June 30th, 2018
27 Issue 13
Issue of The Wood
Wood Prairie Family Farm's
Amy Gerritsen Stands Beside Head-High Field of Organic Winter Rye.
Caleb's sister Amy, standing in a plot of Organic
Red Norland Certified Seed Potatoes
, is dwarfed by the crop
next door, Organic
Winter Rye Seed.
We sowed this crop of winter rye early last October, the day after we
had finished harvesting our seed potato crop, grown in that field
of Organic Winter Rye should be ready to be combined in about five
weeks. Hardy Winter Rye is an excellent cover crop
of the year. When planted in the Fall (August or later) it
survive through the Winter – even in cold Northern Maine -
start growing again in the Spring. It can be incorporated
the soil in the Spring or allowed to mature into a grain crop (The
"Rye" in rye bread) ready for harvest in mid-Summer.
Our cool Spring has continued. So far, in terms of Potato
Degree Days (base 45ºF), this year we're
down about 25% from the ten year average.
A hot spell is in the forecast in the days leading up to the 4th of
July. That will help catch us up. While
on the dry side, we've been getting just enough rain to keep the crops
happy and looking good.
sister, Sarah, continues to take photos around the farm and you'll see
her work scattered throughout this issue of the Wood Prairie
We hope wherever you are, the sun is
shining and your crops are growing well.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Values. Love and devotion in the wilds.
| Don't Miss this Great Little
Video of a Family of Great Northern Loons!
We think it will be worth your
time to unwind and watch this short
video (1:06) of a family of Loons interacting
with one another on a lake in northern Minnesota.
Loons require peace and quiet and are identified with
wilderness. We are fortunate to have loons on
lakes here in Northern Maine and it's a special treat when we get to
see –and hear! - one.
article provides good background about what
makes loons so special.
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Vegetable Seeds.
|Special Offer &
Organic Maine Certified Adirondack Red Seed Potatoes.
Now is your LAST
for getting our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes! We harvested
this current seed crop back in September. We have stored these seed
spuds ever since in our cool underground cellar. We've been selling and
shipping out this crop all Fall, Winter and Spring. However, after the
upcoming 4th of July
we'll be completely sold out until our new Seed Potato crop is ready to
dig and ship beginning in September.
So, there's still time to order seed if you act
right away! As an
incentive if you place your order now, we are giving away seed
potatoes for a wonderful new variety from Cornell University, the
beautiful ptoato called Organic
Don't miss out!
Earn yourself a FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine
Certified Adirondack Red Seed Potatoes
(Value $11.95) when
your next order totals $39 or more. FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine
Certified Adirondack Red Seed Potato Offer
ends 11:59 PM
on Monday, July 2, so please act now!
Please use Pormo Code WPFF430. Your
order and FREE
1 Lb. Sack of
Organic Maine Certified Adirondack Red Seed Potatoes
ship by July 5, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Please click today!
Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Wood Prairie Seed Potatoes.
Last Call for
Organic Seed Potatoes. Going, going, gone!
Subtle Attempts to Soften the Yugo / Cheap Food image? Yuko
Foosball, modern Bread and Circus?
|Using The Much Maligned Yugo to
Explain the USA's Destructive Cheap Food Policy.
It's a fact. Americans spend the least
household income on food (6.4%) of any country in the world. This
2016 listing shows where the world's countries lie on this continuum.
In reality, this ranking
is nothing for the USA to celebrate.
While the pitfalls of our 'Cheap Food' policy are many and
multi-layered, it's worth questioning what is really going
on. A good analysis does require reading between
and questioning scared cows.
Here's an analogy which might help provide clarity. Imagine for a moment that
Americans, instead, spent the least amount of income on buying
automobiles. To get off to a start, let's
pick on the Yugo.
Americans might instinctively imagine they love being #1 and love
"saving" money in buying their vast national fleet of Yugos.
there's more to it. There's the constant night time breakdowns in the
rain, the unending massive repair bills, not to mention the excessive
deaths and maimings due to the insufficiency of safety engineering
plus the mounting - and cleverly hidden from public view -
taxpayer-financed government Yugo subsidies designed to keep retail
Yugo prices looking "low."
There's no escaping
the truism that it takes real effort to do things right. Conscientious auto manufacturers
would face a daunting uphill battle against colossal Yugo subsidies,
a society-wide fabricated expectation of low retail automobile prices
and a widespread failure to grasp the true (internalized) HIGH COST of
Stepping back, in
the end, the "best" price is the "fair" price in which the true, honest
cost (fully internalized) of automobile production (or food) is in
balance (par exchange) with other sectors of the
What comes to mind with our current dysfunctional food system is the
wise, old adage, "You get what you pay for."
Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed.
|Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.
Flame Weeding of Newly Emerged Potatoes. In
this first shot taken by Caleb's sister, Sarah, Jim deploys
first strategy for combating weeds in our crop of organic Maine
Certified Seed Potatoes. Our relatively dry Spring has
perfect timing for farm work including the use of our propane
Flamer. The potato plants had emerged just days earlier.
Step Two: Using Our Fingerweeder.
A week or ten days after flaming we run through our potatoes with a
tractor with "rear mount" Fingerweeder following "mid mount" cultivator
teeth with "Calves' Tongue" feet. Twenty-five years
bought the Fingerweeder from a local farmer who had purchased it brand
new in 1952. It was in that era when Maine led the nation
the production of 235,000 acres of potatoes. It is
note that herbicides were first introduced the next year in
So, during the climax of Maine's Potato Empire, not a single drop of
herbicide had ever been used.
Fingerweeder on Potatoes. This
shot highlights the traditional Aroostook County technique of using
fully engaged Calves Tongues to shovel mid-row soil onto the top of the
potatoes only to be immediately torn down by the closely-spaced
Fingerweeder teeth. Those teeth aggressively go right through
potato row sending wayward 'mustard and kale' weeds to crucifer
heaven. The faster the tractor travels the more dirt gets
tossed. To the uninitiated, the process looks like mayhem.
Unloading John Deere Plow from Auction
Saturday was the annual farm equipment consignment auction held in
nearby Mapleton. After twenty plus years of work in our rocky
fields, our second-hand four-bottom IH (International Harvester)
moldboard plow was worn out and has needed replacement. Caleb
the bidding and got a great deal on this nice five-bottom John Deere
plow. The bid price was a small fraction of other
replacement plows we had looked over last Fall.
and Quinoa Skillet Bread.
c whole wheat
flour (I used spelt in this
3/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp baking
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c cooked
quinoa, room temperature (quinoa is cooked just as you would oatmeal)
3 T unsalted butter, barely melted
3 T natural cane or brown sugar
3/4 tsp sea
2 c milk
1 1/2 T white or white wine vinegar
1 c heavy cream
the oven to 350F. Roughly ten minutes before you are
ready to bake the skillet bread, while you are mixing the batter, place
skillet in the hot oven.
a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking
powder, baking soda, and dried herbs.
a separate bowl, beat the eggs, quinoa, and melted butter
until well-blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and stir
add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the
comes together. It will be quite thin.
the batter into the heated skillet. Pour the heavy
cream into the center of the batter - do not stir. Carefully place in
check after 45 minutes. The skillet bread is done when the top becomes
browned and the center just set.
served warm from the oven.
Megan & Angie
Quinoa Skillet Bread.
by Angela Wotton
Beautiful Spuds and Respect for Elders.
I thought that you'd like to see the results from
your seed potatoes. These Caribe' and Prairie Blush were planted around
March 1st and will all be harvested by July 1st when the temperatures
turn to the high nineties and low 100s here in central New Mexico.
These come from one plant of each - probably the best crops that I've
ever had growing in the desert southwest in Albuquerque.
I am a transplanted New Englander who can't live
garden potatoes. It's been a learning process to grow them in the heat
of the southwest, but I pre-sprout them, plant them very early (always
ready to cover them on nights with frost), and give them my best
compost. The results are obvious. I still have some Caribe' and Red
in the ground but I suspect that they won't last more than 10 days more.
Great job with those beautiful
spuds! You clearly are a good gardener and a wise New Englander.
Respect for Elders
way done and that with a stubborn winter. You guys are tough. Congrats
goes relatively fast. Harvest means we are handling 10X the amount of
potatoes, all snug and comfy in their hills...with thoughts of coming
Winter ever present in our thought. Our old neighbor and potato farmer,
Doss Morse, was born October 6, 1899. One Fall way back he told us it
once snowed on his birthday and that snow never left til Spring. So out
of respecft for our elders - and common sense -we always want to be
done digging potatoes by Doss' birthday.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox