Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                   Wednesday July 03, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Enjoying the Good Life. Supporting Good Work.

         Deboullie Maine Public Reserve Land. Deboullie is otherwise known as the 36 square mile Township 15 Range 9 (see Map 63 of your Delorme Maine Atlas). Our son Caleb took this photo from the top of the old Fire Lookout atop Deboullie Mountain during the week last month when he and his friends went camping in the North Maine Woods. The view is looking east. If you look close you can see four pristine ponds surrounded by woods. From left to right: Little Black Pond, Black Pond, Deboullie Pond and Pushineer Pond.
          Now, with the 'Fourth' tomorrow, we have hay down, potatoes up, weeds clobbered, Summer heat coming and the local Houlton Agricultural Fair upon us. Fireworks tomorrow night. Before that, Justin in tomorrow afternoon's Truck Mud Run. Saturday afternoon, Caleb in the Demolition Derby.
          Hope you, too, have a great holiday.

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
New Study Exposes Failure of GE Crop Agriculture.

     Contrary to Biotech propaganda, a new study has AGAIN documented that genetically engineered crops actually INCREASE use of herbicides.   The new study confirms the work of University of Washington scientist Dr Charles Benbrook who conducted another study which earlier identified this trend.

     An article in corporate friendly Forbes discussing the new study observed:

 “One of the main arguments behind creating these engineered crops is that farmers then need to use less herbicide and pesticide.  This makes farms more eco-friendly, say proponents of genetically modified (GM) crops, and GM seeds also allow farmers to spend less on “inputs” (chemicals), thereby making a greater profit.

     But a new study released by Food & Water Watch yesterday finds the goal of reduced chemical use has not panned out as planned.  In fact, according to the USDA and EPA data used in the report, the quick adoption of genetically engineered crops by farmers has increased herbicide use over the past 9 years in the U.S.”

     Biotech’s inescapable dilemma is that as time goes by, the lies they have been inventing and circulating for 20 years - such as claims that GE crops decrease pesticide use and increase yields – are being exposed for the lies they are.


New Study Exposes Old Lies. GE crops actually require INCREASED amounts of herbicide.

Fire at Cayuga Pure Organics. They need our help.
Cayuga Pure Organics Hit With Devastating Fire.                                                      They Need Our Help NOW!

     One of the leading, authentic certified organic farms in New York State was hit with a disastrous fire at the end of May.  Sadly, the fire was started by a seven-year old playing with matches.  The fire destroyed Cayuga’s entire on-farm processing facility including the building itself and all the expensive grain and bean cleaning equipment inside. Insurance is only covering a small portion of the loss.

     In order for Cayuga Pure Organics to survive, they need our help and they need it now.  We have done good business with Cayuga and we can vouch for their honesty and integrity and the high quality of their certified organic farm and milling operation.  They are an important member of our Northeastern organic community.  Now it is time for our community to come together and support its own in their time of extreme need.

     Cayuga Pure Organics has launched a critical crowd-funded Indiegogo Project. The project goal is a mighty $238,350.  That amount is needed in order to purchase replacement cleaning and milling equipment and construct a new building. They have raised over $50,000 toward their goal with just three weeks remaining.  Cayuga has certified organic crops in the ground growing right now and NO ability to clean or process them for their customers unless we help.

     Meet the Cayuga Pure Organic farmers by viewing their excellent short video (2:07) on their Indiegogo project page.  Then please join us in making a generous donation on Indiegogo so that this wonderful farm and these solid folks can bounce back and keep providing good food for their community.  Find more details about Cayuga and the fire in this Modern Farmer article.

     Thanks for helping our friends.  Any donation – at any level, even $5 – is needed and appreciated.

Jim & Megan

Click Here to Help Cayuga Pure Organics.

 Quotes: Abraham Lincoln.

      “...no other human occupation opens so wide a field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture.

- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

President Lincoln's Observation Upon The Farmer's Life. Good thoughts to begin Independance Day.

Whole Wheat Croissants. Photo by Breadtopia.
Recipe: Whole Wheat Croissants
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp organic yeast
2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp sugar (can use less)
2 Cups milk (whole or 2%)
1lb butter (at 65ºF)
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1Tbsp milk) optional

Bring the milk to room temperature in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Whisk the dry ingredient into the milk and then knead for 5-7 minutes, or mix in stand mixer on medium for about 4 minutes. Proof in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough onto lightly floured surface, fold the dough, then refrigerate in an air tight (or almost air tight) container for about 2 hours.
Using parchment or waxed paper, create an 8 x 8 inch square slab out of the pound of butter. Place the wrapped butter slab in the fridge.

Take the butter out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you take out the dough so it has a chance to soften a little. You want the butter to be slightly pliable (about 65 degrees) at the time you take the dough out of the fridge.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 14 x 14 inch square. Place the butter in the center of the dough with the corners of the butter in the center of the straight edges of the dough (a square of dough with a diamond of butter in the middle).

One at a time, fold the corners of the dough towards the center of the butter, overlapping the dough folds as you go.
All the butter must be contained in the dough package.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle enough so it can be folded into three sections, letter style.

Wrap the dough package in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Repeat this rolling, folding and refrigerating process three more times for a total of four folds. (Only about 20 in the fridge is necessary between the 2nd and 4th folds.)
After the 4th fold and yet another period in the fridge, the dough is now ready to use, or it can be kept in the refrigerator overnight and used the next morning.
Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick all over.

Make the desired shapes and treats, let proof in a warm spot for about two hours or until somewhat risen and kinda puffy, (time depends on the proofing temperature). Lightly brush with egg wash before or after proofing (optional).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees before the dough has finished proofing. Bake for about 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown.


Recipe modified from Breadtopia
Special Offer: FREE Richard Horan Book 'Harvest'.

     We are now done with shipping our organic seed and kitchen potatoes until the new crop is ready in September.   However, we still have plenty of organic goods that we continue to ship throughout the Summer and into Fall, Winter and Spring. These offerings include Organic Cover Crop Seed, Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Fertilizer, Smart Bags for container growing, Great Garden Hoes for weeding, and Mesh Bags for harvest.  We also mill here on our farm a delicious line of our own fresh Wood Prairie Farm Organic Grain Products like Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Buckwheat Pancake Mix and Organic Bread Mixes and much much more.

     With Summer upon us, we bet you’ll want to spend some time reading in a shady hammock. If you’re after a fun, memorable and entertaining book about American family farms, you will want to read Richard Horan’s Harvest.  It is available from our Essential Books section of our Wood Prairie Farm web store. 

     Here's your chance to earn a FREE copy of  Richard Horan’s Harvest (Value $14.99) when your next order totals $40 or more. FREE  Richard Horan’s Harvest offer ends 11:59 PM on Monday, July 8, 2013, so better hurry!

     Please use Promo Code WPF1149. Your order and FREE  Richard Horan’s Harvest  must ship by 8/30/13. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Fresh Organic Baking Mixes Section.

Richard Horan's Harvest.
The hard-to-put-down book for hammock reading.

Our Mailbox: Growing Organic Corn, Confronting Oospoores and Miserable Failures.

Growing Organic Seed Corn.

Dear WPF.

     How difficult is it to save corn seed and would it be worth saving it instead of eating it, in the interest of getting some safe seed for the future?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Organic seed corn is one of the certified organic seed crops we raise and sell on our isolated Wood Prairie Farm in Northern Maine. First, one would want to be certain the sweet corn was open-pollinated (and not a hybrid) so that the next generation grown would grow back true. Second, genetic diversity is important for seed quality. In most cases that means collecting seed from at least 100-200 plants. For seed entering commercial organic seed channels each seed lot should be PCR tested for absence of GE content and that usually means 10,000 representative kernals which is about 6-7 lbs depending on kernal size. I don't mean to discourage you or make the process sound difficult. However, the above measures are what responsible commercial organic seed farmers are doing to insure their at-risk seed is high quality and free of transgenic contamination. These protocols are designed to meet/exceed the expectatoin of the customer. We understand that the customers buying our organic seed do NOT want GE content. We agree with and abide by the OSGATA policy that any amount of GE content in organic seed is unacceptable.


Confronting the Wild Oospore.

Dear WPF.

     I read where Europe is looking at 'Blight Resistant' GE potatoes. What's up?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Europe has a type of Potato Late Blight that is more virulent than what the USA has and they are panicking. In parts of Europe they have both A1 and A2 sexually distinct strains of Potato Late Blight. The two types are crossing with one another and the oospores (off-spring) are extremely hardy. A1 or A2 blight spores - on their own - can only survive on living potato tissue (plant tops or tubers). However, the crossed oospores can survive on their own without a potato host for at least four years in soil. When clean potato seed is planted in such oospore-infected soil, the potato plants can pick up the blight and it is very destructive. Europe has a big problem and that is why they are panicking.
     People don't think clearly in a panic. It may be that tenuous panicky foot in the door that has them looking at GE potatoes. Such narrow "vertical" breeding schemes are destined for failure. The blight will evolve and develop resistance. However, don't expect Biotech to mention that.


Miserable Failures.

Dear WPF.

     Failing herbicides would surely make farmers think before using GMO seed, wouldn't it? I mean - if it's going to cost them more in herbicides...even if they care nothing about health risks and such.

Houlton, Maine

WPF Replies.

     Sadly, one major problem is that farmers who have figured out some of the many downsides of GE agriculture have to a large extent lost their access to genetics free of transgenic technology. This is because monopolies like Monsanto now control these seed resources and if a farmer wants access to certain genetics they must get it on Monsanto's terms. That means seed stacked with expensive transgenic technology and draconian licensing agreements. When it comes to insuring seed freedom and promoting robust competitive business activity, the Anti-Trust Division of the US Dept of Justice has miserably failed society and farmers. They are a disgrace and should resign or be removed.
     Another study just released AGAIN shows INCREASED herbicide use with GE crops. This is yet another nail in the coffin of the fraud being perpetrated as GE crop agriculture.


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