September 18 2015
Volume 22 Issue 19
Enjoy Receiving The Seed
support our continuing
work which includes The Seed
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Place to Visit.
Shufflers Taking a Break from
Work. Taking a breather from selling our Organic
Maine Certified Seed Potatoes to attendees of the National
Heirloom Expo were blond sisters Sarah and Amy Gerritsen of Wood
Prairie Farm. The pool at the Flamingo Motel served to
mitigate the daily hot weather.
It was the girl’s first trip to
California so we conspired to make it a memorable one with a quick trip
to Yosemite National Park, including jaw-dropping Yosemite Valley. It
was Jim’s first visit to Yosemite in over 40 years.
As might be expected with California in
the throws of their historic drought, the water in Yosemite Valley’s
main water course, the Merced River, was low. We walked to
the base of a dry and waterless Yosemite Falls (where during three
seasons of the year, Yosemite Creek drops precipitously over sheer
cliffs creating the tallest waterfall (a total of 2425’) in North
America – and the fifth tallest in the world.
After one short week back in school,
today (Friday) the girls begin Potato Harvest Break for three weeks
until Columbus Day. We’re ready. Let the Harvest
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
Shiva on Civil Disobedience to End Seed Slavery. Video
(2:17) inside this main National Heirloom Expo Hall prior to
the gates opening.
from 2015 National Heirloom Expo.
California greeted cool-climate Mainers with a
searing hundred-degree heat-wave for the duration of the famed 5th
Annual National Heirloom Exhibition held in
Santa Rosa. “But it’s a dry heat” held sway. Jim
went out to give two talks and brought along daughters Sarah (17) and
Amy (12) who ran the Wood Prairie Farm booth.
Prior to the Expo the Wood Prairie crew
made an overnight trip to the High Sierra and Tuolumne Meadows in
Yosemite National Park. Afterwards, they checked out San
Francisco by riding cable cars, visiting the ocean beach and
Fisherman’s Wharf, and walking through Chinatown.
This year’s National Heirloom Expo was a
big success with beautiful displays and strong turnouts all three
days. One hundred speakers captivated audiences on topics as
varied as Biodynamic farming and organic cotton.
The last morning gates opened early as
yellow school buses brought in many hundreds of local school kids to
visit the Expo including livestock, vegetable and tractor displays and
to listen to now-seasoned-kid’s-activists Rachel
Parent and Birke
Baehr, both now 16 years old. Sarah
and Amy were among the roomful of captivated youthful listeners and
were suitably impressed with Rachel & Birke’s tag-team
presentation about good food and what kids can do to help make a better
In another session, filmmaker Deborah
Coombs Garcia showed a new forty-minute opening
video of the film series she is working on which will document the
Elders gathering of two years ago which Jim
attended at Big Sur.
As expected, Dr. Vandana Shiva drew a huge crowd
for her opening night keynote speech, filling the large
auditorium. On the last evening, Vandana, Dave Murphy and
Lisa Stokke of Food
Democracy Now! were joined by Jim on a panel
which discussed the corporate threat posed by seed patents.
An incredible diversity of booths filled the Expo
located at the Sonoma County fairgrounds. Supplementing the
booths and displays were vendors with delicious and outstanding local
food – much of it also organic.
In time, videos of the various
presentations will be posted online. We will be sure to share
some of the cream of the crop with you.
Jim & Megan
Here for Our Certified Organic Vegetable Seed
Dome from Olmstead Point Lookout. Along the Tioga Road
(Highway 120) in Yosemite National Park's high country.
Lake. One of the largest lakes (elevation 8150') in
Yosemite, mile-long, crystal clear and on the edge of the Tioga Road.
Road Approach to Tuolumne Meadows. Domes carved by
glaciers which reminds one of Aroostook County glaciers and our - by
comparison - little bitty glacial field rocks.
Gate Bridge. One tower free of fog on what was a breezy,
cool, foggy morning in the Golden Gate.
Square Near Fisherman's Wharf and Hyde Street Cable Car Turnaround. Maine
farmers wondering just how old the 'chocolate' was in this Rube
Goldberg moving historical
display preserved for tourists.
At Rest. What do mimes talk about when on coffee break?
Offer: FREE Organic Winter Rye Cover
Winter is coming and with cooler Fall weather in the offing
we should all be thinking about how we will protect our precious soil
over the winter ahead. Organic
Winter Rye - grown as a very hardy winter cover
crop - has a well-earned reputation as the winter cover crop of choice.
Here’s a great
chance to get started protecting your soil! Receive a FREE
2.5 lbs Sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed
(Value $9.95) on your next order where the goods total $40 or
more. Please use Promo
Code WPF471. Your order and FREE
Wood Prairie Farm Organic Winter Rye Cover Crop Seed must
ship by 11/14/15. Offer Expires 11:59p.m., Monday, September 21, so
Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop Section.
Rose Rugosa. After
years ago collecting wild Rose Hips from the coast we have a hundred
foot long Rosa hedge on the West Side of our Big Pond.
| What's the Best Time to Collect Seed
from Woody Perennials?
This particular question developed particular
significance for Harvard
University's Arnold Arboretum
- near Boston -
when during the war years of World War II, they were operating with
less experienced help. Their solution was to catalogue the extensive
collection of Woody Perennials - alphabetically by Latin name -
alongside what they had determined was the ideal date for collecting
Published in 1947, their list composed
by Donald Wyman, Seed
Collection Dates of Woody Perennials
, remains a
valuable reference for anyone collecting seed. You will no doubt need
to re-calibrate based on your latitude and effects of climate change.
Use of familiar woody plants as yardsticks will make that job easier.
Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Apple Cranberry Drop Cookies.
1 cup grated raw potato
(use fine blade on grater)
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup apple, peeled and chopped or grated finely
1 ½ tsp grated orange rind
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare first 4 ingredients and set aside.
Cream butter and sugars; beat in egg and milk. Sift flour and dry
ingredients, stir into butter mixture until well-blended. Stir in
potato and fruit mixture. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.
A Tasty Treat
for Harvest Time.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Photos. Our Mailbox: Tater
Harvest Photos, Why Organic Appears to Cost More and The Superior
Just harvested some Caribe and Gold Rush. Very
nice to chat with you yesterday Jim. Thank you for taking my order and
best of luck this harvest season.
I enjoyed our chat too. And those are
great looking potatoes.
Why Organic Appears
to Cost More.
What is your response to the idea that organic crops are
more expensive than GMO crops, even if organic is proven to be better
at retaining moisture, will provide enough food, etc?
off the top of my head fall into two groups: quality and externalized
costs. Below are a few examples. Jim.
1. The Value
of Quality. Everyone understands Cadillacs cost more than
2. Organic is
Quality. Since nutrient-dense certified organic food is
nutritionally superior, tastes better than chemical food, and is
virtually free of pesticide residues, it is reasonable to expect to
have to pay more for quality.
Subsidy. The fact is the cash register price only reflects
the partial cost of food to the consumer. For one thing, processed food
which relies on commodity crops are heavily tax-payer subsidized by the
federal government. Therefore crops like like GE corn, GE soy and GE
canola do not reflect the real and full cost.
Loss. Additionally, many of the true costs created by
chemical crops have been externalized. For example, every farmer using
the insecticide "Sevin" (carbaryl) bears some moral responsibility
(which economists would translate into monetary value) for the 1984
Union Carbide accident which killed at least 2259 people in India.
Environmental Loss. Additionally, environmental damage is
customarily externalized because Nature does not retain a legal team.
As one example, the environmental loss - foisted on Nature as a debit -
of volatilizing carbon from the soil (humus) where it belongs, and
industrial ag pushing it into the atmosphere as climate-warming carbon
dioxide, is leading to expanding catastrophic harm, yet those real
costs have been externalized.
6. Subsidized Energy. Another subsidized and externalized
cost which tremendously benefits conventional chemical agriculture is
it's addiction to cheap energy. For generations our military has been
used as an enabler and we have maintained an expensive worldwide
military presence which insures oil will keep flowing at low cost to
power industrial Ag and to manufacture synthetic fertilizers.
Just curious if you are familiar with this group "Certified Naturally
Grown" ? They are supposed to target very small, local farmers that
don't have the man power or resources to get the USDA Organic
They are peer reviewed (a farmer signs off) and the farmers'
application and inspection reports are available online at their
website. They claim their standards are as high or higher than the
What do you think?
Yes I am familiar with CNG.
Their verification system does not
inspire confidence because it has
not been structured to be independent - friends "certifying" each other
does not provide sufficient freedom from potential financial
The organic community came up with
(independent of seller and buyer) organic certification because
authentic organic food costs more to grow and organic consumers
deserve assurance their hard-earned dollars are in
organic food. Independent third-party organic
remains the superior paradigm.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm