Wood Prairie Farm                                     In This Issue of The Seed Piece: 
 Seed Piece Newsletter                        Wood Prairie Indiegogo Farm Repair Project Launched.
      Organic News and Commentary
                                       Recipe: German Potato Salad.
         Wednesday June 22, 2012                                                 The Great Organic Wave Digest.
                                                                                                                     Mailbox: Bad Bugs, Bad Corn & Good Decision

  Wood Prairie Indiegogo Farm Repair Shop Project Launched.

Watch Wood Prairie Film on Indiegogo. Just click here or on the Shop image above. This short film about our Indiegogo project was made with the help of our friends Nick & Nick at No Umbrella Media in Portland.

How Indigogo Works.

     With our hay safely in the barn we are now turning our attention to our new Indiegogo Project.  Crowdfunding, of which Indiegogo is the world's leading platform, is a community-funded project incubator. It is a means by which a community comes together to support a worthy project.  Pledges are made by folks like you who want to see a project succeed.  Perks are offered for different levels of support.  Minimum amounts are indicated for each perk, but you may pledge more than the minimum if you desire. 

     There is an established deadline, for us, July 24,  by which a financial goal – in our case $32,000 – is targeted. Please help us meet our goal!

Our Organic Seed Farm.

     As many of you know, our family has been growing organic seed and organic food on Wood Prairie Farm here in Northern Maine for the last 36 years.   Our isolated seed farm on the edge of the North Maine Woods is 115 acres, about half in farmland and the other half in woods.  Our family makes our entire living from our certified organic farm.   We’ve got four children ranging in age from 21 down to 9.  They all have a big role in making our organic family farm successful.

Jim & Megan Gerritsen, Peter (age 21), Sarah (age 13), Amy (age 9), Caleb (age 18).

Wood Prairie Farmers.  Jim & Megan Gerritsen, Peter (age 21), Sarah (age 13), Amy (age 9), Caleb (age 18).

Our Involvement in the Organic Community.

     In addition to our daily work of organic farming, we’ve always believed that it’s our responsibility to help make our organic community strong and permanent. Over the course of the last 30 years we have donated many thousands of hours towards making Organic strong through our organic community volunteer work. We have been committed to helping transform organic family farming into a viable alternative to chemical agriculture.  

    Jim is now President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.  OSGATA is in a prominent role as lead plaintiff in the landmark organic community lawsuit, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto which is challenging the validity of Monsanto’s GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) patents and seeks Court protection for family farmers from allegations of patent infringement should, through no fault of our own, Monsanto’s GMO seed trespass onto our farms and contaminate our crops. You can find information about OSGATA v. Monsanto on our website www.woodprairie.com, on our Facebook wall and in these Seed Piece newsletters.

Support for organic family farmers in "OSGATA et al v. Monsanto".

Solid Support.  There is massive public support of organic family farmers in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.

Our Mission to Build a New Farm Equipment Repair Shop.

     Potatoes are a heavy crop and they demand extensive use of farm machinery in order for farming to be practical and efficient. Additionally, the organic seed and food crops we grow require lots of other specialized older equipment. As farmers we spend plenty of time repairing farm equipment, keeping our tractors running and fabricating new machines we need in order to do a better job farming. From growing up around and working on the farm equipment, Peter and Caleb, our oldest children have become good mechanics and earned the responsibility of doing most of our equipment repairs. 

     We need a farm equipment repair shop so our boys can do their repair work anytime including in wet weather and during our long Maine winters. We’ve worked out a budget and it means raising $32,000 through Indiegogo to buy the materials for the repair shop.  Like we have always done, we will perform the construction work.

Peter Gerritsen, Wood Prairie Farm welder. Peter won the State of Maine Future Farmers of America (FFA) welding competition in 2008.

 Wood Prairie Welder. Peter won the State of Maine Future Farmers of America (FFA) welding competition in 2008.

We need your help to build our Indiegogo Repair Shop!

     This year will be the first phase. The repair shop will be a 30 foot by 70 foot metal building on a concrete slab with radiant floor wood heat.  The $32,000 will allow us to do the site work, pour the slab, construct and button-up the building shell, and begin using the shop.  Future phases will allow us to add things like the large garage doors and the insulation. But the important point is that with your help we’ll get our shop built and operating this year so that our boys will have a safe and dry place to keep our seed equipment repaired and ready for the work of growing good organic seed.

     We’re grateful for your support of our family and Wood Prairie Farm. Thanks for your help on our Indiegogo project!

Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine

More info about Wood Prairie Farm.

* Utne Reader. Nov 2011. “Jim Gerritsen Named 2011 Visionary.

* New York Times. Dec 2011.  “A Maine Farmer Speaks to Wall Street.

* Occupy Farmers March NYC. Dec 2011. “We are Farmers. We Feed the People.

* Public Patent Foundation. Mar 2012.Jim Gerritsen Discusses Lawsuit on PBS.

* Slow Food Terra Madre, Italy. Oct 2006.The Potato Culture of Aroostook County, Maine, USA.

* Atlantic Monthly. Sept 2002.Maine Certified. The Potatoes of September.” 

* Wake Up World. May 2012.  “Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto: Appeal Filed!

Review of Indiegogo Pledge Perks.

     We would be grateful if you would support our Indiegogo Farm Repair Shop project.  We’ve put together a collection of Wood Prairie Farm perks that we’d like to share with you.  Thanks!

Wood Prairie Farm Sweet Cider Label.  Thirty-year-old heritage color Wood Prairie Farm Sweet Cider label (4” x 4”) designed in the fruit-crate label art tradition.

Historical Wood Prairie Farm Potato Postcard Set.  A collection of twenty-two of our original fruit-crate-label-inspired Wood Prairie Farm Potato Postcards including the rare Kerry Blue and Ozette Fingerling.

Vintage Wood Prairie Farm Chantenay Carrot Poster.  Beautiful Wood Prairie Farm Chantenay Carrot poster (10” x 15”) in fruit-crate label style on heavy cardstock with green motif.

Organic Wood Prairie Farm T-Shirt.   High quality unbleached organic cotton t-shirt. Left breast printed with full color Wood Prairie Farm logo. Choice of XL, L, M, S.

Personalized Wood Prairie Farm Metal Art Wall Hanging.   After our Kickstarter Farm Repair Shop is built, our boys Peter and Caleb will personally fabricate for you, by a process involving welding and grinding, a hand made original 3” x 9” metal wall hanging (or paper weight) emblazoned with your name (maximum seven characters) and ‘[Heart] Wood Prairie Farm.

Organic Wood Prairie Farm Container Gardening Kit.  Grow anywhere Container Gardening Kit includes two (2) 15-gallon fabric Grow Bags, the book Window Boxes by Cramer & Johnson, a heavy duty stainless steel trowel and an assortment of ten organic Wood Prairie Farm seed packet varieties well-adapted to container gardening including sweet Una Hartsock Plum Tomato and amazing Jimmy Nardello Sweet Red Pepper.

Choice of One Mounted Print from “Rural Harvest” Series by Photographer Lottie Hedley.  Your choice of one black and white matted archival inkjet print (20” x 24” white mat with 15” x 10.5” image) from Lottie Hedley’s stark and powerful fifteen-image family farmer series “Rural Harvest” (https://www.lottiehedleyphotography.com/rural-harvest#0).

Choice of Two Mounted Prints from “Rural Harvest” Series by Photographer Lottie Hedley.  Your choice of two black and white matted archival inkjet prints (each 20” x 24” white mat with 15” x 10.5” image) from Lottie Hedley’s family farmer series “Rural Harvest” (https://www.lottiehedleyphotography.com/rural-harvest#0)

Wood Prairie Farm Private Tour and By-the-Pond Organic Picnic for Six People plus “Rural Harvest” Mounted Print.  Enjoy a half-day with the Gerritsen family on Wood Prairie Farm. Includes a private farm and Kickstarter Repair Shop tour and hay wagon ride, a momento: your choice of one black and white matted archival inkjet print (20” x 24” white mat with 15” x 10.5” image) from Lottie Hedley’s “Rural Harvest” series (https://www.lottiehedleyphotography.com/rural-harvest#0), and the day topped off with an organic Picnic-By-The Pond and campfire

Personalized Keynote Presentation by Jim Gerritsen at Your Location.   Wood Prairie Farm will cover travel expenses and Wood Prairie farmer Jim Gerritsen will journey to your location anywhere in the lower 48 states  (please add-on actual travel expenses for locations in Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada) and deliver a Keynote Speech at your conference or event.

Penobscot River Whitewater Raft Trip.  Plus Two-Days Lodging for Six People plus Private Tours & By-The-Pond Organic Picnic plus Mounted “Rural Harvest” Print.  

Spend a couple of days in northern Maine with the Gerritsen family. Package includes a private van tour of Aroostook County, Maine, plus a private farm and Kickstarter Repair Shop tour, hay wagon ride, organic Picnic-By-The-Pond and campfire.

Plus two nights’ lodging in a modern A-frame cabin (with sauna and hot tub) at nearby Blaine Country Cabins.

Plus one of the top outdoor adventures in the Eastern United States: a breathtaking all-day whitewater raft trip  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE6IaoHCJ1w&feature=related) with the Gerritsens on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Katahdin.  Includes the services of a Registered Maine Raft Guide, Class V rapids, mid-day riverside dinner (salmon, steak, chicken or vegetarian), and professionally photographed DVD souvenir video of your  raft trip.

Plus your choice of a black and white matted archival inkjet print (20” x 24” white mat with 15” x 10.5” image) from Lottie Hedley’s “Rural Harvest” family farm series (https://www.lottiehedleyphotography.com/rural-harvest#0)

More Ways You Can Help Us On Our Indiegogo Project.

First, if you are able please contribute to help our project succeed and get a perk in return.

Also please tell your friends!

In addition to your pledge, you can help our Farm Repair Shop project succeed by clicking the Like button. This helps raise our 'gogofactor' ranking which can help channel major attention to our project.  Also please help us by spreading the word so that family and friends come to our Indiegogo Project in any of these ways:

- Friend us on Facebook.

- Post our Indiegogo Project on your Facebook Wall.

- Tweet about our Indiegogo Project.

- Post about our Indiegogo Project on your blog.

- Email our Indiegogo Project to your friends.

- Post about our Indiegogo Project on Reddit.

- Please tell everyone!  Thanks!

Please click here to land on our Indiegogo Farm Equipment Repair Project page. Thanks for helping our family and Wood Prairie Farm!

Recipe: German Potato Salad.

6 Prairie Blush potatoes, peeled
1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled (save the grease)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp celery seed
2 T flour

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Fry bacon, saving grease; Set bacon aside to cool. Add sugar and vinegar to bacon grease, gently stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Slice cooled potatoes about 1/4-inch thick and place in a 9x13-inch baking pan. Crumble bacon and add to potatoes, along with chopped onions and celery seed. Sprinkle flour over potato-bacon mixture. Pour sugar-vinegar-grease mixture over all, and toss lightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Source:  Sun Times, 2012

Great dish for the summer.


The Great Organic Wave Digest

U.S. Senate Defeats Sanders/Boxer GMO Labeling Amendment SA 2310 by a Vote of 26-73.

     Senate Amendment 2310 to the 2012 Farm Bill would have offered clarity that States do have a right to require GMO Labeling if that is the desire of their citizens. At right is a MUST watch You Tube video (9:27) of Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders explaining why this legislation was necessary and how biotech bullied Vermont against passing GMO labeling. The link below allows you to see how your State's Senators voted.

Senate Amendment 2310 - Sanders/Boxer Amendment to clarify the right of States to enact GMO Labeling legislation.

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

Our Mailbox: Bad Bugs, Bad Corn & Good Decision.

Controlling CPB.

Dear WPF.
     I know a source of an alternative to Entrust for controlling Colorado Potato Beetles. Indeed at $625 a unit, Entrust is too expensive for me. The active ingredient of Entrust is "Spinosad". A product containing Spinosad I have used with great success against CPB, called "Bull's-Eye", is offered by Gardens Alive: https://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=8756. It is promoted for residental use, so I assume it may not be appropriate for commercial production. I hope this info is helpful.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     Bingo! Thanks!

Avoiding GMO Sweet Corn.

Dear WPF.
     Hi Jim, Do you happen to know the brand / trade name that Monsanto's GMO sweet corn will be sold under? I know "Attribute" was the last one from years back, but all I have heard is that Monsanto would not be using that name.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     My understanding is that the GMO sweet corn seed is being sold under Monsanto's Seminis Performance Series label. But the sweet corn-on-the-cob-ears appearing in stores right now will NOT be labeled and that is the problem for consumers wanting to know so that they may make informed purchase for their families. 'Attribute' is the name of a competing Sygenta GMO sweet corn seed. I think you will want to source certified organic sweet corn from here on out because certified organic farmers are not allowed to use GMO seed and we are checked annually by our organic certifiers. Growing your own or buying certified organic sweet corn will be your best assurance of avoiding Monsanto's new GMO version. Here is a background article from a year ago.



Cost-Share Compromise.

Dear WPF.
     Any government money is really taxpayer's money. The taxpayer is also the organic farmer's customer. The customer already pays a premium for organic, and I've been told it was to offset the certification costs. I guess that's not correct, otherwise the customer gets hit twice. Confused. Help me out here, Jim? Also can you get the government to pay for my mandated car insurance? LOL.

World Wide Web

WPF Replies.

     About the Senate's move to support renewal of cost-share funding to help family farmers handle the cost of organic certification: Here's my thinking as farmers who have been certified organic for 30 years, the first twenty years voluntarily. Beginning in October 2002, USDA enacted the Organic Labeling law passed by Congress as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. It requires every farmer using the word 'organic' whose sales exceed $5000/yr to be certified by a USDA-accredited organic certifier. USDA protocols have added improved assurances to the consumer at the cost of greater effort and higher expense to farmers and our certifiers. For example, since USDA came to town, the cost of our organic certification has tripled to $1800/yr. USDA reimburses us $750, so with the cost-share we pay twice what we used to. Without the cost share we would be paying 3.5x what we used to pay. The cost-share seems a reasonable compromise since our organic certification is no longer voluntary but government-mandated and accordingly much more costly. That's why we supported rejection of Sen. Toomey's amendment (SA 2217) which sought to eliminate Organic cost-share funding. The dollar savings to the government is a tiny drop in the federal budget. And it also seemed mean-spirited to us. 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