Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                 Friday, December 11th 2015
                         Volume 23 Issue 25

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 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Winter's Here.

     Snow in Northern Maine A Safe Bet for December.  We got done Fall plowing in the very last few days of November – our latest days for field work ever.  Just a few days after that, in early December we received another snowfall – this time eight inches.  Now, a week later that snow still covers the ground.
     Our brand new “Snowy Tractor” Winter Catalog has been put in the mail and will soon be arriving in your mail box – so please keep an eye out for it.
     Many of your know that we ship our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes out of our underground potato storage for ten months of the year from September through the 4th of July.  Despite Winter in Maine, this week we’ve been shipping seed potatoes to folks down in Florida, Texas and southern California.
     The 400 tubers-per-seed-lot “Florida Test” potatoes growing in the State of Maine’s Post-Harvest-Winter-Grow-Out Seed Certification Test on its farm in Homestead FL – near the Everglades – have been drenched with heavy rains of late.  Our local State seed inspectors will be flying down to begin collecting and recording disease readings (“Florida Readings”) on January 4.
     Next Thursday, December 17, we’ll be kicking off our inaugural Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar series.  We want you to connect with the fun! And it’s EASY to sign up! These live video Webinars will be FREE.  We are presenting them exclusively for you and our other Wood Prairie Farm customers and friends.  Catch the Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar details in the first article of this Seed Piece.  Please join us!

 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Save Your Seat Today! The first class in our Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar series FREE! Next Thursday December 17, 1:00 PM ET (10:00 AM PT)
FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar Series Starts Next Thursday!

     Twice each Winter – in December and January - Maine Cooperative Extension agents put on one-and-two day-long Potato Schools up here in Aroostook County.  We’ve been attending these schools for decades and they’ve proved valuable and a good way to keep current with all things potato.

     It’s in that same spirit that next week we’ll begin our own new FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar series exclusively for customers and friends of Wood Prairie Farm.  We think you will enjoy learning more about the world’s most widely grown vegetable from the comfort of your own home.

     The first hour-long webinar-class of Wood Prairie Potato School will be next Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 1pm Eastern (10am Pacific).  In each session we’ll discuss a new aspect of growing organic potatoes, cover different potato varieties, tell potato stories, and provide tips and techniques for growing more successful potato crops.  This FREE webinar-series is designed for you - whether you are a small scale backyard home gardener or a family farmer who is growing spuds to sell at the local Farmers Market.                            

     Each Wood Prairie Potato School webinar-class will feature Live-Chat so you can type-in your questions to us in real time.  You can bet we’ll be sure to include plenty of time for you to ask us your toughest potato questions.

     And don’t worry - if your schedule prevents you from attending this live webinar – or  - you want to watch it over again with your friends - we’ll record and archive every program so you can watch it anytime at your convenience.

     If you are without internet - or your internet service is slow or unreliable - we’ll have a call-in number in which you can dial-in from a telephone and listen wherever you are to the webinar audio. If this option works best for you, please simply call our office during the work week (207.429.9765) and ask for Frank who will get you set up.

     It’s easy to join our Webinar – and remember it’s FREE.  Please click on the Sign Up Now! button and get ready to enjoy your first day of Wood Prairie Potato School! 

Jim & Megan                            

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

Special Offer: Attend Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar and Get FREE Organic Long Pie Pumpkin Seed. 

     Now is the season for pumpkin pie and the best pumpkin pie is made from the wonderful heirloom known as Organic Long Pie Pumpkin.  Reliable – even in short-season northern Maine - we grow the seed for this remarkable heirloom.  Long Pie has been steadily gaining deserved recognition both for its superb taste and its smooth texture.

     Attend our first FREE Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar  (see previous article) and as a bonus we’ll send you a FREE packet of our Organic Long Pie Pumpkin seed.  That way, next Summer you can grow your own Long Pie crop in plenty of time to prepare delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. 

     Receive your FREE Packet of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Long Pie Pumpkin Seed (Value $3.50) when you attend Wood Prairie Potato School Webinar Session #1  (details above).

     After registering for the FREE Webinar, just send an email to orders@woodprairie.com and include Promo Code WPF 477 in the subject line.  In the email tell us your name, snail mail address and email address. Then - after the conclusion of the Webinar - we’ll snail-mail to you your FREE packet of Organic Long Pie Pumpkin Seed.   Offer Expires 11:59p.m., Monday, December 14, so please don’t delay!

Click Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Farm Vegetable Seed.

Must Read article in Excellent New Food Economy. Local Maine food for University of Maine System.
New Food Economy - A Stunning New FREE Web Outlet.

     New Food Economy is a top shelf - remarkably enough, FREE - web resource which provides extremely apt and well-written articles on themes central to new wave food and farms, that is, the “New Food Economy.”

     The energy behind New Food Economy is formidable as well as articulate.  It was founded by our friend, Jeffrey Kittay, until recently associated with operations behind the Portland Press Herald empire.   Corby Kummer, longtime editor at The Atlantic is also an Editor at New Food Economy.  Corby traveled to our farm one Fall day about 15 years ago and wrote a piece which appeared in The Atlantic.  An abridged version later also appeared in Corby’s iconic book, The Pleasures of Slow Food.

     One recent incisive New Food Economy article dives into the bold attempt by home-grown Maine Farm & Sea Co-operative – of which we are enthusiastic members - to win the contract to supply students at the University of Maine System with healthy local food.  The article is well-researched and adeptly explains how Maine Farm & Sea Co-operative has approached this well-nigh-impossible task by carefully building a team with substantial depth and capacity.  They have recruited highly-motivated individuals with stellar careers and extraordinary background in institutional food services.

     By reading just this one single article about Maine Farm & Sea, one gains an understanding of the powerful journalism New Food Economy represents.  Long overdue, New Food Economy is the find of the year.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Specialty Potatoes for the Kitchen.
Video of Steven Druker Keynote at Maine's Common Ground Fair.

     One beautiful Fall Saturday in late September, public interest lawyer Steven Druker left behind the corn fields of Iowa to deliver the keynote speech at MOFGA’s (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s) renowned Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine.

    A large crowd was on hand to hear this powerful speech by the humble author of the blockbuster book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth - How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.   Jane Goodall has famously described Steve’s book – released last Spring – as “One of the most important books of the last 50 years.”

    MOFGA just posted the video of Steve’s Keynote (1:01:16 ) on You Tube.  This is one video you will not want to miss!   The Gerritsen family interrupted potato harvest to attend the Fair and hear Steve’s talk.  Jim introduced Steve to the crowd.  It was worth the trip.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop Seed.

Steven Druker, Author of Altered Genes Twisted Truth. Powerful Keynote at MOFGA's Common Ground Fair.
Notable Quote: Napoléon on Incompetence.

Recipe: Christmas Cranberry Sauce with Carmelized Onions.
Yields 2-1/2 to 3 cups
  1 T vegetable or sunflower oil
  1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
  1/8 tsp ground cloves
  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  One 12 oz bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  1 c granulated sugar
     In a 10 inch straight-sided saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cloves, a pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden-brown and very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium high, and cook the onions, stirring often, until deep caramel-brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

      Add the cranberries, sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/2 c water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 1 minutes, then cover, turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.
This wonderful sauce may be prepared up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.


Christmas Cranberry Sauce. A delicious variation of traditional cranberry sauce.
Photo by Angela Wotton.

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