Issue of The Seed Piece:
Maine Tales: Old Enough to Pick.
Recipe: Blueberry Yogurt Drop Scones.
Our Mailbox: Transgenic Bt Resistance.
Bound and Determined.
Wood Prairie Farm potato harvest,
Old Enough to
Bridgewater, Maine. Circa 1994.
The scene above of 'picking potatoes'
was captured by National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson.
While this particular photo didn’t make it into their magazine like the
one did of Megan and baby Caleb (click here
for that photo and our Seed Piece Maine Tales article describing our
Fall harvest with the National Geographic) it's always been a favorite
of ours. That blond-headed boy with that look of determination is
our oldest, Peter, then just shy of four.
Here in Aroostook County, potatoes have been
serious business for 200 years. Best to learn the important things at
an early age. A paint bucket is just common sense appropriate
technology. A mismatched pair of gloves is something you might as well
get used to because that’s how it’s going to be from here on out. We
are many things in northern Maine but prissy we are not. Good
luck with your harvest. Jim & Megan
Yogurt Drop Scones
by Angela Wotton
Blueberry Yogurt Drop Scones
2 cups Wood
Prairie Pancake Mix: Whole Wheat,
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
¼ cup butter, cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or
fork until the texture of sand.
1 cup yogurt, plain or flavored, with:
Blend wet ingredients with dry, then fold in:
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie
sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Add to the Blueberries: ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup flax seed; or substitute
half and half chopped cranberries, finely chopped apple, or other fruit.
Top before baking with cinnamon sugar if you like.
Adapted from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com.
These are moist and delicious – they remind me of huge muffin tops.
Click here for Wood
Prairie Organic Grains.
Offer. FREE Organic Seed Potatoes.
This time of year as the days and nights grow
cool, all we’re thinking about is potatoes and getting ready to get the
crop under cover. In honor of our upcoming northern Maine Potato
Harvest we have this Special Offer for you. Earn a FREE
of organic Wood
Prairie Seed Potatoes ($9.95 value)
– your choice of any variety,
either fingerling or non-fingerling – with your next purchase of $30 or
Please use WPF Promo Code 1102. FREE
Wood Prairie Seed Potatoes must ship with your order, and order must
ship by May 9, 2012. Offer may not be combined with other
specials. Offer ends Sat Sept 17, 2011. Please call or click
here for our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Kitchen Potatoes section.
With Birke There's
What Did I Miss?
Hope, Truth and Precedent.
With lots going on we're using regular posts
on our Facebook
wall to keep you tuned into the
Wood Prairie Organic Community.
Here are some highlights that
want to miss. Jim & Megan.
• Hope for Humanity Appearing Elusive To You?
Then if you do nothing else today you MUST take five minutes and view
this wonderful You
Tube video of 11 year old Birke Baehr,
representative of the Awake Generation. Home-schooled Birke set
studying the industrial food system and GMOs and then came up with a
riveting oral presentation. We guarantee that you will not want to miss
Birke’s authentic and eloquent talk.
• OSGATA v. Monsanto. Excellent
article on our legal rebuttal to Monsanto’s motion to dismiss in our
lawsuit challenging their transgenic patents. FoodFreedom quotes
from our brief: “Over the past 30 years, Monsanto has extinguished the
majority of independent seed companies in the course of growing its
transgenic seed business. Monsanto didn’t just patent transgenic
it embarked on a mission to destroy non-transgenic agriculture.” Read
the full article here.
• What We Said to the New York Times. We
responded to a puff op-ed piece on transgenic/GMO agriculture in NYT by
They opted not to run our submission. We promised you’d get a
to read what we wrote one way or the other. Here’s that chance.
• Major Precedent Established in Minnesota. In
a landmark decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that
letting damaging chemicals cross property lines constitutes trespass
and that the offending polluter may be sued for damages. This ruling
validates the assertion that people, including organic farmers, have a
right to security on their farms and freedom from unwanted
trespass and invasion by chemical (and transgenic) pollution. Story from
Minneapolis Star-Tribune here.
• European Court of Justice Issues
Groundbreaking Ruling Against GMOs. This
week the ECJ ruled that honey produced by farmers in Bavaria which was
contaminated by Monsanto’s GMO corn pollen is not fit to be sold.
ruling directly challenges the administrative abandonment of the
policy of zero tolerance for GMOs that have not been authorized in the
in the UK’s Guardian.
• Disappearance of Vegetables Varieties. Beautiful
graphics in this chart
of the ugly decline of available vegetable varieties in the eighty
years following 1903. Hats off to National Geographic for their
effective and sobering depiction. Please help reverse this trend by
supporting independent family scale seed companies.
to become a Friend of
Wood Prairie Farm on Facebook. Please show your support by 'Liking Us'
and please do stay connected. Thanks! Jim.
Mailbox. Transgenic Bt Resistance.
With the stories about pests evolving resistance to transgenic Bt
(thanks Monsanto), I am curious: how do organic farmers/gardeners use
Bt, and what impact will this have on you if the pests evolve
San Diego, CA
I believe I can answer your
about Bacillus Thuringensis (Bt) in corn with a parallel illustration
from the world of potatoes. The same principles apply to the different
subspecies of Bt used to target different insects. I believe I read
there are 800 different subspecies of the bacteria Bt growing in forest
soils that have been identified. Some subspecies have been
commercialized. Bti (israeli) controls mosquitos. Btk (kurstaki)
controls lepidotera (larvae of moth and butterfly) and is widely used
by organic farmers to control crop pests. This Bt is very important to
organic farmers and is commonly used.
In the mid-1990s Monsanto
introduced to the market their "New Leaf" potatoes which were
gene-spliced with Btt, the Bt subspecies (Bt tenebrionsis) effective at
controlling Colorado Potato Beetle. For many years, when CPB pressure
was high, organic farmers would spray Btt on the potato plants in the
late afternoon. CPB would feed on the potato leaves and overnight
ingest a lethal dose of the Btt bacterial stomach toxin which would
immediately paralyze their gut and lead to CPB death within a day or
two. As soon as the sun's rays got to shining the next morning the Btt
would begin to break down rather rapidly and would be gone within maybe
48 hours of application.
Normally, depending on CPB
pressure and mean temperatures, we would spray Btt a second time, again
in the late afternoon about seven days later in order to control larva
that had hatched subsequent to our first Btt application. Again, kill
took place overnight and again the Btt began to break down in the
presence of sunlight that next morning. Importantly, since insect
resistance to a toxin develops in direct correlation to length of
exposure/interaction (more interaction equals faster development of
resistance) we were grateful that Btt did its control job quickly and
A typical potato variety grows for 120 days.
In our organic potato field, CPB typically interacted with Btt for just
96 hours or 4 days out of the 120 days or 3.3% of the season. Monsanto
had gene-spliced the Btt toxin into their "New Leaf" potatoes to
control CPB. That is, every cell of those "New Leaf" potato
plants, including the tubers which people eat, expressed that bacterial
toxin. Over the short term the "New Leafs" controlled CPB. However, it
is important to understand that the "New Leaf" version of that 120 day
potato variety expressed the Btt for all 120 days. That means CPB
interaction with transgenic Btt was all 120 days or 100% of the season.
Resistance absolutely was predictable.
In fact, in April 1996 as a stakeholder I attended a USDA conference on
Transgenic Bt Resistance held in Bethesda MD. The nation's leading
entomologists were also in attendance. Their clear consensus was that
transgenic Bt resistance, whether in potato ("New Leafs" were rejected
by the market and removed from production around 2001), corn or cotton,
was not a matter of whether, but a matter of when. So transgenic Bt
resistence was predicted fifteen years ago. No one should claim
surprise with new reports of transgenic Bt resistance.
Once a population of insects
becomes resistant to a material such as Bt, there is no going back: the
material will never again work as a control. It is ruined for all.
It seems that justice would
require culpability for an entity that misuses a treasure taken from
the commons, like Bt, and ruins it. And most especially after
they were warned at the start that their technology would result in
Wood Prairie Farm Quick
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm