Prairie Seed Piece
March 24th 2017
25 Issue 06
Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed
No, Washington DC Does Not Have a
Monopoly on Bad Ideas. In our family we believe in
standing up and fighting for what's right. Even when that fight
comes during the middle of our busiest shipping season. We
know some of our most important work is to act as stewards and to take
care of the land. As farmers, the land is good to us and we won't stop
fighting on behalf of the good of the land.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.
.Mainers Testify to Ban Metallic
Mining & Protect Maine From Environmental Disaster.
Metallic Sulfide Deposit in Maine.
Widespread across Maine
including midcoast & Downeast.
What started out as an attempt to prevent Canadian
mega-corporation JD Irving from gutting Maine’s tough mining
regulations and building a open pit copper and zinc mine on Bald
becoming a state-wide rallying cry to ban all metallic mining from the
State of Maine.
This is now the third attempt by Irving,
in their unholy alliance with the wayward LePage administration and its
oxymoronic “Department of Environmental Protection,” to connive to
weaken Maine’s mining regulations. It was Irving lobbyists
who wrote the bill that the errant DEP is pushing to gut Maine's mining
, in the North Maine Woods, is located
at the pristine headwaters of the Fish and Aroostook Rivers. It is
forty miles northwest of Wood Prairie Family Farm.
At Bald Mountain – and many places in
Maine (see adjoining map) - are ancient volcanic deposits which contain
high levels of sulfur (sometimes 40-52%), metals like copper, zinc and
gold, plus contaminant heavy metals like arsenic. In Maine’s wet climate it is
impossible to prevent rain from leaching sulfuric acid and arsenic from
tailing piles into Maine’s clean surface waters.
In recent decades, experienced mining companies investigated Bald
Mountain and concluded they could not safely establish a mine because
of the high sulfide content of the ore. If only Irving were
so wise or caring.
mining is very machine intensive and very much prone to failures.
What is becoming clear is that Mainers are increasingly unmovable and
unwilling to sacrifice our clean environment so that a few out-of-state
or out-of-country machine equipment operators gain a few jobs in a
reckless venture which would forever spoil the land we call home.
Jim made the 500-mile-round
trip and traveled to Augusta on Monday to testify at the Legislative
hearing. Below are the comments he prepared.
|March 20, 2017
the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources,
Thank you for this
opportunity to present my views on Maine’s mining
Gerritsen, and for the last forty years our family has been faming in
the Unorganized Territory of Central Aroostook County, near
Bridgewater. We grow Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Our family is
opposed to the weakening of Maine’s mining regulations and therefore
we’re opposed to LD 395.
has a wet climate, Maine is absolutely unsuitable for open pit
mining. It would be a predictable disaster that the
environment would be irreparably harmed from leaching of contaminants
such as arsenic and sulfuric acid if an open pit mine were to be
allowed on Bald Mountain.
potato farmers, we are keenly aware of changes in weather patterns,
particularly over the past fifteen years or so. Compared to
the weather of thirty and forty years ago we are now much more likely
to experience severe and extended rain events.
In areas like Bald Mountain, located forty miles
northwest of our farm; and Maple Mountain, located five miles west of
our farm, the risk of catastrophic failure from a breach in tailings
containment, due to an extreme rain event, is unacceptably high.
The State of
Maine should ban all open pit mining.
Additionally, your Committee should put an end to corporate
welfare which happens when mining interests extract and privatize the
mineral wealth and then saddle Maine taxpayers with the cost of cleanup
by declaring bankruptcy once mineral extraction has been completed.
Out of state corporations like Irving may exert a
lot of pressure for a dubious boom and bust mining
project. However, your real job is to both exhibit
integrity and protect Maine’s environment from such bad
In standing up for what’s right and keeping tough
mining regulations, you’ll be helping Aroostook’s economy by protecting
the long-established livelihoods of those of us who work the land, run
the hunting camps, and otherwise cater to the locals and visitors who
value and are attracted to Maine’s pristine environment.
Jim & Megan
Offer: FREE Organic
Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed.
Perhaps our favorite cover crop is Organic
. Valuable for
improving soil, fast growing and weed smothering, Organic Buckwheat
can even be harvested as at a young age for spinach-like
greens. Importantly, Organic
roots grow down deep into the subsoil and bring
up to the top growth the valuable mineral Phosphorus. Once
that lush growth is chopped and incorporated into the soil with a
shovel, rototiller or plow, it will decompose and then
provide Phosphorus for the next crop you grow.
Here’s your chance to fall in love with
. Earn yourself a FREE
2.5 Lbs. sack of our Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed
(Value $9.95) when your next order totals $59 or more. FREE
Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed Offer
ends 11:59 PM on
Monday, March 27, 2017, so please act now.
Please use Promo Code WPFF406
. Your order
and FREE Organic Buckwheat
Cover Crop Seed
must ship by May 7, 2017. Offer may not be
combined with other offers. Please
call or click today!
Buckwheat. The humble hardworking fast cover crop.
Trident. New availability of Bt tenebrionsis for CPB.
Organic Material for Control of Colorado Potato Beetles.
We’ve just received word that at long last an
acceptable formulation of the biological organic insecticide Bacillus
thuringiensis ssp. tenebrionsis Strain SA-10 (Btt) has
earned a listing
with Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).
The “new” product is called Trident, and it is manufactured
by Certis USA. We used Trident back about
twenty-five years ago and are happy such an effective low-ecological
profile input will once again be available to organic farmers and home
gardeners. CPBs can cause serious crop
loss. Now organic growers will be able to rotate with other
input controls like Entrust
Turbo (Neem Oil).
has acted as a stomach poison effective on small (first and second
instar) CPB larva. Historically, it was important one apply Btt
early – at hatch – and to avoid applying to large larvae and adults
(with a relatively large mass). The concern was with large
body mass, one would essentially be applying a material with
insufficient concentration to cause CPB death. That was a
poor practice and a good way to build resistance in CPB
While available information
still appears to be limited, one citation on the Certis USA website
could be used against adults as well as larva. Either this
information is 1) incorrect or else 2) Certis has ramped up the active
ingredient concentration in the new product. Stay tuned. Usage rate on
the product label is 3-6 quarts/acre with a minimum of 20 gallons
water/acre as a carrier.
Here’s how we used to know when to
spray. Using ten colorful diversion ditch flags, we would
identify and flag orange egg masses located on the undersides of potato
plant leaves in our potato patch. We’d check egg masses
daily. Once the first three egg masses hatched (30% hatch),
we’d immediately apply the first spray, late in the afternoon or early
evening after the sun has weakened. Larvae ingested a lethal
dose as they fed overnight and then died over the next 2-3
days. One would easily see the dead bugs lying on the
ground. We would apply a second application about seven days
later and always in the evening for best results.
For farmers to be able to legally use Trident,
Certis USA will need to register the new input for use in each
individual State. With the help of MOFGA, we are already
initiating that effort here in the State of Maine. You may
want to approach Certis USA to encourage them to register Trident
for use in your state. Check with your state Dept of
Agriculture for details on the registration process.
We are currently seeking out
commercial availability on Trident
. We will share the results of that search in a
future edition of the Seed
Piece, so stay tuned.
Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
|Notable Quotes: Shelly
Testifying to Protect Bald Mountain.
1 c Cornmeal
1 c Whole
1 T Baking
1 T Maple
2 c Milk
1 Large egg
1/2 c Pre-cooked parsnip
chopped or coins
12 Leaves fresh sage
2 T Butter
dry ingredients. Beat eggs well, add milk and combine the two mixtures.
Add the tablespoon of maple syrup, along with the parsnips. Melt the
butter in a cast iron skillet and fry the fresh sage leaves until
crispy. Remove sage leaves and set aside. Spoon pancake batter onto pan
and place a fried sage leaf on the top of each pancake. Turn when
bubbly, and brown your Johnny cakes on the flip side. Enjoy as a main
meal or a savory side dish.
Parsnip Johnny Cakes.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox