Wood Prairie Farm Organic Crops
Growing Well. Those are orange Day Lilies in the
foreground. Our 20' x 132' year-round "High Tunnel" at left is full of
tomatoes, peppers, greens, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
Next door is an Organic Buttercup Winter Squash
seed crop. Next to that are yellow and Rossa di Milano red onions.
Before the Organic Dorinny Sweet Cornseed crop are some varietal test plots. Barely
visible, beyond the rows of Dorinny, are five intensive beds of
seventeen varieties of tissue-cultured first-generation certified seed
potatoes grown from disease-free minitubers. The seed potatoes from
that harvest will be used as our foundation stock for next year's
commercial crop of our organic Certified Seed potatoes.
look closely, you can see a sprinkler gun doing its irrigation job at
the far end of the field. We have been setting up and irrigating for
the past couple of weeks because the Summer has turned hot and dry in
Northern Maine. Historically, our efforts at irrigation tend to bring a
return of the rains, and that's been the case this week. Nature's rain
benefits everyone, especially our neighbors most of whom are not set up
to irrigate. Time will tell if we swing back to wet now, or in the Fall
after a dry August. If it continues dry, our ponds are full and we're
ready to work to keep our crops from getting thirsty. Hope your crops
are doing well and you have enough moisture..
Maine's GMO Label Law Shepherds. From left to right,
MOFGA's Sam May, Preti Flaherty's Severin Beliveau and Wood Prairie
Farm's Jim Gerritsen.
Andersen. Bangor Soil School. Nov 2013. Don't
WARNING TO ALL!! DO
NOT MISS Dr. Arden Andersen's 3-Day Soils Class in Bangor this November! Eminent
agronomist Dr Arden Andersen will be returning to Maine to give a
three-day in-depth soils course on Nov 13, 14, 15. Believe
me, you should mark your
calendars and make every effort to attend. You
won’t be disappointed. Your understanding of soils and
farming systems will be immeasurably increased.
After years of effort, Heart of Maine RC &
D has succeeded in once again securing Dr Andersen to teach this
remarkable course. Heart of Maine brought Arden here for
another 3-day Soils School back around 2005. I was one of the fortunate
one hundred farmers to attend that session. I say 'fortunate' because
in thirty-five years of going to ag lectures and conferences, Arden is far and away the best
presenter I have ever had the privilege to hear.
His breadth of knowledge - of soils and systems from a
good-nutrition-is-good health-perspective is second to none. He is also
blessed to be an exceptional, highly skilled teacher.
In addition to being an
agronomist, Dr Andersen is also a Flight Surgeon. For many years he has
been deployed by the US military in helping keep gravely wounded
soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan alive en route to the American
military hospital in Germany. His schedule is always incredibly full
and booked up years in advance.
One of the serious holes in developing
the viability of the good food movement is the lack among many farmers
of a clear and correct understanding of soils systems. This knowledge
is crucial to the success of every farmer and gardener.
Dr. Anderson is the best way
for farmers and serious gardeners to gain a clear foundation of soils
and biology in a compact three-day window. The cost (noontime
meals included) for the three day course will be around $200 which is the bargain of the century.
Registrations will open soon. Arden’s course is sure to sell out so
don’t delay registering. Find
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what
it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not
Henry David Thoreau
Preheat oven to
425F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl,
whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.
Add the butter
to flour mixture and cut with pastry blender until the butter is the
size of small peas. Toss in the raspberries, and use the pastry blender
again to break them in half.
With a flexible
spatula, add the ricotta and heavy cream to the butter mixture and stir
them to form a dough. Add more cream, 1 T at a time, if needed. Use
your hands to knead the dough gently into an even mass in the bowl.
Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and pat into a circular disk
about 1-inch high. With a large knife, slice into six equal wedges.
Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15
minutes, until golden at the edges. Cool on the pan for a couple of
minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Special Offer: FREE Organic
Hull-less Oat Cover Crop
Oats are an excellent,
fast growing cover crop that can be planted anytime during the growing
Spring, Summer or Fall in the North, and Winter wherever temperatures
moderate. It is a reliable staple of our soil-saving cover cropping.Everyone should keep a
sack of Hull-less
Oats on hand for seeding down a random corner of the garden as soon as
harvest is complete
our potato harvest we will spin oats
onto the field as it is being chisel plowed.The oats will grow until steady temperatures
in the low 20s or teens –
typically in November in Northern Maine
– kill it,
leaving behind a nice golden mat which covers and protects the soil
mat can be quickly
incorporated in the Spring by simply discing or rototilling.
Here's your chance to earn a FREE2
½ lbs. sack of ourOrganic Hull-less
Oat Seed (Value $9.95) when your next order totals $45 or
more. FREEOrganic Hull-less
Oat Seed offer ends on Monday, July 22, 2013, so better
Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop
Seed. Versatile and Reliable.
Mulching Potatoes, Answer for Untalented Farmers & How Not to
Feed the World.
Mulching Potatoes. Dear WPF.
What is the best method for hilling potatoes?
I have them in raised beds and wondered what would be best. Thank
Grand Ledge, MI WPF Replies.
to potato farmers everywhere we grow our potatoes in rows three feet
apart. That gives us plenty of soil to hill up under the potato plants.
Raised beds - typically intensively planted - rarely allow effective
hilling with soil. Straw would be an excellent choice. It will not only
protect the developing tubers from light, but straw mulch will conserve
moisture, and as it decomposes it will noticeably improve the tilth of
Alfalfa grows well but on many fields you only
really get 4 years of harvest then it starts dying out and that becomes
economically unviable given the cost of seed and the year lost to non
production. Monsanto et al. can add selected genes to the alfalfa to
tailor the crop for disease and insect resistance and optimal growth
for the area it's planted in. Also profits. They control the seed
source for these.
We don't grow alfalfa but my
understanding is that - despite Monsanto's imaginary marketing - there
is simply one GE trait involved in GE alfalfa. That single trait is the
Roundup Resistance trait which allows the GE alfalfa sprayed with the
dangerous broad spectrum chelator herbicide "Roundup." I'm told that
prior to the release of RR alfalfa only about 10% of alfalfa acreage
was sprayed with herbicide. More than one alfalfa farmer has told me
it's only the untalented farmers that see the need to spray alfalfa.
On our farm we grow clover. Our clover
lasts two years which is perfect for our rotation. That alfalfa often
runs out after 4 years is simply its characteristic nature. For farmers
who rotate crops, four years seems like a good run for a great crop.
The topic you bring up is itself huge but let me
offer some observations. Macro economics would indicate that whatever
is taxed contracts and whatever is subsidized grows. The researchers
have proven that US subsidy of "cheap sugars and oils" has in fact led
to significantly increased production of the commodity crops which are
then processed by Big Food into 'food-like' substances, the consumption
of which makes us obese and unhealthy. As public policy this is insane
because obese and unhealthy people are VERY expensive for society to
take care of. The Feds have paid out $275 Billion dollars in farm
subsidy to US farmers since 1995. Of those dollars, 80% went to the
largest 10% of (corporate) farms. As family farmers who recieve about
2% of our income from government subsidy, we can tell you it is tough
to compete with those large heavily subsidized operations. On the world
scene, self-serving entities like Monsanto would have us believe that
their GE technology is needed to feed the world's population. This is
patently false on several counts including the fact that their GE crops
do NOT yield higher than traditional crops. This article by Tom
Philpott in Mother Jones, "How
Not to 'Feed the World," offers valueable background on these
false Monsanto assertions.
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen Wood
Prairie Farm 49
Kinney Road Bridgewater,
Maine 04735 (800)829-9765
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm www.woodprairie.com