Wood Prairie Farm                                     In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                        FDN! Urges Organic Community to Pitch In And Help WPF.
      Organic News and Commentary
                                        Jane Swan Explains Why She Supports Wood Prairie Farm.
           Thursday August 02, 2012                                               Aroostook County Celebrates MOFGA's 40th Anniversary.
                                                                                                                     FREE Cover Crop Manual.
                                                                                                                     Recipe: Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread.
                                                                                                                     Special Offer: FREE  Organic Winter Triticale Cover Crop Seed.
                                                                                                                     Mailbox: Family Scale, Emergence and Brazil & Bowman.
 Community Supporting Community

Caleb Unloading Our Repair Shop Building. This week we took delivery of our 13,400 pound metal bolt-together Farm Equipment Repair Shop building supported by our crowdfunded Indiegogo Campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/help-woodprairie-build-repair-shop?a=708201). Before long we'll assemble the Repair Shop atop a concrete slab foundation. Here you can watch a short YouTube video (2:54) of our son, Caleb unloading the pallets of metal panels from the tractor trailer. Thanks to a short term bridge loan by Slow Money Maine we were able to remedy a sticky truck scheduling dilemma that threatened to delay delivery until Fall after our construction window closes. We're down to the last two days of our Indiegogo campaign and if you can help us with a contribution - large or small - we would be very grateful. Thank you!

Jim and Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine

Click here for our Indiegogo Farm Repair Shop Campaign Homepage.

Organic v. Monsanto T-Shirts. Going fast! Limited to the first 100 supporters! Please Act Now!
Food Democracy Now! Calls for Urgent Support of Wood Prairie Farm: 'Farmers v. Monsanto' T-Shirt Offered as NEW PERK for $100 Contribution.

     BREAKING NEWS! In the final hours of our Wood Prairie Farm Equipment Repair Shop Indiegogo campaign our allies at Food Democracy Now! in Iowa have launched an urgent major social media campaign on Facebook & Twitter on behalf of Wood Prairie Farm's crowdfunded project. FDN!'s effort is to help us raise the funds needed for building materials for our year-round on-farm Repair Shop. This building will allow our sons, Peter & Caleb, to have safe year-round workplace to maintain and repair the vintage farm equipment we use in growing certified organic seed for the organic community.

     Food Democracy Now! will supply brand new Limited Edition 'Farmers v. Monsanto' T-Shirts to the first 100 supporters able to make a $100 contribution to our Indiegogo project. Please help FDN!'s effort succeed and ACT NOW!! Keep current on the FDN! social media blitz on the FDN! Facebook wall.

     We're grateful for the tremendous outpouring of community support we have recieved so far in our Indiegogo campaign. We genuinely appreciate FDN! alerting their networks to our immediate need.

     Our campaign is almost out of time and comes to an end tomorrow night, Friday August 3 at midnight. We need your help today!

     Your contribution - of whatever size - is valued and appreciated. Thanks for helping our boys.

Jim & Megan

Please Click Here for Our Indiegogo Campaign Home Page

Jane Swan Explains Why She Supports
                                                                Wood Prairie Farm
     Portland, Maine's Jane Swan, longtime customer and enthusiast, explains her support of Wood Prairie Farm in a short YouTube Video (4:08) and our Indiegogo Farm Equipment Repair Shop campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/help-woodprairie-build-repair-shop?a=708201). Learn how Jane, a lifelong Mainer, applies her New England values of frugality and permanence to our farm and how those values intersect with our need for an on-farm Repair Shop. Fact is, farm tractors and equipment used to be made rugged and strong and designed so that farmers could repair them on the farm. Our respect for the standards of that era helps to explain why the 'newest' tractor among our fleet of seven Oliver tractors is 45 years old.

Jim.& Megan

Mainer Jane Swan.
Why She Supports Our Indiegogo Project.

MOFGA Potluck 'This Way.' Sign created by 9-year-old Amy Gerritsen, Wood Prairie Farm's chief party planner.
Aroostook County Celebrates
                                         MOFGA's 40th Anniversary.

     The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (mofga.org), with over 6000 members, the largest statewide organic organization, is continuing the celebration of its 40th Anniversary with a series of celebratory potlucks in each of Maine's sixteen counties. Last week, three MOFGA staff workers from Unity, joined thirty-five Aroostook County MOFGA members ranging from the Allagash in the north to Wytopitlock in the south for a pond swim and potluck supper hosted by Wood Prairie Farm. Everyone enjoyed good food, good conversations and reminiscences about our connections to MOFGA. Note in the event photographs below, the multigenerational makeup of the MOFGA organic community - pretty rare these days outside of family reunions.

Jim & Megan

Click here for the MOFGA Book. Fertile Ground: Celebrating 40 Years of MOFGA.

Downloadable Comprehensive
Cover Crop Manual

     If you haven't yet done so, you will want to print off your free copy of this excellent and thorough full-color Cover Crops Manual. The work was produced with your tax dollars by staff at the USDA - Ag Research Service (ARS) Lab in Mandan ND. Every farmer's or gardener's library should contain a copy. You'll want to keep it within easy reach because you will refer to it often. The listings are competently organized into grasses, legumes and broadleafs. Additional bulleted information includes good descriiptions of such characteristics as protein content, cool season or warm season and relative water needs for growth. Highly recommended.


Buckwheat Cover Crop. This year's Buckwheat plowdown crop on Wood Prairie Farm located next to the last row of this year's organic seed potato crop.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Photo by Angela Wotton.
Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/4 c whole milk yogurt
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan or other shaped pan

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spoon until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Err on the side of under-baking versus over for a moist cake.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn loaf out of the pan to cool completely.


Special Offer: FREE Organic Winter Triticale
                                                                    Cover Crop Seed

      Organic Winter Triticale is an excellent fast-growing cover crop that can be sowed anytime throughout the growing year. Winter Triticale is an outstanding, often neglected, hardy wheat-rye cross that not only serves as an outstanding cover crop, but it can be grown as a highly palatable annual grazing crop for livestock or a harvestable grain crop (sow in the Fall for grain harvest next Summer). Everyone should give Organic Winter Triticale a try. When a corner of your garden is harvested and not needed for further cropping, quickly broadcast/sow at a rate of 7 lbs/1000 square feet and achieve quick protection of your garden's soil plus build the organic matter content.

     Now here's your chance to earn a FREE 5 lbs. sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Winter Triticale Cover Crop Seed ($12.95 value) with your next purchase of $55 or more.
FREE Organic Winter Triticale Cover Crop Seed offer ends Monday, August 6.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 1125. Your order and
FREE Wood Prairie Farm Organic Winter Triticale Cover Crop Seed must ship by 8/31/12. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop Seed Section.

         Organic Winter Triticale. Excellent under-utilized cover crop that deserves
place in your garden.
Our Mailbox: Family Scale, Emergence and Brazil & Bowman.

Family Scale Leads The Way.

Dear WPF.
     Hi Jim! I came across this in Alternet: "The Ugly Truth Behind Organic Food". It doesn't sound the least bit truthful to me, in fact it smells like Monsanto propoganda...but I admit I'm not that knowledgeable on the issue. What do you think?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     First some historical perspective. The Alternet article is from 1999 and the author focuses on California. The National Organic Program, aka 'the organic labeling standards', was created by the Organic Foods Production Act which was attached to the 1990 Farm Bill passed 22 years ago. At that time, the urgent need was to create a minimum national definition of organic production practices to ferret out fraud and level the playing field for honest organic farmers. If one thinks back 22 years ago, the concept of 'Fair Trade' standards was in its infancy. Those of us who were involved in organic farming were virtually all family-scale and we were here because we believed in the superiority of organic in terms of its regenerative effects upon the soil and its exceptional quality of food. We were creating the organic market because back then, largely, the organic market did not exist. Then as now, good family organic farmers were just scraping by because of a hostile cheap-food get-big-or-get-out economic atmostphere. Since that era of 20 years ago there has been entry into organics by corporations with 'organic divisions' (finally, corporate honesty) and those motivated by visions of wealth. I believe the fact is that these new entrants - non-family-scale and non-local - are the primary source of the author's concern. Plus, California is a generation further along then the rest of the country in terms of ag consolidation and scale of production. In other words, compared to a state like Maine where virtually all the organic farms are still small and family scale, California has a scale of Ag where headaches are common and there is a need for new solutions. I agree with Liz Henderson when she says 'unionization on large farms is totally appropriate.' Family organic farms, however, are different. We are members of our community. We hire our neighbors. We would no more mistreat our neighbors than we would mistreat the members of our own family. I feel the author confuses the issue of 'organic' with the issue of 'scale.' Family-scale local organic agriculture represents the solution. Big Ag and Big Food are the problems. Now that the mainstream corporate forces have invaded organic ag, in our zeal to restrain their excesses, let's not inadvertantly suffocate the family scale businesses leading the way with good food and good farming for the people.


Days To Emergence.

Dear WPF.

     I am pleased to let you know that evidently I didn't wait long enough. The potatoes have sprouted and can now be seen above the ground level. I guess I was just a little impatient!! There are a few spaces in the rows but that is to be expected with any planting. Thank you for your follow up and if we like these potatoes, we'll be back next year!

Elizabeth Town IN

WPF Replies.

     Glad to hear things are going well. We tell folks to expect 3-4 week for potato emergence, though sometimes they will come in 2 weeks. Out West, those big operations in the Columbia Basin plant cold potatoes in cold soil in February and it has sometimes taken 8-10 weeks for emergence. We can grow and harvest a crop of Caribe' in that time!


Brazil & Bowman.

Dear WPF.

     Is this story for real? "Seeds of Doubt: Brazilian Farmers Sue Monsanto". And do you think this is going to help or hurt your work?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Yes, this news item is real. It has some parallels to 'Bowman v. Monsanto' here in the US. Ultimately, the immoral patenting-of-life-forms-decision by  the U.S.  Supreme Court thirty years ago - the foundation of many significant problems which beset society today - needs to be overturned. Such challenges of patent parameters by biotech customers - such as the article cites in Brazil - may be part of the process of overturning that bad Supreme Court decision. In 'Organic Seed Growers And Trade Assocication (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto' we are NOT customers of Monsanto and we want nothing to do with them or their transgenic/GMO technology. Therefore, our argument is that we would not be infringing upon their patents should they trespass upon our farms and contaminate our crops and leave us with unwanted 'possession' of their technology. This is why we are seeking Court protection under the Declaratory Judgement Act. The US Patent Office is dysfunctional and has become the lapdog of corporations. Invalid patents are being issued and putting the people and small businesses at risk. Righteous legal challenges such as 'OSGATA et al v. Monsanto' will provide justice to plaintiffs and the people, and amount to a restorative force for getting the US Patent Office to fly right and on behalf of the American people. Monsanto fears shining the light on their practices and that's why they are doing everything possible to prevent the family farmers from having our day in court and challenging their GMO seed patents. Here's an article on Bowman v. Monsanto case.


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