Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                Wednesday August 14, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Cool Nights. FREE Shipping. Gearing Up For Harvest.

      Muddy Fields & Making the Best of Too Much Rain.  After a month of dry beginning in mid-June, we’ve turned back to wet again and with a vengeance.  We had virtually no rain the first half of July.  Yet because of heavy rains since July 16, this past July has become the second wettest July on record with over 7”. The wet pattern has continued into August.  Last week we gained another 5” of rain.  As a result the river levels are now remarkably high for August.

    We took advantage of the high water this past Sunday by taking to the water with seven kayaks and one canoe.  First we went down the Prestile Stream from the dam in Robinsons to just shy of where it joins the Whitney Brook at the Canadian border.  Next we went over and put into the North Branch of the Meduxnekeag River at the bridge in Harvey Siding and paddled in swift current to just before where the river flows under the US Route 1 bridge in Monticello. We had a few spills but nobody was injured. It was fast and fun!

    Our crops look good but we’d really like some dry weather and sunshine.  Potatoes are sizing up very nicely and look good.  

    We have now again begun taking orders for our organic Certified Seed Potatoes and our organic Kitchen Potatoes. We are able to ship to you as soon as they potatoes are dug in September and October.  If you want to order now and have us store your potatoes here until you need them, just let us know. We have a Special Offer for FREE Shipping on all our goods if you order right now. This can amount to VERY SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS for you, but you must act quickly because the offer won’t last long.  Please order online or call us and let us know how we can help you.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
(800) 829-9765

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Farmer Justice. A partial victory gives farmers partial protection. Jim, at left, and Wood Prairie co-worker, Justin. Click to see Facebook post.
Wood Prairie GE Letter Goes Viral.

     A letter written by Jim Gerritsen and sent in lieu of an appearance at last weekend’s Justice Begins with Seeds Conference in Seattle went viral this week.  Over 10,000 Face Book users shared the content with their networks of Face Book friends via a Timeline Photo crafted by the citizen’s group,  GMO Free USA. The letter was accompanied by Mathieu Asselins excellent recent Vimeo video (5:14) interview.

   The letter, posted on the Good Food Web begins, “The demands of our farming in Maine prevent me from being with you today. We do join you in the belief that justice is necessary for lasting change, most especially as it relates to seed.  We make our living growing organic seed. We have been farming organically on our Wood Prairie Farm in Maine for 37 years. We live and follow the belief that everyone in the organic community has an obligation to help grow and protect our community.”

     The letter then delves into two important developments in the battle against GE crops and the Biotech industry which Jim has been involved with.

     The letter described the important partial victory which has been secured for American farmers in the landmark organic community lawsuit, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.  In a ruling on Plaintiff’s Appeal of Dismissal, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, ordered defendant Monsanto to NOT sue farmers for patent infringement who through no fault of their own become contaminated by trace amounts of Monsanto’s patented seed technology.  However positive this Court-ordered protection is, Plaintiffs are not satisfied that the ruling went far enough. The farmers have until September to decide whether they will ask the US Supreme Court to review the case.

     The letter then went onto describing the developing momentum for Right-to-Know GMO Labeling with stunning recent victories in Connecticut and Maine.  The next pitched battle ground State is Washington and their citizen’s referendum on GMO labeling. Washington voters will decide this November whether they favor the I-522 initiative which calls for mandatory GMO labeling in Washington.

Our friends in Washington need our help.

Jim & Megan

Click here for background on the OSGATA et al v Monsanto lawsuit here.

Maine Writer Causes A National Stir in the Battle Over GE Food.

Writer Caitlin Shetterly is a Mainer and very careful in her work.  When her excellent article, "The Bad Seed: The Health Effects of Genetically Modified Corn,” appeared recently in the magazine Elle, it was a fair guess that controversy might soon follow.  Biotech uses patent laws to restrict the research conducted on their genetically-engineered (GE) crops.  They are loathe to have the healthfulness of their gene-spliced food questioned by anyone. Apparently, most especially a woman in women’s magazine.

   Controversy did swiftly follow publication of “The Bad Seed.” It came this week in the form of an aggressive character assassination piece, “No You Shouldn’t Fear GMO Corn” written by Jon Entine, and aimed squarely at Shetterly and Elle in Slate magazine,.

   Courageously, Elle has examined all the facts and stands firmly by its story and Ms. Shetterly.  And now Elle is fighting back.  Elle reveals much in its new article, “Let’s Discuss (again): The GMO Food Debate, including "Since we’re setting the record straight, Entine also runs a consulting business called ESG MediaMetrics...In other words, he’s a hired gun who, it happens, counts Monsanto—one of the biggest producers of GMO seeds in the world—as a 'select client.'"

    Mr Entine, it turns out, eighteen months ago was the subject of an expose’ by Mother Jones’ good food reporter Tom Philpott. Did Mr. Entine think no one would put two and two together?

    Biotech may have believed they could intimidate Elle and Shetterly and steamroll the discussion of the GE safety into oblivion as they have so often done in the past.  In fact, what they have done is to haplessly draw increased national attention to the grave issue of uncertainty over the safety of GE food.  And they have directed their inept behavior towards a new and huge audience of mothers and women who are likely not sympathetic to sexist condescension. 

   Please make mental note of these developments because we are now witnessing a sea change in America’s attitude about GE food.

Jim & Megan

We do not buy or sell Monsanto Seed.  Click here for our Organic Vegetable Seed.

Caitlin Shetterly. Brave and with an important story to share.


Moo Milk. Your best way to really help family-scale organic dairy farmers.
Maine's MOO Milk Newly Stabilized and Mooving Forward

An excellent article by our Slow Money Maine friend, Eleanor Kinney, reports great progress being made by the pioneering farmer-owned organic milk company.

   MOO Milk is a company primarily made up of our organic dairy farm neighbors in northern and eastern Maine.  It has been a struggle from the outset but things have vastly improved with significant recent developments.

   Writes Eleanor, “This past winter, a member of the Slow Money Maine network introduced MOOMilk to Norman Cloutier, founder and former CEO and chairman of United Natural Foods. Cloutier took a keen interest in MOO and became the primary investor in a $3.9 million equity round that recently closed. Cloutier brings both capital and experience to the table. He, along with representatives of the two other major investors, joined three farmers and MOOMilk CEO Bill Eldridge on a newly reorganized board of directors. With several years of working capital in hand and the funds to market itself, MOO can now operate from a stable platform. It is redesigning its carton, diversifying its milk products and looking to enter new markets, particularly in southern New England.”

   MOO Milk’s early challenges were skillfully and beautifully captured in a powerful film by Mainer filmmaker Cecily Pingree entitled Betting the Farm.  Betting the Farm is available on Amazon and iTunes.  You can watch the moving Betting the Farm film trailer here.

   MOO Milk is high quality and widely available throughout Maine.  MOO Milk will undergo further expansion to grocery store refrigerators in Massachusetts and beyond. Like them on Face Book here. You can help the MOO Milk farmers by asking your grocer to carry their milk and then getting your friends and neighbors to become loyal customers.  This is a wonderful family farmer saga which you can have a hand in helping succeed.

Our friends at MOO Milk thank you.

Jim & Megan

Click here for our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed Here.

Notable Quotes: Justice Brandeis On Democracy.

      "You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few or you can have democracy in this country, but you can not have both."

- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Justice Louis Brandeis. Telling it like it is.

Fresh New Potatoes With Mint.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Recipe: New Potatoes With Mint

2 pounds small new potatoes, fresh out of the ground
Wash and put in a medium saucepan with lid
Cover with water, add a tsp sea salt and boil until tender (about 20 minutes).

Drain off the boiling water and toss the potatoes with plenty of butter, salt to taste and plenty of fresh black pepper. One friend adds chopped mint: "my British husband's favorite herb for boiled new potatoes...gorgeous! Yum!"

Do try this recipe!

Special Offer: FREE Shipping! On All Orders!
Hurry! Limited Time!

Who doesn’t love a great deal?   How about FREE Shipping on your next order? Here’s how!

You can have your order shipped whenever you want it:

 * Ship now (if the goods are in stock and ready-to-go)

 - or –

* Ship as soon as your items are harvested (as in the case of our Organic Seed or Kitchen Potatoes in September and October)

 – or –

* Ship later in the Fall or next Spring (as in the case of Winter or Spring planted Organic Seed Potatoes) directly out of our state-of-the-art underground storage facility.

   Please use Promo Code WPF1152.  Special FREE Shipping! Offer order will be processed now and order must ship by 5/1/14.  Order may not be combined with other offers or deals. FREE Shipping Offer is for retail orders only and is limited to a maximum $300 shipping credit so you can SAVE BIG if you order NOW! Subzero temperatures may delay mid-winter shipping. Questions? Call (800)829-9765! Special FREE Shipping! Offer ends Monday August 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm so please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potato Section

Dark Red Norland. Butter, salt, pepper and Nirvana.
Our Mailbox: Delicious & VERY Popular Potatoes, Friends in Europe

Delicious Potatoes.

Dear WPF.

     You guys have THE BEST potatoes I have ever had the opportunity to come across! I see now why you guys have so many good reviews! We just harvested 60 pounds worth yesterday, I had them for lunch and man they were the most delicious potatoes I've ever eaten! So much different from the kind you get at the supermarket...Eating your potatoes rechared my batteries and gave me a full, satisfied feeling...then I went back to work and pulled weeds for the rest of the afternoon. This morning I could not help but eat more of those potatoes for breakfast.
     Thank you for the most delicious potatoes I've ever had, we will make sure to order from you again next year, and I will tell all my gardener friends about you guys! I love your potatoes!

Fallon NV

WPF Replies.

     Thanks. Very grateful for your kind words and your support of our family's seed business.

Jim & Megan

Friends in Europe.

Dear WPF.

     Hi Jim,

     I saw your link on the GMO Free USA website from a very good friend of mine. We're spreading the video of your interview about Monsanto and it's "unhealthy" practices here in Europe so my friends and the friends of my friends can spread it further. One of the good things about the internet, people get connected and informed much easier and can respond to it quicker. Hopefully we all will succeed soon in making Monsanto close it's books permanently. I wish you and your family a very good week, sending blessings from Belgium.

Leuven, Belgium

WPF Replies.

    Thanks so much for your support. It's important for Europeans to know that there is strong and growing resistance for GE crops and GE food in the USA. We are grateful that Europe has so ably and effectively fought for many years against Monsanto and its Biotech cronies. Here is a link to an address I gave in Turin at Slow Food's Terra Madre seven years ago and that last paragraph about our allies abroad is still apt. Thank you.


VERY Popular Potatoes.

Dear WPF.

     Just letting you know we have been selling potatoes grown from your seed at our local farmers market for the past 2 weeks and they are VERY popular!! They are sooooo good!!! I will be growing A LOT more of them next year and I will make sure to get my order in early. Thank you for all you do!!


Ashland, WI

WPF Replies.

     Great to get your report. Always good to hear our seed is doing well for you. Hope you are not too wet but still getting all the moisture you need.

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