Wood Prairie Farm                                     In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                       Stanford Sells Out
      Organic News and Commentary
                                       'The Agtivists' Documentary Film.
          Friday September 07, 2012                                              Recipe: Dark Chocolate Spelt Cake.
                                                                                                                    Special Offer: FREE Shipping.
                                                                                                                    Mailbox: Solutions Galore.

        Indiegogo Farm Shop Project: Done With Concrete Work.

     Fall Shop Construction, Grain Combined and Potato Harvest Ahead. Cooler days, longer nights and the sun lower in the sky. The last of our late potatoes are winding down their growth and soon we’ll begin ‘digging’- harvesting our potato crop.
     Remember, Our Harvest Help Offer is in place until Sept 15.  Here’s the deal: help us meet our harvest expenses and you can save big with FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed now and shipped-whenever-you-want-it up until May 1, 2013.  Harvest Help Offer applies to all orders including Spring-shipped organic seed potatoes. Order now while our selection is at its best!  Happy Harvest!

Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page

Concrete Focus. Caleb, Jim & Justin filling the kneewall forms with 12 yards of 4000# test redimix concrete.

Calm Before The Storm. Ready for the concrete trucks, walers, strongbacks and bracing in place.

Concrete Action You Tube Video. Our nine-year-old videographer, Amy, captures our recent successful concrete kneewalk pour in this 32-second YouTube video.

Buying Influence. Biotech's war of disinformation heats up.


Prop 37: Biotech and the Stanford Sell Out.

     Early this week all the telltale signs were there. Biotech's $25 million massively funded propaganda campaign of disinformation - orchestrated by former tobacco lobbyists - aimed at confusing California voters into voting against their own interests: CA Prop 37, the peoples' Right-To-Know GMO Labeling referendum. Then, a coordinated, national tsunami-like blanket coverage of suffocating proportions by the traditional media - down to the smallest hamlet including our local country radio station - of a 'new' Stanford compilation study which at once trashed organic, ignored biotech crops and held a no-questions-asked-assumption that the government's chemical-industry-friendly official pesticide tolerance levels were somehow scientifically-based and bulls eye accurate. The subject: under the lens of a narrow 'nutritional comparison,' a calculated unwieldy meta-analysis of 17 human studies and 223 laboratory studies of how does organic compare to conventional.

     Within twenty four hours, the cracks in the processional's armor started to appear. Noted Activist Post: "From Stanford Center for Health Policy's own website it is admitted that 'national' and international foundations and corporations' fund its research and 'outreach activities.' This confirms the suspicions of an increasingly aware public who saw the 'study' as biased, contradictory of both logic and ethics, and the result of insidious corporate-funding. According to FSI's 2011 Annual Report Agricultural giant Cargill, British Petroleum (BP), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Goldman Sachs, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and many other corporate-financier, Fortune 500 special interests." Agricultural giant Cargill is in fact in direct partnership with Stanford University. Specifically it has donated at least 5 million dollars for the creation of a Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE). The center is allegedly 'committed to helping feed a growing population  while preserving the planet's natural resources.' This will presumably be done through the use of patented Cargill biotechnology, have nothing to do with actually 'helping feed' anything but Cargill's bottom line and corporate-financier domination of the global food supply, while Stanford simply leverages its reputation and credibility to give cover and badly needed legitimacy to Cargill's methods and agenda. Stanford's most recent "study" is essentially the university "giving back" to Cargill and others."

     Two lessons come to mind which are pertinent to this Stanford news story. 1) Franklin D. Roosevelt: "in politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." 2) Mythically attributed to Watergate's Deep Throat: "Follow the money."

     It is no coincidence that the corporations behind this propaganda coup are the biggest contributors to the biotech disinformation campaign deployed to defeat California Prop 37.

     Below are links to some of the more pithy articles exposing the false 'journalism' and study critiques which expose Stanford's embarrassing complicity.


5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organic Short.

Cargill and Others Behind anti-Organic "Stanford Study."

Why the News is Wrong: We Need to Eat Organic.

Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agrosystems.

GE Film Documentary ' The Agtivists '
                                                                      Needs Our Help

     You will enjoy viewing the excellent trailer (4:12) to 'The Agtivists', Zofia Hausman's upcoming documentary film about the very real threat from genetically engineered (GE) crops, which are also known as GMOs. Plant Pathologist and American hero Dr. Donald Huber are among those interviewed in the landmark film.
     In order to finish film production and get this film into distribution, Zofia has established an Indiegogo crowdfunding project for "The Agtivists'.  Please join us in supporting her team's work by contributing to this timely and important Indiegogo project. Thanks!  Jim & Megan

The Agtivists documentary film.
Click here to view trailer (4:12)

Dark Chocolate Spelt Cake. As good as it looks.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Spelt Cake

Dark Chocolate Spelt Cake
2.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c hot coffee
1/2 c oil
1 box organic silken tofu (12 ounces)
1 1/3 c spelt flour
2/3 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 c sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8 or 9" cake pans

Pour hot coffee over chopped chocolate to melt. Using either a blender or food processor add silken tofu, oil, and melted chocolate mixture and process to smooth.
Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl then add wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until blended. Blend until dry ingredients are incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Pour batter into cake pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool and frost with your choice of frosting.


Harvest Help Offer: FREE Shipping On All Orders!
Limited Time!

     Our selection of seed potatoes is now at their yearly peak - you can order now exactly what you want and we can ship as soon as your items are available – or
store them here on the farm in our state-of-the-art facilities and ship to you anytime this Fall, Winter or Spring
     Please use Promo Code WPF 1127.  Harvest Help FREE Shipping! Offer must ship by 5/1/13.  Order may not be combined with other offers or deals.
FREE Shipping Offer limited to a $300 value. Subzero temperatures may delay  mid-winter shipping. Harvest Help FREE Shipping! Offer ends September 15, 2012 so please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potato Section

Hard At Work. Happy clowns in potato field.
Our Mailbox: Fall Potatoes, KISS Solution, Biofumigation, Eliminating White Grubs & Monsanto.

Fall Seed Potatoes.

Dear WPF.
     I have a question...if I order seed potato from you now, will it ship right away? We like to fall plant potatoes here in California (super mild winter) and would like to get some of your wonderful seed potatoes in the ground the next month. Let me know! Thanks.

North San Juan, CA

WPF Replies.

     We can ship you seed potatoes as soon as we harvest them. We begin harvest in mid September and go into October. Be aware that potatoes must pass through a dormancy period of 4-8 weeks before the tubers will sprout. Best idea for Fall planting is to select varieties that are short and medium dormancy (this equates with minimal resistance to sprouting) - you'll find dormancy info about each variety on our variety characteristics chart in our catalog and on our website.. Best practice is to keep the seed tubers at room temperature and consider applying natural plant growth hormone  gibberlillic acid (Pro-Gibb Plus 2x / OMRI approved) at 4-5ppm to the tuber surface to help break dormancy. Safest procedure is to delay planting until growth is seen protruding from the tuber eye - that will indicate the tubers have broken dormancy and they are good and ready to grow.


KISS Solution.

Dear WPF.
     Heard a similar thing on our local NPR station (now itself benefitting from major gas industry money) about a new institute at SUNY-Buffalo that just released a 'scientific' paper on the safety of fracking, surprisingly not peer-reviewed, just weeks before NY is slated to announce whether fracking will be permitted, and (surprise) the institute is heavily funded by the gas industry with most of directors drawn from industry. Sheer benign coincidence? Well, that's the way the WSKG was trying to make it sound. Oh, the conclusion of the paper is that with the adequite state oversight, fracking is perfectly safe. Yeah right.

Penn Yan, NY

WPF Replies.

     A culture of full disclosure would be self-regulating and would remedy academic integrity vacuums like your SUNY propaganda predicament. Establishing an ethical norm of prominently displaying a statement about potential conflicts of interest in the study abstract would alert all readers - including the public and media - of the presence of a hidden agenda. Ditto for the Stanford academic-hatchet-job on organic financed by Big Ag and biotech. The concept meets the KISS requirement (Keep It Simple Stupid) and is a benefit to both society and ethically-challenged academia.


Home Grown Biofumigation.

Dear WPF.
     I noticed in the book "Crop Rotations for Organic Farms" [Ed. note: for your free copy click here] that you have used a mustard/buckwheat cover crop sequence before growing potatoes. We are having problems with wireworms in potatoes and other vegetable crops we grow for our 200 member CSA and have heard about the mustard/buckwheat combination for reducing wireworm problems from some research done in Prince Edward Island. Has it worked for you? What variety of mustard do you use and what seeding rate and what seeding date? Thanks in advance. You folks have a great website.

St. Thomas, ON Canada

WPF Replies.

     Research in PEI is showing the benefit of crop rotation with Buckwheat and brassicas. As a biofumigant, after buckwheat plowdown, we actually grow a close cousin to mustard: plowdown Dwarf Essex Rapeseed, a biennial (10#/ac rate seeded with the grassbox of our International Harvester 510 grain drill). We have a short Fall and have learned to plant by Aug 15. I would double-check your diagnosis to confirm that your pest is in fact wireworm. Flea Beetles cause somewhat similar damage and wireworms sometimes are falsely blamed.
     Anecdotally, at a recent Maine farm conference, another organic farmer related his experience and interpretation that he felt he was getting increased wireworm problems because of his use of annual mustard as a biofumigant. He felt the wireworm moths were attracted to the flowering mustard and increased his problem. Because rapeseed is a biennial there will not be this flowering problem.
     As far as Buckwheat goes, this is yet another reason to love Buckwheat as a cover crop.


Grappeling With Grubs.

Dear WPF.
     You may or may not remember us. My wife and I visited your farm last Fall. I was a student at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport. We live in Montana and are back there now. We planted a large garden with five varieties of potatoes. We got the seed potatoes from you. I have planted potatoes in this garden many times in the past and have always gotten a good yield. I have a lovely crop that is being eaten by a large grub. I have not had this problem before. In the wound where the grubs have been eating are many small worms also eating away. The grubs are about the same diameter as a pencil and about 1.5 inches long.  They have a brown head, white body and dark  masses in the interior of the tail. The mouth is huge and very effective at chewing through the potatoes. About half of my big beautiful spuds are ruined. I can't save this years crop but how do I prevent this next year? The only thing I did differently this year was to mulch the hilled rows with lawn clippings. The other problem I have is scab. Lots on the Carolas and Caribe. Can you help me?

Missoula, MT

WPF Replies.

     Of course we remember you folks. Megan said she sent you a Montana publication on White Grub. Our experience is that White Grub has only been an occasional problem coming out of heavy sod. Once the soil has been worked (we used to grow a crop of squash the first year out of heavy old sod) and the sod roots disappear, then that food source for White Grubs disappears and the grub population plummets. You seem to have a different problem. I wonder if beneficial nematodes might help? We've had good results purchasing beneficial insects from Arbico. https://www.arbico-organics.com/category/beneficial-nematodes.

Good luck! Jim

Avoiding Monsanto Seed.

Dear WPF.
     Hi Jim, Glad the repair shop project is taking off. Is it possible to get a list of all the garden seed companies that Monsanto supplies seeds to in one form or another? I imagine a lot of organic supporters would also be interested in seeing such a list. Thanks.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     I recommend going with a list of honest companies carefully dedicated to avoiding Monsanto seed. No single list is going to be 100% complete or accurate. That said, the single best listing I know is that established by Barbara Peterson of Farm Wars. Her criteria: "Seed companies that provide organic and heirloom seeds. These companies have no ties to biotech interests and do not get their seeds from Monsanto."
     Thanks for not supporting Monsanto. Where we spend our dollars really does matter and wise purchase activity will bring about needed reform.


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