Wood Prairie Farm

   Wood Prairie Farm                                        In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                           Update on Organic Community Lawsuit Against Monsanto.
Organic News and Commentary
                                  Why GMO's Aren't Compatible With Organic Agriculture.
       Friday, April 15, 2011                                                                         Special Offer: FREE Experimenter's Special.                                                                                                                                          Recipe: Whole Grain Rosemary Bread.
                                                                                                         Our Mailbox: Confronting Evil and Growing in Paradise.


                                                                                         Spring Is Pea Time.

Update on Organic Community Lawsuit Against Monsanto.
     The Monsanto reaction contained on their blog (don’t miss the solemn marble columns of justice!) to the organic community’s lawsuit challenging their GMO patents is predictably tired, arrogant and dismissive (‘publicity stunt’). “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.”
     Well, that revisionist proclamation would come as quite a surprise to many farmers that Monsanto has sued. There’s Percy Schmeiser of Saskatchewan (Monsanto vs. Schmeiser The Classic David vs. Goliath Struggle). There’s the Nelson’s of North Dakota (Monsanto Still Suing Nelsons, Other Growers). And there’s plenty more.
     Here are the facts. Excerpt from page 36 of our Complaint as filed, “Monsanto zealously enforces its transgenic seed patents.  Published reports and Monsanto’s own statements suggest that roughly 500 farmers are investigated for patent infringement each year.  Between 1997 and April 2010, Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against farmers in at least 27 different states for alleged infringement of its transgenic seed patents and/or breach of its license to those patents.”  For background on Monsanto’s tactics of intimidation read the exposé in Vanity Fair.
     “Farmers are being sued for having GMOs on their property that they did not buy, do not want, will not use and cannot sell,” said North Dakota farmer Tom Wiley.  You’ll want to read this and more in the good article about the 2005 report from The Center for Food Safety, ‘Prosecuting American Farmers: Monsanto’s Investigations, Coerced Settlements & Lawsuits’. Monsanto has cultivated a climate of fear and intimidation in rural America. Organic and traidtional non-GMO farmers have a legitimate concern that they may face a patent infringement lawsuit should Monsanto's patented genes trespass upon their farms.
     We are now in the waiting period as Monsanto takes time to develop their legal defense to our challenge of their GMO patents.
     There have been quite a few good articles written about the case. Click here for one of the most thoughtful articles written by Tom Laskewy of Grist.
     We are utilizing our Facebook page to help keep folks regularly updated on the lawsuit. Click here to become a friend of Wood Prairie Farm and join our discussions. Jim & Megan.
Ten Good Reasons Why GMO's Are Not Compatible With Organic Agriculture.
     There are times when it's helpful to review the basics. Please take the time to read this excellent editorial by Jim Riddle. Jim is a solid long time member of the organic community. He has served as Chair of the National Organic Standards Board and is currently Organic Outreach Coordinator for University of Minnesota.

Click here to read Jim Riddle's editorial.
Special Offer: FREE Organic Potato                                                     Experimenter's Special    
     Different potato varieties excel in different regions and microclimates.  The best way to determine which varieties will do well for you in your specific location is to test grow them out.  Years ago we invented the Experimenter’s Special to make this fun investigation practical for you.  The Experimenter’s Special allows you to select twelve organic potato tubers of up to four different varieties. This is potato trialing made easy.
     Also, if you’re short on garden space, the seed potatoes in our Experimenter’s Special are the perfect size and will fit nicely into three of our popular 15-gallon Smart Bag growing containers.
     With your next purchase $55 or more, we’ll toss in a FREE Experimenter’s Special ($19.95 value).  FREE Experimenter’s Special offer ends Tuesday April 19.  Please use Promo Code WPF 1023.  FREE Experimenter’s Special offer may not be combined with other offers.  Entire order must ship by May 9, 2011. Please call or click today! 

Click here for Wood Prairie Experimenter's Special

Whole Grain Rosemary Bread

Photo by Angela Wotton

Recipe: Whole Grain Rosemary Bread
Dry ingredients:
3/4 c spelt flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt

Wet ingredients:

3 eggs
1 c olive oil
3/4 c whole milk
1 1/2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 T sugar for top crunch

Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub a loaf pan with olive oil.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any bits of grain or other ingredients left in the sifter back into the bowl. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and whisk again. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in 2/3 of the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and run a fork along the length of the chocolate so that the batter envelops it just a bit. Sprinkle with the second sugar.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for a maximum of 2 days.

Serves 8 -12. Megan.

Recipe adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce.

Click here for our Wood Prairie Organic Grains Section

Our Mailbox: Confronting Evil and Growing in Paradise

Tomato Starts In 2" Soil Blocks. From left to right: Una Hartsock, Orange Banana, and Megan's line of orange cherry                 tomatoes still under going selection. We made the soil blocks from 100% Compost Plus, our wonderful compost product from       Vermont Compost Company.

Q.  Congrats on your lawsuit against the evil M. We are all behind you, watching and sending you positive thoughts and lots of luck! Go get 'em!!!! Keep up the good work.

Oregon City OR

Thanks for your support! This has been a big effort but it's been important that we act before it is too late. We think we have a good legal footing for this action. Please spread the word about the lawsuit to your friends. Thanks. Jim & Megan.

Q.  Hello! I'm a sustainable farmer in North Carolina and have already ordered all my potatoes from you guys! There are quite a few well established small farmer's organiations in this area. What can we do to join in the fight against Monsanto? I'm just a member of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Groups, but I've been active in writing my congress people and sending letters to companies that buy from Monsanto. There are a lot of people in the triangle/triad area and I think we might be able to apply pressure somewhere. I was just wondering if these groups had been contacted or what we can do to help?

Oxford NC

Thanks - we can use your help! Yes, we had to draw the line somewhere and there was simply not enough time to bring everyone on board that wanted to join. Here are some things you can do. Do read up on the Complaint and the PUBPAT press release (both are on our website). Circulate the information with your friends and ask them to circulate to their friends. Express your support on social media sites and consider sending letters to the editor or your local newspapers. Encourage donations to organizations that have signed on as plaintiffs and support seed companies that are active in the lawsuit. The more we can make folks aware of the issues surrounding this lawsuit the better. This will help put pressure on the traditional media to not ignore this important news story. Thanks for writing. Jim.

Q.  I'm 20 miles south of New Orleans. I planted Yukon Gold potatoes back in the fall and they have been growing well all winter. Can I plant potatoes side by side or will they cross, and when will the potatoes be ready?

Braithwaite LA

A crop of potatoes that is grown from certified seed potato tubers is a form of vegitative propagation. As such, planting different varieties side by side will have no impact on one another.
     It is not neccessary for potatoes to blossom in order to have a crop. However we find it handy to use potato blossoms as an indicator of tuber size. As a rule of thumb, when you see blossoms up top on a potato plant you will have tubers underground that are around ping pong ball size. Also you can always gently dig into the hill and feel around to determine tuber size with your fingers. Yank out the ones large enough to eat and take them to the kitchen. Jim.    


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