Prairie Seed Piece
November 17th 2017
25 Issue 17
Issue of The Wood
A Potato Life.
Grading of Adirondack Blue Potatoes on Wood Prairie Family Farm. Circa
Here, recently, Caleb, Megan and Jim are putting up
and boxing an early wholesale order of beautiful Adirondack
Blue potatoes. Our organic seed potato crop is all in storage
and the tubers have come through the suberization (wound healing)
process. We’re beginning to clean and pre-grade our potato
crop on our “long grading line.” Potato storage temperature
is down to the low 40s and we’ll keep dropping the temps with cool
night time air until we bottom out at 38oF for the rest of the winter.
Outside, it’s mid-November in northern Maine and
it looks the part. Area ponds are freezing over, the ground
is now frozen hard, and every second or third day we get a dusting or
more of snow. Caleb is busy putting away farm equipment and
getting the yard cleared out and ready for a winter’s worth of
Life never slows down on a farm but we always do
take off Thanksgiving because it’s one of our favorite
holidays. We’re happy working on our farm and grateful for
your friendship and loyal business that let’s us keep
farming. We hope you and your family have a wonderful
Thanksgiving and that as winter settles in your woodshed is chock full
of dry firewood for the long nights ahead.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
|"The Potato Harvest"
"The Potato Harvest"
circa 1882. Watercolor by British painter Thomas James Lloyd (1849 -
Organic Maine Certified Reddale Seed.
We have been growing the rugged and reliable Organic
potato for over 30 years. Reddale is a bright, beautiful
Red which gets right down to business and grows fast. High
yields, good taste and keeps all winter in storage. After
first time growing Reddale, you’ll wonder how you ever got along
Now you can give Reddale a try
and it will be on us. Receive a FREE
1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine Certified Reddale
$11.95) when your next order totals $49 or more. FREE
1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine Certified Reddale Offer
11:59 PM on Monday, November 20, 2017, so better hurry!
Please use Promo Code WPFF416
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and FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic
Maine Certified Reddale Seed
must ship by May 5, 2018.
Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please click today!
for for Wood Prairie Certifed Organic Cover Crop Seed
Reddale. One of the very best early Reds and a customer
Comparing Potato Starch.
From today and 10,000 years ago.
|Scientists Document Domesticated
Potatoes Were Eaten in the American Southwest 10,000 Years Ago.
Here is a fascinating
story which is re-writing the history of the potato in the
Americas. Anthropologists have now determined that indigenous
people in what is now called the Escalante Valley in southern Utah were
eating a cousin of our modern Solanum
tuberosum potatoes as long ago as 10,900 years
ago. The domesticated wild species, Solanus jamesii,
was identified from small amounts of starch found on cooking tools
excavated in an archeological dig. Scientists have
confirmed these ancient potatoes were used as a human food source over
the course of at least 4000 years.
and now starch molecules were examined by powerful microscopes and
shown to be one and the same as what is known as the ‘Four Corners’
potato. While modern-day locals have grown the petite ‘Four Corners’
potato for many generations, no one had any idea that their
cultivation extended back 10,000 years to the dawn of agriculture.
DNA analysis provided evidence the ‘Four Corners’ potatoes are not
originally native to the Escalante Valley. Therefore,
feel that long distance trade must have been involved in their
introduction into the area. Many questions are yet
answered including who first brought the ‘Four Corners’ potatoes into
the Escalante Valley, when and by what route?
article in Science Alert offers additional
details plus links to the research
and contains an excellent MUST WATCH! video (6:28) describing the
pioneering work of University of Utah scientists and locals who have
protected and grown the Four Corners potatoes for many decades.
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
|NOSB Fumbles the Organic Ball in
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is the fifteen
member citizen-expert stakeholder advisory body to the USDA National
Organic Program (NOP). The NOSB was created by the organic
labeling law, the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990
recent NOSB meeting, held earlier this month in Jacksonville, NOSB
members had the opportunity to stand tall and reinforce support for a clear 2010 NOSB ruling which - on
a resounding 12-1 vote - banned soil-less “Hydroponic” production from
Sadly, the NOSB fumbled and egregiously failed to uphold organic
integrity. In a pivotal 8-7 vote, the NOSB refused to ban
“organic” crops grown in soil-less systems in which the plants are
fertilized with a prohibited diet of water-soluble nutrients.
A study of the hundred-year history of organic farming would show that
it was founded and continues to serve as a challenge to the
reductionist tendencies of “modern”
has come to believe solutions are to be found in purchased
and bottles of toxic chemical inputs.
tenets of organic farming, on the other hand, have a deep,
abiding faith in nature. Authentic organic farming in founded
upon building up the soil as the means of growing nutritionally-dense
crops which are superior, strong and free of predation by insects or
disease. The popular adage coined by organic pioneer J.I.
in the 1940s sums it up well: Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants =
In recent years the USDA Secretary has stacked the membership on the
NOSB so that it has become weighted heavily with corporate
the corporate bloc is primarily concerned about growing industry sales.
This corporate bloc’s tendency is to not respect the law, not
acknowledge historical requirements that organic farming be soil-based,
and all too often fail to protect the legitimate rights of organic
eaters and honest organic family farmers.
friend, Iowa organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke, however, is cut from
a different cloth. After serving his five-year
Francis is retiring from the NOSB and Jacksonville was his final
powerful ‘exit remarks,’
delivered towards the end of the meeting were insightful and
courageous. We encourage you to take the time to
in their entirety on the Keep-the-Soil-in-Organic website.
Farmers Sarah & Ryan Voiland of Red Fire Farm in MA. Supporting
Keeping-the-Soil-in-Organic in Jacksonville.
|Notable Quotes: Francis
Thicke on Hydroponic Deception.
2 1/2 pounds Yukon
potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides
squared off, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch batons
6 c peanut oil
1/4 c bacon fat, strained (optional)
Combine potatoes, oil and bacon fat (if using) in large Dutch oven.
Cook over high heat until oil has reached rolling boil, about 5
minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp
but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes.
Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and
continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to
10 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper
bag or paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Fun as an occasional treat.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox