The Wood Prairie Seed Piece
             Organic News and Commentary
                 Friday, September 8th 2017
                        Volume 25 Issue 13


 In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

    Work Behind. Work Ahead.

      Life on an Acadian Farm in Northern Maine, Circa 1942.  A great shot taken by documentary photographer John Collier in northern Aroostook County - where the land is more rolling than down here in central Aroostook in which we're a notch or two less rolling.
     Our township - TD R2 - first got electricity 23 years ago, the month Caleb was born. Up until then we had an outside hand pump similar to what the little girl was struggling with. When it was -30oF in January a pot of boiling hot water got things moving. We'd pump by hand 40 gallons of water a day for our livestock and domestic use.
     Our nearest Bridgewater neighbors, Bud & Myreta Shaw, first got grid electricity in the late 1950s. Up until then they hand pumped even more water every day for their moderate herd of cattle.
     The original unmachined cedar-tree-poles holding up the 1950s power lines were only replaced about a dozen years ago.
     We remember well that the first thing we installed after getting electricity was a submersible pump for the well!
     Fall is here.  A week from now school’s close for Potato Harvest recess and we’ll begin digging our potato crop.  We hope everything has been growing well wherever you are.
 Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.
A Great Opportunity for All of Us to Help Our Neighbors in the Wood Prairie Community.

      We have recently begun partnering with leading Review community platform, Trust Pilot.  After watching Trust Pilot for a couple of years, at the recent Direct Gardening Association conference held in Portland, Maine, Jim attended a great session by Trust Pilot’s Jim McDougal who it turns out was a graduate of Maine’s Colby College.  The two Jims quickly got together and the result is we’re now up and running with Trust Pilot and actively collecting Reviews which are posted online.

       Our Trust Pilot team – after having worked with many hundreds of companies - has marveled at the swift and overwhelmingly positive flood of Reviews to come in since we started up ten days ago.  We’ve been pleased, too, but not surprised.  As we explained to our team, the reason for our farm’s success is we have the best customers in the world!  Read our Reviews and you’ll see what we mean by your warm words of support.

Please Help!

Now we have a special favor to ask each of you.  Please help your fellow customers learn how different varieties grow in each of your States.  Please leave a Review (Click on Orange Button at top of page) -  as many as you like!  Be sure to mention your State and do let us all know how our various organic potato, vegetable and cover crop seeds have performed in your garden.

       Thank you all so much!

Caleb, Megan and Jim

Please Click Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

Trust Pilot Reviews.  Helping neighbors and friends know which varieties grow best locally.

Hard Neck Rocambole Garlic. Ours is phenominal for planting or eating.
Special Offer: FREE Organic Red Russian Garlic Seed.

     We have some of the best ever Organic Red Russian Garlic and it’s now ready-to-ship!  Our Rocambole garlic is top quality seed designed to plant in the Fall – even here in Maine with our brutal winters – or it can be used to cook with right away in your own kitchen.  Please place your orders now before it is all gone!
     Here’s our savory deal.  Get some FREE Organic Red Russian Garlic Seed (Value $24.95) when your next order totals $99 or more. FREE Organic Red Russian Garlic Seed Offer ends 11:59 PM on Monday, September 11, 2017, so please act right away!  Offer good while supplies last.

     Please use Promo Code WPFF412. Your order and FREE Organic Red Russian Garlic Seed must ship by December 5, 2017. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click Here for for Wood Prairie Certifed Organic Vegetable Seed
Download FREE Classic Work on Soil & Cultivation.

     One of our favorite in-depth articles about the importance of soil stewardship is Conquest of the Land Through 7,000 Years by W. C. Lowdermilk's.   Nearly four decades ago we secured our copy in the form of a printed booklet available from our local office of what was then called USDA’s Soil Conservation Service (now NRCS).

     Dr. Lowdermilk's personal report of a larger study serves to provide important historical linkage to the 125-year-old organic farming revolution.  Organic farming originated as a reform movement begun in reaction to alarming, developing ‘modern’ mainstream farming practices whose failings were already becoming apparent to wise and visionary soil stewards.
     Taking proper care of the soil is as critical as it is age-old and wise. Proper soil care removes excess carbon from the atmosphere – where it causes climate chaos – and sequesters it in the soil where it belongs as increased organic matter. For over a century, soil-based regenerative organic farming has been leading the way.  The preface to Dr. Lowdermilk’s powerful article tells the fascinating story.



     Conquest of the Land through 7,000 Years’ is Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk’s personal report of a study he made in 1938 and 1939. Despite changes in names of countries, in political boundaries, and in conservation technology, the bulletin still has significance for all people concerned with maintaining and improving farm production.

      Lowdermilk studied the record of agriculture in countries where the land had been under cultivation for hundreds, even thousands, of years. His immediate mission was to find out if the experience of these older civilizations could help in solving the serious soil erosion and land use problems in the United States, then struggling with repair of the Dust Bowl and the gullied South.

      He discovered that soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing, neglect, and conflicts between cultivators and herders have helped topple empires and wipe out entire civilizations. At the same time, he learned that careful stewardship of the earth’s resources, through terracing, crop rotation, and other soil conservation measures, has enabled other societies to flourish for centuries.

      Much of what Lowdermilk learned and wrote about land use and soil productivity began with his pioneering research work in China, where his wife was a Methodist missionary. Following the communist Chinese uprising in 1927, Lowdermilk and his wife returned to the United States. While he was earning his Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley, he continued soil erosion and watershed management research for the Forest Service. In 1933, he joined Hugh Hammond Bennett at the just-created Soil Erosion Service as the assistant director and later became the assistant chief of the Soil Conservation Service, predecessor to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. As assistant chief, Lowdermilk held primary responsibility for developing the research program of the agency. The trips described in this bulletin inspired his work Palestine: Land of Promise, which proclaimed that through proper care, the land could once again support a large population.

One of the Great Lessons of History. Taking good care of the soil is not optional.
Notable Quotes: John F. Kennedy on Farmers.

Recipe: Potato Pepper Spanish Tortilla.

1 T olive oil, plus more for serving
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
1 pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add potatoes, pepper, and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 14-16 minutes. Uncover, and cook off excess liquid, about one minute.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, parsley, hot sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pour mixture over vegetables in skillet, and gently stir to distribute evenly. With the back of a spatula, press down on vegetables so they lay flat and are submerged.

Bake in oven until set, about 15 minutes. To unmold, run a rubber spatula around edge of skillet to release tortilla; invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle with oil. Serve hot or room temperature.


A Delicious and Healthy Meal.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

Mailbox: Wood Prairie Carola Best

Wood Prairie Carola Best.

     Caleb, Your seed is the best! Three sources of seed Carola, spacing is 60" x 14-16". Approaching full row closure today on August 31st from a July 4th planting. You can see some legume companion crops, mostly Field Peas and Chickling Vetch are showing. Your seed has consistently been the strongest plants and with no skips.

Monroe, ME

 Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Family Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox