Wood Prairie Farm

Mike Michaud and Jim touring Wood Prairie Farm
Aroostook County, Maine.
Potato trucks lined up at Caribou starch factory. October 1940. Library of Congress.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wood Prairie Farm Seed Piece Newsletter
    This Issue:

Wood Prairie Harvest Winding Down.
  The completion of harvest represents quite a milestone.  As of a couple of days ago our potatoes are all safely out of the ground and into storage.  So are the beets and parsnips.  We’ve begun digging our Chantenay carrots and they are our last crop yet to harvest.  But for now we’re being held up from harvest by the heavy rain of the Nor’easter bearing down upon Maine.  Last night, working late a couple of hours into the darkness, our son Caleb was able to finish preparing our potato ground for winter by chisel plowing and broadcasting a cover crop of oats. We’re grateful for headlights.
  The rain and wind have blown most of the remaining colorful leaves off the trees and onto the ground and with the gray skies it is looking like late October.  The crops look good and we’re busy catching up on shipping your orders.  The culmination of our year’s work is at hand and we are grateful for a good harvest. We are also grateful for your business which allows us to farm and do what we love.  Thank you.

Jim & Megan

Click here to go to Wood Prairie Home Page

Recipe: Baked Parsnip Chips.

2 large Frost Sweet Parsnips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice Parsnips a little over 1/8” thick.  Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons oil or butter and spread out on a cookie sheet. 

Season with sea salt or garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper or your favorite seasonings.  Bake until golden brown on the edges, a little crispy.  Serve as an appetizer with dip or as a side dish. 


From the kitchen of Candace Donovan. 

      Homemade Onion Rings
      Fresh Homemade Parsnip Chips.
      Photo by Megan Gerritsen

Click here for the Wood Prairie Fresh Vegetables Page

Arm full of Parsnips
            Harvesting Parsnips on Wood Prairie Farm.

Special Offer: FREE Fresh Organic
                              Frost Sweet Parsnips.

     We’ll have plenty of parsnips for you this winter! We’d like to celebrate the successful harvest of this year’s wonderful parsnip crop.  And we’d like to share that harvest with you with a great offer.  Receive a FREE 5 lbs bag ($18.95 value) bag of our fresh Frost Sweet organic parsnips with your next purchase of $65 or more.

    Please use promo code XXXXX.  Order must ship by 12/08/10.  FREE Parsnip offer expires 10/15/10 and can not be combined with other offers.  Please call or click today!


Fortunes Turn Against Monsanto.

As recently as last December Forbes magazine blundered and named biotech giant Monsanto its "company of the year." But there is change in the wind. Monsanto's stock has plummeted from a mid-2008 high of $140 a share to a recent price of under $48 a share. And now earlier this month when Monsanto's prospects were characterized by a television stock commentator as "This may be the worst stock of 2010". Has greed caught up with Monsanto?
Read the full NY Times story by clicking here

Question and Answer :
Growing Potatoes Off-Season.
 I live in Concord California and we usually have mild and damp winter weather. Can you recommend a seed potato for me to gow out here? We usually plant the potatoes in the Fall because our Springs can go to hot very quickly. I've tried some of your potatoes in the past following your instructions and the plants come up looking very healthy but, then when they die down any potatoes I find are about the size of a quarter. I was wondering if you could tell me what, if anything, I'm doing incorrectly. Or if you could recommend a potato that might do well in my part of the country. Thank you.
Concord, CA

     First, Spring or Fall I'd suggest you plant short season varieties that grow and mature as quickly as possible. Caribe', Reddale and Onaway are varieties that immediately come to mind, early and high yielding.
     When planting in the Spring I'd say plant as early as possible say early February in your area, to allow the tubers to size before the hot weather takes its toll on the plants. One fact to keep in mind about Fall planting is that potatoes once harvested tubers need to go through a dormancy period of 4-8 weeks before they will sprout. So potatoes which we are now harvesting on a daily basis - and soon to ship out - will need that rest period.
     Here 's one good trick to employ if you want to plant an early Fall crop. Take a portion of your Spring crop harvest - dug in May or June - and place it in your refrigerator for a few months while the tubers rest. Then two weeks before your Fall planting date remove and place tubers in a warm room to promote sprouting. Plant once there is a sprout growth in the eye - this indicates the tubers have broken dormancy and are ready to grow in the garden. If you buy fresh certified seed for each Spring crop you will never be more than one generation away from clean certified seed and your potatoes should grow well.


Click here for the Wood Prairie Home Page
Scrambled Eggs.
View Cornicopia's video on Scrambled Eggs

Factory Farms Hijacking Organic Egg Production.
Our friends at The Cornucopia Institute have dug deep and in a brand new independent report have uncovered widespread abuses in organic egg production, primarily by large industrial agribiz operations. Watch the five minute You Tube video which introduces their excellent report entitled "Scrambled Eggs." For the report itself click here.
     But don't worry - there are excellent "Five Egg" rated ethical bona fide organic egg operations across the USA that need and deserve your support and they are listed on Cornucopia's Organic Egg Scorecard. Click here for the scorecard.
     And please consider becoming a member of Cornucopia (www.cornucopia.org) and support their fearless work to defend organic.


Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(800)829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm