Wood Prairie Farm                                     In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                        Last Day of Planting.
      Organic News and Commentary
                                       Recipe: Homemade Cheese Crackers.
       Wednesday June 13, 2012                                                    Special Offer: FREE Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potatoes.
                                                                                                                     The Great Organic Wave Digest.
                                                                                                                     Mailbox: Standing Colorados & Common Sense

  Life After Planting.

Last Day of Potato Planting 2012 on Wood Prairie Farm.  Click here to watch this short You Tube video to learn about our process of planting our organic seed potato crop.  Our potato planter was originally a McConnell Two-Row Pick-Style which we converted twenty years ago to become a two-row Tuber Unit potato planter.  As you will see, the sprouted whole mother seed tubers are cut into the appropriate number of daughter seed pieces, which are in turn laid sequentially on the segmented conveyor belt to be automatically planted in the soil in this same order ("tuber unit").  Tuber unit planting is an old seedsman technique which gives us a leg up in identifying and rogueing out virus infected plants.  Tuber unit planting helps guarantee that the organic certified seed potatoes which you purchase from us will be of the highest quality and will support the highest possible yields in your potato crop next year. 
  Our oldest daughter, Sarah, age 13, is on the near outside edge.  Next to her, working the same row, is our youngest, Amy, age 9.

Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine

Recipe: Homemade Cheese Crackers.
3 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes, plus more for baking sheets
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour, plus more for counter
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
6 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 ice cube

Combine the butter, flour, dry mustard, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is crumbly and the butter starts to integrate into the mixture, about 30 seconds. Add the cheese and mix again on low speed for a few seconds.

In a measuring cup, combine 3/4 c water, the vinegar, and the ice cube and let sit for a moment to get cold. Add 6 T of the vinegar mixture to the dough and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds. Continue to add liquid, 1 T at a time, until the dough clings in a ball to the beater. Mix for an additional 30 seconds. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, and up to 3 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator 15 minutes before rolling out. Preheat oven to 325F and grease two baking sheets. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until dough is 1/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes using knife or cutter. 

Bake 1" apart on sheets for 18-25 minutes, depending on thickness of crackers. Turn off oven, prop open the oven door and allow crackers to crisp as the oven cools, - at least twenty minutes.


FREE Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potatoes 

      We are done planting our organic seed potato crop and yes we do have organic Seed Potatoes left to sell. There is plenty of time left to plant and harvest a great crop if you act soon. Better hurry while the selection is best. 

      Here are the varieties, in greater or lesser amounts, which are still available:  All-Blue, Butte, Carola, ElbaIsland Sunshine, King Harry, Prairie Blush, Rose Gold, Katahdin, Goldrush Russet, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling and Swedish Peanut Fingerling.

     And here's your chance to experiment and earn a FREE 1 lb sack of Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potatoes ($10.95-12.95 value) – Your Choice of Variety - with your next purchase of $45 or more. FREE Organic Seed Potatoes offer ends Monday, June 18.

     Please use Promo Code WPF 1121.  Your order and FREE Organic Seed Potatoes must ship by 6/21/12.  Offer may not be combined with other offers.  Please call or click today!

Click here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Seed Potatoes.

The Great Organic Wave Digest

* An Organic Advocate for the Family Farm.
UNH Journalism student Julia Miller traveled quite a ways to interview us on Wood Prairie Farm in northern Maine. "Democracy thrives where you have a wide land ownership by the people, by family farmers. They represent the basis of a democracy." Click here to read the story.

* A Controversy Exists.
     Incisive article by Margaret Riche exploring the issues surrounding our organic community lawsuit 'Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto' challenging the validity of Monsanto's transgenic/GMO patents and seeking Court protection for family farmers. "The truth is we are under threat and we do not believe Monsanto. The truth is that American farmers do not believe Monsanto. Family farmers deserve our day in court and this flawed ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice." Click here for the Article.

* Message from Makana.
MUST watch You Tube video (5:42) production combining Hawaiian musician Makana's moving "We Are the Many" with the recent news story of Oahu City Councilers working under the influence of biotech to vote down the people's proposal for Mandatory GMO Labeling.  Click here to watch.

* New Calves.
     New calves in the Wood Prairie Farm barn.  Calvin is an organic Jersey bull and Callie is an organic Irish Dexter heifer born here on the farm.  

* "Hilarious British Animal Voiceovers".
    Invest a few minutes in levity and earn a smile. We guarantee you will be sharing this video (4:34) with your friends. Click here to watch.  

* Stan Rogers - The Field Behind the Plow
     These are good days, planting potatoes and coated in dust. So with planting season it is time now to share one of the finest farming anthems: Canadian folk musician and songwriter Stan Rogers and his 'The Field Behind the Plow' (4:28). Stan's life was tragically cut short in 1983 at age 33 by a fire aboard a grounded Air Canada plane. Stan lives on through his wonderful music widely available on You Tube.

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!

 Jim & Megan

Wood Prairie Calves.  Calvin on the left and Callie on the right. 

Our Mailbox: Standing Colorados & Common Sense

Seeking Standing.
Dear WPF.
     I am writing a new article on OSGATA et al v. Monsanto and will include some of the info you share on the link. Thanks for all...and let's hope and work for the best.

Pahoa HI

WPF Replies.

     We are still dealing with pre-trial motions. Judge Buchwald's dismissal was on the issue of standing. We have not yet gotten to the substantial portion of the case itself. We believe we do have a strong case and we believe Monsanto knows this and that is why they are doing all that they can to prevent this case from getting to trial.
     The 'standing issue' is the matter of whether family farmers have a right under the Declaratory Judgement Act to pre-emptively sue Monsanto in order to gain court protection from allegations of patent infringement should we come to 'possess' Monsanto technology as a result of trespass and contamination of our crops by Monsanto seed. Our lawyers asked Monsanto for a binding legal covenant not-to-sue and they refused, signaling their desire to maintain their options.  We believe we meet the requirements of the Declaratory Judgement Act. The judge disagreed and we are appealing.
     Now our burden is to convince at least two of the three appellate justices that Judge Buchwald made errors of law and errors of fact that were sufficiently serious that in toto her errors lead her to an erroneous ruling.
     Our lawyers are now working on our Appeal brief.

Controlling Colorados.
Dear WPF.
     Just thought I would send you a picture of My King Henry plants. The pictures don't do my disappointment justice. Story goes like this. My wife and I are in the garden last night and she laughs, "ugh, your potatoes have bugs." I hurry over and find a lady bug and tell her "silly that's a good bug"
    Then tonight I am hilling the potatoes and she was right. Maybe even this out-of-focused picture speaks a thousand words!! So what do you suggest?

Monticello KY

WPF Replies.

     If you have a reasonably sized potato patch you can control Colorado Potato Beetles by simply picking off the potato bugs (adults) and crushing the larva and eggs (orange masses on the undersides of leaves) with your finger. Repeat this procedure three times per week until the threat abates. Twenty years ago, alone, I successfully controled Colorado Potato Beetles this way on an isolated potato patch of 500 row feet under severe pressure. One must be faithful to one's 'picking' schedule in order for this technique to work.  But I am living proof it will work.  
    On a larger scale, an effective organically-approved control is Entrust (https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-6467-entrust-og.aspx). I have seen this product available somewhere in a mail order seed catalog in smaller gardener scale packages in the last year or two but I can't recall which company offered it.

     The insect resistance displayed by the varieties in Cornell's hairy-leaved potato breeding program is a relative matter. King Harry has superior culinary quality over its predecessor Prince Hairy and it is early. Prince Hairy had a superior level of bug resistance but its eating quality was only mediocre and it was very late. There are always trade-offs.

Good Luck.

Common Sense Food Rules.
Dear WPF.
eriously, it is becoming a science to feed one's family these days. From pink slime to things that are not identifiable unless you are a chemist! Lawsuits for meds that kill people. When will it end....should have been a cockroach? They can survive anything apparently!

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     A simple template is to analyze food purchases by a ranking of common sense trust. Focus food choices on three basic high trust criteria: Organic, family scale and local. Low trust foods (e.g. pink slime and Fruit Loops) come from Big Ag makers of corporate processed food and are best avoided as low trust food. Choose simple high and medium trust organic staples that may not be sourced locally. (e.g. Lundburg Farms organic rice, domestic (avoid Chinese) organic dry beans). Food preparation from basic organic ingredients: high trust at reasonable cost. To avoid GMOs, avoid Big Ag processed food which relies upon GMO commodity crops.


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