Prairie Seed Piece
December 2nd 2016
24 Issue 21
Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:
Gerritsen Blowing Snow. It was
nice to see the sun again this morning after we’ve gone through three
back-to-back snow storms since Sunday. In total, the storms
dropped 20” of new heavy wet snow this week across Northern Maine.
In the photo above taken just
this morning, Caleb is using our tractor-mounted seven-foot-wide snow
blower to clear out the entrance to our barn.
As you will see in the new You
Tube video (0:42) linked in our first article,
early on, not everyone was convinced life in our big, bright and dry
translucent-tarp-barn was preferable to living outside during a Maine
Hopefully proving yet again,
experience is a good teacher.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
Click here for the
Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.
Piglets in the Snow.
Piglets Slightly Superior to Herding Cats.
the action in this short video.
Winter’s first snow can become confusing to
anyone. Now imagine if you were one of a drove of Wood Prairie American Guinea hog
, born earlier this Fall and had never seen snow
Maybe you, too,
would escape from the
pen outside the dry Winter Barn
and head back to the Apple
Orchard where you - and your siblings and cousins - were born and have
lived their entire short lives.
Deep snow, little piglets and
made for a bit of follow-the-leader comedy as
you will see in this short cell-phone-now-You-Tube-video
Megan shot this week.
clever, Megan used the ruts created by tractor-tires – along with a
sprinkling of grain - to entice
the leaders-of-the-pack back to their new winter home
safety and warmth of our barn.
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for our Organic Cover Crop Seed.
Offer: FREE Organic
One of the delicious Fresh
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your chance to receive some Organic Red Russian Garlic at no cost. Earn
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Here for our Delicious Fresh Organic Vegetables.
|Wood Prairie Family Farmer to
Speak in the Key Stone State.
In not much over a
week Jim will be headed down to Harrisburg for the 3rd
Annual Growing Pennsylvania’s Organic Farms Conference
on December 13 & 14. Registrations
are now being accepted.
Jim’s Dinner Keynote
presentation on the first evening is entitled Growing Our
He will speak about the
promise - and potential pitfalls - which lay ahead as the organic
sector develops and matures.
Earlier that same day, as
might be predictable, Jim will present a workshop entitled How We Grow
Finally, on the morning of the
conference’s final day, he has been tapped to present and explain Why the
Future of Organic Rests Upon Organic Seed.
. If you are near Pennsylvania
and able to attend, Jim would love to meet you there. Please
do say Hi
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for Our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
the Growing Pennsylvania's Organic Farms Conference. Jim
gives three talks in two days.
Organic Standards Board Members. At left two member who
are strong allies and Certified Organic farmers: Francis Thicke (Iowa)
and Emily Oakley (Oklahoma).
|NOSB Meeting Report: USDA Voices
Strongman Paternalism During St.Louis Meeting.
Last month, the National Organic Standards Board
(NOSB) met in St. Louis MO for three days of public
meetings. The expert citizen’s advisory board,
representing the diverse interests of the organic industry, was tasked
by Congress - under the Organic Foods Production Act
(OFPA) of 1990 - to determine and inform
the USDA National Organic Program of its position on policy matters
critical to the integrity, success and development of
organic. As President of Organic
Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), Jim
attended the St Louis NOSB meeting and prepared this report.
The NOSB acted
boldly, and by a margin of 10-3-1 (one abstention) voted to ban the dubious
food ingredient Carrageenam from use in all
organic food products. Our allies at the Cornucopia
Institute deserves the credit for this victory. Cornucopia
waged a six-year-long battle during which they exposed serious concerns over the
negative impact of Carrageenam on human health.
In a massive display of power, pro-Carrageenam corporate forces
deployed scores of scripted hired guns to promote their position during
the public testimony sessions.
Additionally, on a vote of
14-0, the NOSB accepted in its entirety the three-part Excluded Methods Terminology
proposal developed and championed by certified organic farmer and NOSB
member Zea Sonnebend for the past five years. “Excluded Methods”
refers to the various incantations of genetic engineering or
gene-splicing. In recent times, Monsanto, its
Biotech allies and some turncoats now filling corporate lobbying roles
in the organic industry have asserted some of their NBTs (New Breeding
Techniques) ought to be allowed in organic. In fact, three
Biotech lobbyists – including speakers representing the self-serving
American Seed Trade Association and Dupont-Pioneer - testified along
those lines. The NOSB
decision slams the door shut once and for
all on GE crops. The remarkable
unanimous vote made clear to everyone in attendance – including USDA National Organic
Program (NOP) employees – that there is absolutely no way
genetic engineering is - or will ever be - appropriate for organic.
Sadly, the NOSB was
outmaneuvered by the unseemly behavior of USDA on the issue of allowing
corporate hydroponics in organics.
Congress intended organic agriculture – via the OFPA law it passed
in 1990 - to be defined as the soil-based
system it has been recognized as for 100 years. OFPA requires that
the primary source of plant fertility must come from the
soil. Obviously, it is impossible to meet this legal requirement
in hydroponic operations because by definition they are soil-less.
video interview, Living Maxwell's Max Goldberg speaks with Jim
on the last day of the NOSB meeting.
It is extremely
troubling that USDA has worked defiantly and behind-the-scenes to
implement a politically-motivated
agenda which allows hydroponics into organic when it is so
illegal to do so. However, even more despicable
was the utterance by USDA NOP Program Administrator Mr. Miles McEvoy
during the NOSB meeting, that it didn’t matter what the NOSB voted
because it would be the USDA which would be making all of the decisions.
The clear Congressional intent
by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - who authored OFPA - and to the
many hundreds of people who worked hard to get OFPA passed in
1990, including Jim, was to create a balanced partnership between the
NOSB and USDA NOP. USDA’s
power-grabbing paternalism represents bullying of the worst kind.
As taxpayers we should expect – and receive - respect for the law and respect for the
public interest as represented by the NOSB. This illustration
of the corporate
capture of USDA by Industrial Ag is outrageous.
It should not go unchallenged.
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for Our Organic Specialty Potatoes for the Kitchen.
|Orwell On The Media.
Also known as Needhams, the widespread
belief in these parts is that Maine Potato Candies originated here in
the potato country of northern Maine. You'll often find recipes for
Needhams in old time Maine cookbooks. And what could be better and
richer than chocolate, coconut and potatoes! Megan
3/4 cup of mashed Elba
2 lbs of powdered Sugar
1/4 lb of butter
1/2 pound flaked coconut (about 2+ cups)
2 tsp vanilla
Pare, cook and mash the
potatoes to make 3/4 cup. In a double broiler on top of the stove, melt
the butter over boiling water. Add the mashed potato, powdered sugar,
flaked coconut and vanilla. Mix well. Spread the mixture evenly in a
buttered cookie sheet. Place in a cool place to harden - such as a cool
garage. When hard, cut the mixture into small squares for dipping in
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cake paraffin wax
Melt the paraffin in the bowl
of a double broiler. Add the chocolates and melt. Stir well. Dip the
Needham squares in the chocolate with a toothpick and place on waxed
paper to harden. Makes 66 good-sized Needhams. The recipe may be cut in
Click here for Wood Prairie
Organic Kitchen Potatoes
Hearty and Delicious.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm