Wood Prairie Seed Piece
             Organic News and Commentary
                     Friday, April 22th 2016
                       Volume 24 Issue 09


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

  Observing Tradition.

     The Railroad Reaches Northern Maine.  Prior to the railroads being established in the 1890s, Northern Maine was a wooded wilderness only occasionally broken up by scattered and newly-cleared potato fields amid very modest settlements.
     The railroad brought about a revolution of growth which allowed Maine potatoes an efficient way to get to East Coast markets and for supplies and new settlers to be ferried in.
     Photographer Isaac Simpson – born in 1874 - captured the wild Northern Maine on the cusp of turn-of-the-century progress and development.   As Spring works to warm up and dry out the ground, we hope you will watch and enjoy this wonderful documentary film made up of Isaac’s authentic photographic work which humbly documented the frontier life before it came to be tamed.

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

Isaac Walton Simpson. A man of many talents and remembered for his respectful photographs of people in northern Maine's Frontier.
The Maine Frontier: Through the Lens of Isaac Walton Simpson.

   Stunning photographic documentation of the East’s last frontier – Northern Maine - was captured over one hundred years ago and for all time by Isaac Walton Simpson.   Isaac lived in the town of Amity, south of Houtlon.  He possessed a broad spectrum of talents but is most remembered for his extraordinary photographs taken of everyday working people toiling in Northern Maine’s harsh and isolated wilds.

    Several years ago, Maine Public Television aired this fascinating film created from a compilation of Isaac’s black and white photos, The Maine Frontier: Through the Lens of Isaac Walton Simpson (56:26).

   We think you will enjoy taking the hour to watch this magnificent and educational production.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

Special Offer: FREE Certified Organic tillage Radish Cover Crop Seed.

     The other day Jim took a call from a customer who wanted to know what the best cover crop would be to plant before potatoes. He explained that on Wood Prairie Family Farm, in the year before potatoes, we plant a cover crop of Organic Buckwheat in mid-June. Then 7-8 weeks later, we turn that Buckwheat under and plant a brassica-family cover crop as a biofumigant - to clean up the soil - like Organic Tillage Radish.

     We'll make it easy for you to experiment with Organic Tillage Radish Cover Crop Seed! Earn yourself a FREE 4 oz. Sack of Organic Tillage Radish Cover Crop Seed (Value $5.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $35 or more. FREE 4 oz. sack of Organic Tillage Radish offer ends Midnight Monday, April 25.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 485. Your order and FREE 4 oz. Sack of Organic Tillage Radish Cover Crop Seed must ship by 5/6/16. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Questions? Call us at Wood Prairie Family Farm (207) 429 - 9765.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Family Farm Organic Cover Crop Section.


 OSGATA's New Policy on Organic Plant Breeding.

GE Seed Need not Apply. Organic plant breeding absolutely excludes genetic engineering.
Notable Quote: Vandana Shiva on Peacemakers.

Recipe: Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes.

12-15 small Dark Red Norland or Yukon Gold potatoes
Sea Salt
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with at least an inch of water. Boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are completely tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes.

Place the cooked potatoes on a clean dishtowel. Let them drain and sit for a minute or two. Fold another dishtowel into quarters, and using it as a cover, gently press down on one potato with the palm of your hand to flatten it to a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Repeat with all of the potatoes.

Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; put a sheet of parchment on top of the foil. Carefully transfer the flattened potatoes to the baking sheet and let them cool completely at room temperature. If working ahead, refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Heat oven to 450 F. Sprinkle the potatoes with about 3/4 tsp salt and pour olive oil over them. Lift the potatoes gently to make sure some of the oil goes underneath. Roast until they are crisp and deep brown around the edges., 30 - 40 minutes, turning over once gently with a spatula halfway through cooking. Serve hot.
Serves 8


Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Our Mailbox: Forces Opposed and Seed to Seed.

Forces Opposed.

Dear WPF.

     I am concerned that some how GMO Labeling will get to the Supreme Court and GMO labeling will be ruled unconstitutional. Monsanto and the other GMO food like producers and suppliers always seem to prefer profit over health of Citizens.


WPF Replies.

     The forces opposed to GMO Labeling - Monsanto and Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA) - lost in Federal District Court their attempt to stop the Vermont GMO Labeling law from taking effect. Of course they are appealing. The word is the opposition is expecting to be defeated again in the US Court of Appeals. This is why they are putting everything they have into buying themselves a victory in the Senate. So far that's not working for them either. Once GMO Labeling takes effect in VT on July 1 - and across the nation - it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle. We spent a lot of time and effort using constitutional lawyers to perfect the language on the GMO Labeling laws in Maine, VT and CT to withstand Court challenge. Ultimately, the people have a right-to-know and even SCOTUS justices and their families eat food and will want to avoid GMOs and labeling is the way to achieve that desire.


Seed to Seed.

Dear WPF.

    Hi Jim,

     So my cohort of students are on their way to making a plan where our farms begin to move towards more of a seed to seed enterprise. One crop is dried beans which on the face of it should be easy. Other then worrying about damaged seed from threshing, it seems that some seed borne diseases might be of concern.

     I also see that you sell dry beans and I assume that you grew them yourself. What do you do to make sure that the seed is clean? Hints? Suggestions? This may not be the last time you hear from us.


WPF Replies.

     By the book the very best Bean seed can be grown in the West where the dryness minimizes fungal pathogens. But here we are in the moist East Maine growing both organic seed potatoes and seed beans. Yes it can be done well.
     We invest in the soil with long rotations and good biological inputs. We grow good healthy crops and monitor for disease pressure. We grow out our own seed and monitor performance in future year test plots. We have the advantage of regional adaptation in what we grow.
     After all, regional production is how all seed has been grown for 10,000 years.


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