Issue of The Seed Piece:
Oral Argument Scheduled in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto
Determined Reistance Grows After Stolen
Recipe: Homemade French Fries.
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Megan Gerritsen & Family
|Oral Argument Scheduled in
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
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
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
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
Determined Resistance Grows After
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
Genetic engineering (GE) labeling advocates are
heralding the 5 million Prop 37 Yes
(representing the 47% Yes vs. the 53% ‘No’) as manifestation of the
successful development of a national political food movement. And
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
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
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
|% of Parity
|Milk, All (cwt)
Homemade French Fries. Photo by Angie Wotton.
|Recipe: Homemade French Fries.
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
c peanut oil
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.
Special Offer: FREE
Wood Prairie Farm Tote Bag
|Our Mailbox: Loyalty, Conundrum,
Nutritious Taters and Unwanted Parasites.
Dear Wood Prairie
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.
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.
Mind if I pick your brain on this a bit?
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!
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
the soil and they are easy to incorporate in the Spring ahead of our
planted milling wheat or hull-less oats.
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.
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
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
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
Some of our customers have told us that above and beyond the great
Butte, they also appreciate Butte's nutritional density.
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.
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
Monsanto's transgenic pollution.
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm