The Wood Prairie Seed Piece
            Organic News and Commentary
                   Friday, March 9th 2018
                       Volume 26 Issue 5


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

  Winter Work.

     Caleb Gerritsen Loading a Pallet of Potatoes.  This photograph was taken noontime early this month on another snowy day.  That day, we had already had another five inches of snow which Caleb had plowed out of the way right before the tractor trailer arrived.  Note the tire chains on our White forklift.  The large building in the background is our livestock barn.  It is a tarp barn made of a double layer of white poly which keeps things cooler inside in the Summer.  In the Wintertime, it’s an inviting dry shelter for our cows and hogs, lined with warm sawdust and hay.  Inside the barn, you’d find it is bright enough during the day to read a book.  Not that we have time to read since we’re now thick into peak shipping of our organic seed.  Since that early march day we’ve had another foot of snow, so we must be now up to something like 110” so far this winter.
 Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine

The Amish in Aroostook. Hard workers and good farmers
Downeast's Beautiful Story About the Amish Settlers in Aroostook County, Maine.

     Maine’s iconic magazine, Downeast, recently ran a sensational article that does justice to telling the story of the growing Amish settlements here in Northern Maine.  You won’t want to miss it!

    Not only is the article itself valuable, but the accompanying photographs taken by talented Aroostook photographer Paul Cyr are stunning.  After reviewing his work you will agree Mr. Cyr makes Aroostook County look very good.

    So, pour yourself a cup of hot tea, put your feet up and enjoy the view from here!

Caleb & Jim

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

Special Offer: FREE Heirloom Wood Prairie Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn Seed.

     One of the tastiest crops of Summer is Sweet Corn fresh out of the garden.  We grow this Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn Seed right here on Wood Prairie Family Farm.  Seed Corn is one of those tricky crops to grow because of the serious potential for cross-contamination by pollen from genetically engineered (GE) corn grown by other farmers.  Fortunately, our farm has excellent isolation.  We’re happy to report we PCR-lab test the Seed Corn we grow and that we’ve never ever had any detectible GE content.   Organic Dorinny is an excellent, open-pollinated, early-season Sweet Corn from the 1920s.  Eating quality is high and the picking window is very good for an OP.

      If you’ve never grown Organic Dorinny, you’re in for a treat!  Receive a FREE packet of Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn when your next order totals $30 or more.  Offer ends 11:59 PM on Monday March 12, 2018, so please act today!  Please use Promo Code WPFF422. Your order and FREE Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn must ship by May 5, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please click today!

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Vegetable Seed.

Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn. A premier cross between Golden Bantam and Pickaninny.
Winter Work on Wood Prairie Family Farm.

Bird's Eye View of Wood Prairie Potato Storage. Back in September this was a crowded underground storage brimming with field-run four-foot-cube wooden pallet boxes. Now there's room to work. We built this 14' high storage in 1999. We built it around that cellar-dwelling Yale forklift which only knows how to work potatoes.

Jim in Cellar Building Up Pallets. As the crew upstairs converts graded "loose" seed potatoes into 1s, 2 1/2s, 5s, 10s and 20s, Jim works on next week's 50 lbs. cartons going out on pallets to market farmers across the country..

The View Outside Our Kitchen Window. With piles of snow threatening to hide our view entirely, this shot was taken this morning of two Blue Jays Feeding on sunflower seeds. The younger Jay at right - low man on the totem pole - waited patiently for #1 to eat and leave. Then he hopped over for a sunflower lunch.

Someone is Always A Winner. Mr. Red Squirrel wishes we had this much snow all the time. The dangling bird feeder dangles no more.

Notable Quotes: Wendell Berry on Farm Experts.

Recipe: Crisp Potato Wedges with Rosemary.

2 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Garlic Cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

    Cut the ptoatoes into quarters lengthwise, and then into 1-inch chunks. Wrap in a kitchen towel to remove the excess surface moisture.

     Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

     Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the garlic and cook until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Mix in the rosemary and pour over the potatoes. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot.

-Megan & Angie

Crisp Potato Wedges with Rosemary.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Mailbox: More Organic Seed Coverage.

Hi Jim,
Re: What Dan Barber Is Cooking Up Next: A Seed Company That Puts Flavor First
     They say these seeds are organic and not genetically modified, but isn't it kinda like choosing what features you want your unborn kids to have? Don't we have great varieties already that we could bring back into mainstream?


Actually, I'm glad the media is beginning to notice what we organic seed growers and breeders have been working on for many decades: breeding plants which taste good, are nutritionally superior and perform well under organic management.

     Though we seem to have bottomed out and may now be starting a new reverse trend, the decline in public plant breeding funding has shifted that job by default over to the Industrial-Ag-dominated private seed industry which tends to focus on narrow production issues like yield and GE herbicide-tolerance.

     Going back to the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago, farmers have always been breeding ("selecting") for improvements in their plants and that's a good thing. They wanted better yields, better taste and better production reliability and this is how it should be. Over the last 125 years a  seed industry disconnected from the farm concerned more about self-protection and profits than developing traidtional agricultural and societal needs and values has become lost and wayward.

     The pendulum is beginning to swing back to where it should always have been: people-centric seed. This article in Forbes is welcome coverage of good organic seed work which for too long has gone unnoticed.


 Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox