Wood Prairie Farm

Home-made Potato Chips
The cover of our Harvest 2010 Catalog now in the mail hints at a tasty potato dish: Homemade Potato Chips. Recipe below.

Coming Into Fall

  With some nights now dipping into the low 40s we are slipping into Fall.  This has been a wonderful growing year.  Everyone is getting ready for Potato Harvest  which in Northern Maine is called "Digging."  We have killed our seed plots - the seed we will plant back next year here on Wood Prairie Farm - and are beginning to kill back our early varieties.  The best Seed potato growers carefully monitor tuber size and age this time of year and kill the plant tops (we burn back with propane flame) when  the potatoes are still juvenile and full of energy.  This practice will result in extra vigor and higher yields for the crop you plant from our seed next season.
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Harvest Help Offer
Save 15% Now!
Offer ends 8/31/10

Harvest Help

    Everyone loves the Fall in New England.  Fall’s harvest represents the culmination of a year’s work and you can bet that we are extremely busy.  Like all farmers we have a lot of expenses this time of year – labor, equipment and fuel to name a few.  In addition to those customary outlays, our unique Wood Prairie Farm niche of selling our crops directly to you also racks up additional seasonal expenses like printing and mailing out our catalog.
   The fact is, we need some Harvest Help from you.  You can help us in a very tangible way if you place your order right now.  As a thank you for your timely orders we are offering a 15% discount on all orders placed by 5pm Eastern Tuesday August 31, 2010.  We will send all orders out as promptly as possible.  Orders must ship by 5/10/11.  Please use code XXXXX.  Market Growers - this is your chance to save hundreds of dollars on your next order!
   Kitchen potato orders of ten pounds or less plus all seed potatoes and grain items will ship just as soon as they are dug in September.  Potatoes for kitchen use in quantities greater than ten pounds (i.e. 20s and 50s) will ship around November 1 when the potatoes are fully ready for fall brushing.
     Help us harvest and we’ll help you save.  Thanks, Jim & Megan

Recipe: Home-Made Potato Chips
This Recipe idea and photo sent in by our customer and friend Jan Snyder
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons salt
1 quart oil for deep frying
  1. Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice. Drain, and rinse, then refill the bowl with water, and add the salt. Let the potatoes soak in the salty water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, then rinse and drain again.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry potato slices in small batches. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.
  3. Enjoy them while they're hot!

More recipes on Wood Prairie's Facebook, including Butternut Squash Chocolate Chip Cookies
Home-made Potato Chips
Photo of Potato Chips by Jan Snyder.  
Question and Answer : Fall Planting

Q.  Some people around here plant potatoes over the winter.  I'd like to try it with some of these potatoes as seed.  Any recommendations on which variety would have the best shot in a rainy winter?
Stinson Beach CA

A.  This is doable.  A good number of our customers in areas with mild Falls/Winters will plant back a portion of their Spring/Summer potato harvest.  In this way they are never more than one generation away from clean certified seed and you should do fine.
   The big consideration in Fall planting is the dormancy factor.  Before any tuber will sprout it has to go through a resting or dormancy period of 4-8 weeks.  Dormancy varies by variety and by the kind of growing season year: a tuber  grown in hot weather and under stress will be aged more at harvest and accordingly such aging conditions will shorten the required resting period .  So the best keeping varieties (long dormancy) are the worst Fall planting varieties (Swedish Peanut, Red Cloud, Yukon Gold and Prairie Blush) because they won't wake up.  The best fall varieties are short dormancy (for example, Russian Banana) and the very best are both short dormancy AND short length of season (Caribe', Reddale, Onaway).   To encourage an early end to dormancy and sprouting the best practice is to store tubers at room temperature and plant after you see the sprouts beginning to emerge from the eyes (indication the tubers have come out of dormancy and are ready to grow).  We apply an organic plant growth regulator gibberillic acid (GAA) to all Fall shipped seed potatoes intended for Fall planting.  The GAA gives tubers a leg up to helping break dormancy. The safest technique is to not plant your seed tubers until they are starting to sprout and ready to grow.  Good luck. Jim

Monsanto & USDA Dealt Historic Defeat

Not Above the Law
Monsanto, the chief biotech corporation and pusher of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms or gene-spliced) crops and their boosters at the dysfunctional regulator USDA-APHIS were dealt a major blow last week when federal district judge Jeffrey White issued an order rescinding the USDA’s approval of the planting of GMO Roundup Ready Sugar Beets.  Judge White ruled that the USDA is not above the law and acted illegally when it approved the planting of RR Sugar Beets without having conducted the mandatory Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  The court decision ruled on a  lawsuit filed by fellow organic seed growers and allies at the Center for Food Safety and at the Organic Seed Alliance (Last year Jim completed a three year term as OSA President).  
    The highly mobile pollen from RR Sugar Beet seed production has the ability to contaminate the seed of table beets, swiss chard and other non-GMO sugar beets.  Click here for more info on the court decision. 

Be Safe and Be Sure
   Wood Prairie Farm organic seed of varieties that are at risk for GMO contamination is carefully grown in isolation and PCR tested in 10,000 seed samples.  Our seed lots must test as “not found in” (meaning zero seeds GMO content out of a 10,000 seed sample) or else we won’t sell it. 

Monsanto in Ag
   We absolutely do not support Monsanto and we do not sell Monsanto seed.
   The Wood Prairie belief toward Monsanto is short and to the point.  It is recorded in Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire” and can be found on page 221: “If there’s a source of evil in agriculture its name is Monsanto.”  
Monsanto on the Ropes?
   Monsanto is suffering setbacks.  Last week’s RR Sugarbeet ban marks the second time a Court has rescinded the USDA’s approval of a Monsanto biotech crop.  Earlier this summer Monsanto brought a case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The High Court upheld a lower court ban ruling against Monsanto and left in place the prohibition on planting GMO Roundup Ready Alfalfa.  (Click here for the story of the defeat of RR Alfalfa.)

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