Wood Prairie Farm

Mowing buckwheat
Jim chopping down Buckwheat plowdown crop, seven weeks after planting.  This step is followed by plowing under the residue, and then replanting another plowdown crop of Rapeseed, a member of the Brassica family.

Friday September 3, 2010

Wood Prairie Farm Seed Piece Newsletter

This Issue:

Dodging Earl

Special Offer - FREE $50 Gift Card 

Recipe: Potato Sundaes

        Organic Food Sales Rise 5% in 2009

           Gates Foundation Supports Monsanto

           Questions and Answers: 

                Home for Potatoes
                Future of Food
                Curing and Storing Potatoes          

Dodging Earl

   To those of you who have already placed orders - Thank you!  
    Orders that you continue to place now and which can ship either sooner or later as you desire
, will significantly help us with this year's cash flow and harvest expenses.  2010 has been a much improved - hot and now dry - growing year compared to the last two seasons which were plagued with serious weather related challenges.   Thanks for your help.
    We expect to start digging our seed plots next week and the main crop after that.   As soon as this newsletter goes out Jim and our son Caleb will use the long weekend and work around the effects of Hurricane Earl.  We are 100 miles inland from the Downeast coast and expect to get rain but not too much wind.
   We will chop and plowdown our fields of Buckwheat and then plant a Fall biofumigant crop of hardy Rapeseed which will cleanse the soil (CLICK HERE for an article on biofumigants) before next year's seed potato crop.   Up here in northern Maine  we are nearly ready for Digging.   Our Harvest Catalog is in the mail and should be in your mailbox soon.
    We hope you have had a good year and that bountiful harvests lay ahead for you.   Jim & Megan
 Click here for our Wood Prairie Home Page
Recipe: Potato Sundaes
Potato base:
2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 oz. Cream Cheese (1/4 of an 8 oz. package)
1/4 cup of softened Butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup of Whipping Cream or Half & Half
6 slices of Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 strips of thick Bacon or Pancetta, sliced thin, fried and drained
6 Tbsp Sour Cream
Chives, chopped

Quarter, salt and boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash, about 25 minutes
Mix in Cream Cheese, Butter and Whipping Cream with potatoes
Consistency should be a stiff.

Start broiler in your oven.

Using an ice cream scoop dollop potato into ceramic, oven proof dishes (makes about 6-8 scoops)
Top with a slice of Cheddar Cheese and put into broiler.
Carefully watch to see when the cheese melts, bubbles and begins to slightly brown
Remove from oven and slightly cool.

Top with Sour cream, bacon bits and chives and serve!!

This is a recipe every bit as good as it looks.   Megan

More recipes on Wood Prairie's Facebook, including Butternut Squash Chocolate Chip Cookies
Potato Sundaes
Photo and recipe for Potato Sundaes by Wood Prairie friend Jenny de la Cruz:  

"We love Potato Sundaes made with Wood Prairie Farm's beautiful blue Caribe potatoes (Cream-cheese & butter mashed potatoes, topped with Tillamook Cheddar cheese and oven broiled. "Sundae" toppings: sour cream, pan fried pancetta/bacon and fresh chives from my garden)"

Questions and Answers 
Home for Potatoes
Q.  About 2 years ago I "won" 4 lb of your seed potatoes which you donated to the NOFA [Northeast Organic Farming Association] Vermont silent auction. They were wonderful and they were wonderful again last year. In spite of the blight, my potatoes were spared. And I'm growing some of them again this year
from last year's seed.
I just wanted to thank you for your donation to NOFA Vermont and to introducing me to 4 delicious varieties of potatoes. - Rose Gold, Onaway, All Blue, Reddale.
Randolph Center VT

A.  Glad our seed has done well for you.  Its always nice to know our spuds have found a good home.  Jim

The Future of Food
Q.   I don't like Monsanto, I appreciate what you guys do.  There's a good movie called The Future of Food that brings all this to light and exposes Monsanto.  Maybe you could recommend it to your readers.
Erieville NY

A. We haven't seen it yet but we've heard good things about "The Future of Food." We also want to watch "Food, Inc," which has been highly recommended as well.  Thanks,  Jim

How to Cure and Store your potatoes
Q1. How long should I leave my potatoes sitting in the sun to dry?
Fort Washington PA

Q2. When you harvest your potatoes what’s the best way to get them ready for storage?
I grow them in raised beds and dig them by hand – with my hand that is.  Then I give them a gentle spray to clean the dirt off.  I feel that the gentle spray is less likely to damage the skins than brushing the gritty dirt off by hand.  Then I put them on wire racks out of the sun for a couple of days to dry completely before putting them away.  Our soil has some clay in it, and if we don’t wash before storage, there is a lot of scrubbing to be done in the winter. I just wondered if the common wisdom about not washing potatoes before storage was true, or just an old wives tale?

Colton NY

A.  What we do on Wood Prairie Farm is kill the vines 2-3 weeks ahead of harvesting the potatoes. This allows the skins time to thicken up.  Avoiding washing potatoes before storage is no old wives' tale.  They'll keep better without washing. If at all possible do not harvest on a wet day.  And you don’t want to put wet potatoes into storage.  Dirt in the presence of moisture can smear over the skin and prevent the tuber from breathing and that can cause problems. After harvest, store tubers at 55 to 60 degrees for 10 days to allow the potatoes to heal any wounds that might have occurred in harvest.  During this time we are running a heavy duty humidifier in the potato cellar.  The potatoes will heal better if they have high  humidity.  After this suberizing step, cool the potatoes down to 38 to 40 degrees as quickly as possible for the longest storage life
   Our practice  is always to keep the potatoes DARK so they don’t turn green & bitter. Keep to a minimum the time tubers are exposed to light after digging.  I would say if you have to leave tubers out in the sun more than an hour to dry then it's too wet to dig.  Best to wait for drier soil conditions.   Jim

Special FREE  $50 Gift Card Offer
Buy early and Save!
The September Potato Sampler of the Month varieties are some of our very favorites: Our popular new Prairie Blush, the tempting Rose Gold and the delicious Caribe.  We'll begin harvesting those varieties and shipping out September Samplers in the next couple of weeks.  Treat yourself and your family to an 8 month Sampler Club membership - or give as a gift for a loved one - and for each membership you purchase we will give you a $50 Wood Prairie Gift Certificate.  Sampler Club can begin whenever you desire (now or later) and applies to both new Clubs and renewals alike.  
Please use Code XXXXX.  
Coupon cannot be combined with other offers.  Offer expires 5pm Eastern, Tuesday September 14, 2010.

September Sampler of the Month
Time for September Potato Sampler of the Month

Organic Food Sales Rise 5% in 2009

    While a weak ecomony last year saw conventional food and beverage sales rise a meager 1.6 %, sales of organic food and beverages rose 5.1% according to a survey by the Organic Trade Assn.  Leading the charge were organic fruits and vegetables (38% of all organic sales) with sales up 11.4%.  Overall, 11% of all fruit and vegetable sales are organic, up from just 3% in 2000.
   Despite the hard times, 48% of organic purchasers in the US said they were buying as much or more organic food than before the recession.
Source:  https://www.naturalfoodnet.com

Gates Foundation Supports Monsanto
    For years there has been concern that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been inappropriately  foisting GMO crops upon African nations.  Now the plot thickens.  As we say here in Maine: birds of a feather flock together.  It's now been revealed that the Gates Foundation has purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock at a cost of $23.1 million dollars.  Click here for the full story.  Jim
    A related article on Huffingon Post follows with excellent comments that you'll want to read.  Click here for article and comments.
    Want to gain background about why organic farmers can't stand biotech giant Monsanto?  Click here for the expose on Monsanto published in Vanity Fair.
Click here for more discussion on  the Wood Prairie Blog

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