually used his arm as a stirring stick to mix buckets of chemicals. Salt of the earth farmers were trusting individuals and easily deceived.
     Almost 40 years ago I worked one Spring for a local bag company delivering printed paper potato bags to local farmers putting up loads of potatoes. The company also sold farm chemicals. Many times I witnessed local farmers come in and get counseled by my youthful boss about what chemical to use. The big joke was my boss had NO idea what he was talking about. In acting-class-fashion he soberly parroted lines he stole from the salesmen. After the farmer left, the crew would double-over in laughter in acknowledgment of a spell-binding masquerade performance. The farmers were sitting ducks.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (800)829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm