Here on Wood Prairie Farm we are finally getting summer weather! We had good weather but cool for planting in May; then June and July turned cold and wet. Now since August arrived the weather has turned dry and we've had more hot days than we typically see in an entire summer. Our Spring wheat is almost ready for combining, standing golden in the field.
So we're now eating a lot of salad, and replanting lettuce for continuing fall greens. In many areas it's time for planting Fall gardens and folks are ordering seeds for Fall greens for the cooler weather ahead. Others are improving their gardens by purchasing and planting our soil building organic cover crop seed as soon as a plot is harvested.
Below is Wood Prairie's best kept secret Recipe: Ginger Garlic Salad Dressing , especially good, easy to make, and the best you will ever taste on Crisp Mint Lettuce. Click on the link to find the recipe.
We now have a Wood Prairie Farm BLOG and Facebook page to keep you up to date on Wood Prairie Farm and to answer questions and to help you grow and enjoy your garden with even greater success.
Find last night's full Wood Prairie Farm supper menu on Facebook!
The Tomato Famine: Below is an interesting article about the effect of this summer's weather on our gardens in the Northeast:
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on "The Tomato Famine"
by Jim Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Linked below is an interesting article "The Tomato Famine" written by George Ball, who is the head of the iconic W. Atlee Burpee Seed Co located in Warminster PA. George writes about troubles the Northeast has faced with tomatoes and details the Irish Potato Famine.
the article is
correct that there were several dozen
potato varieties grown in
While George and our friends at Burpee do love their hybrids (there is an undisputed marketing advantage with hybrids in that customers must purchase seed annually) I think open-pollinated (op) varieties are unfairly maligned. In my work as President of Organic Seed Alliance I know organic seed growers and breeders often prefer op varieties because type selection is fully within their control. This allows a practical and decentralized way of developing regionally adapted varieties that excel and resist disease pressure and certainly that's what we need as was made very clear by this year's cold wet conditions in the Northeast.
The trouble wasn't just because it was cold and wet.The early introduction of massive widespread late blight inoculum into the Northeast this year from tomato plugs sent north from a large Alabama greenhouse to eventually be sold in big box stores was an essential link in completing the disease triangle (host/environment/inoculum) in a magnitude of severity nothing short of a perfect storm. Michael Pollan has made us all aware of the dangers of food industry consolidation. We should also become aware of the very real parallel dangers of seed industry concentration and its cousin, planting stock concentration. Had everybody started their own tomatoes or purchased plants from a local family farm, the Northeast wouldn't be in this pickle.
Farmers and gardeners are on the front
lines of global climate change.
Over twenty years ago we had another cold Maine summer in which we didn't harvest a single ripe tomato from our large market garden. We decided to get out of the field tomato business and built a simple portable four-section 11' x 92' homemade hoophouse. We used 21-foot-long half-inch metal water pipe bent in a homemade pipe bender (a triangle alignment of three one-foot diameter pulleys off an old potato harvester) into quonset-shaped bows which were spaced at four foot intervals and welded to stout 1” pipe runners. Over the years we've harvested many thousands of pounds of blight-free tomatoes plus peppers, squash, melons, cucumbers, basil, greens and even strawberries, sweet potatoes and peanuts! That utilitarian hoophouse has paid for itself many many times over.
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FREE 2.5lb bag of Organic Hull-less Oat Cover Crop Seed
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Five Month Club gets a FREE $50 Gift Certificate!
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In food processor (we prefer all organic ingredients):
1/4 cup olive or sunflower oil
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Tamari (soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 clove garlic
1/2" length of Fresh Hawaiian Organic Ginger
(thank you Hawaii !)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Blend well until smooth. Add a Tablespoon of tahini for a richer dressing. You may peel the garlic and the ginger before adding them to the food processor.
You will never buy salad dressing again.
I keep my fresh ginger in the freezer.