Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
             Wednesday September 25, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Harvest Yesterday. Harvest Today.

      Aroostook County Potato Harvest, Circa 1910.  With a nice stretch of dry weather last week we got off to a good start with potato harvest. School was closed down for Harvest Break on Thursday. We dug our seed plots and dug into the three varieties which make up our September Potato Sampler of the Month - Dark Red Norland, Yukon Gold and Caribe. Equipment is running well. We have also harvested our seed corn, including Organic Dorinny Sweet Corn, and seed squash like Organic Buttercup.
      Our day off on Saturday to attend MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine, made for a long 16 hour day. But the weather was good and folks said the Public Policy Teach-in Panel on Maine's successful GMO Label bill, which Jim served on, came off well. Sharon Kitchen wrote a nice wrap up to the Fair that you will enjoy reading.
       With two inches of heavy rain on Sunday and gray drizzly days since, we are waiting for the ground to get dry enough to support tractors and potato harvesting equipment. The wet has allowed us to send out the September Samplers and harvest a nice crop of organic Dutch Yellow Onions - they are ready to ship if you need some for your kitchen.
        The forecast promises another good stretch of dry weather - eventually. By the time you read this issue of the Seed Piece we'll be heading back out to the field to dig in the mud.

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Wood Prairie Farm's Jim Gerritsen. Speaking Jan 10, 2013 at the Citizen's Assembly in Support of Family Farmers outside the US Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
 The Latest on OSGATA et al v. Monsanto & GMO Labeling in Maine.
        Last week an interview on independent local radio station WERU in Blue Hill, Maine, brought listeners up do date on recent developments in both the landmark OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit challenging the validity of Monsanto’s GE seed patents, plus the successful campaign to pass LD 718, Maine’s GMO Label bill.  Jim Gerritsen, President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association was interviewed by Meredith DeFrancesco, host of RadioActive.  The RadioActive audio intereview (29:56) in archived here.


Click Here for Complete Info on OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.

The Monanto Protection Act is Back But There is New Hope.

     The infamous rider – Section 735 – known as the Monsanto Protection Act and inserted last Spring through stealth into Congress’s Continuing Resolution - to temporarily fund the Federal government through September 30 -  is back in the House version  (H.J.RES.59) of a new CR intended to extend temporary government funding through December 15.

   The Monsanto Protection Act was slipped into the previous spending bill in a backroom deal between a handful of Senators and Representatives and Monsanto in order to circumvent successful legal challenges to the corrupt regulatory process at the USDA.  The rider does not pass constitutional muster because with it Congress inappropriately prevents judicial review which is clear violation of the Separation of Powers.

  Last Friday, despite extensive public protest, the House voted 230-189 in favor of the version of the CR crafted by House Republican leadership which still contains the Monsanto Protection Act.

 BREAKING NEWS!  Last night, under pressure from outraged citizens, Democratic leadership in the US Senate decided to strip the Monsanto Protection Act from the Senate version of the CR!  This courageous move represents a major victory for the people.

   However, the FIGHT IS NOT OVER and calls to your members of Congress are urgently needed NOW in order to once and for all kill the corrupt Monsanto Protection Act.  Here are the details and how you can take action to make this victory permanent by calling your Congressional delegation.


Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.

Monsanto Protection Act Needs Axing. Please call your members of Congress today.


Dr. Arden Andersen. Do not miss his Bangor Soils School in November.
Last Days of Early Bird Discount for Arden Andersen Soils School.

     If there is any way you can possibly attend, you will not want to miss the three-day intensive Soils School to be taught by master agronomist and medical doctor, Dr Arden Andersen.  The event will be held in Bangor, Maine, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 14-16, 2013.  The presentation by the world-renowned instructor represents an extraordinary opportunity for organic farmers, conventional farmers and serious gardeners.  Folks will be traveling from across New England and the Maritimes of Canada to hear Arden.  You should attend if you want to better understand biological agriculture and the sophisticated farming practices which grow soil fertility, nutrient dense crops and farmer profits.

   The Early Bird Special registration rate of just $175 – which is THE bargain of the century - for all three days ends Monday, September 30. Save money and guarantee your place at this sure-to-be-sold-out once-in-a-decade event. Hurry and register now!

See you there!

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Seed Potatoes.

Notable Quotes: Dr. Donald Huber on Jeopardizing Future Generations.

     Future historians may well look back and write about our time, not about how many pounds of pesticides we did or did not apply; but about how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations with this massive experiment that is based on false promises and flawed science, just to benefit the "bottom line" of a commercial enterprise.

Dr. Donald M. Huber
Professor Emeritus
Purdue University

Dr. Donald Huber, Authentic American Hero. Dr. Huber, renowned plant pathologist for over 40 years, retired US Army Colonel and top germ warfare expert. And now the subject of a character assasination campaign by Biotech. Here is Dr. Huber's MUST WATCH one hour lecture.

A Tasty Treat for Harvest Time.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Recipe: Potato 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
1 egg
¼ cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
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.


Special Offer: FREE Copy of "Harvest" by Richard Horan

      It was last year at this time that Richard Horan’s funny and insightful book “Harvest” was fresh off the press. It is a work filled with depth, warmth and humor. Well-grounded and talented author Richard Horan discovers and shares the quintessential authentic dynamic behind the country’s growing family farm movement.  Traveling from one end of America to the other, he writes and takes part in gritty harvests ranging from Maine potatoes to Kansas wheat to Michigan wild rice to Cape Cod cranberries to California walnuts and more.   Richard Horan’s new memorable book “Harvest – An Adventure into the Heart of America’s Family Farms” has received rave comments and we know you will enjoy reading it.

     Now here's your chance to earn a FREE copy of “Harvest” ($14.99 value) with your next purchase of $55 or more. FREE “Harvest” book offer ends at midnight on Monday, September 30.

     Please use Promo Code WPF1158. Your order must ship by 5/9/14 and “Harvest” when sent with that order is FREE. If you want your order later and your “Harvest” now, we can immediately ship your copy of “Harvest” separately for a charge of just $5.00. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Essential Books Section.

Richard Horan's Harvest. Enjoyable book travels to find the spirit behind America's family farms.
Our Mailbox: Love and Respect, Realistic Chance, Estoppal's Limit, Fine Seed.

Love and Respect.

Dear WPF.

hanks for being a beacon of sanity in this whole crazy GMO process. We have enjoyed growing, eating, selling and trading yo
ur potatoes here on Bainbridge Island for the last 3 years. I hope I get a chance to meet you someday. Love and Respect.

Bainbridge Island, WA

WPF Replies.

     Appreciate your support. The entire country is watching Washington and we're all behind you on the November I-522 GMO Labeling initiative vote. People are paying attention more and more. But know this, we are in the political realm and we need to continue to support our allies - both morally but also FINANCIALLY - who work in our behalf to battle the sophisticated disinformation campaigns which Biotech has been funding for over 20 years. Monsanto and Dupont and their Biotech and Big Food cronies have already given over $11 million in an effort to buy their way to defeating I-522.
     Performing this campaign work effectively is critical and we will not win without backing up our allies. We can't expect skilled and talented professionals to forgo earning a livelihood while they engage in essential battle. A workman is worth his wages. We are in the real world. Everyone, please donate TODAY to Yes on I-522.


Realist Chance of Gain.

Dear WPF.

     Why not ban GMO instead of labeling?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     The people have a realistic chance of fighting for and gaining Right-to-Know GMO Labeling. Once we secure our right to differentiate in the marketplace GE food from non-GE food - a right now enjoyed by citizens in 62 countries representing over half of the world's population including Europe, China and Russia - we will be able to make our own risk assessment before we make a purchase. This will allow the market mechanism to shift dollars away from GE. But first, we must become informed consumers and that is why GMO Labeling is so critical.


The Estroppal's Limits.

Dear WPF.

     I don't understand:
Farmer Fined for Patent Infringement - The Western Producer.  Didn't your lawsuit say that Monsanto couldn't do that anymore... "the Court ordered Monsanto, through estoppal, to NOT sue farmers for patent infringement should they encounter trace GE contamination."

San Diego, CA

WPF Replies.

     The US Court of Appeals ruling in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was imperfect which is why the family farmers are asking for the US Supreme Court to review the case. First, the Court's estoppel applies only to the geographic area in which the Court has jurisdiction: the USA, and not Alberta in Canada. Second, the Court's estoppel was limited to farmers who have trace contamination (defined by the Court as 1%). If a farmer's contamination level is greater than 1% they are NOT protected. Had the Court of Appeals allowed our case to move forward as we desire, we are, and have been, prepared to prove that Monsanto's transgenic patents are invalid and that plaintiff farmers who sell into the American market - and are thereby at legal jeopardy of claims of patent infringement by Monsanto - including Canadians, deserve the full and complete protection we seek.


Very Fine Seed Potatoes.

Dear WPF.

     Your Butte seed potatoes did very well for us this year. A russet--good keeper. Some of the tubers produced weigh nearly a pound. Many thanks to you and Wood Prairie Farm in Aroostook County, Maine, for producing the very fine seed potatoes we started with in May.

Sioux Falls, SD

WPF Replies.

     Glad to hear they did well for you. Butte was bred by Dr. Joe Pavek in Idaho in 1977. It is an outstanding work horse potato well-suited to organic growing with excellent taste, dry texture and solid storage qualities. When compared to Russet Burbank, Butte was discovered to have 57% higher Vitamin C and 20% higher Protein.
     Almost overnight Butte became an endangered variety when McDonalds announced in the 1990s that it would no longer accept french fries made from Butte. McDonald's complaint was that Butte tubers coming out of long-term storage have a tendency for some of the starch to reduce down to simple sugars which when those sugars are fried, turns brown. Brown tinged fries are an anathema to McDonalds which has a penchant for a world of lilly white french fries.
     I've said for decades that if I was stranded on a desert island and allowed one potato variety to survive on, I would choose Butte in a heart beat. I met Joe Pavek at a PAA (Potato Association of America) meeting in Bangor, Maine in 1995. Joe is a good man and we are honored and grateful to be one of the last certified seed growers left in the United States who is still growing his remarkable variety. Butte was never registered under PVP (Plant Variety Protection Act) restraint. It is now, and always has been, an open public variety in the Commons.
     Good work, Joe and thank you for such a great potato.


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