Friday April 17, 2014
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Prairie Farm Carrot Shipping Now Completed.
year we grow an acre or two of organic Chantenay carrots – plus organic
beets, parsnips and onions - for you and our catalog and web business
as well as for wholesale accounts. Last week, right on
we shipped off the last of our Fall-dug carrots.
This week our steady increase in weekly shipments of organic seed
potato orders reached its plateau – as we do at this time every year –
after having been expanding week-by-week for the last twelve weeks. The
number of orders we ship weekly will soon gently begin to decline until
the 4th of July. Then, our seed potato supplies will be exhausted,
marking the end of our main shipping season, a little shy of ten months
long. Throughout the Summer months we continue busy, not only
farming, but also shipping
Vegetable Seed, Organic
Cover Crop seed, Tools
and as well as Organic Granary
goods to you and other home cooks.
world warms up, we are happy to report to you in this issue of the Seed Piece
several unmistakable indications of a shifting political climate. After
the extended dark winter, these signs of progress are most welcome.
Better times are
what we all deserve and what we should expect with the coming of Spring.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
| Maine Farmer To
Speak at United Nations.
Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm has accepted an invitation to
participate on a guest panel at the United Nations on Tuesday, April
22, 2014. The event will be the fourth Interactive Dialogue of
the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature
which will commemorate International Mother Earth Day. The
10am-1pm session will air live from New York City. A link
providing access to the webcast will soon be posted on the United
Nations Harmony with Nature website.
will speak along with four additional panel members. He will
offer a farmer’s perspective on the advantages and challenges facing
organic agriculture today in an era of declining resource availability,
heightened corporate domination of agriculture, and farming systems
challenged by the effects of climate change.
“I’m grateful to
have been provided this unique opportunity to discuss solutions and
concerns organic farmers have for the environment and the planet," said
Gerritsen. "United Nations delegates from around the world are quite a
In 2009, the United Nations General
Assembly proclaimed April 22 as International Mother Earth
In doing so, Member States acknowledged that the Earth and its
ecosystems are a common home shared by all. A just balance of
economic, social and environmental needs of the world may only be
achieved when world citizens and leaders come to understand and promote
Harmony with Nature.
with Farmer Protection
Gerritsen, who with his family grows organic seed on their farm in
northern Maine, is president and co-founder of Organic
Seed Growers and Trade Association, the national
farmer-run membership trade organization of the organic seed community.
OSGATA gained world notoriety in its role as lead plaintiff in the
landmark federal lawsuit, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto,
filed in March 2011. Farmer-plaintiffs sought both to
the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic (genetically engineered) seed
patents and gain court protection from claims of patent infringement
should farmers through no fault of their own become contaminated by
Monsanto’s patented seed. The group gained a partial victory
had their concerns vindicated when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., last June issued a judicial ruling
ordering Monsanto to not sue farmers who may receive trace amounts of
Family Farmer Justice
at the United Nations will not be Jim’s first time to speak in New York
City. In December 2011, he spoke at Zuccotti Park and the Occupy
Farmers March. The next month
Gerritsen was back in New York, along with scores of plaintiff farmers
for a legal proceeding in the OSGATA
et al v. Monsanto lawsuit. Afterwards, he spoke at the
Assembly In Support of Family Farmers in nearby
Foley Square, an assembly held to demonstrate broad public support for
the farmers seeking justice from the courts.
our responsibility to insist that organic family farmers receive
justice, that our right to farm the way we choose is respected and that
organic seed and organic crops be protected from contamination,” said
In recent years, panel participants at this U.N.
event have included Vandana Shiva of India and Pat Roy Mooney of
Canada. Written contributions and filmed presentations from
fourth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with
Nature are slated to appear online.
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.
Farmer Jim Gerritsen. Off the
Strong Vermont GMO Label Bill. And
| Vermont Making
History with STRONG GMO Label Bill.
With tremendous momentum behind them, Vermont is now on track
make history and soon pass the nation’s strongest GMO Labeling
After winning favor by huge margins in three separate Senate Committee
proceedings, Senate Bill S.112 made its way yesterday for a final vote
on the Senate floor. The
vote was an overwhelming – and nearly unanimous – victory in support of
right-to-know GMO Labeling, 28-2.
Senate vote represents a crushing defeat for Biotech and it’s hand
outlaw junk food lobbyist Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA).
Both gangs of corporate bullies have poured massive resources and tens
of millions of dollars into Vermont and other GMO Labeling battleground
states - including California,
Washington, Maine and New Hampshire
– in order to mislead, scare and threaten voters and legislators away
from gaining their legitimate right-to- know about whether food has
been genetically engineered.
session the Vermont House passed by a wide margin similar legislation
which would also require mandatory labeling of GMO
is expected that very shortly the House will take up the new Senate
version and move the strong legislation forward.
The last hurdle will be for Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to sign into
law the bill the Legislature passes. Importantly, S.112 does NOT contain a Trigger
requiring other States to pass similar legislation before Vermont’s law
would take effect. As bill language reads now, Vermont’s law
would mandate GMO Labeling to take effect in July 2016.
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop & Farm Seed.
| Video: How We Grade
Organic Certified Seed Potatoes on Wood Prairie Farm.
We hope you will enjoy our new YouTube
video (3:01) which shows how we clean, size and
grade organic seed potatoes at Wood Prairie Farm on our 'long line'
Here are the steps: First, a 4' x 4' x 4' wood pallet box holding 2000
pounds of field-run potatoes - in this case 'Island Sunshine’ which
have been in storage now for six months - is lifted onto the 'dumper.'
Next, potatoes are gently dumped into a padded hopper, then fed onto
two in-series brusher-cleaners. The first is a rubber-tipped-brusher
which removes gross dirt. The second brusher is outfitted
with nylon brushes
which buff up tubers and leaves them with a fine petina.
After the brushers, potatoes pour onto a
wooden 'drop sizer'
containing two different sizing chains ('peewees' and 'Bs') which split
out the small tubers and distribute them to side conveyors.
The final step is the 'roller table.'
This table rolls over and over the tubers too large to drop through the
sizing chains. These ‘largest’ tubers are in fact modest in
because they are Certified seed potatoes designed to be small because
smaller tubers have more value as seed since they plant more row feet
per pound . The roller table allows us to inspect, identify and
jettison any defective potatoes (or rocks). ‘Pickout potatoes’ are
ground up and fed to our cows and pigs.
grading procedure is performed on our 20+ varieties all winter long in
our windowless underground potato storage. We maintain the
at 38ºF and high humidity
throughout the winter.
Aside from the green dumper-hopper - which we fabricated ourselves -
all the potato handling equipment was manufactured right here in
Aroostook County. Click here for the video.
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Seed Potatoes.
Grading Island Sunshine. Tubers
on Dropsizer (click on image to watch video).
| Notable Quotes:
Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry Butter.
by Angela Wotton
Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry Butter..
6 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c fresh or frozen cranberries
3 T pure maple
1 1/2 tsp sea
2/3 c cornmeal
2/3 c spelt
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c whole milk
1 large egg
a food processor, pulse the softened butter with the cranberries, maple
syrup and 1/2 tsp of the salt until combined. Scrape into a small bowl
and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the spelt flour with the
cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and the remaining 1 tsp of salt. Whisk
in the milk, egg and 3 T of melted butter.
Heat a cast iron
skillet over medium heat and brush with butter. Ladle in batter, cook
until just beginning to set, flip the pancake and cook until just
cooked through. Transfer the pancakes to plates, spread with the
cranberry butter and serve with maple syrup.
| Special Offer: Get Your Own
FREE $10 Gift Card!
Who couldn’t use some extra cash to help with
garner great goods like Organic Vegetable Seed,
Organic Certified Seed Potatoes,
Organic Cover Crop & Farm Seed,
and Tools for Organic Growing?
It’s easy and you can wind up
with a FREE $10 Wood Prairie Farm
Gift Card with your next purchase!
Earn your FREE $10 Wood Prairie Farm Gift Card
when the amount of goods in your next order is $50 or
Wood Prairie Farm
Gift Card offer ends Midnight Monday, April 21, 2014, so
Please use Promo Code WPF1175.
This Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Please call or click today!
Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Granary Section.
Wood Prairie Farm Gift Card. Earn
yourself some free cash.
Our Mailbox: Good
Safe Milk, No Detect Policy, Willing Workers.
Doing It Right.
What about the safety of raw milk?
World Wide Web
There is an old saying in agriculture that
makes unsafe milk safe to drink. We'd rather start with good, fresh and
naturally safe milk. Our family has been milking cows and drinking raw
organic milk for almost 40 years. For decades "sanitation laws" have
been whipped up in the U.S. as a scare tactic by special interests (in
raw milk's case, dairy processors) to consolidate their control and to
hurt competitors (for example, family farmers direct selling raw milk).
Jurisprudence is very slowly recognizing the fact that people have a
right to determine which foods they will eat. Europe perhaps
understands this concept better than we do in the USA.
No Detect Policy.
Do you know about this group, Genetics
World Wide Web
Genetics ID in Fairfield IA is a company started
up by Dr.
John Fagen, a top notch scientist with great integrity and noted
opponent of genetic engineering. Genetics ID performs state of the art
PCR testing of organic and non-GE crops (limit of detectability, one
kernel from a 10,000 kernel sample or 0.01%) to determine whether there
is adventitious presence of unwanted transgenic (genetically
engineered) content. Many organic farmers and seed companies in Organic
Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) use the services of
Genetics ID because they are highly competent and we trust John Fagan.
Genetic ID is where we send our at-risk organic seed to verify it is
free of unwanted GE content. At Wood Prairie Farm we follow a
Detect Policy' which means if an organic lot of seed is found to
contain unwanted GE content we will not sell it. That is and always has
been our policy.
just found out about this, WWOOF,
Do you know about his organization? Just wondering.
Yes, as far as we know they are a good outfit.
been around a long time. Way back they used to be known as 'Weekend
Workers on Organic Farms'. And then 'Willing Workers on Organic Farms'.
I believe the new name, "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms",
reflects the reality of longer, world wide, beneficial opportunities
for both folks willing to pitch in, and organic farmers
wanting help and liking to have visitors.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm