Organic News and Commentary
From Maine
                  Friday, June 15th, 2018
                  Volume 27 Issue 12


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

  Planting Now Behind Us.

     2018 Potato Planting on Wood Prairie Family Farm.  In this photograph, one of many in this issue taken by Caleb's sister, Sarah, we are working our way eastward down one-thousand foot long rows.  We plant two-rows 36" apart as we go.  To the right of the planter is ground we have already planted.  To the left is ground which has been picked of rocks by Caleb and his tractor-drawn mechanical rockpicker.
     We have now completed the planting of all of our commercial crops.  The next crop ready for harvest will be the Organic Winter Rye we planted last October right after we got done digging potatoes.   That crop should be ready to combine at the end of July.
     We've been short of rain since the first week in May and the crops could use more than we've been getting.  We've also had a lot of cold nights dropping to near or below freezing and we had a light frost this week.  We heard Delaware got 13" of rain and that is causing some potato farmers there to re-plant. We still have organic seed potatoes ready to ship if you need any. 
    We hope the weather is good where you are and that your crops are growing well.

 Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Special Offer: FREE Organic Maine Certified Russian Banana Fingerling Seed Potatoes.

      Years ago we were told by an acquaintance, a European immigrant, that in the old country, potatoes are universally popular but that when it comes to holidays and special occasions only the exquisite Fingerling potatoes will do.  Organic Russian Banana remains the queen heirloom Fingerling by which all others are compared for taste and culinary quality.
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     Please use Promo Code WPFF429. Your order and FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine Certified Russian Banana Fingerling Seed Potatoes Offer must ship by June 22, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other offers.  Please click today! .

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

Organic Russian Banana. Queen of the Fingerlings.
Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.

Megan Reviewing Plan for Corn Planting.   Last week on a cool Spring day we got done planting potatoes.  An hour later we had switched our Oliver 1850 Diesel tractor –the one with the slow 'creeper gear' – over to our two-row transplanter, ready to plant our crop of organic Dorinny corn seed.  Here, Megan is explaining to the crew (left to right, Katie, Tom, Zack, Megan) the steps involved in how we'll  go about planting our corn starts..

Full Wagon Load of Corn Transplants.  All of our 8000 transplants (two seeds per cell) weren't able to fit on this 8' x 18' hay wagon.   Here, Tom is prepping the corn plants growing in 45-cell tree-transplant trays.   Excessive predation by crows and Black Birds of direct-seeded corn – plucking out the seedling to get  that tasty corn kernel at the bottom of the plant – convinced us we needed to shift over to transplants, a practice which has so far been bird-proof.

Organic Corn Planting Operation.   Four co-workers on the transplanter.  Jim on the tractor.  Tom prepping at the wagon, soaking corn roots in a concentrate of liquid fish and seaweed.

Corn Tranplanting Crew.   From left to right, Caleb, Katie, Megan and Zack work on the transplanter planting two rows per pass.  As the corn plant is set in the ground,  it is automatically given a well-placed squirt of water from the caged 275-gallon tank.

Organic Corn Plants.   These extremely vigorous organic Dorinny Sweet Corn plants were seeded just 16 days before transplanting.

Deep in Concentration.   Even with the tractor creeping along at its slowest pace, the crew needs full concentration in order to keep up. 

 Laying A Corn Plant on a 'Gripper.'  Katie - with her pink John Deere gloves – carefully lays a corn plant at the precise  position on one of the six 'pocket grippers.'  Two workers labor on the same row and alternate placing corn plants as the disc holding the grippers rotates round and round.

Rubber Press Wheels Seal the Deal.   American agricultural ingenuity is on full display with this well-designed "Mechanical Transplanter Company unit invented in and manufactured to this day in Holland, Michigan.  The angled press wheels smoothly smoosh the soil up against the corn plant roots and expel air which would otherwise dry out roots and kill the plant.

Loading Up Transplanter for Another Trip.  With Jim on tractor, Caleb works with the 1 ½" hose and pumps water into the caged tank on the transplanter.  

Filling Stainless Steel Tanks.   While Zack adds a liquid fish and seaweed-based biological concentrate to the soil-drench-tanks, Caleb tops off the tanks with water.

Asimov on Anti-Intellectualism.

Recipe: Rhubarb Ginger Oat Squares.

2 c chopped rhubarb
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 c sugar
1 c water

Combine the rhubarb, fresh ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb has softened and is falling apart, about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl pressing on the rhubarb and ginger to release the juices. Pour the strained rhubarb-ginger syrup into a bottle or jar and refrigerate. (Save the syrup and use as sauce over ice cream or mix with seltzer for a refreshing drink) Allow the rhubarb pulp to cool. Remove and discard the sliced ginger.

Preheat oven to 350 F

1 c rolled oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, brown sugar, walnuts, and butter in a bowl. Work with your fingers to a crumbly texture.

Butter a 9x9 square baking dish. Pour 3/4 of the oat mixture into the dish and press firmly to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread the rhubarb pulp over this and then top with the remaining 1/4 of the oat mixture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool and then slice into squares.

Delicious summer treat.

Megan & Angie

Rhubarb Ginger Oat Squares.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

 Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox