Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                  Tuesday March 04, 2014

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Brighter Days But Our Cold Lingers.

     Wishful Thinking of Summer. One of the benefits of being in the organic seed potato business is that we get to vicariously enjoy multiple Springs as the warmer weather moves ever and ever further northward.  This time of year dozens of calls a day come in from folks already in their gardens and itching to plant a new crop of tasty new potatoes.  All Winter long, beginning in January, while Northern Maine is bleary and white with deep snow and cold, our southernmost customers in Florida, Texas and California begin to relate stories of Winter’s demise and their slow crawl into Spring.
     As the weeks progress, the stories offered are similar in nature but they come from farmers and gardeners in latitudes with bigger numbers expressing greater distance away from the equator.
     It’s at this time of year we begin mailing out our Summer catalog. This year it highlights Adirondack Red.  We are farmers.  We are optimists.  We are hopeful of the good and warm things ahead.

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

USDA Request. Tell us now, truthfully, what you really think. Don't be bashful.

ACTION ALERT TODAY! Last Day to Tell USDA Their "Co-Existence" Policy is Bogus.
USDA has been soliciting Comments on the preposterous concept it disingenuously dubs “Co-Existence.”  Today – March 4 - is the last day to submit Comments.  Organic farmers and organic eaters need EVERYONE’S help conveying to USDA that their co-existence plan is a flop. USDA's concept of "co-existence" means perpetual contamination of organic crops and total lack of accountability. Organic farmers must be protected from catastrophic contamination by genetically engineered (GE) pollution.  Submitting your Comment is easy and here’s how.  Please do it today.

Meanwhile, a new landmark survey just released by Food & Water Watch and OFARM clearly documents that it is organic farmers that are singularly bearing the costly burden of GE contamination.  If you grow or eat organic food you will find this survey fascinating.

Below are the Comments we submitted to USDA last night.
Jim & Megan

 We are certified organic farmers. We have been farming organically for 38 years and we have been Certified Organic by MOFGA since 1982. We make our living raising and selling certified organic seed.

We could not be more opposed to your false policy of “co-existence.” The entire concept is without foundation and represents an unconscionable taking from organic farmers. Your policy threatens our survival as organic farmers and puts at risk the entire organic community because of your disregard for the near certainty of GE contamination of organic and nonGE crops. Your unresponsiveness to the concerns of the organic community have already brought about the economic collapse of the organic canola industry in North America due to contamination from GE canola. This is totally unacceptable. We urge you to reverse your policies and stop promoting the self-serving position of the biotech industry. You should instead represent and protect the interests of American organic family farmers and in that way the real interests of the American people.

American law is based on English Common Law which goes back hundreds of years to the Magna Carta. Organic farmers have a right to security on our farms. We have a right to farm the way we choose without intimidation by biotech. Biotech does not have a right to trespass onto our farm and ruin our organic seed crops with their questionable and unwanted GE technology.

The biotech industry is the polluter and they must be restrained by government from causing harm to the commons. Just as the owner of a bull must maintain good fences to prevent neighboring cows from being bred, it is imperative that biotech be forced to prevent its transgenic pollution from harming the commons. If biotech is unwilling or unable to stop the polluting transgenic gene-flow from damaging the commons, then their product registrations must be revoked by USDA and they must be shut down.

Any buffer required to prevent transgenic pollution from damaging the commons must come from the polluter’s side of the fence. We will not surrender our inalienable rights from one inch of the land we own and steward and from which we make our living. We will not accept contamination by the biotech industry and we expect USDA to protect our rights.

It is not fair for innocent organic farmers who may become the innocent victims of GE contamination to be subject to claims of patent infringement for illegally possessing patented technology by owners of the biotech pollution. USDA must protect innocent organic farmers from this unjust legal liability.

It is not fair for organic farmers to be forced to purchase insurance to compensate us for contamination by biotech corporations. The reality is “GE contamination insurance” is a fraudulent concept. By its very definition, insurance is designed to offer compensation for the aberrational and rare occurrence. However, GE contamination is neither rare nor aberrational. It is commonplace and widespread because the GE technology is a recognized failure and causes widespread contamination. This is the fact. “GE contamination insurance” therefore is a deceitful concept. Biotech is the source of the contamination problem and they, and they alone, must provide the remedy. Neither innocent farmers nor American taxpayers should have to bail out biotech corporations from their financial responsibilities caused by their reckless polluting behavior.

We are very much concerned that biotech would manipulate and twist any insurance arrangement into a “license to pollute” and this is totally unacceptable. We absolutely do NOT want financial compensation for GE contamination. We want our property rights protected and we want biotech to be restrained from their aggressive polluting behavior.

USDA has a job to do and it means representing the best interests of American family farmers and the American people. Your concept of co-existence is dishonest and poorly conceived. Please do your job and jettison this abysmal policy proposal.

Click Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

Notable Quotes: Plato on Apathy.

Carrot Cake Muffins
Photo by Angela Wotton
Recipe: Carrot Cake Muffins

2 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1 1/3 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup chopped pecans or raisins

1 1/2 cup grated organic carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degees. Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix together with dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in carrots and pecans or raisins. 

Bake 25 minutes. Makes 12 - 16 muffins. 

- Megan

Special Offer: FREE Vermont Compost Soil Mix

     The sun is getting higher in the sky and even though the nights are still cold in Northern Maine, the longer sunny days hold the promise of warmer weather ahead.  It’s time even up here to plant our starts of onions, tomatoes and peppers. You can guarantee your success by using our top quality organic soil mixes from our friends at Vermont Compost.
     Here's your chance to give your plants a strong organic head start.  Earn One FREE 6- Quart Sack of Vermont Compost Soil Mix (Value $12.95) – Your Choice of Fort Vee Potting Soil, Fort Light, or Compost Plus when your next purchase totals $55 or more. FREE 6-Quart Sack of Vermont Compost Soil Mix offer ends Monday, March 10, 2014.

     Please use Promo Code WPF1172. Your order and FREE 6- Quart Sack of Vermont Compost Soil Mix must ship together by 5/8/14. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Garden Vegetable Seed Section.

Vermont Organic Compost Mix. You should start start with the very best.
Our Mailbox: Committed and Honest, Organic Nutritious Food, Systems From Nature.

Committed and Honest.

Dear WPF.

     We heard today on NPR that folks are giving up offering organic eggs because they cannot get organic feed for their chickens...too much effort and 'untidy farms' (no herbicide) per farmers who get twice as much for the feed. One step forward, three steps back.

Winchester, VA

WPF Replies.

     That telling "untidy farms" comment may offer insight that those folks were fair weather "farmers" who lack a commitment to organic and growing healthy food free of environmental toxins. I was at a local MOFGA organic meeting recently and a young Amish man who grew up on a Wisconsin egg farm and now lives in Aroostook County, is gearing up to produce certified organic eggs for Maine and beyond. He is committed and honest. He is the type of organic family farmer our community needs.



Organic Nutritious Food.

Dear WPF.

     I talk to everyone that I can about the food that is in the grocery stores. I get tired of hearing from people that eating organic is too expensive. Not only do I spend less money on food now, but I've lost 25 lbs. I'm not hungry all the time now that I'm eating nutritious food!
     We have a farmer here in Michigan that grows Wood Prairie Farm's potatoes! They are the best. They're the only potatoes I buy at the farmer's market!

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Thanks from all of us. Your food dollar purchases illustrate how the conscious spending of our dollars and the attendant trade turns can transform the economy and our country.Keep up the good work!


Systems From Nature.

Dear WPF.

     New USDA Report Cites Problems With GE Crops. The initial tests that gave such good numbers for GMO farming, could be due in part to using rich soil, then as time went on, the soil becomes depleted and toxic requiring remediation. Isn't that enough to deem them substantially unequivalent to naturally grown crops? Can't it be challenged from that standpoint?



WPF Replies.

     "Conventional" crops, which FDA compares GE crops to, are supposedly (in reality fraudulently) "substantially equivalent." They are not, however, both GE crops and conventional crops are really anything but natural. "NonGE" aka conventional crops, are fertilized with soluble chemical fertilizer and protected from pest damage by synthetic chemical fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Organic crops on the other hand, truly mimic nature in that they rely on natural systems (systems from nature). Organic crops are free from being grown with persistent chemical pesticides. Organic is the clear and singular best choice for our families and for our environment.


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