Wood Prairie Farm           In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter  Rural Farmers Traveling to Urban Earth Day Event in Portland.
      Organic News and Commentary
            Organic Seed Report From Wood Prairie Farm.
               Friday April 13, 2012                          Recipe: Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry Butter.
                                                                                          Special Offer: FIVE FREE Organic Vegetable Seed Packets.
                                                                                          The Great Organic Wave Digest: Keeping Track of Recent Wave News.
                                                                                          Mailbox: Good Eating, Undefendable Comfort, Procedural Dance and Delicious Watermelon.
     The Russian Photo.                                                                                       

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 Gallery 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 bargain-struggling-Maine-artist-pricing (charlotte.hedley@gmail.com). 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
Bridgewater, Maine

Rural Farmers Traveling
           to Urban 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.

'Close to Mother Earth.' Image From National Geographic December 1995. Megan and three month old Caleb.

Wood Prairie Farm Seed Potatoes. Plenty left for you yet.
Organic Seed Report From Wood Prairie Farm
     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.

     Because seed 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 Blue, Caribe', Carola, Elba, Island Sunshine, King Hairy, Yukon Gold, Rose Finn Apple, Swedish Peanut, Adirondack Red and German Butterball.
At this time of year availability changes rapidly so please call us today or check our website for updates.

Jim & Megan  

Recipe: Cornmeal Pancakes
                                           with Maple-Cranberry Butter

6 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c fresh or frozen cranberries
3 T pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 c cornmeal
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c whole milk
1 large egg

In 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.

In 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 melted butter.

Heat 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.

Adapted from Food and Wine magazine
Serves 4

Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry Butter
Photo by Angela Wotton


Special Offer:
                        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 successful gardens.

    When you purchase one of our New Long Handle Tools - your choice of our Garden Gopher Hoe, Three Point Scuffle Hoe or Cobrahead Long Hoe we'll toss in FIVE FREE Seed Packets of your favorite Wood Prairie Organic Vegetable Seed ($16.25 value) - your choice of varieties.
     Our FIVE FREE Seed Packet offer ends Monday, 4/16/12. Please use Promo Code WPF 1118. FIVE FREE Seed Packet Offer may not be combined with other offers. FIVE FREE Seed Packets and entire order must ship by May 1st. Please call or click today!

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 article here.

* Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass a Bill Requiring GMO Food to Be Labeled.
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.

     "Both of 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 industry. Listen to the program here.

About Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook
We're 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.
When you 'Like' us, you communicate to the world your support of Wood Prairie Farm's work and you help extend our outreach effort to help inform others.  If you haven’t done so yet, please click here to become a Friend of Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook.  Thanks for Liking us!

Australian Organic Farmer Steve Marsh.
Please make a donation to the Steve Marsh Legal Fighting Fund.

Our Mailbox: Good Eating.

Dear WPF.

     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.

Clear Lake

WPF Replies.

     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

Our Mailbox: Undefendable Comfort.

Dear WPF.  

     I 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?

Thanks. Keep up the good efforts.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     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 ruling, will be highlighted in our Appeal brief.

1. Judge Buchwald's Ruling. 2/24/12.

Note pg. 23: "Defendants' statement regarding the exercise of their patent rights against inadvertent infringers is, if anything, a source of comfort rather than worry."

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.

"X. 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."

4. Summary.
Our Plaintiff rebuttal brief exposed Monsanto's 'legal gamesmanship' and thereby 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'.


Our Mailbox: Procedural Dance.

Dear WPF.

     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 threatening.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Family farmers have gone to court seeking justice. We're still waiting. So that's 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 families.


Our Mailbox: Good Eating.

Dear WPF.

     I love watermelon. Is the seedless watermelon good to eat? Any suggestions?

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     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 job.


Click Here for our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed