February 20, 2015
Volume 21 Issue 4
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Issue of The Seed Piece:
A Nice Place to Visit
But Maine is Home. Jim enjoyed his eventful trip to
Springfield in southern Missouri near Branson, earlier this
month. For the first time in 23 years he saw star farm-hand
Jenn Folk Muno who worked for us right after college - before returning
to her family’s farm outside Columbia MO. She and her husband
Ken then established Goatsbeard
Farm and – we have the evidence to prove this -
make the best cheese around. It was artistic Jenn who on
rainy Maine days traded garden hoe for paint brush and created the
early drawings used in our Potato
The MOA conference was a unique one
with a lot of Mennonite and Amish farmers in attendance. One
could not help but notice many young farm families with their gaggles
of well-behaved children. Maybe the most fun was playing
hooky one day and heading out to iconic Bakersville. Find
more details in the next article plus the link to the YouTube
video of Jim’s talk.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
| Wood Prairie
Farm's Jim Gerritsen Speaks in Missouri.
Earlier this month, organizers of the Missouri
Organic Association Conference asked Jim to come
down and speak. The MOA folks had him doing
double-duty. He gave both a talk on growing organic potatoes
an all-day GMO Plenary Session. This
latter educational session was focused on the multitude of problems
associated with GE crops and included some very powerful and impactful speakers.
Jim’s talk, The
Unacceptable Threat GE Crops Pose to Organic Integrity,
was recorded by the crew from Karen Kapnick’s Kreative
it on You Tube (45:35), complete with the slides
from Jim’s power point presentation.
Jim’s presentation ranged on topics from organic
farming in Maine to threats faced by organic farmers
everywhere. He offered strategic solutions to the growing GE
dilemma including elaboration on the Public
Trust Doctrine, the Organic
Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto
landmark federal lawsuit and the new peer-reviewed OSGATA publication, Protecting
Organic Seed Integrity, The Organic Farmers Handbook to GE Avoidance
While in southern Missouri, one day Jim was able
to fulfill what is most every gardener’s dream. He drove the
hour from Springfield to the legendary “Bakersville,” home to our
friends at Baker
Creek Heirloom Seed Company
in the Ozarks outside Mansfield, Missouri. Now, believe
is something you will want to add to your bucket list.
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
| Special Offer: FREE Vermont
Compost Organic Soil Mix.
For many gardeners it’s just about time to start indoor seeding of
important garden vegetables like Onions
Recently we came across this nice free
primer on seed starting from Organic Gardening magazine.
This year, start your seed sowing
project on a successful foundation by using the same mix we use on our
organic seeds on Wood prairie Farm. We use
Karl Hammer’s Vermont
Compost Fort Vee Organic Soil Mix
, and so should you!
We’ll help you get started with this year’s seed
sowing. Get a FREE 6-Quart
Sack of Vermont Compost Fort Vee Organic Soil Mix
$12.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $55 or more.
of Vermont Compost Fort Vee Organic Soil Mix offer
Midnight Monday, February 23, 2015.
Please use Promo Code WPF 449.
Your order and the FREE
6 Quart Sack
of Vermont Compost Fort Vee Organic Soil Mix
must ship by
5/5/15. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call
or click today!
Call Wood Prairie Farm (800) 829-9765.
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed Section.
Compost. The very best organic soil mix.
| Update on Neighbor
In the last issue of the Seed
we highlighted the very sad story of our elder neighbor Louisa who lost
everything – home, pets and all – in a tragic fire in subzero
temperatures on February 9. The community has rallied around
and established a GoFundMe
crowdfunding project with the express purpose of
building her a new modest home. Donations
are still urgently needed.
Louisa had been transferred from the hospital in Presque
Isle down to
Bangor. She is coming along well. She is out of I.C.U., the
tube in her
throat has been removed and her sedation has ended. Her
the bus up from New Jersey and has been bedside with her at the
hospital. The hope and expectation is Louisa will stay with
daughter down south until the snow leaves here in the Spring.
and friends, Allie and Mitch Wheeler – who live across Bootfoot Road
from Louisa – are coordinating the help. Allie has written
three Updates so far and they provide additional
The plan is that if donations continue to flow and we
meet the financial goal, Louisa’s neighbors will have put together a
new snug and safe home for her by the time the dandelions are blooming.
Louisa is without the resources to
recover from this disaster on her own. We
very much need your help! If you are
able, please donate
to help Louisa get back on her feet. Even small donations
help because they do add up quickly.
very much for your support!
Jim & Megan
Here to Donate to Help Louisa Get a New Home.
|Recipe: Easy Oat
1 1/4 c warm water (105-115F)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 T honey
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat
1 c rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp fine grain sea
2 T butter, melted, for brushing
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until
the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes,
until the yeast blooms and swells a bit, 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add
the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.
Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter. Turn
the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and
set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. When ready, bake the bread for 35-40
minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. You
can finish things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a
heartbeat - to give the top a bit deeper color. Remove from oven, and
turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it
doesn't steam in the pan. Brush on remaining melted butter on top of
loaf. Serve warm, slathered with butter and your favorite jam.
There is no kneading involved with this bread and it only rises for 30
minutes. Super quick and easy. It is moist with a crispy
crust and very yummy. It's a keeper.
Easy Oat Bread.
by Angela Wotton
Helping Neighbors and Protection From Trespass.
From as far away as Wyoming, we send our support and hope
that Louisa can get back on her land. So very important. Best of luck
and I know you will raise the money, and then some! You Mainer's are a
great bunch, strong & tough, like Wyoming folk! If you could
send out an update as the situation progresses please. I would love to
see a housewarming for her this Spring. Take care and keep doing a
great job with your organic farm...and SCREW Monsanto (I just had to
put that in there.)
Thanks so much. Yes I think Wyoming and
Maine people probably do have a lot in common. Megan worked in Jackson
Hole one Summer during college and has stories to tell.
We need to do one final push to get us
over the hump for Louisa. What we've learned from farming is it always
takes more cash than planned to get a job done. With our Winters,
plumbing for year-round water will entail more expense than a
three-season camp. So I really hope we can shoot past the current
Grateful for your support.
I just finished my USDA Organic survey.
I must have missed this in the past, however, I thought it was rather
strange that USDA asked in specific terms if "you had any VERIFIABLE
GMO contamination and what the loss of revenue was due to this
First, we would have to have every
vegetable we grow tested (and I am assuming there is a cost) and second
even if we suspected we had contamination we would have to hold up the
crop until we got confirmation. We are a specialty crop truck-farm. If
we held our product up only to find out it was not tainted then we
would have a loss w/out verifiable data. Seems like a catch-22 but it
also makes we think they are compiling data so USDA can come out and
say there is little to no cross-contamination in organic crops from GMO.
Have you dealt with GMO testing and if
so, what lab did you use and at what cost?
We use Genetics ID to PCR lab test seed
crops at-risk of GE contamination. The limit of detectability is 0.01%.
So we provide 10,000 representative seeds from one seed lot and they
can identify if one of those seeds is hot with GE contamination. Were
the test to show contamination, we would abide by the OSGATA policy and
pull that seed lot and NOT sell it as Certified Organic seed. Cost of
the test is $200.
Fortunately, the spectrum of GE crops
which have been de-regulated (allowed for farmers to grow commercially)
is to date narrow. As a result, only closely related traditional crops
which have a GE version are at risk of contamination. Deregulated GE
crops include corn, soy, canola (can contaminate certain families of
cole crops), cotton, sugar beets (can contaminate members of the Beta
family including table beets and Swiss Chard), alfalfa, papaya and two
species of summer squash and now apples. Many other GE versions of
crops are awaiting regulatory approval.
I think there is reason to be concerned
about this question on the survey. USDA may use this Census info to
argue that GE contamination is a minor problem. If so, that would be
another intellectually dishonest move by USDA. One study I have seen
(published in a 2011 Organic Trade Association white paper) tested
nearly 2500 organic corn samples and found 30% with some level of GE
contamination. The problem of GE contamination is an enormous one.
Organic farmers possess property rights and we must be protected from
unwanted trespass by the patented technology of multinational Biotech
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm