Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                       Friday April 26, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

     Maine Builds Momentum For Honesty in Labeling.

    Civics Lesson at State Capitol in Augusta, Amy Gerritsen, Age 10. (Photo Credit Jennifer Wixson) Our youngest daughter, Amy, felt she could afford to miss a day of school  - unlike her older sister, Sarah. Amy had two jobs to complete before she was ready to go. She needed to paint a sign for the Rally (Sarah helped her with the lettering) and that became 'Farm Kids Support GMO Labeling.' Plus she had to write her testimony for the members of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. In this issue of the Seed Piece you can see and read the results of her work.
     The ACF Committee on Tuesday, April 23, held a long awaited Public Hearing on LD 718, Maine's historic Right to Know GMO bill. The day was an amazing success, and the powerful support and testimony has galvanized the effort for truthfulness in labeling across the entire State of Maine.
     We all have a role to play. That's how democracy works. Tuesday was a good civics lesson for young and old alike. Our report follows.

 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine

BREAKING NEWS. Click here to Read yesterday's Remarkable Bangor Daily News Endorsement of LD 718.

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page

Special Report. Maine's Historic Right to Know GMO Public Hearing.

Rally Outside the Maine State Capitol In Augusta. (All photos credit Jean English except where noted). Prior to the Public Hearing, hundreds of citizens assembled at a Rally located right below Governor Paul LePage's office. The weather was gray and chilly.

Farmer Stephen Webster, Blyth, Ontario. Steve, a non-GE conventional farmer, drove his pickup 750 miles -one way- from Lake Huron in Ontario to testify about his abuse by Monsanto. In 2012 his niche non-GE conventional soybean crop was contaminated and ruined by bee-transmitted genetically-engineered pollen owned by Monsanto. Monsanto played hardball with Steve and his father.

Dr. Michael Hanson, Consumers Union. Dr. Hanson, speaking here at the Press Conference, also provided critical scientific insight into health concerns about GE food to Legislators at the Public Hearing. Amy Gerritsen (behind) holds the sign she painted.

Hand-Written Testimony of Amy Gerritsen. Within a few days from now, all such written testimony will appear in the public record here on the Maine Legislature's Website.

Representative Lance Harvell (R-Farmington). The primary sponsor of LD 718, speaking at the Public Hearing before the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF).

Senator Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln). Primary co-sponsor of LD 718, Maine's historic Right to Know GMO Labeling bill. Second speaker after lead Rep. Harvell.

Eight of the thirteen members of the ACF Committee. (L to R) Rep. Bob Saucier (D-Presque Isle), Rep. Peter Kent (D-Woolwich), Rep. Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop), Sen. Jim Boyle (D-Cumberland), Co-Chair Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), Co-Chair Rep. Jim Dill (D-Old Town), Rep. Dean Cray (R-Palmyra), Rep. Donald Marean (R-Hollis). Out of view: Rep. Brian Jones (D-Freedom), Rep. Bill Noon (D-Sanford), Rep. Russell Black (R-Wilton),
Rep. Jeffery Timberlake (R-Turner). Missing: Sen. Roger Sherman (R-Aroostook).

Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm Speaking At the Hearing. ACF Committee members sit at their stations behind the "Horseshoe." Those testifying were limited to three minute presentations. Over 100 signed up to testify, though some had to leave before their turn came up. Virtually all who testified supported LD 718. We counted nine who spoke in opposition: one Woolwich Christmas tree grower and most of the rest in business suits conveying the positions of those who hired them.

Testimony of Jim Gerritsen. A backwards counting clock set at three minutes let speakers know when their time was up. This testimony had two seconds to spare.

Wisdom In Maine. CR Lawn (Right, first row), organic farmer, founder of Fedco Seeds and Yale Law School graduate. To his right, Maine citizen Samual Kayman, organic farmer, co-founder of Stonyfield Yogurt, and founder forty years ago of Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) - New Hampshire.

Crowded Hearing Room. So many supporters showed up to the Hearing that two additional overflow committee rooms had to be opened up. Contemporaneous audio of the testimony was supplied to the overflow rooms. By Hearing's close, after seven non-stop hours of testimony, around 8 PM, the last survivors fit into this main room. Next week on May 2, is the ACF Committee's first work session of LD 718.

 Quotes: Barbara Kingsolver on Homeland Security

      “In my view, homeland security derives from having enough potatoes.

- Barbara Kingsolver

Author Barbara Kingsolver. She knows what real security is.

Scrumptious Potato Pierogi. Photo by Angela Wotton.
Recipe: Potato Pierogi.
Yields 25 to 30 pierogi

For the filling:
1 lb Butte potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
2 Dutch Yellow Onions, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dough:
1 lb (3 1/2 c) whole wheat flour; more as needed
2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1 c warm water

Make the dough:
Put flour in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Add 3/4 c of the warm water and stir with your fingers until the mixture begins to come together. If the dough is too dry, add more warm water until it forms a shaggy yet cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead it just until soft and elastic. Cover with a clean dishtowel and proceed with filling recipe.

Make the filling:
Cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to the pan. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden-brown and soft, 15 - 20 minutes. Reserve 1/4 of the onions for garnish and add the other 3/4 to the potatoes along with 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and mix until well combined. Let cool to room temperature. 

Divide the dough into 3 orange-size balls and roll out one at a time until dough is 1/8-inch-thick, 10 to 11-inch wide circle. Using a floured 3-inch cookie cutter or inverted glass, cut out circles of dough. Transfer the circles to a baking sheet, dust with a little flour and top with a sheet of parchment so they don't dry out. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking the circles between sheets of parchment. 

Fill each dough circle with 1 T of potato filling and fold it in half. Using your fingers, tightly pinch the edges together to seal and create a border. Filled pierogi can be frozen for up to 6 months or refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches of 10 to 12, drop the pierogi into the boiling water and give them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. When they float to the top (1 to 2 minutes for room temperature), use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a platter. 

Before serving, top the pierogi with melted butter and sprinkled with the remaining onions. Serve with sour cream on the side.


Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed
Special Offer: FREE Organic Vegetable Seed!

     Here's a great way to get a fast start on your garden this Spring and earn some FREE Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed. Our Red, White and Blue Seed Potato Collection is one of our most popular collections. It includes one 2 1/2 lbs sack each of early varieties Dark Red Norland, insect resistant King Harry and purple skin Caribe.
     Earn Four FREE Packets of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed (Value $13.00) - Your Choice of Variety - when you order one Red, White and Blue Collection. Four FREE Packets of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed offer ends at 11:59 PM on Monday, April 29, 2013, so hurry!

     Please use Promo Code WPF1144. Your order and Four FREE Packets of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Vegetable Seed must ship by 5/8/13. Offer is limited to one packet per variety and may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

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

Red White and Blue. Fun to grow. Fun to dig.
Our Mailbox: Privileged Attendance, Dark History, Rogue Computers, Fast Potatoes.

Privileged Attendance.

Dear WPF.

     I believe that I speak for many when I say that we felt privileged to be in attendance at Tuesday's ACF Hearing. We regret not being able to stay long enough to testify in favor of LD 718, but we did listen to quite a bit of amazingly supportive words. To sum up, we all have the right to know what is in our food.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     There was an incredible, palpable energy in Augusta on Tuesday. There were many citizens who wanted to speak at the Public Hearing but were unable to stay as long as necessary to get their turn. After seven non-stop hours of testimony the hearing concluded Tuesday night about 8pm. There were enough motivated speakers to have made this a two day hearing. But there were long distances to drive home, children to put to bed and cows to milk. In the end, your presence - along with the hundreds of other LD 718 supporters - communicated very loudly to the entire Maine Legislature that now is the time for GMO Labeling in the State of Maine. Our sentiment and message was heard loud and clear. Thanks for making the effort.


Dark History.

Dear WPF.

     The Earth Day Event in my city is coming up on Sunday. I'm going to get up and speak about Monsanto. This is a last minute idea, so I wondered if you might have access to any flyers or information that would be useful to either hand out or to read from the microphone. Thanks for any help.

Saugus MA

WPF Replies.

     Your challenge will be finding way too much info on the internet about Monsanto. This timeline 'Monsanto's Dark History 1901-2013' will get you started.


Rogue Computer.

Dear WPF.

     I put an order together today on your website. Hoverever, when I tried to checkout, the postage/shipping totaled $12.95 on 10 packets of seeds. Can I arrange to pick an order up or can you advise what I might be doing wrong? I really hope to order from you folks this year.....and I don't mind paying the organic price, but giving it to the post office....not so much. I was prepared for the $5 (ish) priority envelope, but not $13.

Hodgdon ME

WPF Replies.

     Humans should not feel too threatened: computers are only so smart and only so infallible. Your gut is right: if your order is only organic garden seed packets, the shipping is just $4.95 regardless of how many seed packets you order. You may place your order on the web and have us ship to you or save the $4.95 and pick up your order here. If the computer still hassles you, please write a note in the comment field mentioning our conversation and we will be certain to charge your credit card the correct amount. We read every comment, so please always use the comment field to tell us anything we need to know. Thanks!


Fast Potatoes.

Dear WPF.

     Just got our potatoes; can't wait to see how they grow!

Bealeton VA

WPF Replies.

     You will get better results if you warm up the seed potatoes for a couple days at room temperature before planting. That way they will get off to a fast start growing. Good luck!

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