Wood Prairie Farm                            In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter            Oral Argument Scheduled in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto
      Organic News and Commentary
                        Determined Reistance Grows After Stolen Election.
       Wednesday November 21, 2012                         The Farmer's Share.
                                                                                                      Recipe: Homemade French Fries.
                                                                                                      Special Offer: FREE Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag.
                                                                                 .                   ,Mailbox: Loyalty, Conundrum, Nutritious Taters and Unwanted Parasites.        

        On The Eve of Thanksgiving.
     New Wood Prairie Catalog On Its Way.  The printer's work is now done and our new Holiday 2012 Wood Prairie Farm catalog is in the mail and on its way to you. Do check out our great new additions which include Dark Red Norland, Czech Black, Klari Baby Cheese and Cinnamon Six Grain.
     We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. Your loyalty and your steadfast support of our farm and business are one of the things that we are most grateful for this Thanksgiving. Thank you!

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page

Oral Argument Scheduled in
     OSGATA et al v. Monsanto

     This morning, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. announced that it would hear the family farmers’ Appeal of Dismissal in Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto at 10am on Thursday January 10, 2013.  The landmark organic community lawsuit was originally filed in Federal District Court in March 2011.
     OSGATA et al v. Monsanto challenges the validity of Monsanto transgenic patents and seeks preemptive court protection for farmers should Monsanto seed trespass onto our farms and contaminate our crops. The farmers are not seeking one cent in this lawsuit. Should contamination occur, innocent farmers would be placed in legal jeopardy and could be held liable by Monsanto for patent infringement because of the farmers’ “possession” of Monsanto technology without having paid royalty on that “possession.”  The Plaintiff-farmers’ lawyers asked Monsanto for a binding legal covenant guaranteeing family farmers that they would not be pursued for patent infringement should they be contaminated. Monsanto refused to provide this assurance. 
     The Appeal breif cites legal and factual errors by Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald which in toto caused her to erroneously conclude that the farmers lacked standing under the Declaratory Judgement Act to seek court protection.  Two powerful Amicii briefs were filed by eleven law professors and environmental groups in support of the farmers’ position and will be considered by the three judge Appellate panel.
     OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen said, “Family farmers are seeking justice from the courts.  We are hopeful that the Appellate justices will agree with our strong legal argument that this case should go forward.  American farmers want our day in court.  We are prepared to prove to the court that the U.S. Patent Office improperly granted Monsanto their patents on genetically engineered seed.  Our right-to-farm and our livelihoods are at stake.”
      It is critical that the Oral Argument courtroom be filled with concerned Plaintiff-farmers in order to visibly demonstrate that the case of  is not just an academic debate of patent law. Rather it is a monumental issue affecting family farmers across the country, with implications of global significance. OSGATA has re-established its Farmer Travel Fund which is in immediate need of contributions to support farmers in this monumental OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit effort.  Thank you for your support of family farmers!

Jim & Megan

Farmers Head to Court. Will we receive justice?

     Cornucopia Poster on Organic Friends and Foes.  Print out this chart from our friends at Cornucopia Institute and take it with you every time you shop for food. (Click on image to enlarge).

Determined Resistance Grows After
     Stolen Election

     In the aftermath of the CA Prop 37 Right-To-Know GMO Labeling initiative election theft by Biotech and their Big Food cronies, things are not going well for the Biotech bullies.  Clumsily, Biotech misdeeds have spawned a growing resistance.
     Genetic engineering (GE) labeling advocates are heralding the 5 million Prop 37 Yes votes (representing the 47% Yes vs. the 53% ‘No’) as manifestation of the successful development of a national political food movement.  And that movement is on the march.
     Unwilling to wait for the federal government to act, 43 States plus the District of Columbia are developing local legislative or initiative efforts to label GE crops.  If you want to get involved, drop a line to our friends at GMO Free USA (GMOFreeUSA@gmail.com), tell them where you live, and they will hook you up with neighbors you can work with to bring the GE labeling battle to your state.
     Corporate giant health insurer Kaiser Permanente caused quite a stir when they recently advised their members to avoid eating GE food.  “Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects on human health.”
     And Organic Consumers Association is mounting a nationwide boycott of traitor ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ brands which supported Monsanto and Big Food’s dishonest campaign to defeat Prop 37.
     Your food dollar spent wisely with an organic farmer has double impact.  First, that dollar supports increased market demand so that new organic family farmers can get into farming. And second, that well-spent dollar denies Biotech and Big Food the resources with which to abuse the people.
     Grow your food, buy organic and avoid GE processed faux-food. The people have the power if we choose to use it.  Now’s the time!


The Farmer's Share.

     We are members of the National Farmers Union and one of the valuable services they provide is helping make folks aware of both Farmgate Prices (below) and 'Farmer's Share of Retail Food Dollar' (above). Spending your food dollars wisely and buying as much unprocessed food as possible saves you money and minimizes your family's consumption of geneticlaly engineered ingredients and gets more of your food dollar into the pockets of family farmers. "Parity" is "par exchange" or the fair balanced price for a farm commodity in historical relation to other sectors of the economy.

Jim & Megan

Farm Price Barometer
October 2012

Commodity Crops
Current Price
Parity Price
% of Parity
Barley (bushel)
Corn (bushel)
Cotton, Upland (lb)
Flaxseed (bushel)
Oats (Bushel)
Peanuts (lb)
Rice (cwt)
Sorghum Grain (cwt)
Soybeans (bushel)
Wheat (bushel)

Cattle (cwt)
Hogs (cwt)

Eggs, (dozen)
1.05 2.66
Milk, All (cwt)
19.70 52.70

Homemade French Fries. Photo by Angie Wotton.
Recipe: Homemade French Fries.

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold 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)

1.  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. 

2.  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.
Special Offer: FREE Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag

New in this year’s Catalog is our sturdy Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag. This is a good quality bag you will want to take with you on treks to the farmers market or the grocery store. Handsome forest green color with orange logo, measures 12” x 5.5” x 15”.

     Now here's your chance to earn a FREE Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag  ($9.95 value)  with your next purchase of $50 or more. FREE Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag offer ends Monday, November 26.

     Please use Promo Code WPF1133. Your order and FREE Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag must ship by 12/5/12. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please call or click today!

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Tools and Supplies Section.



Our Mailbox: Loyalty, Conundrum, Nutritious Taters and Unwanted Parasites.

Subscriber Loyalty.

Dear WPF.
     Dear Wood Prairie Farm,

     You make us smile! There's that silly note at the end of your newsletter to 'unsubscribe'...are you kidding?! You actually make us believe that there are wholesome, compelling, amazing individuals and businesses alive and well within the framework of this country. Reading your periodic blogs and newsletter makes us believe there is good left in this world....for which we are forever smitten with your products! Please, please do not change.

Kirkland, WA

WPF Replies.

     You are very kind and we're truly grateful for the wonderful support that you offer us. Thanks very much.

Jim & Megan

Cover Crop Conundrum.

Dear WPF.


     Mind if I pick your brain on this a bit? I'm kind of surprised at seeing you do Fall planted oats. I am also kind of just learning on cover crop rotation, but don't oats winter kill? Or is that the idea? I have experimented with cover crops on a general veggie garden rotation mainly in eastern Massachusetts. I buy premixed green manure mixes, mainly from Johnny's and their fall mixes usually contian rye for the grain (with field peas and hairy vetch for legumes) while oats are in their spring mixes. the Fall-planted rye usually overwinters and comes up in the spring with the legume(s). Then in the late Spring following, if I don't want the rye to set seed, I mow it and vetch and red cover get released and take the field for the rest of the off year that garden plot gets. I notice the conventional farmers in Northern Maine seem to Spring plant oats and a legume, usually red clover, the Spring after potato harvest, letting the fields sit bare over the winter. Though I am loath to come up from Away and challenge professional farmers and their practices, it seems to me that if I harvested potatoes, I'd immediately get a cover crop going that Fall. but I just figured the reason they don't do it is because there isn't enough growing season left for even a cold hearty cover such as clover/rye to get going in Central Aroostook. They also seem to fall plow the off-year oat/clover cover crops at the end of the cover crop season and allow them to lay bare so as to be ready as early as possible for potato planting after the winter. Is spring potato planting time really that valuable for area farmers that they have to let land lay bare all winter by tilling the cover the previous fall? It seems to me that they are losing one of the prime benefits of a cover crop when they till it in so early. What's the deal with cover crops and potatoes in Aroostook? Thanks!

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Aroostook County's short growing season is a big factor in everything the farmers do. The reality is that our ground freezes over in November and stays frozen all winter under a blanket of snow. Frozen ground doesn't erode. There is insufficient time to plow down crops in the Spring and then plant early crops like potatoes or grain. We plowdown our Rapeseed cover crop in early November right before the ground freezes. On harvested potato ground we spin on oats - often the same day the potatoes come out. Since one can't predict the future one never knows for sure that oat crop will catch but we feel it is worth the gamble in case we do get heat. We chose and prefer a protective soil cover of winter killed oats because they do their job of holding and saving the soil and they are easy to incorporate in the Spring ahead of our early planted milling wheat or hull-less oats.


Nutritious Taters.

Dear WPF.
     Is there a nutritional difference between say 50 grams of "regular" potatoes and 50 grams of "fingerling" potatoes? For a diabetic it is sad to have potatoes a banned food. I used to grow Green Mountains in the early 50's and they were awesome as a "keeper". Wondered if I could use just the skins of my home grown organics (Purple Viking) as a lower glycemic food. The inside would go to the chickens.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

    Fingerling potatoes are a sub-group of potatoes, but potatoes they are, and I would expect more variation to occur from one variety to another than from one sub-group to another. If there is any group difference it might be accountable to the fact that the fingerlings small size represents a higher 'skin to mass' ratio. As you infer, a potato's nutrient content is greatest near the skin. Hence higher nutrition could be attributable to fingerling's higher percentage of 'skin region.' Some potato varities are star performers. When our Butte russet was released as a new variety in the 1970s it recieved a lot of acclaim for having 20% more protein and 57% more vitamin C than plain Jane Russet Burbank. Some of our customers have told us that above and beyond the great taste of Butte, they also appreciate Butte's nutritional density.


Unwanted Parasites.

Dear WPF.
     Monsanto and others of that kind are like parasites living off farmers and destroying the rural economy. In addition to directly and indirectly controlling much important germ plasm, they are degrading the rest with their unwanted transgenic contamination. I think we need to be more proactive about contamination. Just setting impossibly low thresholds will only hurt us. We can and should develop GMO contamination prevention plans on our farms. Each species is different and has different types and degrees of risk from various sources. A good plan must address potential GM contamination from seed, planting/harvesting equipment, pollen drift, trucking and handling, and in products such as inoculants, fertilizers, etc. I am sure there are some other risks I haven't thought of.

Pen Yan, NY

WPF Replies.
     Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) is producing what will be a peer-reviewed one-stop GE Contamination Avoidance Protocol document to aid the organic community in protecting itself. Additionally, once OSGATA et al v. Monsanto wins in court organic farmers will have court protection so that Monsanto can not perversely sue us for patent infringement when they trespass on our farms, contaminate our crops and then claim we are 'possessing' their transgenic technology without paying royalty. This essential court protection will for the first time give organic farmers the unfettered ability to recover damages caused by Monsanto's transgenic pollution.


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