Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
             Wednesday, December 10, 2014

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Shipping Gifts & Winter Logging.

     Winter the Season for Maine Logging. Historically, Winter has been the prime season for logging in Maine.  With the ground frozen, wet areas were easier to traverse, huge loads could be pulled across iced roads on sleds with metal runners, and farmers would be available for steady winterlong work.  Also, there were no pesky Black Flies.
     This month we have a two-man logging crew using European-style tracked machines cleaning up the forest blow-downs from our fierce storm last Summer.  On Saturday, July 5, the after affects of Tropical Storm Arthur brought heavy rains to Maine – six inches on our farm – accompanied by high winds of 40 mph. Huge trees in full leaf throughout our woodlot toppled over under the strain.  Now, the cleaned up wood is going to local mills to be made into paper, lumber and chipboard for home construction.
     Inside we’re busy shipping Holiday orders and keeping the wood stoves fired.  There’s still time for you to place your orders and have them arrive by Christmas.  Please call us and let us know how we can help you!

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Tide Mill Farm Needs Our Help To Build Organic Infrastructure in Downeast Maine!

     This week, our good friends, longtime MOFGA-Certified-Organic farmers Aaron and Carly Bell and family of Tide Mill Farm in Downeast Maine launched their much anticipated Indigogo Crowdfunding Campaign.  Their goal with this campaign is to raise critically needed funds for the incredible Community Poultry Processing Plant being constructed on-farm.  Please watch their short film (3:10) and donate TODAY to the visionary project created by this incredible young family.

     The Bell family has been farming on Tide Mill Farm since 1765 when patriarch Robert Bell, then a sixteen-year-old immigrant from Scotland, landed on coastal Maine.  As Maine author Mary Quinn Doyle describes young Robert’s reception, “He was befriended by Passamaquoddy Indians and taken by canoe from Sipayik, where the Passamaquoddy Indians hunted and fished, to Crane Mill Stream in Edmunds.  The stream cuts through the beautiful property now known as Tide Mill Farm.  It was at this spot that Robert decided to build a grist mill to grind corn and wheat.”

     Now, nine generations have passed.  Aaron & Carly are serious and determined.  They have dedicated their lives to reviving Downeast agriculture. No one in the State of Maine have worked harder nor sacrificed more to advance regional organic farming than Aaron & Carly.  They were instrumental in launching the farmer-owned Maine’s Own Organic (MOO) Milk company to keep afloat at-risk certified organic dairy farms in isolated Downeast and Northern Maine.  In Cecily Pingree’s unforgettable film about the MOO Milk struggles, Betting the Farm, this young Bell family is remembered as the stars.

     We know the Bell’s well. Their oldest girls and our daughters Sarah and Amy are the same age and have grown up together like cousins. Aaron & Carly are trusted friends of the highest caliber, tireless workers and extraordinarily effective builders of local community.  Last month, Jim and Carly made a joint presentation about regional organic farming at University of Maine Machias.  By the audience reception, it was obvious the Bell family is true Downeast rock stars. After the event, Aaron gave Jim a midnight-tour-by-flashlight of the stunning on-farm poultry facility now under construction. It is this Poultry Processing Plant which the new Indiegogo campaign is all about.  The processing plant by design will involve the community and will create a critical missing-link organic production and marketing infrastructure hub for all of Downeast Maine.

     One story from Jim illustrates the quiet integrity and unquestioning dedication of the Bell family.  About a year and a half ago in April 2013, when Maine's Joint Legislative Ag Committee was holding the single public hearing on LD 718, Maine's Right-to-Know GMO Labeling bill, Aaron Bell telephoned Jim around noontime while the hearing was in progress.  He asked if he was needed to testify.  Jim told Aaron the Committee really benefited when they received testimony from real live farmers, but it was a long way and it was up to him. Within the hour, Aaron had started out from Tide Mill Farm on the long winding drive towards Augusta. After driving for four hours Aaron arrived at the State Capitol.  He was one of the last persons to testify.  Aaron’s testimony eloquently laid out the case for mandatory labeling of GMO food.  His words were powerful and he captivated the entire Ag Committee. Aaron's major effort and willingness to help contributed to our ultimately successful vote out of the Ag Committee. That Committee endorsement provided the momentum necessary to eventually pass the nation’s second GMO labeling law with nearly unanimous votes by both houses of the Maine legislature. 

     For this essential poultry processing plant, Aaron & Carly have personally taken on the risk of the enormous financial commitment. The funding gap is huge: $100,000.  If they are to succeed, Aaron & Carly MUST have everyone’s help. Please WATCH their excellent film, GIVE generously and SHARE word of their project widely with your networks.

     Let's show the world the organic community supports its own.  Please do all you can to support these young heroes of authentic organic agriculture.
Jim & Megan

Click Here for Tide Mill Farm’s Indiegogo Campaign.


Tide Mill Farm's New Indiegogo Project Needs Our Donation. After many years of the Bells self-less giving, it's our turn to help them out.

Organic Potato Sampler-of-the-Month. A popular gift idea.
Special Offer: FREE Month of Delicious Organic Potatoes!

     Month after month, year after year, decade after decade, our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month is our Best-Selling gift!  Treat yourself or a loved one to the heavenly monthly shipments.  Each month’s Sampler is composed of three different unusual and delectable Organic Potato varieties we grow right here on Wood Prairie Farm in Northern Maine.  Every cook is sure to enjoy these scrumptious potatoes. FREE Recipe Booklet and FREE Potato Postcards sent with every shipment!
     Order NOW and we GUARANTEE your Sampler will arrive by Christmas!

     My husband has been ordering gift Sampler-of-the-Months for
     the last 5 years, and he gets great compliments and thanks,
     every year.
     Thank you!

     Lexington KY
     With our Special Offer, we’ll tack on an EXTRA FREE Month of Organic Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month when you order an Eight-Month-Club or Five-Month-Club for yourself or as gifts for your Friends or Family. Get a FREE Extra Month Organic Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month offer ends Midnight Monday, December 15, 2014.

     Please use Promo Code WPF431. Your order and FREE Extra Month Organic Potato-Sampler-of-the-Month Club must begin and ship by 12/17/14.  This offer may not be combined with other offers.  Please call or click today!

Questions?  Call Wood Prairie Farm  (800) 829-9765.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Kitchen Potato Section.

Good Read: Unique Maine Farms by Mary Quinn Doyle.

     You would spend a long term searching for a better gift than a copy of Mary Quinn Doyle’s excellent new book, Unique Maine Farms.  And don’t for a minute think this book will only be of interest to Mainers.

     The fact is Maine has a remarkable diversity of farms that will dazzle everybody, everywhere. Mary has captured and written engaging stories about 178 of the unique farms she discovered in her two years of travels criss-crossing the State of Maine.  Her section headings reveal the vast array she covers in this fascinating book: Fruit and Flower Farms, Farms Raising Animals, Native Farming and Gathering, Historic and Cultural Farms, Fiber Farms, Tree-Related Farms, Diversified Farms, Aquaculture, Vegetable, Herb and Plant Farms, Tree-Related Farms, Fruit and Flower Farms, Research and School Farms and Farming for Everyone.

     Because we focus on raising organic seed, you’ll find our Wood Prairie Farm under “Farms with a Preservation Focus.”  Our friends, the Bells, at Tide Mill Organic Farm are to be found under the “Dairy Farms” section.

     Mary’s writing is warm and engaging.  The reader will be grateful indeed for the fact that beyond being a good writer, Mary is also an accomplished photographer.  The book is blessed with over 400 color photographs of her unique Maine farms.

     The book is wedded to Mary’s exhaustive Unique Maine Farms website.  This project has been a selfless labor of love for Mary.  Proceeds from the sale of Unique Maine Farms will be used for educational purposes and to provide a complimentary copy to every library in the State of Maine. 

Jim & Megan

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

Unique Maine Farms. A wonderful book to read or gift.

Notable Quotes: Dr. Arpad Pusztai on Integrity.

Maine Potato Patties.
Photo by Angela Wotton
Recipe: Maine Potato Patties.

  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups turkey, chopped
  • 2 cups stuffing
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, onion and pepper. Gently mix in the potatoes, turkey and stuffing.
  • In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium. Drop potato mixture by ½ cup into pan and press down slightly.
  • Cook 4 to 5 minutes each side, until heated through and golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels and serve. Great brunch dish!
Makes 10 to 12 patties

Our Mailbox: Dust From Kansas, Stand In Their Way, Holding the Bag.

Dust From Kansas.

Dear WPF.

Maize pollen deposition in relation to distance. Since ships in the Atlantic saw dust from Kansas during the Dust Bowl it seems pretty silly to think that there is any adequate isolation distance for GMO pollen.



WPF Replies.

     Unlike dust, the sun's UV radiation degrades and neutralizes the corn pollen over time/distance. Those of us who grow seed - including in our case organic seed corn - need the protection of just public policy which corresponds with scientifically-valid isolation. To date, political considerations have created scientifically undefendable, inadequate isolations. The owner of the polluting technology must be restrained from harming the commons. That's justice.


Stand in Their Way.

Dear WPF.

I read where Monsanto was going to start producing organic seed.

WPF Replies.

     That would be seed I wouldn't trust. The credibility of organic can be distilled as coming down to definitions. Corporations - both those outside the organic community like Monsanto, and those who have forced their way into the organic industry by buying up once independent organic companies - can and do exert their influence to attempt to water down organic standards and definitions. Their motivation in this malevolent activity is greed and is aimed at improving their bottom line. It's our job to stand in their way and work to protect the organic community from self-serving invaders.


Holding The Bag.

Dear WPF.

Why is this not surprising in a country that focuses on Profit at the high expense of health. CDC predicts by 2050 they will have a diabetes rate of 66% (approx). The number of obese students and staff in my high school is mushrooming, and it is located in a very, very rural part of Maine.


WPF Replies.

     Industrial Ag and Big Food corporations have externalized the costs of adverse effects on health and well being. The people are left holding the bag and the taxpayers get billed for the collateral damage. The costs should and must be internalized. The perverted Golden Rule ("He who has the gold, rules") applies now and the people are forced to subsidize the effects of the elite's bad behavior. This dysfunction will NOT continue forever. The last shall be first and the first shall be last.


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