Wood Prairie Seed Piece
             Organic News and Commentary
                   Friday, March 11th 2016
                       Volume 24 Issue 06


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

Potato Harvest in Aroostook County, Maine. New Sweden. Circa 1930.

     This great photo of the Big Sky country that is Aroostook County is taken from an excellent and fascinating article, New Sweden Pioneers Made Railroad Men Rich published by the New England Historical Society.  The article tells the story of the early settlement of New Sweden - one of five townships north of Caribou cleared and settled by Swedish immigrants – and the Swedes impact on the establishment of local railroads.
   Meanwhile – almost one hundred years after the photograph was taken – with our seed potato shipping in full swing we are now busy shuffling spuds much like generations of Aroostook farmers before us have done for two hundred years.
    Despite it being the warmest Winter on record in northern Maine, we still have snow – and have had it since November, just not very much of it.  We also still have an excellent selection of seed potatoes available.  So whether you need one pound or 10,000 lbs of seed, please order online or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you.

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

Stop Monsanto's GMO Labeling Law Pre-emption Bill. All of us should call our two senators now.
Urgent Action Alert! Mandatory GMO Labeling Will Be Outlawed If New Senate "DARK Act" Passes.

     Draconian legislation was just introduced into the U.S. Senate - under the direction of Monsanto - which seeks to usurp States’ rights and outlaw historic right-to-know GMO Labeling laws passed in Maine, Vermont and Connecticut. 

    Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), a longtime beneficiary of huge Monsanto campaign contributions, is pushing the new outrageous legislation in the Senate which is aimed at annihilating right-to-know GMO labeling overwhelmingly supported by 90% of Americans.

    Roberts’ bill, S. 2609, is the Senate incarnation of the infamous Monsanto “DARK Act” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) which passed the House of Representatives back in August.  Last week Roberts’ disastrous bill – which would create a bogus “voluntary” GMO labeling system - passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on a vote of 14-6 with three Democrats ( Heitkamp, Klobuchar, Donnelly) voting along with the Republican majority.

   Voting on the Roberts’ bill is imminent and is expected to occur next week in the Senate.  It is essential that a tidal wave of telephone calls be placed immediately to U. S. Senators.

   Please call your State’s two Senators plus the twelve Senators depicted in the meme from our allies at Food Democracy Now!  Tell the Senators to Vote No on S. 2609 and Oppose Preemption of States Rights.  Senators MUST OPPOSE any Federal GMO Labeling legislation unless it contains these three provisions: 1) MUST be Mandatory, 2) MUST Require On-Package labeling and 3) MUST Contain the Words “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

    We are working closely with our allies to defeat this horrendous Monsanto legislation.  We need your help! Find valuable background on the situation here.

   We need all of us to standup to Monsanto TODAY or else we will lose our right-to-know about GMOs FOREVER.  Thanks to everyone for helping!

Jim & Megan 

Special Offer: FREE Sack of Organic Potato Fertilizer.

     As heavy feeders potatoes – and also corn and squash – appreciate good fertility.  When they receive what they desire in the way of fertility and moisture these heavy feeder crops will reward you handsomely with good yields and high nutrition. We find that most gardens can use an extra boost in fertility.  That’s where our Organic Potato Fertilizer comes in handy.

     Now, earn yourself a FREE 3 lbs. Sack of Organic Potato Fertilizer (Value $9.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $49 or more. FREE 3 lbs. Sack of Organic Potato Fertilizer offer ends Midnight Monday, March 14.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 482. Your order and FREE 3 lbs. Sack of Organic Potato Fertilizer offer 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 Family Farm Garden Tool Section.

Good Potatoes Need Good Fertility. If in doubt plant half your crop without organic potato fertilizer and compare yield.

Maine's Zest Magazine Covers Maine Potato Harvest. Our daughter Amy holds a beautiful Butte.
 Maine's ZEST Features Wood Prairie Family Farm.

     ZEST is a new top-shelf Maine magazine focused on the food scene in the Pine Tree State.  To accompany their feature story about us, last Fall - during our Wood Prairie potato harvest – the editors were smart enough to hire a talented local free-lance photographer named Denae McKenna to shoot photos.  The photographic quality is excellent.  We would have that opinion even if Denae were not our son, Caleb’s, girlfriend from up in Caribou.

    ZEST’s online version displays just two of Denae’s photos.  But you’ll find all six in the beautiful print edition - available by subscription or on newsstands across the State of Maine.

   Megan provided to ZEST her favorite recipe for Potato Corn Chowder.  You also may want to sit down before you read the interesting though sad-but-true “Licensure” section which offers a sobering listing of the paperwork requirements all too common nowadays for a family farm.

     "Gerritsen moved to Maine with $7,000 in savings, driving a friend’s
     1960 Chevy flatbed truck that carried all of his possessions: tools, a
     chainsaw, books and the family’s Coleman tent. He lived in that tent for
     the first year while he built a cabin on the farmland. Bit by bit, earning
     money by working at nearby farms, he was able to purchase the
     equipment he needed for his own farm, including materials to build a
     woodshed and barn, as well as a tractor and 50-year-old farm
     implements. In 1984, he was introduced to his now-wife Megan, who also
     joined the farm business...”

Jim & Megan

Click here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Certified Vegetable Seeds.

 FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinars: Five Down & One To Go.

        Yesterday, we presented the fifth in our Winter-long series of Wood Prairie Potato School Webinars.  Webinar #5 “OK, My Potatoes are Planted, Now What Do I Do?” has now been posted online as a You Tube video on our Wood Prairie channel.

    In yesterday’s Potato Webinar we covered the important organic management issues of weeds, fertility and insect control in potatoes.  Jim went into lots of detail on controlling bad-behavior-poster-boy Colorado Potato Beetles.  If CPBs have been a problem in your potato patch, you will want to watch.  We also provided an overview of the various options you have in analyzing the health and balance of your soil.

    Our sixth and concluding Potato Webinar #6 “Why Crop Rotation is an Organic Potato Farmer’s Best Friend” will be held in three weeks on Thursday March 31 at 1 pm ET (10 am PT).  We encourage you to reserve your place now by signing up today. To those people who register we'll email you a reminder as we get closer to the date.

    For your convenience, here are links to our other Wood Prairie Potato Webinars from this Winter.

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.

Coming Up March 31: Our Last Webinar of the Year. We'll save you a seat.
President Eisenhower on Defense.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Scones.

1/4 c Organic Maple Syrup
6 T Milk
2 1/4 c Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 c Rolled Oats
1 1/2 T Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
11 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF degrees.

Whisk together the maple syrup and milk in a small bowl and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt and pulse to mix together. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles sandy flour (about 20 quick pulses). Add the maple syrup milk. Pulse just until the dough comes together. If the batter is too dry add more milk a bit at a time.

Turn onto a floured surface, knead once or twice just to bring the dough together. Arrange the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Slice the dough into nine equal-sized squares. Arrange the scones next to one another on a baking sheet, 1/4-inch distance between each of them.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden along the bottom and tops. Yummy.


Tasty Maple Treats.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

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