Issue of The Seed Piece:
Wood Prairie Farmer Interviewed on Maine
Public TV in Farmers v. Monsanto
Presents at Northeast Potato Technology Forum in Orono, Maine.
Recipe: Delicious Black Bread
Special Offer: FREE French Chantenay Carrots
Mailbox: Right Food, Bad 'Possession', The
Fight and Real Business
March and Winter Begins to
Lose It's Grip
Pinata. Our Amy is celebrating her 9th birthday and Paula has
made a Flower Pinata for her birthday party. Paula is one of our
Wood Prairie co-workers and she has a nice year-round home-based craft
business - Custom Design by Paula - in which she invents and
builds original colorful pinatas. Paula's pinatas are a bargain
and she will ship almost anywhere. If you need a pinata you
can check out Paula's FaceBook wall or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prairie Farmer Interviewed on
Maine Public TV in Farmers v. Monsanto
statewide public affairs program, Maine Watch
with Jennifer Rooks on Maine Public Television recently aired
episode (26:46) which included a segment on the organic community
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.
Prairie Farm's Jim Gerritsen, who is President of lead plaintiff
OSGATA, was interviewed
in a nine minute piece (beginning minute 16:25) in which he
the family farmers strongly disagree with the
ruling to dismiss the case.
about the dismissal, plaintiff lead attorney Daniel
Ravicher said, “While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her
deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's
foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing. Her belief that
are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid
sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become
maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers. Her
address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her
binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers' standing as
inapposite' constitute legal error. In sum, her opinion is flawed
the facts and the law. Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right
appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without
to her findings.”
history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits
brought against farmers in America
have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since
first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90’s. Since
farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged
violations of their patented seed technology. Monsanto has
charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled
rather than face Monsanto’s belligerent litigious actions. Many
farmers claim to not have had the intention to grow or save seeds that
Monsanto’s patented genes. Seed drift and pollen drift from genetically
engineered crops often contaminate neighboring fields. If Monsanto’s
technology is found on a farmer’s land without contract they can be
for patent infringement.
farmers need the protection of the court,” said farmer
Jim Gerritsen, “We reject as naïve and undefendable the judge’s
Monsanto’s vague public relations ‘commitment’ should be ‘a source of
to plaintiffs. The truth is we are under threat and we do not believe
Monsanto. The truth is that American farmers and the American
not believe Monsanto. Family farmers deserve our day in court and this
ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice.”
The plaintiffs have thirty
days in which to file a notice
|Gerritsen Presents at
Northeast Potato Technology
Forum in Orono, Maine.
This week the annual
Northeast Potato Technology Forum 2012 was held at the Wells Conference
Center on the University of Maine campus in Orono, Maine. Present
were scientists and potato researchers from the northeastern US and the
Canadian Maritimes, with attendees traveling from as far away as
Pennsylvania, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Session themes ranged
from Pest & Disease Management to Potato Cropping Systems to Crop
Production & Management.
Jim Gerritsen, who with his
family has been farming organically on Wood Prairie Farm in Northern
Maine for over 35 years, was asked to give a presentation on Organic
Seed Potato Production in the New Perspectives segment. Over the last
twenty years, Wood Prairie Farm has on numerous occasions cooperated
with scientists from both University of Maine and from the USDA
Agricultural Research Service New England Plant, Soil and Water
Laboratory which is located on the Orono campus. Gerritsen's power
point presentation was given on the closing day of the
conference. It provides precise details on Wood Prairie Farm's
organic rotation, fertility and biological enhancement inputs and is loaded onto the Wood
Prairie website and may be accessed by clicking here.
|FREE Plans for Building Potato
Last issue of the Wood Prairie Farm Seed Piece
we provided plans for building your own Wooden
Potato Green Sprouting Trays.
This time around we
offer to you our plans, first published in our Spring 1995 Seed Piece
for building your own rugged and versatile Potato
Hand Grading Table.
Commonly called 'hand tables' in Aroostook
County potato country, these are indispensable slightly-inclined
funnel-shaped rugged work stations. They can be used for grading
or washing potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, etc in the Fall, cutting
potato seed in the Spring, and gently filling burlap or mesh bags or
cartons. Once you build your first hand table, you will wonder
how you ever got along without one. Jim
Delicious Black Bread
2 1/4 tsp
active dry yeast
1 1/3 c
warm water (105 - 115F)
natural cane sugar or brown sugar
2 T cocoa
finely ground espresso beans
caraway seeds, plus more for topping
unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 1/4 c
bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
for baking sheet
buttermilk or milk
large mixing bowl whisk the yeast with warm water and sugar and set
aside until foamy.
small saucepan over med-low heat, combine the cocoa, coffee, molasses,
caraway, butter, and salt. Stir constantly until just melted. You want
the mixture to be lukewarm when adding to the other ingredients.
the grated potatoes and molasses mixture with the yeast mixture in
the large mixing bowl. Add the flours, and stir until you've got a
soft tacky adhesive dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured
surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed,
until the dough is elastic and springy. You can also do this step using
the dough hook on your mixer.
dough into a ball, rub with a bit of olive oil and place seam-side down
into an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise a warm place for 1 -2
hours. Gently press down, with a closed fist, across the surface of the
dough. Turn dough out onto counter and shape into a round loaf. Place
on a very lightly oiled baking sheet , then cover loosely with a cloth.
Allow to rise a second time in a warm place until nearly doubled in
size, about an hour.
brush with buttermilk, sprinkle with a dusting of flour, 1 tsp caraway
seeds, and use a serrated knife to slash an 'X' deeply across the dough
(do your best not to deflate the loaf). Bake for 20 minutes at 425F.
Lower heat to 350F and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from
oven and place bread directly on rack to cool. Megan.
Photo by Angela Wotton
Offer: FREE French
While the temperature is forecast
to hover near zero again tonight, these days the sun is now higher in
winter is beginning to lose its grip in Northern
and we're enjoying some days that get above freezing. March
the last weeks that we'll be shipping our Chantenay
Carrots and what a
spectacular and especially sweet crop these Chantenays have been.
your chance to earn a FREE 2 lbs bag ($11.95 value) of our delicious
Chantenay Carrots with your next purchase of $45 or more. FREE
offer ends Tuesday, March 13.
Please use Promo Code WPF 1116. Your order and FREE
Carrots must ship
by 4/3/12. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
or click today!
Click here for Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable
Mailbox: The Way Food Should Be.
I just read the online article "The Way Food
Should Be" in 'The Wire'. Thank you, Mr. Gerritsen, for everything
you're doing to raise awareness of the importance of small family farms
and food production. I greatly appreciate your dedication to shed light
on the dangers of genetically engineered food and the corporate control
of our food. I especially admire your courage and commitment to face
Monsanto. We all have to become more vigilant to these critical issues.
grateful for your support.
Jim & Megan
Mailbox: 'Possession' Is The Problem.
don't get it...if a paper company or a chemical company or a plastics
company legally patents a process, but the effluent (byproduct) of that
process flowed across their boundary onto someone else's property,
they'd be liable as hell! Why isn't Monsanto liable for polluting the
property of their neighbors? What am I missing?
If a farmer, contaminated by Monsanto seed,
should decide to sue Monsanto to recover for damages, we believe
Monsanto would countersue that farmer for patent infringement. As soon
as the injured farmer filed his complaint, his claim of damages would
become prima facie evidence in a countersuit from Monsanto that he is
in possession of Monsanto's transgenic technology and therefore liable
for patent infringement.
This is why family farmers, who want nothing
to do with Monsanto, need ironclad protection under the Declaratory
Judgement Act from Monsanto's threat of patent infringement litigation.
ruling to dismiss seriously erred and failed to follow the law.
In copyright law there is an exemption called
the 'fair use doctrine' which, for example, allows a book reviewer to
use a snippet of the book in writing a book review. There is no such
exemption in patent law/transgenic crops. Any unlicensed 'possession'
is considered a patent infringement regardless of how that 'possession'
came about. If my enemy came and threw Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn
seed onto my
farm in the dark of the night, I would then be in 'possession' of
Monsanto's transgenic technology and would be liable for a claim of
patent infringement. Unfair? Agreed.
So this is why family farmers seek justice and
protection by the court from Monsanto. This is why we filed our lawsuit
under the Declaratory Judgement Act. We did not recieve justice with
this faulty ruling.
Mailbox: To The Point.
So proud of you all!
Jim & Megan
Mailbox: The Good Fight.
Many thanks for your fabulous catalog,
wonderful seed potatoes, and for fighting the good fight against Bad Ag.
And many thanks for your business. Our livelihood comes from farming
and it is good folks like you and all the others in our Wood Prairie
community that sustain us and allow
us to do everything that we do.
Jim & Megan
Mailbox: Real Business.
cannot wait to do business with you. Thank you for sticking up for
small farmers who want to buy organic seeds that are not GMO and are
not patented by some huge corporation.
so much for your support.
Jim & Megan
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm