Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
        Organic News and Commentary
                 Friday March 29, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

     Maple Sap Flowing & Still Covered in Snow.
     Radish - Elegant Crop of Early Spring. With the woods and fields still blanketed with snow and the ponds still frozen it still looks the part of Winter in Northern Maine. But the days are now rising above freezing and the nights have shifted from cold to just chilly. The maple sap started running early this year, though nothing like the crazy remarkably early experience of 2012. Plants started inside include onions, peppers and tomatoes. Lettuce and greens are growing in the unheated high tunnel which is a different warm protected world altogether on a sunny day. Seed orders are coming in and going out in a flurry. Equipment is being repaired and seed is being cleaned for the upcoming farming season. Hold onto your hats.

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

Dirigo. Maine is ready to lead.
 Update on Historic Maine GMO Labeling Bill.

     Official word was received this morning that LD 718, Maine’s Right to Know GMO Labeling bill will receive its first Public Hearing before the Legislature’s Joint Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee (ACF) on Tuesday, April 23 at 1pm in the State Capitol in Augusta.

     LD 718, if passed, would be the first in the nation law to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs, also known as genetically engineered food, or ‘GE’) and food made with GMO ingredients.  Polls across the country show massive support for Right to Know GMO labeling laws.  Such mandatory labeling laws are currently in place in 62 countries around the world including Europe, Russia and China.

     The primary sponsors of LD 718 are Senator Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) and Representative Lance Harvell (R-Farmington).  In addition, there are an incredible 123 co-sponsors made up of Republicans, Democrats and Independents from a legislative body of 35 Senators and 151 Representatives.

     Monsanto has already deployed lobbyists in Maine to defeat the people’s Right to Know GMO bill.  If you are in Maine please contact your legislators and urge them to support LD 718.  Everyone, inside and outside Maine, we need your contributions in order to mount an effective campaign to defeat Monsanto’s efforts to thwart the will of Maine people and Maine legislators.  Our efforts in Maine at establishing GMO labeling will help the entire country move forward.  Please help Maine – even $5 is appreciated if that is what you are able to spare. 


Jim & Megan

Ten Reasons Why We Don't Need GM Foods.

     From our friends at GM Watch in the UK. Footnoted elaborations under these headings are in this excellent article.

1. GM foods won't solve the food crisis.

2. GM crops do not increase yield potential.

3. GM crops increase pesticide use.

4. There are better ways to feed the world.

5. Other farm technologies are more successful.

6. GM Foods have not been shown to be safe to eat.

7. People don't want GM foods - so they're hidden in animal feed.

8. GM crops are a long-term economic disaster for farmers.

9. GM and non-GM cannot co-exist.

10. We can't trust GM companies.

No Patents on Life Forms. Spread the word.

USDA. The green world of organic farming.
 USA Map of Organic Operations.

     Here's some Maine perspective. While this map is biased toward larger states, it does provide a visual aid which helps one understanding where certified organic production is occuriring. Memo to USDA: take a walk on the wild side and go ahead and experiment with some colors beside shades of green.

 Quotes: Vandana Shiva and The Rights of People.

      “Corporations are fictions. They have been assigned a human and a legal personality, and now they're trying to dispossess people of their democratic rights, and they're trying to dispossess nature of her rights. We are at a watershed for human evolution.

     We will either defend the rights of people and the earth, and for that we have to dismantle the rights that corporations have assigned to themselves, or corporations will in the next three decades destroy this planet, in terms of human possibilities.

- Vandana Shiva

Click here for our Organic Seed Potatoes.

Indian Activist Dr. Vandana Shiva. Offering clarity on the people's rights.

Yummy Maple Syrup Treats. Photo by Angela Wotton.
Recipe: Maple Syrup Scones
Maple Syrup Scones
6 T Milk
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.

Special Offer: (Almost) FREE Flat Rate Shipping!

     This is a tremendous deal no one will want to miss! Here's your chance to receive FLAT RATE SHIPPING of only $4.99 on your next order - whether it's Organic Seed Potatoes, Organic Kitchen Potatoes, Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Cover Crop Seed, Organic Soil Mixes, Organic Flour and Grain Mixes or any other item we sell when the goods - Mix and Match - on your next order totals $59 or more. Ordered items must weigh no more than 29 pounds total. Offer ends at 11:59 pm Eastern on Monday, April 1, 2013, so hurry!

     Please use Promo Code WPF1142. Your $4.99 FLAT RATE SHIPPING order must ship by 4/30/13. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Garden Vegetable Seed Section.


(Almost) Free. Flat Rate Shipping: $4.99 Per Order. Hurry.
Our Mailbox: Unintended, Luck, Plant Potatoes and Water.

Unintended Consequences.

Dear WPF.

     Early in the A.M., on commercial stations, you can pick up the U.S. Farm Report as well as a paid commercial for the conventional farm  organization called "farmers feeding the world" or something like that. Anyhow, a recent chemical company commercial on one of those programs targeted farmers who are switching from growing Roundup Ready corn to soybeans. These farmers have to get the correct Roundup-Ready soybeans in order to successfully kill off the Roundup Ready corn which grows like a healthy weed in their soybean fields. Part of the ad is a picture of tiny soybean seedlings in the midst of which appears a robust corn stalk and written across the cornstalk is the phrase "the end is near". On the contrary, this march of chemical farming will never end.

Camden ME

WPF Replies.

     Yes control and chemical addiction is biotech's point and their death culture treadmill continues. "Volunteers" from the previous crop are a reality farmers often face. When GE potatoes were introduced in the mid-1990s some of the blighty tubers left behind from the previous Fall's harvest would sometimes not all winter kill and would sprout and grow the next spring. Those Monsanto 'New Leaf' potatoes had the Bt bacterial toxin gene-spliced in and they would grow and grow (normal natural volunteers would get eaten down by Colorado Potato Beetles - usually the field would have been rotated to grain after potatoes) and spread and spread late blight inoculum spores to healthy neighboring potatoes. Anyway, no one (including the Union of Concerned Scientists to whom I had mentioned this phenomena) had thought about this unintended consequence of growing gene-spliced potatoes.


Wishing Maine Luck.

Dear WPF.

Wish you better luck on the GMO Right to Know than California had!!! Somewhere, some state has got to win this.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     We agree and thanks. Maine, Vermont and Connecticut have the best chance of passing a GMO Labeling law this Spring.


When to Plant Potatoes.

Dear WPF.

I'm a new gardener and I am getting conflicting advice as to when to plant my potatoes. Our last Spring frost is May 1 and I have been told that's when I should plant.

Charlottesville, VA

WPF Replies.

     I would plant a month earlier than May 1 in Charlottesville. Here are some popular potato planting rules of thumb: plant two weeks after peas; plant three weeks before that last hard Spring freeze (28ºF); plant once the soil three inches deep hits 50ºF at 7-8 AM. Here in northern Maine the old-timers would say plant potatoes when the last of the snow in the woods disappears (that's about mid May).


How Much To Water.

Dear WPF.

The subject of irrigation raises a question: how long can a potato plant go without water? A relevant question in recent years in drought-ridden Pennsylvania. How often should I hand water my home garden patch?

Philidelphia PA

WPF Replies.

     Vegetable crops need 1-1.5 inch water a week from rain or irrigation. Potatoes most especially need water beginning when tubers start to bulk up. Potatoes are gluttons by nature and if you deny them fertility or water they will hold it against you. Potatoes are about 85% water so be generous with your watering (2x per week is ideal) and your friend the potato will reward you with heavy and delicious yields.

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