Wood Prairie Seed Piece
             Organic News and Commentary
                     Friday, May 06, 2016
                      Volume 24 Issue 10


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

   Winter Past.

     Our Recent Northern Maine Winter. These two NOAA weathers maps summarize pretty well the snow conditions – and this Winter as a whole – experienced in Northern Maine.  As an extraordinarily warm El Nino winter, it was not uncommon for snows to change to rains, a pattern which brought us less than our normal 110-120” of snow.   Since there was less snow to accumulate, it took less time to leave – dramatically so the further south one went.  Then reminiscent of an odd Maine winter a few years back we again had our warmer April weather in March and our cooler March weather in April and now continuing into May.  The soil is still cold but some grain is getting planted on high, dry fields.
   With Mother’s Day around the corner, we were thinking of the vast contribution women and mothers make to this world.  In this Seed Piece we introduce to you two exceptional Maine mothers who we know are making this a better world for us all.
    And - of course - a great tale about potatoes to lead us off!
 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.

Family Affair. Peruvian farmers in the Potato's ancestral home.
Hierarchy, Exploitation and Inequality: The Humble Potato's Role in the Growth of Civilization.

       This fascinating article, “The Sinister, Secret History of a Food that Everybody Loves,” appeared recently in the Washington Post.   Reporter Jeff Guo analyzes the contested theories of anthropologists concerning the growth of civilizations and the interaction with potatoes and grain.  Consider this well done piece must read!

   "But the staple crops associated with less-advanced peoples — like manioc, the white potato, the sweet potato and taro — weren’t necessarily less productive. In fact, manioc and the potato are superstar crops, less demanding of the soil and less thirsty for water. These plants still feed billions of people today.

   Now, a provocative new study suggests the fates of societies hinged on a subtler problem with these plants. And if it’s right, it could dramatically complicate the popular theory of the agriculture-driven dawn of civilization that has appeared in textbooks for generations.

   The study, published last year by economists at the United Kingdom and Israel doing novel work on archaeological and anthropological evidence, attempts to explain a strange pattern in agricultural practices. The most advanced civilizations all tended to cultivate grain crops, like wheat and barley and corn. Less advanced societies tended to rely on root crops like potatoes, taro and manioc."

Jim & Megan

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

Special Offer: FREE Organic Maine Certified All-Blue Seed Potatoes.

   It’s not uncommon to get a call this time of year from a harried customer worried that they have waited too long and that we are sold out of organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes. Our answer is: Don’t worry!  There’s still time!  We have plenty of seed potatoes, we’re now caught up and can ship to you right away!

   We have a great selection left.  While we’re sold out of a few varieties but we still have plenty in-stock and available in quantities of one to one-thousand pounds.  Currently, in-stock varieties include Adirondack Red, All-Blue, Butte Russet, Caribe’, Caribou Russet, Carola, Classic Russet, Dark Red Norland, Huckleberry Gold, King Harry, Onaway, Red Cloud, Reddale, Yukon Gem, Yukon Gold, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling, Russian Banana Fingerling and Swedish Peanut Fingerling.

   Now, we want you to have some fun with Organic All-Blue potatoes!  Earn yourself a FREE One-Pound Sack of Organic All-Blue Certified Seed Potatoes (Value $11.95) when the amount of goods in your next order totals $29 or more. FREE One-Pound Sack of Organic All-Blue Certified Seed Potato offer ends Midnight Monday, May 9 so hurry.

   Please use Promo Code WPF486. Your order and FREE One-Pound Sack of Organic All-Blue Certified Seed Potatoes must ship by 5/20/16. 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 Garden Tools Section.

When the Blues are welcome.
Your chance to brighten up your garden for FREE.

Maine's Clara Coleman. An Agrarian Younger loaded with good ideas.
Clara Coleman on
What Next-Gen-Farmers Will Need.

   I’ve known mother and organic farming advocate Mainer Clara Coleman for several years.  But I got to know her much better this past January when we both attended the  second Agrarian Elders gathering in Big Sur.  As one of the next generation of organic farming leaders, Clara was in the group known as Agrarian Youngers.

     In fact, Clara was tasked with chronicling our week of discussion and she produced this report of that amazing event

     Just one month before Big Sur, Clara recorded this great TEDx talk (9:25) “An Innovative Farming Model for the Next Generation.” It drew from many experiences including that of her former organic Divide Creek Farm in Colorado and is well worth watching.

     Clara is now back in her home State of Maine raising her family and working with farmers.   And, yes, as you may have guessed, Clara is daughter to famed organic patriarch Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm on the coast in Harborside, Maine, located about three-and-one-half hours south of us.


Click Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.

 Caitlin Shetterly on Protecting Your Family.

     Maine journalist and mother Caitlin Shetterly kicked over a hornet’s nest three years ago when she wrote a landmark article in Elle Magazine, “The Bad Seed: The Health Risks of Genetically Modified Corn.”  

    In her Elle piece, Caitlin related her family’s troubling tale of severe ailments which she came to trace back to eating genetically-engineered (GE or GMO) corn.  This powerful article was met head-on by a furious full-rage Biotech character assassination campaign.  Courageously, Elle examined the false accusations levied by self-serving industry shills and stood by Caitlin and her work.

     An undeterred Caitlin next set out to research yet more deeply the subject of genetic engineering, committed herself to writing a book.  Now, years in the making, her new book, Modified, has been turned over to her publisher and will be in book stores this Fall.

     We promise to keep you informed about what promises to be a very pivotal addition to the discussion about GMOs and a significant book launch.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.


Author Caitlin Shetterly.
Writing about her pursuit of the truth.
Notable Quote: Margaret Mead on Good and Evil.

Recipe: Roasted Parsnip Fries.

2 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled, cut into 3x1/2 strips
1 T  finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 T olive oil
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over.

Roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips are tender and browned in spots, 10-15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp cumin over. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Delicious Roasted Parsnip Fries.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

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