Issue of The Seed Piece:
Rural Farmers Traveling to Urban Earth Day
Event in Portland.
Organic Seed Report From Wood Prairie Farm.
Special Offer: FIVE FREE Organic Vegetable Seed
The Great Organic Wave Digest: Keeping
Track of Recent Wave News.
Mailbox: Good Eating, Undefendable Comfort,
Procedural Dance and Delicious Watermelon.
The Art in Maine.
Last week we traveled down to the coast for
our friend Lottie Hedley's 'Rural
Harvest' Opening Reception. The Maine Farmland Trust
opening drew 100 people - a record for a non-Summertime event. Everyone
enjoyed hearing Bob MacLaughlin read his poetry inspired by Lottie's
series of stark black and white Wood Prairie Farm photographs.
Seventeen matted archival inkjet prints (20"x24" mats with 15x10.5"
images) are available for purchase at
Lottie will ship UPS to you if you are anywhere in the 50 states.
See more - but not all - of the images available on the Lottie
Hedley Photography website.
The balance of the 'Rural Harvest' photographs can be viewed in person
at the Gallery in Belfast, Maine, through the end of May. Mind
you, not all
content is marching Bolsheviks.
Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Earth Day Event in Portland.
If your plans for Earth Day 2012
- Sunday April 22 - are still flexible, we hope you will come join us
at Monument Square in Portland, Maine. We've been invited to
speak at the Portland Earth Day gathering about our organic community
lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v.
Monsanto, which challenges the validity of Monsanto's
transgenic/GMO patents and seeks to protect family farmers from false
claims of patent infringement should Monsanto's transgenic seed
trespass and contaminate our farms.
There will be lots of Earth
Day-centered activities occurring from 11am until 3pm. Here are
two good links with the details. Hope to see you there.
Jim & Megan.
to Mother Earth.'
Image From National
December 1995. Megan and three month old Caleb.
Prairie Farm Seed Potatoes. Plenty left for you yet.
|Organic Seed Report From Wood
Sales for all our
organic seed this winter have been strong and they have been following
that trend experienced in recent years by the organic seed industry of
steady rising demand and robust sales. Many gardeners and farmers
have had notable success with organic seed and increasingly seek out
top quality organic seed varieties which have been selected and bred
for outstanding performance under organic conditions.
represents the foundation of crop agriculture, it is impossible to
underestimate the critical significance of high quality organic seed to
the permanence and overall viability of organic agriculture. Your
purchases of family scale organic seed not only supports family
farmers, but through the mechanism of market demand grows the organic
seed industry and molds it into a decentralized form that best serves
all people within the organic community over the short and long term.
We have been managing
this winter's Wood Prairie organic seed potato supply in order to
maximize availability to as many of you as possible. While a
handful of varieties have already sold out, we still have good supplies
of many of your favorite varieties. Current variety availability
ranges in amounts up to 1000 pounds and includes such varieties as All
At this time of year availability changes
rapidly so please call us today or check our website for updates.
Jim & Megan
with Maple-Cranberry Butter
T unsalted butter, softened
T unsalted butter, melted
c fresh or frozen cranberries
c whole milk
a food processor, pulse the softened butter with the cranberries, maple
syrup and 1/2 tsp of the salt until combined. Scrape into a small bowl
and set aside.
a bowl, whisk the spelt flour with the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder
and the remaining 1 tsp of salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and 3 T of
a cast iron skillet over medium heat and brush with butter. Ladle in
batter, cook until just beginning to set, flip the pancake and cook
until just cooked through. Transfer the pancakes to plates, spread with
the cranberry butter and serve with maple syrup.
from Food and Wine magazine
Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry
Photo by Angela Wotton
FIVE FREE Organic Vegetable Seed Packets.
While we have lost that new snow accumulation
from last Sunday's Easter snowstorm, the fields are still too wet and
cold to work or plant. It is, however, a different and warm world
inside our high tunnel greenhouse. The spinach and greens are growing
fast, yet so are the weeds, reminding us of delicious harvests ahead
won by the nurturing of crops and the taming of weeds. We're
believers in long handled hoes and we think well-designed
and well-crafted hoes
make for real weeding fun as well as
|The Great Organic Wave Digest -
Keeping Track of Recent Wave News.
* Australian GM
Contamination Court Battle.
"Organic farmer Steve
Marsh's lawyers have lodged a claim in the Supreme
Court after his farm was contaminated with GM material...Mr.Marsh was
seeking damages and a permanent injunction to protect his farm from
future contamination." This is a MAJOR precedent establishing case.
Let's support Steve Marsh now with our donations to the Safe Food
Foundation which is helping him. Read the
* Monsanto Threatens
to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass a Bill Requiring GMO Food to Be
NEWS COMING OUT OF VERMONT. Protest April
12 at State Capitol. Find links to Sign Petition and for Donations to
Support GMO Labeling bill effort. Express your support to the people of
Vermont standing up to Monsanto's threats. Read
about this Vermont news here.
* SCIENCE: Common
Crop Pesticide Harms Bumblebee and Honeybee Species.
the Science studies looked into the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides,
which were introduced in the early 1990s and now have become one of the
most widely used crop pesticides in the world." Bee Colony Collapse.
Chemicals endangering our food security. Read
about it here.
* Organic Farmers
Appeal OSGATA VS Monsanto - Interview.
The Organic View recently
conducted an informative live blog radio program. Host June Stoyer
interviewed (56:25) Wood Prairie Farm's Jim Gerritsen. Jim is President
of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn, lead Appellant in OSGATA et al
v. Monsanto, the landmark organic community lawsuit challenging
Monsanto's GMO/transgenic patents. Learn the latest on the lawsuit and
associated efforts worldwide to force accountability from the biotech
to the program here.
About Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook
using daily Facebook posts like those above to keep our Wood Prairie
community up to
date on important organic topics. Please meet us on Facebook!
And thanks to all of you who have
Liked us on Facebook.
Farmer Steve Marsh.
Please make a donation to the Steve Marsh
Legal Fighting Fund.
Mailbox: Good Eating.
I had to pause from devouring my delicious vegetables to tell you how
remarkable and delicious they are! Honestly, I have never EVER had
beets nor carrots that taste the way that those grown on Wood Prairie
Farm do. It sounds trite, perhaps, but really, I truly do believe that
these vegetables taste the way that God and Nature intended. I could
smell the ground in which they were grown and which you and your family
walk when I prepared them - amazing and intoxicating.
It has been a spiritual experience. Back to eating. Of course, now
you've ruined me for everything else. MUCH gratitude.
Very pleased to hear your confirmation that our way of organic farming
is paying off in terms of eating quality. We also taste the difference.
Thanks for writing.
Jim & Megan
Mailbox: Undefendable Comfort.
am just curious, is Judge Buchwald making this decision based on her
idea of an actual legitimate legal principle or does she just not want
Monsanto to lose?
Keep up the good efforts.
World Wide Web
It is very hard to read a judge's mind.
Farmers went to court seeking justice. We haven't recieved it yet.
Here is just a single anomaly. Additional
judicial errors of both fact and law, which in toto led to an erroreous
will be highlighted in our Appeal brief.
1. Judge Buchwald's Ruling. 2/24/12.
pg. 23: "Defendants' statement regarding the exercise of their patent
rights against inadvertent infringers is, if anything, a source of comfort rather than
2. Our Plaintiff rebuttal brief to
Monsanto's motion to dismiss. 8/11/11.
Note pg. 19. "Thus, Monsanto asserts in
this case that its commitment
not to exercise patents is clear and a basis supporting dismissal
(Monsanto Mem. 1), while asserting barely seven days later in another
case that the exact same language is vague. This transparent legal
gamesmanship should not be condoned. It is clear that Monsanto's
language about whether it would ever assert its patents against those
contaminated by its seed is intentionally ambiguous so that it can have
it both ways, arguing in some contexts it is definite and in other
contexts it is vague. Plaintiffs fully agree with the latter, the
language is legally unreliable."
3. The 'commitment' above refers to
Monsanto's clever public relations non-statement on their website.
It has never been, nor will it be Monsanto policy to exercise its
patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seed or traits are
present in farmer's fields as a result of inadvertent means."
Our Plaintiff rebuttal brief exposed Monsanto's 'legal gamesmanship'
completely obliterated Monsanto's asserted claim that farmers should be
content with their 'commitment.'
It is therefore
baffling why Judge Buchwald would express the opinion in her ruling
that we farmers should find 'comfort' in a undefendable, discredited
statement, which Monsanto lawyers themselves characterize as 'vague'.
Mailbox: Procedural Dance.
I had a chance to give a close read to Judge Buchwald's decision to
dismiss. The judge never contested the matters of fact and never
addressed the relevant matters of law - both of which were carefully
conservative in their suit. She even acknowledges the matters of fact,
in isolation from each other and their relevance to the case. Then she
went out of her way to do a procedural dance around them. The
awkwardness of that dance was embarrassing. Perhaps that's why she was
so nasty and felt a need to ridicule the plaintiffs. And now, of
course, it's clear that the matters of fact are much more pressing and
World Wide Web
Family farmers have gone to court seeking justice. We're still waiting.
why we have filed our Appeal with the Federal Court of Appeals in
Washington, D.C. Our battle is waged to establish the basic right of
all people to have access to good clean food for themselves and their
Mailbox: Good Eating.
I love watermelon. Is the seedless watermelon
good to eat? Any suggestions?
World Wide Web
A seed breeder makes compromises. Long slender uniform high yielding
Imperator (California) carrots come at the cost of having given
up flavor. Our value system is such that we'd rather have great taste
and superior nutrition in watermelons and oranges than a
superficial gimmick like 'seedlessness.' Besides if we really like
something we would want to grow it in our garden. Open-pollinated (OP)
varieties allow us to do just that and select over time for regional
adaptation. So for us, seedless crops are problematic.
As to 'good to eat,' it's been awhile since
we've had a good sweet piece of store-bought watermelon, seeded or
seedless. If you are in an region with a climate good for growing
watermelon we would suggest that you attend the local farmers market
and buy from an organic family farmer who wants repeat watermelon
customers and offers great varieties picked at peak ripeness. That
situation is the best possible market opportunity for you and your
family. And it rewards the family farmer for doing an excellent
for our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed