Issue of The Seed Piece:
FDN! Urges Organic Community to Pitch In And Help WPF.
Jane Swan Explains Why She Supports Wood Prairie Farm.
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
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.
Jim and Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
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!
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
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.
FREE 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
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 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.
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.
Offer: FREE Organic Winter Triticale
Cover Crop Seed
Organic Winter Triticale. Excellent under-utilized cover crop that deserves
a place in your garden.
|Our Mailbox: Family Scale, Emergence and Brazil & Bowman.
Family Scale Leads The Way.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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?
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
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm