Wood Prairie Seed Piece
             Organic News and Commentary
                   Friday, February 26th 2016
                       Volume 24 Issue 05


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

    Longer Days Now.

     More Bright Daylight Outside And In Scientific Circles.  By observation and experience, organic farmers have gained an understanding of their system’s superiority over conventional systems.  Now a new landmark peer-reviewed meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Washington State University - which examined forty years worth of scientific research – confirms organic’s overall mastery and its capability of feeding the world sustainably. Do check out the good article.
   As our Winter’s days lengthen, our workload picks up as we come into peak shipping.  Crops are holding well in storage, order-taking is brisk and we are blessed with an energetic and capable crew of young people – everyone exudes good energy!
    If you want to say young, surround yourself with young people!

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

Organic Farmer Eliot Coleman. Our wise neighbor just four hours south of Wood Prairie Family Farm.
AGRARIAN ELDERS: Eliot Coleman's The Prequel

     Once all the farmers got back home and were savoring and digesting the experience of the second Agrarian Elders Gathering at Big Sur, Gathering organizer Eliot Coleman of Four Seasons Farm - here in Maine - sent around to farmers this excellent organic summation which he appropriately dubbed The Prequel. Eliot, one of the Seed Piece's faithful readers, gave us permission to share his work with all of you.

     Eliot's piece does an excellent job of both educating the reader plus helping those interested in the discussions at the Agrarian Elders Gathering to gain a sense of the historical organic concepts upon which our remarkable week was centered. 

Jim & Megan

The Prequel by Eliot Coleman

January 24 – 29, 2016 was a great week of Agrarian Elders discussions. I am still inspired by our exchanges and thought I might throw a little more fuel on the fire.
    As a farmer with a passion for history, I have collected many references from our predecessors whose knowledgeable writings contributed greatly to my understanding of organic farming.
If there had been an Agrarian Elders meeting in 1940, the following three grand old figures of the movement would certainly have been there. Although hardly known today, they were important influences as members of the generation that set agriculture on the new path we are all following. I have edited these 70-year old essays for clarity. They remind me of our discussions. More.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Family Farm Certified Organic Cover Crop Seed.

Special Offer: FREE Sack of Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop Seed.

     Every gardener and farmer should have a good supply of Organic cover crop seed on hand to sow down when ground is opened up – say, after a crop is harvested.  Bare open ground stresses beneficial organisms in the soil and and leaves the soil susceptible to erosive degradation.  Compared to the high value of produce harvested from a garden patch or a farmer’s field, Organic cover crop seed is very affordable.  Treat your soil well and protect it with cover crops! 

  One of our favorite fast-growing and inexpensive Organic cover crops is Organic Hull-less Oats.  Fast growing, reliable and widely adaptable, oats have an important place on every garden or farm.  We’ll help you get started!

    Earn a FREE 2 1/2 Sack of Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop Seed (Value $9.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $45 or more. FREE 2 1/2 Sack of Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop Seed offer ends Midnight Monday, February 29.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 481. Your order and the FREE 2 1/2 Sack of Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop Seed must ship by 5/6/16. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Questions? Call Wood Prairie Family Farm    (207) 429-9765.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed Section.

Organic Oat Cover Crop Seeding. Spun on after potatoes are harvested.

Next FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar. Thursday March 10. Join us!
 Don't Miss Our Next FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar - March 10 "OK, My Potatoes Are Planted, So Now What Do I Do?".

        Our next FREE Potato Webinar in our wintertime series will be on Thursday, March 10, at 1pm ET/10 am PT.  Please Register today for Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #5: 'OK, My Potatoes Are Planted, So Now What Do I Do?

    In case you’ like to watch, we’ve archived our past webinars.  Here’s where you may find them:

Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #4: 'Of Course Before You Harvest You've Got to Plant'

Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #3:  'Why All This Hullabaloo About Efficiency at Harvest?'

Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #2:  'So THAT’S How They Multiply Seed Potatoes'

Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar #1:  'Butte (Say “Beaut”-iful)'

Jim & Megan

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

Organic Farmer & Vermont State Senator David Zuckerman, Candidate for Vermont Lieutenant Governor.

     Dave is a longtime Vermont organic farmer and our good friend.  He and his wife, Rachel Nevitt (2nd from right) were important leaders in our landmark OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit.  Note in the photo, supporters Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield from Ben & Jerry’s, straddling both sides of Dave
     In addition, Dave has been fighting his entire political career on behalf of important issues like GMO Labeling.  He began running for office while still enrolled in college.  Dave was instrumental in getting passage of Vermont’s historic mandatory GMO Labeling Law, now set to take effect on July 1.
     Dave is now running for Vermont Lieutenant Governor and he needs our help.  He needs to raise over $100,000 from grassroots supporters – all of us - all across the country.  Please join us in pitching in with a contribution today and help this honest and effective organic farmer and public servant get elected Lieutenant Governor. 

Jim & Megan
Recipe: Roasted Delicata Hummus.

For the hummus:
2 Delicata squash (about 1 pound each)
3 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb Rossa di Milano onions, peeled, ends removed, and cut in half
1 tsp Maple Syrup
1 medium Red Russian Garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c cooked garbanzo beans, drained with juice reserved
2 T tahini, or as needed
1/4 c fresh lemon juice, or as needed
1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary leaves, plus extra for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds and reserve. Drizzle squash halves with 1 T of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet. Place onion in a bowl and toss with 1/2 T of the oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Place onion cut side down on the same baking sheet with the squash. Roast until squash is fork-tender and onion is caramelized, about 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Transfer squash and onion to a food processor (skin may be left on the squash) and add the remaining 2 T of the oil, garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and rosemary. Process until smooth, adding the reserved chickpea juice as needed. Adjust seasonings with lemon juice, olive and salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted seeds and rosemary.

To roast squash seeds:
Rinse delicata seeds to remove any pulp and drain and dry well. Place in a small bowl and toss with just enough olive oil to coat. Spread the seeds in an even layer on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are dry and crunchy, about 25 minutes.


Roasted Delicata Hummus.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Our Mailbox: Winter Rye Saves Soil and Big On Butte.

Winter Rye Saves Soil.

Dear WPF.

     I have an urgent question for you. We just had to replace our geothermal field. Now there is a barren place in our backyard that slopes toward the house. I would like to put a cover crop on it right away. I am in Zone 7 in northwestern Virginia. We have had a very mild autumn. I have a sack of your Common Winter Rye seed. Can I broadcast that? Rate? Rake over it?
     I am still trying to get a better understanding of the proper use and timing of cover crops, and was not at all prepared for this emergency in our yard. The company originally wanted to use the area that is my vegetable garden - that was not going to happen!
     Thanks for your help! And thanks for all that you do to protect our soil and our food supply!


WPF Replies.

     Yes simply broadcast the Winter rye, it will sprout and establish itself without raking. If you also had some Annual Rye to mix it that would help also because of how fast and mat-like Annual Rye grows. My thinking is you have nothing to lose and in the Fall one never knows when the cold weather will come.


Big On Butte.

Dear WPF.

    We used to buy from you years ago but gave up the space and let it go back into hay. We will be trying to grow in a small raised bed that we will hill up and contain. Are the Buttes the Potato that the potato bugs seemed to ignore while eating every other type of potato? Thanks.

Corinth, ME

WPF Replies.

     It could have been Butte because Colorado Potato Beatles tend to  ignore Butte. Even more resistant to CPB is the "hairy-leaved" Cornell variety, King Harry.


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