August 02, 2013
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Dug Prairie Blush Potatoes.
are destined for a delicious simple supper tonight when they will be
steamed and joined by a good potato’s three best friends: butter, salt
and pepper. If you have never tasted new potatoes fresh out of your
garden, promise yourself to change that as soon as you
If you lack a patch to grow potatoes in, our fiber-material container Smart
may be just what you need to grow your own on a back
Our wet spring - and the planting delay that it
means that most of our crop is two weeks behind ‘normal.’ The rains
have returned and with the hot days of July and now August, our potato
crop is growing fast and looks excellent.
We hope the weather where you are has
allowed you to grow and enjoy bountiful crops.
A lot of folks are ordering organic cover
from us this time of year and if you need some just
let us know.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
farmer Jim Gerritsen says that “Monsanto and the biotechs need to
respect traditional property rights and need to keep their pollution on
their side of the fence.”
| Village Voice: The
You will want
to read this significant recent expose’ on Monsanto by Village Voice
researcher Chris Parker entitled “The
well-written and provides insight into Monsanto’s effort to define how
should be “regulated.”
excerpts from Parker’s article.
"’They're a pesticide
company that's bought up seed
firms,’ says Bill Freese, a scientist at the Center for Food Safety, a
public-interest and environmental-advocacy group. ‘Business-wise, it's
beautiful, really smart strategy. It's just awful for agriculture and
“Corporations wanted more control, and they got it
with a dramatic, landmark
Supreme Court decision in 1980, which allowed
the patenting of living organisms. The decision was intended to
research and innovation. But it had the opposite effect, encouraging
would soon go on
its buying spree, gobbling up every rival seed company in sight...
“In one case, Monsanto accused Indiana
farmer David Runyon of illegally using its soybean seeds.
Runyon claims the company threatened to sue for patent infringement,
documentation proving that he'd bought non-patented seed from local
universities for years. Monsanto's lawyer claimed the company had an
with the Indiana Department of Agriculture to search his land. One problem: Indiana
didn't have a Department of Agriculture at the time...
“’Known as 'substantial equivalence,' it declared
modified products are essentially the same as their non-GM
therefore require no additional labeling or testing for food safety or
toxicity. Never mind that no accepted science backed his theory. ‘It's simply a political
by Michael Taylor and Monsanto and adopted by U.S.
federal policy-makers to resist labeling,’ says Jim Gerritsen, a farmer in Maine.
‘You have this collusion between corporations and the government, and
essence is that the people's interest isn't being served.’”
Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crops Section.
| MOFGA Hires Ted
Quaday as New Leader.
The Maine Organic
Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has filled the position of
Director with the hiring of Ted
A longtime leader in
sustainable agriculture, Ted’s career includes long stints at Farm Aid
and Organic Farm Research Foundation (OFRF) in California. Ted will be in attendance
in September at the
Common Ground Country
Fair in Unity.
Soon after that he
will begin his directing responsibilities. Here is Ted’s Facebook wall
if you would like to send a welcome to
has been called the most important
agricultural organization in the State of Maine. MOFGA
was recently successful in its campaign to pass a Right to Know GMO
bill for Maine. The GMO label bill was
passed with near unanimous
support by both Houses of the Maine Legislature.
Maine Governor Paul LePage has issued a
written promise to the Legislature that he will sign LD 718 into law
Legislature reconvenes in January 2014.
leader and national visionary, Russell Libby resigned from his position
MOFGA’s Executive Director last October.
Russell became MOFGA’s Senior Policy Advisor
and continued in that
capacity until his untimely death in December.
Find Russell Libby’s obituary
in the New York Times here, and his keynote speech at the 2012 MOFGA Farmer to
Farmer Conference here.
Click Here to Support
by Becoming a Member Today.
Welcome to the State of Maine.
Andersen. Maine. November See you there..
Now OPEN and Minor Date Change for Dr. Arden Anderson Soil School.
As reported in our last Seed Piece,
noted soil agronomist and medical doctor Arden Andersen will
be presenting a MUST
SEE Soils Course in Bangor, Maine this Fall. An
unavoidable scheduling conflict has resulted in a shift of course dates
to Thursday, Friday,
Saturday Nov 14-16.
Days 1 & 2 will focus on Soils content. Day 3 will
the role agriculture plays in human and planetary health and will
appeal to everyone. One
may sign up for all three days - OR – for the third day alone
- not just farmers and gardeners. Discounts are
available if registered on or before Sept 30. Registrations are now open
and the event is sure to sell out so don’t delay. Find full course details
including course content and Registration here.
Click here for
the Essential Books Section of our Wood Prairie Farm website.
"Any politician who tells you these products (GMOs) are safe is either
very stupid or lying. The hazards of these foods are uncertain. In view
of our enormous ignorance, the premature application of biotechnology
is downright dangerous."
David Suzuki, Ph.D.
David Suzuki. He has done his homework on GMOs.
Mashed Potato Variation. Photo by Angela
Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
lbs potatoes, such as Carola, peeled and cut into large chunks
T extra virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, minced
bunch kale, large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
c + milk or cream
ground black pepper
scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped (optional)
the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
2 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic,
chopped kale, a big pinch of salt and saute just until tender, about a
minute. Set aside.
the potatoes with a masher or fork. Slowly stir in the milk a few big
splashes at a time. You are after a thick, creamy texture. Season with
salt and pepper. Dump the kale on top of the potatoes and give a quick
stir (stirring in the kale too much can lend a green cast to your
potatoes). Make a well in the center of the potatoes and pour the
remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with scallions if using.
| Special Offer: FREE Cobrahead
We were happy when the New
York Times highlighted our Cobrahead
Hand Weeder in a recent article on well-designed
gardening tools. We use both the short and long
handle versions of the Cobrahead
here on Wood Prairie Farm and they are both excellent tools. Cobraheads
are 'heirloom' tools that are so rugged you will be able to hand down
to your children. Friends of ours in Wisconsin - Noel Valdes and his
family business - make the Cobraheads for us. Noel and Jim serve
together on the Board of Directors of the national Direct Gardening
Association based in Georgia. Noel and family are ecologically-minded
and run a wonderful small business we are happy to support.
Here's your chance to earn a FREE
Hand Weeder (Value $24.95) when your next order totals $65
or more. FREE
Hand Weeder offer ends 11:59 PM on Monday, August 5, 2013,
so better hurry!
Please use Promo Code WPF1151. Your order and FREE
Cobrahead Hand Weeder must ship by 8/31/13. Offer may not be combined
with other offers. Please call or click today!
Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Garden Tool Section.
Short handle version.
Our Mailbox: Great
Basin, Shameful Corporations & Stopping CPB.
Growing in Nevada's
I live in the Great Basin of Nevada where our
highly alkaline, rocky silt / clay. There is virtually no organic
matter except for a few native grasses and a preponderance of drought
resistent noxious weeds which are not even fit for wildlife consumption.
Last year I planted a large plot of buckwheat,
so fast that I was able to dig it under and plant yellow and alsike
clover (from your farm) in its place. The buckwheat really improved the
texture of our soil and choked out most of the weeds. This spring and
summer the clover has come on strong keeping most of the weeds at bay
and attracting bumble bees and butterflies. Deer keep the alsike clover
"mowed", but never touch the yellow clover. Thank you for a great
Thanks for your letter. We're always happy to hear
our organic seed performs well and you put it to the test.
Thanks for posting Caitlin Shetterly's article "The
Bad Seed." I
try to buy organics as much as possible and buy products already
voluntarily labeled as non GMOs. I sign every petition that comes my
way. I am growing my own vegetables from heirloom seeds. Still, I
worry...is it too late to save our country from GMOs or have they
become so ingrained in our ecosystem that we will never get rid of
them? It is shameful what giant corporations hand in hand with our
government agencies like the FDA has done to our people, with no sense
of right and wrong, responsibility, or ethical standards of any kind.
It is sickening that profit became more important that the health of
our children and the future of our planet.
Biotech crops are grown on a massive scale - tens
millions of acres - but virtually all of that acreage is limited to
just six industrial crops: corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and
alfalfa. That means the biological spectrum for contamination is
relatively narrow at this point. However many more GE crops are now
awaiting government approval. So now is the time to fight GE crops. In
the meantime we need to protect our families. Our view is the primary
point of entry for GE food into the human diet is processed food. So be
very wary what processed food you eat and do buy organic. Even better,
buy organic staples - which are a bargain compared to processed food -
and cook from scratch. Wheat, oats, rice and sunflowers (oil) are not
GE and can form the basis of an excellent diet to supplement the good
things - including potatoes, squash and root vegetables - you grow in
your garden. Diets in northern climates - where winters are long and
growing season short - usually rely on concentrated animal protein. So
going one step further, a mlk cow - like the Irish Dexters we own -
provide milk from clover forage and the mlk can be made into yogurt,
cheese and butter. Waste milk and cull veggies can be fed to pigs -
like the Guinea Hogs we raise - which helps diversify one's source of
animal protein. One can choose whatever level of involvement one wants
with their family's food. But run - don't walk - away from what Big
Food has in store for you.
Hi Jim, Good day to you! I am needing advice. I
issue now with the Colorado Potato Beetles in my organic potato
patch...raised bed...and wondered if you could give me advice on how to
part with these invasive pests. It stinks. Organic gardening is no
joke. LOL! Hard...HARD work. I want to keep it all organic though.
The best way to control CPB is to crush the orange
masses with your thumb and forefinger and pick the adults and larvae
into a disposal container 2x-3x per week. This is practical on a scale
of up to 400 row feet. The technique works in direct correlation to the
fidelity of one's efforts. An alternative is the biological control
named 'Entrust' by Dow. https://www.dowagro.com/usag/prod/082.htm.
A similar product for gardeners we've seen here in Maine is "Captain
Jack's Dead Bug Brew" (about $20 for a 16oz container). Jim.
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm