Prairie Seed Piece
February 12th 2016
24 Issue 04
Donate to Our BarnRaiser
Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:
Farmers Attending the Second Agrarian Elders Gathering Held Last Month
in Big Sur CA. The farmers attending were: (Kneeling,
front row, left to right) Andrea Hazzard, Hazzard Free Farm
IL; Anne Schwartz, Blue Heron Farm WA; Carly
Delsignore, Tide Mill Farm ME; Anne Lazor, Butterworks Farm
VT; Clara Coleman, ARC Farm ME. (Knelling, second
row) Nash Huber, Nash’s Organic Produce WA; Travis McKenzie,
Grow the Future NM; Tom Willey, TD Willey Farms CA;
Eliot Coleman, Four Seasons Farm ME; Kari Bernard, Green
String Institute CA; Jack Lazor, Butterworks Farm VT; Andrew
Still, Adaptive Seeds OR. (Standing, third row)
Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm OR; Zoe Bradbury, Valley Flora Farm
OR; Jack Algiere, Stone Barns Farm NY; Dru Rivers,
Full Bully Farm CA; Emily Oakley, Three Springs Farm
OK; Pete Johnson, Pete’s Greens VT; Don Bustos,
Santa Cruz Farm NM; Michael Ableman, Foxglove Farm
BC; Frank Morton, Wild Garden Seed OR. (Standing, back
row) Paul Kaiser, Singing Frogs Farm CA; Dave
Murphy (Observer), Food Democracy Now! IA; Bob Cannard, Green
String Farm CA; Jim Gerritsen, Wood Prairie Family Farm ME;
Wood Tasch (Facilitator), Slow Money CO; Amigo Bob Cantisano,
Heaven & Earth Farm CA. Missing: Barbara
Damrosch, Four Seasons Farm ME; Patty Huber, Nash’s Organic
Produce WA; Zach Wolf, Locusts on Hudson Farm NY.
Well, it was quite a week. The
weather was perfect. The discussions were inclusive and often
very moving. The setting in Big Sur on California’s Central
Coast was once again breath-taking.
We’ll share the written report of our
week when it is made available.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.
Aeriel View of Esalen Institute,
Big Sur CA. The "Murphy House" we met and stayed in is on
the water just out of view to the left.
|Hitting the Books: The Reading List
for the Agrarian Elders.
The concept of the Agrarian Elders
Gathering - collecting and sharing the knowledge of
almost one thousand years of organic farming experience – was the brain
child of organic farmers Michael Ableman and Eliot Coleman crossed with
extraordinary Esalen Institute Center for Theory and Research founder
and leader Michael Murphy.
The first Agrarian Elders Gathering was held in
Big Sur two years ago. That event captured the attention of
York Times. A masterful
chronicling is an excellent
report written by talented Noel Vietor.
Finally, Agrarian Elder Patty Huber wrote a nice
piece in her farm newsletter.
There is great
conscious of the critical need to generationally pass along knowledge.
Therefore, this Agrarian Gathering was re-constituted to bring together
a dozen of the Elders along with a dozen Youngers selected for their
leadership qualities from among the next generation of organic farmers.
As preparation for this
Agrarian Elders Gathering, our friend – and longtime seed potato
customer – the well-known Eliot Coleman of Four Seasons Farm on the
coast of Maine, took it upon himself to create and distribute a reading
list for Elders to study ahead of time.
Eliot’s collection of pertinent
articles and studies is nothing short of stunning.
We share with you Eliot’s treasure trove below.
Eliot Coleman’s 2016 Agrarian
Elders Reading List.
What are we
doing? Why are we organic farmers?
Inspiration? Goal? Wider picture? Long-term expectations?
It has been said that organic farmers “are the last beacons of light,
the last autonomous independent examples of human beings who have not
been co-opted by the system. Organic farmers are the only force
preventing the total takeover of the food system by artificial,
Campaign for Real Farming (1)
Campaign for Real Farming (2)
Sustainable Food Trust
Soil Fertility: How best to achieve it?
– Livestock plus field crops, vegetable crops, fruit, etc.
Without Fertilizers – Green manures, cover crops, crop
NY Times Article - Farmers put
down the plow for more productive soil
Are Some Crops Synergistic to
Fertilizers – biological? mineral? foliar? sources?
Atlantic – Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture
Microbiome – the Rhizosphere effect, no-till vs.
Term Organic Farming Fosters Above and Below Ground Biota
is the Stomach of the Plant
Farm – Soil organic matter? How sustainable are we in
Save our Soils!
Fungi Thing about Soil
– The new realities of CRISPR and gene editing.
drives offer new hope against diseases and crop pests
Pest Control: How does it work?
System Approach to Sustainable Pest Management
Soil Fertility Management and
Agriculture Promotes Evenness and Natural Pest Control
- What is going on when the crops are free from pests and diseases?
Rhizosphere Microbiome and Plant Health
Plant Stress Hypothesis – T. C. R. White
Mineral Balance Hypothesis – Andre Alyokhin
Colorado Potato Beetle Response
to Mineral Balance
Induced Defense Hypothesis – Judith Meyers
Organic Matter Hypothesis – Larry Phelan
Are Pests the
Problem – or Pesticides?
– Solarization, cultivation, mulches, stale seedbed, flame weeding?
Message Out. What does the public understand?
who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong
Is Organic Agriculture ‘Affluent
How do we communicate better what we do and its importance?
Who are the best and most effective spokespeople for alternative ag?
How do we maintain the integrity our customers have come to expect?
Is “organic” already so compromised that we need a new word?
Is the Organic Label Worth Saving?
What are the pitfalls ahead in defining “organic”?
beautiful lettuce and tomatoes really organic?
It’s practically impossible to
Distribution: The economics of small farms?
Scale of production, retail or wholesale, high workload, moderate level
income, etc. What are their effects on the viability and longevity of
end of organic farming might be sooner than we thought.
nobody told me about small farming: I can’t make a living.
you’ve heard, small farmers are doing just fine
for our Wood Prairie Maine Certified Organic Seed Potatoes.
Offer: FREE Sack of Organic Trial-Variety Certified
Every year we grow new and different potato
varieties in our on-farm Experimental Trial plots. We’re
looking for real winners which taste good
and grow well
under organic conditions. We have
high standards. Each year we carefully evaluate varietal
characteristics trying to determine whether a new variety is worthy of
being grown out again and potentially one day joining our established
line-up of proven, outstanding organic varieties.
We believe there’s a little experimenter detective in all of
us. We’d help you try out a new variety and do it for FREE
special offer. This year’s Experimental Trials line up is Adirondack
Earn a FREE
One-Pound Sack of Experimental-Variety-Potatoes
$11.95) - Your Choice of Variety - when the amount of goods in your
next order totals $45 or more. FREE
One-Pound Sack of Experimental-Variety-Potatoes offer
Midnight Monday, February 15.
Please use Promo Code WPF 480.
Your order and the FREE
One-Pound Sack of Experimental-Variety-Potatoes
by 5/6/16. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please
call or click today!
Call Wood Prairie Family Farm (207)
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed Section.
Russet. One of the new varieties in our Trialing Program.
Wood Prairie Potato Webinar #4
NEXT THURSDAY FEB. 18. Please cozy up to the fire and join
us for this FREE online potato presentation.
| Heads Up! Next Thursday: FREE
Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #4 "Of
Course Before You Harvest Potatoes You've Got to Plant".
February 18, 2016 at 1pm ET/10am PT we’ll be holding our next FREE Wood
Prairie Potato School Webinar #4 "Of Course Before You Harvest Potatoes
You've Got to Plant." To
attend this FREE webinar, please Register here TODAY.
There’s no need to travel anywhere to attend our
webinars! Enjoy them from the warmth and comfort of your
home. Our webinars are easy going and tend be full of good
potato information and plenty of stories with a few digressions here
and there. They run about an hour in length. Our Live Chat
function allows you to type in your questions or comments to us in real
time. So come join in the fun. We guarantee you’ll
learn something new with each webinar in our Wintertime series.
In case you’ like to watch, we’ve archived our
past webinars. Here’s where you may find them:
Prairie Potato School Webinar #1 Butte
Prairie Potato School Webinar #2 So THAT’S How They Multiply Seed
Prairie Potato School Webinar #3 Why All This Hullabaloo About
Efficiency at Harvest?
Jim & Megan
Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
|Notable Quote: Robert F. Kennedy on
Successful BarnRaiser Concluded.
The Gerritsen family is grateful for everyone's support. Thank you!.
| We Did It!
Successful BarnRaiser Campaign Now History!
Thanks to everyone!
Our son Caleb’s
BarnRaiser crowdfunding campaign - Keep
This Organic Legacy Growing: Wood Prairie Family Farm
- was a rousing success.
As we transition our farm to our children, it’s
apparent they need a helping hand getting off to a good start with
things like a new mobile-friendly webstore and improved and reliable
internet service for the web-based business. Food and Farm
crowdfunder Barnraiser offered the perfect opportunity to let the
entire Wood Prairie community know of the need.
Your generosity pushed Caleb’s campaign to 125% of the
original goal of $15,000. A remarkable
$18,730 was contributed by 280 Barnraisers!
Additionally, some folks choose to mail in their
contributions directly, and those continue to trickle in. Further donations are gratefully
accepted and may be mailed directly and payable to Caleb Gerritsen
(Wood Prairie Family Farm, 49 Kinney Road, Bridgewater, Maine
04735). Thanks so
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.
6 ears fresh corn
(or frozen or canned)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped sweet
1 T cooking oil
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 c cubed, peeled Yukon
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 c milk
If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs
- you should have about 3 cups.
In a large saucepan cook onion and sweet pepper in hot oil until onion
is tender but not brown. Stir in chicken broth and potato. Bring to
boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in corn.
Cook, covered, about 10 minutes more or until potato and corn are
tender, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl combine flour, salt, and pepper. Stir milk into flour
mixture; add to corn mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir until slightly
thickened and bubbly. If desired, garnish each serving with parsley.
Makes about 5 1/2 cups
& Delicious Corn Chowder.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm