Wood Prairie Farm                                               In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                    Maine Tales: A Good Life of Farming
      Organic News and Commentary
                                   FREE Compendium of World Potato Varieties
           Friday January 13, 2012                                                Recipe: Wonderful Carrot Pie.
                                                                                                                 Special Offer: FREE Organic Red Beets.
                                                                                                                 The Great Organic Wave Digest. Keeping Track of Recent Wave News.
                                                                                                                 Mailbox: Community Support From Coast to Coast

Picking Rocks On Wood Prairie Farm.
In a field of Spring wheat, our boys Peter and Caleb helped by their friends and our Oliver 770 bucket tractor in early June 2004. If these rocks were not removed, they might bust up haying equipment the next year when this same field rotated into clover sod. .

Maine Tales.                       A Good Life of Farming.                                  Monticello, Maine.               Circa 2012.
     There might have been a time when northern Maine wasn’t covered with rocks. But we know for a fact that wasn’t in the last 10,000 years since the last glaciers retreated northward.  What we do know is we’ve got awful nice soil for growing potatoes once you haul the rocks off that the glaciers left behind. Everyone up here has learned a lot from our life with rocks.  Like what rocks can do to bruise up potatoes and bust up machinery.  Some ground is thick with rocks and some ground maybe not so much.  Our farm is blessed with a particular abundance of rocks, here on the edge of the North Maine Woods.
     Now some years ago we cleared a four acre field that had been allowed to grow back to woods seventy years before.  We knew this history because we counted the tree rings on the stumps after we cut the trees down. This field is the one we now call New Big South West #3.  Once we got the stumps out we had lots and lots of rocks to pick.  After years of searching we had come to purchase a rare side boom lag rock picker in good condition.  These machines were popular back in the 1960s as farmers became real serious about removing rocks from fields. We used that side boomer with our 12 yard dump truck and it picked the lion’s share of the 600-700 yards of rocks we pulled off that little field. Now’s it a pretty field with woods on the west edge.  We’ve grown a couple of nice crops of organic seed potatoes and the rocks are more or less under control.
     Well the reason we’re thinking rocks in particular this week was the passing of an old retired farmer in the town just south of Bridgewater.  That would be the town of Monticello (‘Mont-Tee-Sell-O’ unless you’re in a big hurry when it comes across as ‘Mont-Sell-O’). Old Mike Brown was well-respected, a good farmer, a hard worker and a real asset and leader in his town.  Like everybody, he grew potatoes most of his 81 years.  And if you grow potatoes in northern Maine, as Mike did, there’s no escaping it, you sure get to know your rocks. We’ll close with a verbatim excerpt from the obituary of this potato man, printed up recently in the local paper.
     “He was always a farmer at heart who believed in putting back into the ground more than he took away.  He upgraded the land with miles of drainage tile, sod ditches, strip cropping and picking and disposing of millions of rocks and rocks and rocks.”

Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page

Side Boom Rock Picker on Wood Prairie Farm. Side boomers are pulled by a tractor. Rocks are conveyed back then sideways and dumped into a dump truck driving along side and underneath the boom..

FREE Compendium of World Potato Varieties
     Traversing the breadth of the potato world from the exotic 'Abeille,' to 625 varieties later, the Canadian rock star 'Yukon Gold' anyone interested in potatoes will want to download a copy of this exhaustive potato variety listing compiled by our friends at potato friendly Washington State University. Includes succinct and pithy descriptions that are a potato farmer's dream come true.  This impressive work deserves a place in your farm library. Jim

Wonderful Carrot Pie

Photo by Angela Wotton

Recipe: Wonderful Carrot Pie

1 1/4 lb Organic Chantenay Carrots
3/4 sugar
1 c milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice or cloves
3 eggs
1 unbaked pie shell

Wash the carrots and peel. Slice the carrots and steam them until tender. You should have about 4 cups of sliced carrots. Puree them in a blender or food processor.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the pie shell, to the carrots in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth and evenly mixed. Pour the puree into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for 45 more minutes, or until set. Let the pie cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

A nice alternative to pumpkin pie. Megan.

Click Here For Our Organic Garden Seed Section

Special Offer: FREE Organic Red Beets.

     Beets are one of our family’s favorite vegetables for winter. They are versatile and keep very well. Beets are delicious, along with carrots and parsnips, when cooked as roasted veggies.  We find roasted beets do best when a cover is placed over the pan they are roasted in.
      Here’s your chance to earn a FREE 2 lbs sack ($11.95 value) of our Wood Prairie Organic Red Beets with your next purchase of $50 or more.
     Please use Promo code WPF 1110. FREE Organic Red Beets must ship with order and entire order must ship by March 27, 2012. Offer may not be combined with other specials.  This offer ends Tuesday 1/17/12.  Please call or click today!

Wood Prairie Organic Red Beets.

'Cross Licensing Agreements for Genetically Engineered Traits' Chart by Dr. Phil Howard MSU.
The Great Organic Wave Digest
                                     Keeping Track of Recent Wave News

* Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto.
     Thorough and comprehensive interview by host Kate Gardner on the Manic Gardener podcast providing good background on the organic community lawsuit, OSGATA v. Monsanto. Interviewed first is Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association as well as Wood Prairie Farmer. Then following that portion of the program is our lead attorney Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of Public Patent Foundation. This program is an excellent primer on our lawsuit which seeks to protect family farmers and your family's right to choice in the marketplace.

* Daniel Ravicher | WICN Public Radio Audio Interview.
     Excellent Massachusetts public radio WICN interview of Daniel Ravicher, lead attorney in OSGATA v. Monsanto and lecturer at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Invest twenty-nine minutes and you will gain a clear understanding of why family farmers have gone to court to challenge Monsanto's abusive behavior and how we will prove in court their transgenic/GMO patents are invalid. Listen to the WICN interview here.

* The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods.
Must read article on new research which "provide the first example of ingested plant microRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function...The Chinese RNA study threatens to blast a major hole in Monsanto's claim. It means that DNA can code for microRNA, which can, in fact, be hazardous...Monsanto's claim that human toxicology tests are unwarranted is based on the doctrine of 'substantial equivalence'...'a pseudo-scientific concept' that is 'inherently anti-scientific because it was created primarily to provide an excuse for not requiring biochemical or toxicological tests.'" Read the eye-opening Atlantic article here.

* Open Up and Say "Ahh."
A recent Freedom of Information Act request has revealed that the FBI wants what it calls "food activists" prosecuted as terrorists. "In the brave new world of 21st century America, terrorism has evolved to mean anything that threatens the status quo or challenges the standings or profits of the corporate entities that have reduced our government agencies to the status of pawns." Has Big Ag taken well to our critiquing of their role in our food system? Not exactly. This tale of corporate-government collusion would be rich satire were it not based in fact. Our best defense is to expose this corruption. Read the story here.

* Dr. Phil Howard's Chart of the "Big 6".
      There is recent news from India with the guilty verdict of human right's violations in the People's Tribunal against what are known as the "Big 6" - the six largest  pesticide and biotechnology corporations. These same six corporations are the subject of another great visual chart:  'Cross Licensing Agreements for Genetically Engineered Traits,'  put together by Dr. Phil Howard of MSU.  The relationships depicted are clearly more cozy than competitive.

About Facebook
We're using daily Facebook posts 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 our 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!
 Jim & Megan

Our Mailbox: Community Support From Coast to Coast.

Dear WPF.
     Thanks for the update. We watched a clip of Jim's speech in NY. I hope the right people are listening. Bravo to his bravery and well stated message. USDA just gave Monsanto another go ahead for more GMO corn. We grow organic hard red winter wheat plus lots of garden and farm raised meat/eggs. I have never found a better source for seed potatoes than yours!

Atwood KS

WPF Replies.

     Thanks for your kind words. Jim.

Dear WPF.

     I've ordered potatoes, carrots, and seeds from your farm over the years when I run out of produce from our local CSA. I wanted to find local (New England) produce and not buy from California. Your Seed Piece newsletter is very informative and I"m so appreciative of your taking a stand against Monsanto and participating in the Farmer's March at Occupy Wall Street.

     The oldest son of our CSA farmer was one of the original OWS protesters. He was there before the media caught on to it and he's still there.

     Thank you for standing up to the corporate takeover of our country and culture.

     Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Framingham MA

WPF Replies.

     We're grateful for your loyalty and support.

     Jim & Megan

Dear WPF.

Thank you for addressing the Occupy issue, very well I might add, our Great Country is at a major crossroads, people need to wake up, turn the TV off and address the Politicians who represent us, not the special interest of the Few (1%).

Shofler CO

WPF Replies.

     Couldn't agree any more with you. Thanks for your support.

Dear WPF.

Thank you all for all you do. It is my pleasure to support, via seed purchases, you who take the time from their busy days to protect the rights of all of us. Please know it is appreciated; the agribusiness companies cannot be allowed to restrict the types of food we eat and substitute their fascism for capitalism. Those who control the food, control the people, and we can't lose this battle.

The best to all of you, and please continue to keep us informed.

Orting WA

WPF Replies.

     Thank you for your support. It means a lot to us. You are eloquent in your analysis and we agree with you. It's time for us all to come together and work united to defeat this massive common threat to our people.

Jim & Megan

Dear WPF.

Delighted to hear someone is fighting Monsanto. Please keep it up! Also appreciate the wide variety of organic seed that you offer.

Marion TX

WPF Replies.

     We're all in this together. Your business supports our family and we use that support to grow good organic seed for you and to help fight despots like Monsanto.

Jim & Megan

Dear WPF.

Awesome! As always the potato samplers are so good we feel like honey bees in fall clover. The "Hollow Heart" in potatoes we never called it that, we just said "Oh! They grew too fast" (growth spurt) and we ate 'em! For us hollow hearts, skin color, etc. no problem. I grew up on a farm and taste was more important then "cosmetic perfection". We had a dry summer until August 25 and since then we've had 30 inches of rain. Some of our fall plantings are washed out but our rain barrels are full. We love your food, we steamed a big pot of potatoes with sprinkles of salt & olive oil and ate them and then did another batch of the same! WPF you are THE BEST. Thanks to you and your family.

Richmond VA

WPF Replies.

Aw shucks, you're making us blush. Jim & Megan.

 Dear WPF.
Jim, thank you for taking the time to talk to me about growing potatoes in San Diego. I'm excited to get your taters in the ground! Nice video, looks like you have a nice family business! God Bless!

Chula Vista CA

WPF Replies.

      Glad we could help. Thanks. 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