Niels Mejnertsen (second from right, no hat) explaining the workings of
his organic mill in Denmark. See article Growing
Organic Bread Wheat in Denmark
in this newsletter.
It Could be Worse.
An inch of snow is forecast here in northern Maine
for tomorrow and the potential for a major Maine snowstorm on
Thanksgiving has popped up on the long range forecast. Back in the '70s
and '80s we would get our first significant snowfall Thanksgiving week
and that snow would stay on the ground until April. But in the last ten
to fifteen years Fall temperatures have been milder and the weather
between Thanksgiving and Christmas has fluctuated back and forth
between snow, sleet and rain.
As of a couple days ago our firewood is
now safe under cover. After school our son Caleb is tending to the last
job of putting away equipment and cleaning up the yard so that when he
plows snow there is plenty of room to pile up the snow banks. Of course
this is necessary so that the trucks can get in to cart away your
orders. A few years ago we set a record here with almost 200 inches of
snow and by March the piles of snow were something to marvel at.
Years ago our oldest boy Peter then
three years old had pieced together that we plowed the snow out of
our way all Winter and that we planted potatoes on bare ground come
Spring. Turns out, that March he was fretting and powerful worried
about how much work we had ahead of us to plow all that snow off all
our fields so we could get to farming. Snowmelt comes and goes pretty
quick to northern Maine the second half of April and eleven months
before as a two year old that blink-of-the-eye annual event hadn't
registered with Peter.
In Maine when it comes to contemplating
our long winters we do like to comfort ourselves by remembereing that
somewhere someplace somebody else has it worse than we do. So we hope
you'll enjoy as much as we did this beautiful pictorial link to the Ten
Highest Altitude Villages and Cities in the World (click
Jim & Megan
November 19, 2010
Prairie Farm Seed Piece
Roasted Fall Vegetables.
by Megan Gerritsen
2 Red Bliss
2 Frost Sweet
Wash, Peel and cut vegetables
cubes or slices.
roasting pan by
layering vegetables one layer thick and dotting with 2-3
butter. Cover roasting pan with foil.
Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45-60
minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Dress with sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper. Serve with sour cream or Penzey's Ranch Salad
of Wood Prairie Farm.
but delicious our
organic beets are
wonderful winter staple.
Offer: Buy Beets & Get FREE Wood Prairie Gift Cards.
As winter sets in our cellars are chock
organic potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, garlic, shallots and
beets. Now here's your chance to stock up on our delicious organic
beets for the winter and earn FREE
Prairie Gift Cards. Order a 20lbs bag of Sweet Red Bliss Beets and get
$15 Gift Card! Order 50 lbs of Sweet Red Bliss Beets and get a FREE
Please use promo code WPF1012. Order
must ship by
12/8/10. Free Gift Card offer expires 11/24/10 and can not be combined
with other offers. Please call or click today!
here for Wood Prairie Red Bliss Beets
Organic Bread Wheat in Denmark.
Profile: Viskingegaarden and Mejnerts Molle
& Anna Mejnertsen, Svebolle, Denmark
Last month we were
part of a university group from Maine and Vermont that toured organic
mills in Denmark.
issue of The
Seed Piece introduced and provided background for this trip. [Click
here for that background.]
One of the larger organic
(“okologisk”) operations that we
toured in Denmark in October 2010 was that of Niels & Anna
Viskingegaard in Svebolle about an hour’s drive west of
years old, and his wife Anna run
this combination organic farm and organic grain mill
(“Mejnerts Molle”) plus a
sideline conventional confinement pig operation which has not yet
have four children: 21 yr old Caspar is at ag college, 20 yr old Peter
business college in Copenhagen and a 17 and 13 yr old are still in
employees help them; many have long tenure of 10, 15, 17 years and the
relationships are more like that of extended family.
Viskingegaard is a well-designed
integrated operation (“Soil to Mouth”) where
significant value is added to
home-grown organic grain crops through on-farm milling and savvy
It has a
strong direct marketing
component which includes a modest on-farm store, internet sales, and
to stores and “canteens” (cafeterias) where
progressive businesses provide
healthy on-site workday meals for their employees. They
had us watch a newly completed 30 minute professionally produced
video about Viskingegaarden which adeptly displayed all the steps in
milling and using their organic crops – including Anna
correct use of the bread machines which they sell to their customers.
Livet” (Bread for Life) could be called their farm motto and
it is embroidered
onto their shirts.
here for Full Article
Skiold Stone Mill.
of Niel's Six Skiold Flour Mills
here for Wood Prairie Organic Stone Ground Flour
Safety Bill Action Imminent! Call Your Senators Today!
voted 57-27 late Thrusday evening Nov 18 to move forward on the food
safety bill and accepted a compromise on the Tester Amendment (Sen. Jon
Tester is a family scale organic farmer in Montana) protecting family
scale operations with less than $500,000 sales. This bill will offer
protection to family scale farmers and assure consumers who want access
to good food. While not perfect, this bill needs to pass at this time.
Call your Senators today to fight back the pressure being mounted by
Big Ag to kill the legislation and let the FDA run rough shod over
family farmers. Here is background info that you need to know from our
friends at Food Democracy Now and National Sustainable Ag Coalition.
Politics, Small Farm Deal Stall Food Safety Bill
Sustainable Agriculture Perspective on Food Safety
and Answer :
Points of Greensprouting.
Regarding greensprouting potatoes to inhibit apical
Could a gardener instead just cut seed pieces and start them in
individual pots indoors or in a cold frame and pinch back any vigorous
sprout that looks like it's going to take over, then transplant the
rooted seed pieces into the garden later? Last spring I had
seed pieces left over and stuck them in 4" pots of potting mix, then
used them to fill in spaces where potatoes didn't emerge from directly
sown seed pieces in the garden. It worked pretty well, but I didn't
compare yields between direct-seeded and transplanted plants. It seems
like using transplants and nipping back an especially vigorous shoot
here and there might be easier than getting the right temperatures at
the right times for greensprouting.
I'd still go with the high temperature route. Much of the great value
of green sprouting is attributable to the fact that secondary sprouts
are promoted and apical sprout dominance is suppressed by that
70-75º F temperature. Conversely sprouting at low temperatures
in cool potted soil will maintain apical dominance and hurt overall
results by maintaining suppression of the secondary sprouts. Maybe you
could set the seed potatoes atop the refridgerator for that week of
sprouting: near the ceiling it's relatively warm and it's certainly
simple to do. And remember to drop the temperature down to 55º
after sprouts emerge and turn the lights on to green up tubers and
sprouts for those last three weeks of conditioning.
here for the Wood Prairie Home Page
Brings Diseases and Death
many years we have been assured by Monsanto that their weed killer
Round Up (active ingredient: glyphosate) is harmless. Now we know
better. The vast majority of all GMO (gene-sppliced) crops have been
genetically engineered ("Roundup Ready") to tolerate being sprayed by
here and read the report by the
UK Institute of Science in Society
that will knock your socks off.
Production in North America Handbook.
We know a good deal when we see one! Our friends at Potato Association
of America have updated this great
handbook. For your FREE copy of this downloadable 85 page potato
handbook please click
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm