Mother and two offspring seen yesterday morning from out our front door.
Season Comes To a
With daytime temperatures now mostly in the 30's, the farming season on
Wood Prairie Farm has come to an end. Yesterday we chisel plowed our
last field just ahead of the ground freezing over for winter. Come
April we'll begin to thaw out and the ridging effect of the chiseling
will allow the sun's rays to more effectively warm and dry the ground
next Spring. This practice is especially important
planted crops like the grains and potatoes.
But the work goes on. Our new Holiday Catalog is
mail and soon will be in your mailbox. Check out our new
products! And November Potato Samplers will arrive in time
Megan and I are advisers to a USDA-funded New England Organic Bread
Wheat Project that Univ of Maine and Univ of Vermont are jointly
working on. One hundred years ago wheat was grown in New
not much since then as production has moved west. A few of us have been
growing organic wheat in the last thirty years. Yet there remains
continued need for variety selection and identification of improved
agronomic practices in order to grow and mill really excellent bread
wheat. This can be a challenge in New England's climate.
November 04, 2010
Prairie Farm Seed Piece
Click here to go
Wood Prairie Home Page
Last week Megan and I joined a group of twenty-two farmers, millers and
researchers from Maine and Vermont who toured organic farms, mills and
research facilities across Denmark in order to bring home the organic
wheat lessons they have learned. Denmark is probably ten years ahead of
the United States in terms of organic production and organic research
and in development of their own local organic grain system.
new friends in Denmark were open, hospitable and helpful. Their success
and their example have given us confidence that we can meet our goal of
viable organic wheat growing throughout New England. An introductory
article on the organic scene in Denmark is in this issue of the Seed
Piece. It will be joined by future newsletter and blog
Jim & Megan
Sunburst Carrot Salad.
1 Bunch of Chantenay carrots
1 Medium Parsnip
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 Green Chile (serrano), deveined and minced
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1 Cup cilantro, chopped
1 Cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
Wash the carrots and parsnip. Use a vegetable peeler to shave carrots
and parsnips into wide ribbons.
Heat a big splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add
a big pinch of salt and stir in the vegetable ribbons. Saute for 30
seconds or so - barely long enough to take the raw edge and a bit of
crunch off the carrots and parsnip. Quickly stir in the chiles and
lemon zest. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, about one
tablespoon of lemon juice, and then most of the pepitas. Taste. Add
more salt and/or lemon juice if needed. Garnish with remaining pepitas.
Serves 4 to 6. Megan.
From the kitchen of Angie Wotton.
Photo by Angie Wotton
here for the Wood Prairie Fresh Vegetables Page
Garden Seed Packets
Offer: FREE Organic Garden Seed.
It's never too early for a
gardener to start
planning your next garden! And we can help with this Special FREE
Offer. Receive 5 (five) FREE packets of Wood Prairie Organic Vegetable
Seed ($16.25 value) - Your Choice of Varieties - with your next
purchase of $55 or more.
Please use promo code WPF 1011. Order
must ship by
12/08/10. FREE Garden Seed Offer expires 11/11/10 and can not be
combined with other offers. Please call or click today!
here for the Wood Prairie Garden Seed Page
is a beautiful pastoral country the size of Kentucky with a population
of 5 million people. Of the entire land area an incredible 55% is under
cultivation which is probably the world's record. 95% of the
drinking water is ground water so there is big concern by citizens and
government over nitrates and pesticides. This comes into play
with the 25 million pigs in Denmark (think Danish ham). Virtually all
conventional pigs are raised in confinement and their waste is
carefully regulated. Dairy is another big agricultural activity.
Organic farming occurs on 6.3% of the farmland which is two or three
times the percent of organic land in the US. Organic sales
represent 7% of all retail sales and organic products are easily found
throughout the grocery stores we visited. Organic dairy is the biggest
organic crop representing 50-60% of total organic sales.
Denmark was covered by glaciers which melted 14,000 years
People arrived 9000 years ago and subsisted as fishers and hunters
before transitioning to farming. On one farm we visited in the south
next to Germany people have been farming in the area for 6000
years. This gives a whole new meaning to the concept of
and Answer : For
Man's House is His Castle.
There was a national news program I watched last week that
in one Indiana county there were only 6 soybean seed sorters known
because Monsanto was buying them up. In addition, these remaining
self-seeding farms were being threatened with a lawsuit from Monsanto
claiming that neighboring farms were all growing soybean with their
GMO engineered seed and mixing was certain. Since Monsanto holds
patents on their seed, the resulting soybean crops from non-Monsanto
farms were in violation of their intellecutal property.
Let's hope informed people make informed choices and the word keeps
From King Harrys to Potato Rolls to Monsanto you guys are much more
than a catalog.
Thanks for writing.
For hundreds of years English Common Law protected
sacred one's safety and
refuge in one's own home (click
here for interesting background).
Similarly Common Law
required farmers to restrain their livestock to
their side of the fence to prevent harm to neighbors. Good neighbors
make good fences and good
fences make good neighbors. Monsanto is not a good neighbor. Their GMO
pollution contaminates innocent neighbors. Monsanto
consideres itself to be above the law. But the fact is they are not.
There is a day of reckoning
The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
here for the Wood Prairie Home Page
The Best Farm Bill.
scenes, work on the 2012 Farm Bill (scheduled for adoption in 2011) has
been taking place all year. I am President of Organic Seed Growers and
Trade Assn (OSGATA) and what follows is a Farm Bill letter sent to
Washington by OSGATA.
Dear House Agriculture Committee,
I am an organic farmer in northern Maine and President of Organic Seed
Growers and Trade Association, based in Portland OR. OSGATA is a
national membership trade organization. It’s mission is to
develop, protect and promote the organic seed trade and its growers,
and to assure that the organic community has access to excellent
quality seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of
local organic agriculture. I am writing to urge your Committee to
designate development of the organic industry as a top priority for not
only the 2012 Farm Bill but also for all future agricultural policy.
click here to read entire
in New England we have a brand
new chapter of the hundred-year-old National Farmers Union called New
England Farmers Union. I'm on the NEFU Board of Advisors and we believe
NFU's progressive policies for agriculture are good for farmers and
good for the country. Part of NFU's good work is that they regularly
update and publish this eye-opening Farmer's Share of Retail Food
Dollar. And please consider joining NFU or NEFU which welcomes all
farmers and non-farmers as members. Jim
click here for the NEFU
Here for the Rest of the Chart
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm