October 16 2015
22 Issue 21
Enjoy Receiving The Seed
support our continuing
work which includes The Seed
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Last Week on Wood Prairie Farm. This
photo - of
a spectacular billowy cloud at sunset - was taken one evening last week
as we dug Prairie Blush potatoes in the West-of-Waterway field. With
overall pretty good weather this Fall we have been harvesting almost
every day for the last month. Organic
Dry Beans, Organic
Seed Corn and Organic
Table Onions are harvested and drying down.
Harvest of our crops of table Carrots,
will keep us busy next week. This last Tuesday, Potato Harvest Break
ended and schools went back into session.
Of our five fields of potatoes this
year, we are now onto our last field (East-of-Waterway) and left with
just two varieties to finish digging - late varieties, Butte
With snow in the forecast for tomorrow - Saturday - today we are
dodging showers, pushing through muddy conditions to get as much done
as we can before things turn worse.
With one of the best growing seasons in
many, many years, Aroostook County is setting records with high yields
of excellent quality potatoes. The sheer, huge volume of potatoes has
had the impact of lengthening out harvest. In Aroostook County
virtually no one has yet completed harvest. Area farmers are filling
their potato houses completely full and yet running out of storage
space. So shops and garages - and any available building - are being
converted into temporary potato storages to handle the big crop. If one
has to have problems, a nice, big crop of potatoes is a good problem to
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.
Potatoes. The best reason for growing and harvesting
Sensational Recipes from NY Times.
Do not miss this
great New York Times article by Rikki Snyder -
complete with beautiful photographs from the New York times of 10
excellent potato recipes. Now we remember what potato harvest is all
for Our Organic Maine Speciality Potatoes for the Kitchen.
Offer: FREE Organic Carola Certified Seed Potatoes
for Your Garden.
Yesterday we got done digging a beautiful big crop of the
golden-fleshed variety, Carola.
Carola is a variety originally from Germany and a reliably good
yielder. In the kitchen, Carola
is one of the best potatoes for eating that we’ve ever come
across. It is medium moist as measured by specific
gravity. Carola has a high percentage of Amylase
starch which means, used in a Potato-Leek
soup-like recipe, the soup will come out remarkably thick and velvety.
We’d like to share
our bounty of Carola with you for your family’s next garden! Receive a FREE
2 ½ lbs Sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Carola Seed Potatoes
(Value $16.95) on your next order where the goods total $49 or
more. Please use Promo
Code WPF473. Your order and FREE
2 1/2 lbs Sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Carola Seed
Potatoes must ship by 4/30/16. Offer Expires 11:59p.m.,
Monday, October 19, so please hurry!
Click Here for Our Organic Maine
Certified Seed Potatoes.
and Tomato Gratin.
For the onions:
2 T olive oil
2 medium onion
1 1/4 lb small ripe tomatoes
cored and cut into 1/4" thick slices
2 small zucchini
cut into 1/4" thick slices on the bias
2 small yellow summer
, cut into 1/4" thick slices on the bias
3 T olive oil
1/4 c fresh thyme
1 tsp coarse salt
1 1/4 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the
onions and saute, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 20
minutes. Spread the onions evenly in the bottom of an oiled 2-quart
shallow gratin dish.
Heat the oven to 375F. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to
drain for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices. In a
medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices with 1 1/2 T of the
olive oil, 2 T thyme, and 1/2 tsp salt. Reserve half of the cheese for
the top of the gratin. Sprinkle 1 T of the thyme over the onions in the
gratin. Starting at one end of the baking dish, lay a row of slightly
overlapping tomato slices across the width of the dish and sprinkle
with a little of the cheese. Next lay a row of zucchini, overlapping
the tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row
of squash, and then repeat rows, sprinkling each with cheese, until the
grain is full.
Season lightly with pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Drizzle the
remaining 1 1/2 T olive oil over all. Combine the reserved cheese with
the remaining thyme and sprinkle this over the gratin. Cook until well
browned and the juices have bubbled for awhile and reduced
considerably, 65 to 70 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Biological Enhancements and Lessons from Doss.
What is it specifically about your soil that makes
for such great potato growing? (pH, mineral composition, etc.)?
When it comes to potatoes, Aroostook
County is helped with its vast expanse of well-drained loam soils, warm
Summer days and cool nights. On Wood Prairie Farm, we do not cut
corners and for 40 years we have made improved organic soil health our
top priority. Our efforts include a long, soil building crop rotation,
full mineralization of our soil with rock powders, and the addition of
biological enhancements to benefit the soil biota - and our potatoes.
Lessons from Doss.
The article on Pick-Your-Own
Potatoes in Vermont mentioned that a family of 11 picks their
potatoes for a year. How do you store potatoes for the year without
them sprouting? This farm is only 15 miles from my son and his family,
I'm thinking of going next year.
the Fall, Winter and Spring, potatoes store best in soil-like
conditions (cool 38-40ºF; dark, moist). But a change is needed come
May. Years ago we learned from our potato farming neighbor, Doss Morse
- born in 1899 - that to keep potatoes through the Summer, one must
remove them from the moist cellar. In May, when the potatoes want to
sprout, move them to a 'cool' DRY place. Doss's woodshed was on the
north side of his house and that's where he'd keep a barrel (165 lbs.)
or two of potatoes to get through the Summer until the new crop was
ready. The woodshed never got above the 60s. He and his wife Etta
(married 67 years) would eat potatoes twenty meals per week year-round.
Their home-grown diet was centered around potatoes, biscuits and Jacob's
Cattle dry beans. We just harvested the last of our Jakes
last week - Doss taught us how to grow them, too, over 35 years ago.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm