Issue of The Seed Piece:
Maine Tales: A Short History of Wood
Two Great Articles About Our Indiegogo
Recipe: Potato Rosemary Fougasse.
Special Offer: FREE Organic Buckwheat Cover
Potatoes From Sea to Shining Sea.
Speaks About Farm Life & Indiegogo
Caleb and Farming. Click
to watch Caleb’s
short video. Caleb is our second oldest son and he just graduated from Central Aroostook High
Fall Caleb will begin earning his degree
in Diesel Hydraulic Mechanics at nearby Northern Maine
Caleb and his older brother, Peter, have
become accomplished mechanics and the two of them do most of the
repairs on Wood Prairie Farm.
We have just put
together an Indiegogo Crowdfunding Project and we need your help in
build our Wood Prairie Farm Organic
Seed Equipment Repair Shop so that our boys will have a
safe and dry
place to maintain and repair our farm equipment. If you are able, we
would be grateful to receive your contribution to our Project. In
you’ll receive a unique ‘perk’ from us. In the first six days of our
Indiegogo Project we've already raised $7145 towards our goal of $32000
needed for building materials.
We can also use
your help in the following ways:
* Spread the
word about our Project to
your family and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.
* “Like” our Project
on our Indiegogo
button is directly beneath the opening frame aerial photo shot of our
* Submit a Comment on Indiegogo
here to read the wonderful Comments submitted so far).
Jim & Megan.
A Short History of the Beginnings of Wood Prairie
Both of Jim's parents grew up on farms - his father on an apple farm in
Moxie, Washington (near Yakima), and his mother on a cattle and wheat
ranch outside Midland, South Dakota (near Pierre). They were of the
generation encouraged 'to get a better life' off the farm. Megan's
family was another generation removed from dirt farming in Maine, but
she grew up in the country with gardens and goats and a
best-friend-pony who accompanied her on a childhood of adventures
exploring the countryside.
As a kid raised in town all Jim knew then was that he surely did not
fit in. A refugee from the land, he grew up as a fish-out-of-water and
sought solace by hiking and camping in the woods. We both started
working on farms in college. For Jim, it clicked and he came to quickly
understand the farming that had skipped a generation was his calling.
Soon, of course, Jim allowed he wanted to have his own farm and not
work for someone else. He dropped out of school to work and save
farm-buying money. Megan, younger and smarter, stuck with college, got
a biology degree and kept finding organic farms to work on.
Jim researched his options. Northern Maine had excellent soil, woods,
isolation, rainfall, abandoned farms and cheap $150/acre farmland. In
1976, he set off and drove to Maine with his tools and books in a
one-ton Chevy flatbed truck as a 21 year-old with amassed savings of
$7000 in his pocket. Sometimes one is guided. This farm we're on
happens to be the very first Maine farm Jim ever laid his eyes upon. It
rang true. He followed his designed plan of searching among many other
farms, but found himself comparing each one back to the first one. In
the end, he did buy the first 40 acres for $6000, which became the
beginning of Wood Prairie Farm. That first year Jim lived for five
months in a Coleman tent, dug a 12' x 20' cellar-hole by hand, poured a
full concrete root cellar, then built a cabin over the cellar, all the
while working off farm jobs. That November after the first snows, he
moved into the unfinished cabin.
Some years later, Megan was working on a organic farm 80 miles south.
Mutual friends introduced us and we were married that next year in
1985. Five years later, Peter, the first of our four children was born.
Then four years after that, Caleb: then four years later, Sarah: then
four years more and change, Amy. That we farm with a four year potato
rotation should now come as no surprise to anyone.
Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Farm
Click here for the Wood Prairie
Articles About Our
Indiegogo Repair Shop Project
A pair of
well-written articles appeared yesterday – both
originating from the state of Tennessee
- which highlight our Indiegogo
Crowdfunding Farm Equipment Repair Shop
Once in a while, the
presents itself that allows us to give back in a manner that makes a
to the whole and not just a chosen few. This is one of those times, Jim
Gerritsen in Bridgewater,
organic farmer and advocate for all
organic farmers against the damaging actions of the chemical
giant...Monsanto-needs our help. Let me make
clear...farmers are not wealthy people...most of us work on a very
budget, often working against all odds to make a goal and keep our
businesses out of the red…I grew up with the knowing that we help our
when help is needed....Jim is our neighbor, just living in another
is a worthy plea...I'm asking...a little or a lot, will be greatly
been shade tree mechanics for 35 years, having to work outside,’
potato farmer Jim
Gerritsen. Now that his sons, Peter and Caleb are taking on key
keeping older equipment running, a shelter would be ideal for the
like welding that farmers often do. ‘The shop will help us get
done,’ said Caleb, who'll be studying diesel hydraulic mechanics this
Northern Maine Community College while still helping out on the farm.”
Shop Location. Where
our Indiegogo Repair Shop will be built.
al v. Monsanto. The battle continues.
Discontent - OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.
developments in the landmark organic community patent lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
et al v. Monsanto. In March we filed our Notice of Appeal with the
States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, against Federal Judge
Buchwald’s pre-trial dismissal of our suit filed under the Declaratory
Judgement Act. OSGATA et al v. Monsanto
challenges Monsanto’s GMO patents and seeks court protection from
family farmers. We believe the dismissal
ruling contained both errors of fact and errors of law which led Judge
to make an erroneous ruling. We are
preparing our Appeal brief opposing the Judge’s position that our
farmers lack standing to sue. We are not seeking one dollar from
about the lawsuit in food magazine Gourmet, Seeds
of Discontent, contained
this observation: “’There’s a saying that good fences make good
says Jim Gerritsen, the president of OSGATA. Gerritsen has been farming
potatoes in a small town in northern Maine,
6 miles south of the Canadian border, for more than three decades. ‘If
growing clover at my farm, and your farm next door has cattle, it’s
responsibility to build a strong enough fence to keep your cows from
over and eating my clover. It is Monsanto’s responsibility to ensure
doesn’t contaminate the organic farms.’”
Finally, an article
posted this week on patent law journal blog Patently-O,
reported that the US Supreme Court has decided it will hear Already,
LLC dba Yums v. Nike, a
trademark case that is likely to have implications on standing in
lawsuits. The journal described Already v. Nike as “an appeal carrying
the potential for profound implications for patent law.”
we will have
new OSGATA et al v. Monsanto
developments and we will report them to you right here.
Click here to the
Wood Prairie Farm website for
background on OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.
tsp brown sugar
c warm water (100 to 110 F)
T olive oil
T chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried rosemary
potato in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce
heat, and simmer until tender. Drain, reserving 1 c cooking liquid.
Return potato to pan and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
yeast and sugar in warm water in a separate bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add 2 c flour, mashed potato, reserved cooking liquid, oil, rosemary,
and salt to the yeast mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until
smooth. Stir in 3 1/2 c flour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured
surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough
of remaining flour to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil. Cover and let rise in a
warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Roll into a
14 x 10-inch rectangle. Place on a large baking sheet. Cut 5 4-inch
long diagonal slits in dough on alternating sides of dough. Be careful
not to cut through edge of dough. Gently pull slits open. Cover and let
rise 30 minutes.
oven to 425 degrees F.
your hands to gently pull slits apart so they remain open during
baking. Bake dough for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool on wire
Cooking Light, December 2001
Potato Rosemary Fougasse.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Thick Crop. Chopping
Down Buckwheat 56 DAP (days after planting).
Offer: FREE Organic
Cover Crop Seed.
our favorite cover crops for improving the tilth of
the soil is Organic
Buckwheat. It is a fast
growing and warm season
(susceptible to frost) cover crop or grain (source of Buckwheat flour
pancakes). Tolerates poor quality soil
better than most cover crops. Plant
in the Spring after the soil has warmed and after risk of a 32oF frost
passed. Plant up to and as late as 8
weeks prior to expected Fall frost. If
grown as a cover crop to improve the soil, be sure to mow down and
into the soil at first bloom (about 7-8 weeks) to prevent maturation of
which could shatter from the straw and come back to haunt you as a weed.
And here's your chance to earn a FREE 2.5 lb sack of Wood Prairie
Farm Organic Buckwheat
Cover Crop Seed ($9.95 value covers 400 square feet) with your next
purchase of $40 or more. FREE
Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed offer ends Monday, July 2.
Please use Promo Code WPF 1122. Your
order and FREE Wood
Prairie Farm Organic Buckwheat Cover
Crop Seed must ship by 7/5/12. Offer may not be combined with
offers. Please call or click today!
Click here for our Wood
Organic Cover Crop Seed Section.
|Our Mailbox: Potatoes From Sea to
North Carolina Crop.
Jim, thank you very much for your time this morning. I put the notes in
my log. Answer to whether or not the deer eat the potato vines is: "I
don't know". We were hoping to find out with the Yukon Golds planted
outside the fence but the voles got them first. I have a lot of
spearmint planted alongside the potato fence and hopefully that is what
kept the voles out of the potatoes. 40 lbs from 2 1/2lbs of Rose Gold
seed even with all the adverse events. 20 pounds and counting from 2
pounds of Buttes, who knew?
P.S. We support everything you do for the
family farmer. You are our future and our heritage.
Those are very good yields. One of my favorite
stories is a farmer who once got 750 lbs of organic Rose Gold seed from
harvested 24,000 lbs - that's a 32x increase. That crop was a
Green Thumb Growing in Washington.
healthy garden, healthy food.
Thought I'd send you a pic of the potato plants grown from the seed I
ordered from Wood Prairie Farm. The blossoming row on the left of the
picture is Butte and the other blossoming row is All Blue. We've been
very successful with the seed we've purchased from you.
Beautiful plants. You have a green thumb.
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm