Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                  Friday December 06, 2013

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Bare Ground This Week. Snow Next Week.

      The Season of Short Daylight and Gift Giving.  Throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and 90’s our first serious snow would arrive the week of Thanksgiving and then stay until April showers took the Winter’s accumulated snow away.  Our Falls are warmer now and in recent years this has meant alternating snow and rain between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That translates to our new experience of unwelcome icy conditions in December, a hazard for both walking and driving that the coast of Maine has long known but is still new to us in the inland North.  It will come as no surprise that we preferred the old days when the snow would come early and daytime temperatures would stay below freezing for a run of 3-4 months.  It was predictable and it was easy. Which reminds us of this question: How many farmers does it take to change a light bulb?  The answer, of course, is three. One to screw in the new bulb and the other two to talk about how good that old bulb was.

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Spelt. Photo credit: Food Navigator.
Primer on Ten Ancient Grains.
     We guarantee you will learn something new and interesting in this excellent primer on Ancient Grains from the folks at Food Navigator.

   Don’t miss the excellent photos and concise descriptions of the following Ancient Grains now making a comeback: Spelt, Farro, Kamut, Quinoa, Amaranth, Chia, Sorghum, Freekeh, Teff, and Millet.  Organic Spelt is one of the grains we offer in our catalog and on our website.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Grains Section.

 Nine Easy Steps for Growing Delicious Potatoes in Containers.

   Kerry Michaels has an effective teaching style and you will enjoy the clarity of her tutorial as to how to grow great potatoes in containers.  Kerry likes to use our Smart Bags for container growing - they are versatile, re-usable, inexpensive and long-lasting. With step-by-step photographs and concise explanations Kerry takes the mystery out of growing potatoes anywhere container-style.

   Says Kerry, "If you’ve never had a freshly dug potato you are in for a total treat. Like tomatoes the taste and texture of fresh is very different than those you buy from the store. By growing your own potatoes, you also have the opportunity to plant unusual varieties that are hard to find. There are several advantages to growing potatoes in containers. It is easier to protect them from the critters that love them and you also don't have to worry so much about weeds. It's also a really fun project to grow potatoes in containers with kids because potato plants grow stunningly fast and most kids love eating potatoes."

    Our new Organic Patriotic Potato Container Growing Kit starts out with three  Smart Bags for triple the fun and discounted savings.


Click Here For Our Vermont Compost Organic Soil Mixes.

Wood Prairie Experiemnter's Special. First step in growing potatoes in containers.


Monsanto Power Play. If you won't retract an embarrassing study we'll send you an editor who will.
 Monsanto Cranks Up Pressure to Retract Seralini Study 

     After a long campaign of fruitless orchestration and concocted dismissiveness from financially conflicted ‘academics’ on Biotech’s payroll, Monsanto has taken a new tact in trying to discredit the landmark peer-reviewed study about the effect of GE food on rats. The team was led by respected French scientist Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini of Caen University.

     Dr. Seralini’s group conducted a monumental long-term two-year-study of rats fed a diet of GE food and small amounts of the glyphosate herbicide GE crops are grown with.  Significantly, by design, Seralini matched the procedures in his study to those first utilized in Monsanto’s 90-day short term GE crop studies. The Seralini study results documented serious health effects which first appeared at 120 days.  Notably, severe toxic effects were indicated including kidney and liver damage and increased rates of tumors and mortality. The Seralini study was released in September, 2012 and has called into serious question Biotech’s use of short-term three-month studies to justify the supposed ‘safety’ of their laboratory genetically engineered crops.

     So, unable to bring about a retraction from the bought-and-paid-for ‘outrage,’ Monsanto has had one of their people installed at the journal in question, Food and Chemical Toxicology.  The retraction effort aimed at Seralini followed the hiring of Monsanto scientist Richard E. Goodman at Food and Chemical Toxicology to serve in the specially created post of Associate Editor for Biotechnology. Adding to public concerns, the identities of those individuals behind the non-transparent study review have not been made public nor has there been any disclosure of their freedom from conflict of interest.    It is worth mentioning, on a related note, that another Brazilian study – also critical of GE crops – was also retracted after Goodman’s hiring.  The peer-reviewed Brazilian study was immediately published in another journal.

     Amazingly, Food and Chemical Toxicology Editor Dr A. Wallace Hayes could offer no valid reason for retraction.  According to a GM Watch’s article: “Hayes concedes that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed ‘no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data’ and nothing ‘incorrect’ about the data.  Hayes states that the retraction is solely based on the ‘inconclusive’ nature of the findings on tumors and mortality, given the relatively low number of rats used and the choice of rat strain, which Hayes says naturally has a ‘high incidence of tumors’.   Crucially, however, inconclusiveness of findings is not a valid ground for retraction.

     Here is the excellent Seralini team's response to the retraction.

     Additionally, this article describes the support Prof. Seralini has received from the European Network of Scientists.  Concerned scientists and citizens from around the world are now signing an Open Letter from the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) in support of Dr Seralini.  We encourage you to join us in standing up for academic integrity and signing onto this important letter.

Jim & Megan

Notable Quotes: President John Kennedy on Big Business.

      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now."

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, April 1962

     Quote borrowed from the recent Carl Gibson article 16 Mind-Blowing Facts About Who really Killed JFK.

President Kennedy. Victim of 1963 coup?

Kale and Potato Cakes.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Recipe: Kale and Potato Cakes

1 1/2 lb Elba potatoes
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
black pepper
sea salt to taste
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c grated cheese, such as cheddar, provolone or mozzarella
olive oil for cooking
1/2 c minced onion
10 mushrooms, chopped small
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp sea salt or smoked paprika

Cube the potatoes and steam until soft. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes until tender. Place in a bowl and coarsely mash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to lightly coat the bottom. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until soft. Add to the kale mash. Stir in the garlic, cheese and pepper flakes. Salt to taste or add paprika. Form small cakes with about 1/2 cup mash per cake. Warm a skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom with more olive oil. Add the mash and flatten. Brown each side, about 4 minutes. Serve hot. Makes about 12 cakes.


Special Offer: Hurry & Save $20 On Your Next Order!

     We’re here to make your dollars go further this Holiday Season!  Order anything from our wide selection of organic goods - Organic Potatoes for the Kitchen, Organic Vegetables, Organic Grains, Organic Gifts, Organic Certified Seed Potatoes, Organic Cover Crop Seed or Organic Vegetable Seed or any of our other items - for yourself or as a gift for a loved one and save big while doing so.     

     Receive a Discount of $20 off your next order over $100 in merchandise.

     Please use Promo Code WPF1164. Your order must ship by 5/08/14 so this offer DOES include Spring-shipped Organic Ceritifed Seed Potatoes. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Better hurry because this Offer Ends Midnight Monday December 9. Please call or click today!

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Certified Seed Potato Section.

Organic Basket of Potatoes. Save while enjoying great potatoes orother gifts with loved ones.
Our Mailbox: Valuing Parsnips in Downeast Maine, Making Sense, Irreversible Damage

Valuing Parsnips in Downeast Maine.

Dear WPF.

     Jim Gerritsen & Family,

     I recently received my order of parsnips, carrots and 5 grain cereal. We are enjoying all of these products. I had only tried parsnips once before and they were not organic and they were from a grocery store. I did not like them and had not eaten them since. So I took a chance on your parsnips, thinking if I still hate fresh, organic ones, I might be able to give them away. No one is getting your parsnips. I loved them!
     I also ordered 50 lbs of potatoes when you had a special on them offering free shipping. The potatoes arrived after the parsnip order, and I can't begin to tell you how impressed I was with them when I first opened the box. The care that was taken with handling and cleaning those potatoes was quiet evident. And the flavor is fantastic.
     Shortly after I placed the potato order, I was a bit angry with myself that I took advantage of your free shipping offer. I could see that it cost you $20 to deliver them to me. And I am well aware of all the time and effort you put into trying to fight Monsanto and trying to ensure that our food supply is safe. I am also a member of MOFGA and know of your support of them. Plus I have liked your Facebook page and have read all of your posts about the injustices that are being brought upon farmers by big business and Monsanto and their likes. If you suggest we sign a petition etc. I am on it. My husband and I grew up in Dayton, Ohio where Monsanto was first headquartered (the Mound) and have friends and family who have suffered illness and death from the unhealthy working conditions there.
     Thank you so much for the work you do. It means a lot to us.
     Enclosed please find a check to reimburse you for shipping the potatoes plus a bit more to show our appreciation. And also thank you for the wonderful produce!

With deep appreciation,


Jonesboro, Maine

WPF Replies.

     You are very kind and offer proof that we have the best customers in the world. Thank you.

Jim & Megan

Making Sense.

Dear WPF.

     I watched most of the video. Some of the panel members actually feed their kids GMOs. Jim, what you said made the most sense of anyone on the panel.

Haverill, MA

WPF Replies.

     UMaine Machias posted the recent GMO discussion video on YouTube and this format is most user-friendly. As I said on the panel, the organic community faces an unparalleled threat for its survival because of the unrecallable nature of transgene pollution coupled with Biotech's unwillingness and inability to restrain geneflow all in the context of extreme Biotech-governmental collusion. We have truth on our side and we must use this powerful tool to waken our people from their slumber and their dreaming that all is well. Sadly we can not rely on government or industry to tell us the truth about GE Food.


Irreversible Damage.

Dear WPF.

     The whole issue is upside down, the Biotech firms as the contaminators should be in the position of proving their products validity and safety for field application. It horrifies me to see the natural farmer with sustainable practices tried and true for millennia forced to fight for their livelihoods against potentially irreversible damage to the natural world. Labeling is the very least they could do. You're fighting the good fight Jim, I commend your hard work.

Davenport, IA

WPF Replies.

     You have hit the nail on the head. At present we have a broken market mechanism. Basic GMO labeling will allow consumers to differentiate between real food and GE food. I believe when GMO label transparency comes into being consumers will walk with their food dollars away from GMO food. I think Biotech believes in this scenario as well which is why they are fighting so hard and dirty to prevent transparency and to further derail the operation of the free market. Biotech monopolists loathe competition and choice. Hence, they represent a threat not only to our economy and to our families but also to our freedom. Thanks.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (800)829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm