Wood Prairie Farm                            In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter              'Harvest' A Book by Richard Horan
      Organic News and Commentary
                           Join Wood Prairie Farm in NYC for Four Events.
       Thursday September 27, 2012                               Smoking Gun: New Study Sinks GE Crop Ship.
                                                                                                         Two Valuable Prop 37 Info Posters.
                                                                                                         Recipe: Tomato Tarte Tatin.
                                                                                                         Special Offer: FREE Copy of "Harvest"
                                                                                                         Mailbox: Good Seed, Good Eating, Good Fertilizer and Good Life.             
        Harvest the Reality; 'Harvest' the Book.
      Richard Horan's Harvest Released This Week. Our 2012 potato harvest continues in high gear with good mostly dry weather so far. It was last October that  author Richard Horan and his daughter Kat spent three days on our Maine farm helping us harvest organic seed potatoes. What we knew was that he was writing a book with 'harvest' as the central theme. What we didn't know was that his collection of farm-harvesting-experiences was having a transformational effect that would have a deep impact upon both him and the book he expected to be writing. The result is a wonderful work that you will have a hard time putting down. The healthy dose of hope this book inspires means you will want to put reading Harvest at the top of your To Do List. 

Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page

Harvest - An Adventure into the Heart of America's  Family Farms. A Book By Richard Horan.

     It is fitting that this week, amidst the busy Fall harvest season, that Richard Horan’s wonderful book, Harvest, has been released by Harper Collins. In this 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.  Deserving of becoming an American classic, this book stands as a tribute to the institution of the family farm, the place that offers not only the good life but the promise of healing for wounded souls and a troubled world.  Horan extends his tribute to the hardworking farmers and farm hands behind the farms.  With respect and literary deftness in his search for the genuine – and not afraid to delve into the ecological and political challenges of our times - Horan generates a convincing narrative that rebuilding a sane world begins with the family farm.  This is a book you will want to read and you will want others to read.  The world needs family farms and family farms have found themselves a new capable advocate.     

Jim & Megan

     Here is an except from Harvest’s Chapter 8 – Potatoes - Wood Prairie Farm, Bridgewater, Maine, October 2011.

     "And so it began. With Jim at the helm, seated behind the wheel of the tractor, he gave a great shout-out and the harvester began to churn. It was a deep, clanking, grinding, bass-noted drone. Then the conveyor commenced moving, making a metalic noise, reminiscent of a chain being dragged across a floor like something out of a Poe story. The tractor crawled slowly forward. It took a few moments, but eventually the potatoes began to appear, along with some rocks, on the conveyor. I was the last man at the end on the tractor side. It was my job to pluck rocks out, and if there were any large potatoes, I was to pull them out and set them aside in a special bin at my elbow. They would be placed in a different category for sale later on. Kather was on the other side of the conveyor, in the middle.
     At first it was an occasional rock that came my way and an occasional big potato, but fifty yards down the line, rocks began to overwhelm us. The harvester rattled woefully and choked and barked as we struggled to remove the extra burden. And at the point when we couldn't keep up - the rocks being ten times more numerous than the potatoes - the first girl on my side of the line, a redheaded teenager with a solid neck and amazingly fast hands, hollered out, and Jim stopped immediately, idling...
     "Whenever we came to the end of a row, the entire gang would jump off the tractor and romp with alacrity across the field, hopping, skipping, and gleaning potatoes. The dirt was so soft and rich that you felt like you were sinking down in it as you trudged across. Often, Sarah and Amy and some of the other high school kids would perform gymnastics, doing back handsprings and cartwheels in the loamy soil. It certainly set the mood. There was such a sense of purpose and team spirit to this work, as loud and mechanized and as monotonous as it first appeared to be, that every face sported a contented smile. This was a magical place, this organic potato farm in rural Maine, run and operated by a man and his wife and family. As Jim himself put it, 'The essence, the real value of life, comes from what we're doing, the work of our lives, the people we're interacting with, and it doesn't come from the amassing of goods.' "

Author Richard Horan. Writer of Harvest, advocate of the family farm, messenger of hope.

Heading Back to NYC. Jim's First trip last year was to the Occupy Farmers March (video 4:16)
Wood Prairie Farm Heading to NYC
                                                                 October 22 & 23
Next month after harvest is complete, Wood Prairie Farmer Jim Gerritsen will be returning to New York City. Jim will attend several speaking and good food fundraising events discussing the challenges and celebrating the important bonds between rural family farmers and their urban brethren seeking authentic organic food for their families and communities.  Jim’s presentation,  Farmer Fight On: Family Farming, Good Food and Its Genetically Engineered Opposite, will explore local agriculture the OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit and focus on what each person needs to know to protect their family’s health, the environment, small farmers, and the public right of access to good clean food.  

     "Harvest" author Richard Horan will join Jim on the Monday night and Tuesday morning events. In addition to a couple of book signings, Richard will do a reading from Harvest at Jimmy's No43 and discuss the journey which led him to write the insightful book about America’s dynamic family farming movement. 

     Selected prints from documentary photographer Lottie Hedley’s “Rural Harvest” series about Wood Prairie Farm will be on display at the two dining events.

     We hope that if you are in the area you will be able to attend some of the NYC events listed below.   Event proceeds will go towards supporting Wood Prairie Farm's continuing outreach activities

Please make your reservation now for any of the four events below! Thanks! For further info call our friend and event organizer Aimee Good (718.797.3693)

Jim & Megan

Events #1 & #2.

Date:    Monday, October 22, 2012 

6:30 to 8 PM      GERRITSEN TALK & HORAN READING from "Harvest"

8:30 to 10 PM      DINNER with Jim Gerritsen & Richard Horan

Place:        Jimmy’s No43, 43 East 7th Street, NY, NY 

Tickets:        $10 TALK, suggested donation at door. $25 DINNER, drinks and gratuity not included, advance reservations requested.

For Information: https://jimmysno43.com/
To purchase tickets: email Foodkarma@gmail.com  or call 212 982 3006.

Event #3.

Date:        Tuesday, October 23, 2012 

10 to 11 AM 
Talk, walk the farm and share a cup of coffee or herbal tea with Ben Flanner , Jim Gerritsen and "Harvest" author Richard Horan.

Place:        Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building No. 3

Tickets:        $10, suggested donation at door

         For Information and directions: email info@brooklyngrangefarm.com or call 347 670 3660

        Maximum attendance: 24.  First come, first serve.

Event #4.

Date:        Tuesday, October 23, 2012 

                  6 to 9 PM Farmer’s Dinner Fundraiser

Place:        Rucola, 190 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 

Tickets:    $90 cost includes wine, 3-course dinner built around Wood Prairie Farm and Brooklyn Grange harvest, presentation, dessert with Q and A.

For Information:  https://www.rucolabrooklyn.com/
To purchase tickets: email julian@rucolabrooklyn.com  or call 718.576.3209

Smoking Gun: Explosive New French Study Sinks
                                                     Monsanto's GE Crop Ship

     A landmark peer-reviewed two-year-long study has just been published in the journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology.”  A team of researchers led by Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen documented shocking health problems which has shattered the concocted biotech image of GE crops and their joined-at-the-hip-partner ‘Roundup’ as safe. An article about the study posted on SustainablePulse.com notes "In the first ever study to examine the long-term effects of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the NK603 Roundup-resistant GM maize also developed by Monsanto, the CRIIGEN scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females... 'This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats. It shows an extraordinary number of cancers developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.'"

     A must watch video (12:50) “GMO: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH" has been produced which delves into the methodology, explosive results and ramifications of the pivotal Seralini team study.

     If history is any judge we can now expect that biotech will deploy a full bore smear campaign in an effort to discredit this important study and to assassinate the character of those courageous scientists who performed the research. 


Click for Wood Prarie Organic Seed Potatoes – Free of Monsanto Control and GE Content.


CRIIGEN Study Rats. Explosive results contradict biotech claims of safety.

Two Valuable Prop 37 Info Posters   

Our friends at Cornucopia Institute in Wisconsin have produced two good informational posters (click on the images to enlarge) - one an update - in support of Prop 37, the Right-To-Know GMO Labeling initiative which Californians will vote on November 6.

     Honest and dedicated organic community companies are supporting the people’s interest and funding the pro-Prop 37 grassroots campaign.  Meanwhile, other notable large organic corporations are absent. Why?  And, incredibly, some Big Food corporations which have bought their way into the organic industry have actually been helping Monsanto and their biotech cronies raise over $32 million to fund the massive disinformation campaign designed to confuse and fool voters. Monsanto has hired former tobacco industry lobbyists who are up to their old tricks to conjure doubt, this time whether Americans should have the Right-To-Know if a food item has been genetically engineered or not.

     As a state, California represents the world’s 8th largest economy.  If the people can pass Prop 37, the reverberations throughout the entire food industry will be felt from sea to shining sea.  It is this potential transparency and access to information which has misanthropic Monsanto so worried about.  If you live in California please vote Yes on Prop 37.  If you live outside of California please encourage your Cal friends to vote Yes, and please contribute to the grassroots campaign working on behalf of the peoples’ interest.

     Meanwhile, in breaking news, a LA Times poll out today indicates that California voters favor Prop 37 by more than a 2:1 margin. Of registered voters 61% favor Prop 37; 25% are opposed; and 14% are undecided.


Click here for our Wood Prairie Organic Seed Section – Free From Monsanto Control and Free From GE.

Recipe: Tomato Tarte Tatin

Rye Pie Crust
1/3 c rye flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 c salted butter, cut into cubes
3 - 4 T cold water

Pulse ingredients together in food processor or mix by hand, cutting in the butter. Drizzle cold water and mix until dough comes together. 

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while preparing tomato filling.

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs mix of tomatoes
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
a bit of flour
zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat to saute' the onions and a couple pinches of salt in the oil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are deeply golden and caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

While the onions are cooking, cut any larger tomatoes in half and leave the smaller ones whole. Add tomatoes to the caramelized onions along with the sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a deep pie dish. If you get the sense that the tomatoes are quite juicy and might release a lot of liquid, you can toss the mixture with a tablespoon or two of flour at this point. Sprinkle mixture with lemon zest. 

Roll out the pie dough, and use it to cover the tomato mixture, tucking in the sides a bit. Cut a few slits in the crust and bake in the top third of the oven until the crust is deeply golden and the tomatoes are bubbling a bit at the sides, 25-30 minutes. 
Serves 6-8


Tomato Tarte Tatin. Late season treat. Photo by Angela Wotton.

FREE Copy of "Harvest" by Richard Horan

We know you will enjoy Richard Horan’s new memorable book “Harvest – An Adventure into the Heart of America’s Family Farms.”


     Now here's your chance to earn a FREE copy ofHarvest” ($14.99 value) with your next purchase of $75 or more. FREE Harvest” book offer ends Monday, October 1.

     Please use Promo Code WPF1129. Your order must ship by 5/3/13 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 $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.

Our Mailbox: Good Seed, Good Eating, Good Fertilizer and a Good Life
Avoiding Monsanto

Dear WPF.
     On the Occupy Monsanto Facebook page, I think a lot of our fans would be particularly interested in your heirloom varieties.

Tulsa, OK

WPF Replies.

     Thanks for thinking of us. Here's the best listing that we are aware of that lists seed companies that have nothing to do with Monsanto. Many of those of us on this list also do sell organic and heirloom seed.


Food Strategy

Dear WPF.
     I have an allergy doctor friend at a major medical research university, and I asked him and a famous researcher about GMO. Both of these guys are ultra nerd and probably lean towards conservatives. Both of them, without hesitation, said, "Oh, for sure--definitely". They told me to avoid GMO products as much as I can.
     That's really difficult unless you grow your own stuff or buy from a farmer that conciously uses GMO-free seeds. According to the USDA almost 90% of the commercial corn and soy products along with cooking oils are made from GMO crops.
     If you don't buy from a good farmer, the next best thing, I guess, is to move to France.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Processed products are where people consume GE content - that's where to begin the weaning process. Select certified organic. If on a budget, start cooking more from scratch and choose organic rice, wheat, potatoes, sunflower oil, and vegetables as foundation ingredients. Growing an organic garden has many benefits not the least of which is getting great quality at low out-of-pocket expense. Don't expect the change to occur overnight. But start today and commit yourself to making steady progress. This is life changing work and worth the effort.


Good Fertilizer

Dear WPF.
     Is your organic Potato Fertilizer free of genetic enginerring?

Nantucket, MA

WPF Replies.

     Yes. Our Potato Fertilizermeets the requirements for certified organic producers and we use it on our MOFGA certified organic farm. All of the ingredients (Dried Fish Meal, Sul-Po-Mag, Vol-Cana-Phos and Meneafee Hummates are on the USDA NOP National List and are not Genetically Engineered .


Choosing The Good Life

Dear WPF.
     Thought you might like to see this article 'Farm Fresh: New Generation of Farmers Feed A Demand', I spent part of my childhood in Newington, Connecticut.

Taftville, CT

WPF Replies.

     Thanks. This story describes the new generation of American farmers - determined, highly educated, sometimes farming on the urban edge. The 'Greenhorns' is a central organization developed by and for these new young farmers. https://www.thegreenhorns.net/


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