Wood Prairie Farm               In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter      Farmers in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto File Appeal.
      Organic News and Commentary
                 How To Help OSGATA: Dar Williams' Garden Party.
          Thursday March 29, 2012                           NDSU Research Proves Wood Prairie Farm Seed Potatoes the Winner.
                                                                                               Recipe: Lemon Sesame Cookies.
                                                                                               Special Offer: FREE Vermont Compost Soil Mix
                                                                                               The Great Organic Wave Digest: Keeping Track of Recent Wave News.
                                                                                               Mailbox: Pesky Property Rights and Concise Fan Mail.
Family Farmers Stand Up and Fight.                                                                                                     

The Cold in Maine
As has been experienced widely, the last thirty years have been enough milder here in Maine that most of us have been bumped a notch upward towards warm. For example, our farm near Bridgewater used to be in the warm part of Zone 3 (3B). The new data now indicates that we have migrated to the cold part of Zone 4 (Zone 4A). Click on image to enlarge. 
   In recent years we have seen May weather in April, and April weather in May. Last week was a record-setting event when we experienced May weather and record warm temperatures in March and as a result lost most of our snow cover which had been a couple of feet deep. This week we're back to 'normal' with low temperatures in the teens and Tuesday morning the thermometer read 12ºF, pushing the frost back deep into the soil. This frozen ground will help freeze and control both Colorado potato beetles and potato volunteers left over from last year.

Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine


Farmers Determined to Defend Right To Grow Food File Appeal In Organic Farmers v. Monsanto.
        Battle Over Farmers' Right Against Monsanto Continues to Brew.

     Yesterday, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald's February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers' appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto's claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto's seed.

     "Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed," said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs. "Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed."

"Farmers are under threat.  Our right to farm the way we choose, and to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our families and for our customers is under assault," said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm, President of lead Appellant OSGATA. "We are honor-bound to challenge an erroneous ruling which denies family farmers the protection the law says we deserve. We're not asking for one penny from Monsanto. Ultimately, our fight is for justice and is waged to defend the right of the people to have access to good and safe food." (more)

      How to Help OSGATA: Plan Your August Maine
   Vacation with Folk Singer Dar Williams' Garden Party


   Renowned folk singer Dar Williams will headline the Fourth Annual Garden Party Concert in Woolwich, Maine, with proceeds going to benefit the work of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). Start making your plans now so that your Summer visit to Maine this year includes Saturday August 4 and the town of Woolwich in Maine's picturesque southern coastal region. We'll be there to enjoy the fresh air, the music, to meet you and to share the latest news on OSGATA el al v. Monsanto. Look for us and our OSGATA booth under the red canopy.

   Concert Tickets are just $30 (with kids under 18, $10; and kids under 10 FREE). FREE Parking and FREE Tent Camping. Rain or Shine.

Jim & Megan

   Here's the Garden Party link for general information and to purchase tickets.  You can also contact our friend and Garden Party organizer Angus Webster for tickets and specific information at 207-837-8503 or anguswebster2012@gmail.com

You can keep up with the latest on the Garden Party with this link to FaceBook.

The other acts supporting the event are:

The Work Trucks- www.reverbnation.com/worktrucks
Carlos Calvo- www.reverbnation.com/carloscalvo
Fred Gillen Jr.- www.reverbnation.com/fredgillenjr
Vanessa Torres- www.vanessatorresmusic.com/splashpage/
The Bennys- www.reverbnation.com/thebennys
Matt Turk- www.reverbnation.com/mattturk


Dar Williams. Help OSGATA. Maine. August 4, 2012.

Wood Prairie Farm Seed Potatoes. Bagged and ready to ship.
NDSU Research Proves Wood Prairie Farm Organic
      Seed Potatoes Are Tops in Quality and Performance.

Seed Source Evaluation research conducted by North Dakota State University and now published on the NDSU website shows that Wood Prairie Farm's organic certified seed potatoes - variety Yukon Gold analyzed in replicated dryland organic test plots - out performed the competition - both that of organic and conventional seed - on all important metrics. 

  According to NDSU statistics, Wood Prairie organic seed potatoes produced:

1. Highest Total Yield (200 cwt/acre).

2. Highest Yield of #1 Tubers (193.2 cwt/acre).

3. Lowest Amount of "B" (undersize) Tubers (6.8 cwt/acre).

  Over the decades we have received hundreds of anecdotal reports from customers who have related to us that our organic seed potatoes excel in performance.  The NDSU published research also confirms our own observation on Wood Prairie Farm in which we have concluded there are significant differences in seed quality and associated crop performance and yield. We believe our success in achieving high seed quality is attributable to our 35 years of experience as organic farmers, our attention to detail and our careful husbandry of our soil, with particular benefits attributable to building soil quality through long rotations, additions of organic material, balanced mineralization with rock powders and enhancement of soil microbiology.

  We choose to be organic farmers because organic is demonstratively the superior system for seed and food production and it allows us to be proper and good stewards of our farm.

Jim & Megan

Recipe: Lemon Sesame Cookies

1 1/4 c rolled oats
1 & 1/4 c Wood Prairie Farm Whole Wheat or Spelt flour
1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Toast the sesame seeds by heating in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they start to brown slightly; remove them from the pan. Mix together the dry ingredients. 

In a separate bowl, stir together:
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 T grated lemon zest

Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients, mixing well. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds or shapes.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes in a 375 F oven. Megan.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Source: The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Dec 2011 - Feb 2012

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Grains Section

Lemon Sesame Cookies
Photo by Angela Wotton


Special Offer: FREE Vermont Compost Soil Mixes -
                              Two For the Price of One!

     While the Spring is making its tentative appearance outside, it's a still a good time inside - where it's warm and cozy - to start plants in flats like lettuce, tomatoes and peppers.   So that means now is a good time to stock up on our expert and top quality organic Vermont Compost Soil Mixes with our Special Two-For-One offer.  

     Here’s your chance to earn a FREE 6 Qt. sack ($12.95 value) of Vermont Compost Soil Mix - Your Mix or Match Choice of Fort Vee Potting Soil, Fort Light Growing Mix or Compost Plus Transplant/Booster Mix each time you purchase one sack at the regular price.

    FREE Two-For-One Vermont Compost Soil Mix offer ends Monday, April 2, so hurry!

    Please use Promo Code WPF 1117.  Your order and FREE Vermont Compost Soil Mixes must ship by 5/9/12.  Offer may not be combined with other offers.  Limit: Ten Offers per customer so this is your best chance ever to stock up today!

Click here for Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed

The Great Organic Wave Digest -
             Keeping Track of Recent Wave News.

* How Young Scientists are Determining the Future of Organic Farming.
     Uplifting article from Good Magazine which documents the values shift underway in American agriculture thanks to visionaries like WSU's Dr. Stephen Jones. "'I noticed this tall kid kind of hanging around at different field days,' he says. 'Then I gave a talk at a food justice meeting in Eugene, Oregon, and there was Brook. That's the exact kind of student you want. If you can pick up your grad students at food justice meetings, that's pretty good.'" World meet Brook Brouwer, graduate student, OSGATA plant breeder member, and recipient of our nation's first fellowship for organic plant breeding thanks to Clif Bar. Read the story on it here.

* Excellent CBC Interview: Vandana Shiva.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is full of hope as well as good works. For all of us, and most especially anyone discouraged by the environmental problems around us, this is a MUST watch interview (22:35) on CBC's 'George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight' program. This interview was recorded on March 9, 2012 as part of Vandana's recent visit to Canada. Deemed one of the 'world's seven most powerful women' she is a depthful and articulate spokesperson extolling the virtues of seed freedom and the error of patenting seeds and life. Vandana's organization, Navdanya International, is one our Appellants in the organic community lawsuit, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto. Watching this uplifting interview will be the best 23 minutes you spend today Watch the YouTube video here.  

* A Mom and a Baby Find Out What's Really Rural In California
     If you have read talented writer-photographer Lisa Hamilton's excellent seminal
book 'Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness' you no doubt will be drawn to her recent story-telling project which combines photographic and audio pieces of authentic rural Californians. "'Having a human involved in agriculture means that human is bringing these elements that only a human can - things like caring about history and caring about the future and being able to quantify value beyond dollars and bottom line.'" Believe us when we say you will be glad you checked Lisa out. Read the article here.

About Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook
We're using daily Facebook posts like the above to keep our Wood Prairie community up to date on important organic topics. Please meet us on Facebook!
And thanks to all of you who have Liked us on Facebook.
When you 'Like' us, you communicate to the world your support of our work and you help extend our outreach effort to help inform others.  If you haven’t done so yet, please click here to become a Friend of Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook.  Thanks for Liking us!

Well Grounded. A good book to read.

Our Mailbox: Pesky Property Rights

Dear WPF.

     So putting their argument another way: Organic growers should charge higher prices so they can sort of self-insure against GMO contamination while the people doing the contamination can produce what is a cheap commodity - almost a chemical factory product at the lowest price possible. Outrageous!

Rogue River OR

WPF Replies.

     Then to add to that 'outrageous' argument there is this pesky thing called property rights.  Our laws are based on English Common Law and the concepts underpining property rights go back many hundreds of years. English Common Law holds that it is the possessor of a potential harm (i.e., hungry cows) that must restrain their harm from causing trouble for their neighbors (including that next door lush field of clover the neighbor plans on cutting for hay) - that is, the cattle owner must fence in his cows.  It is not the responsibility of the neighbor to fence out those hungry cows.  The operation of these common laws in rural areas has made for good and mostly peaceable neighbors for many hundreds of years.  Ultimately, biotech will have to convince a skeptical nation of property owners, some of whom are judges, that something significant - besides their own greed -  has developed in the last twenty years to throw these age-old concepts on their head and let themselves imagine they have the right to trespass and contaminate the neighbors with impugnity.

     Here's another illustration. If our junk yard dog daily crosses into our neigbor's yard and then mauls our neighbor's formerly beautiful children, who prior to our dog's maulings, were on fast track for a career as movie starlets, we may, and vociferously, contend that their employment desires for careers in the entertainment industry may be satiated by their reading of the price of pork belly futures on the 1130am Farm Commodity Report on our local radio station.  In historical context, we would be on firm ground to expect that there will be those who don't see the world the same as we do.

Jim & Megan

Our Mailbox: Concise Fan Mail.

Dear WPF.  

     Thank you Jim for ALL you do.

Little River CA

WPF Replies.

     Thanks for your support. We're all in this together and we're happy to help out.

Wood Prairie Farm Quick Links

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