SNOW ROLLER, CARIBOU, MAINE. Circa 1930. Photo shared by Jeff Clark.
Prior to the early years after World War II, roads in Northern Maine were not plowed free of snow. Instead, large diameter horse-drawn 'Snow Rollers' were used to pack down the snow on the roads creating thoroughfares which were smoother than their Summer counterparts.
In the Winter horse-drawn pungs and sleds were used to convey people and loads locally. Medium and long distance travel were the domain of the railroads.
Motorized cars, trucks and tractors were parked in the shed until Springtime after roads had dried out signaling the end of 'Mud Season.' Caleb, Megan & Jim
HEADING TO CHURCH IN EASTON, AROOSTOOK COUNTY, MAINE. Photo shared by Lovena West and taken last Sunday February 23. The Easton/Fort Fairfield community are Old Order Amish. Jim
IN THIS ERA OF FAST-MOVING MARKET CONSOLIDATION DO INDEPENDENT STORES HOLD ANY CHANCE OF SURVIVAL? Adam Erace opened his neighborhood specialty grocery boutique ten years ago in South Philly. NYC destination icon Dean & DeLuca. opened its first store in 1977. Both suffered similar fates and have been shuttered in recent months, the victims of a brave new world of massive retail scene consolidation and commodification. https://www.nytimes.com/…/…/dean-and-deluca-closes-soho.html
Twenty-five ears ago we were approached by Dean & Delucca, anxious to carry several of our packaged specialty Organic Kitchen Potatoes, replete with our unique 'Potato Postcards' reminiscent of Fruit Crate Label Art. https://www.woodprairie.com/pro…/potato-postcards-set-of-19/
Several months into our business arrangement we were called by a D&D manager asking inarticulately how he could identify which sacks of potatoes were which. Mystified, we replied each variety had its own sturdy Potato Postcard glued to the bag-closing crepe sewed to the top of the sack. Eventually we came to understand wily art-loving NYC customers were surreptitiously detaching & stealing the Potato Postcards leaving the sacks naked and unidentified. Caleb, Megan & Jim
"On Veterans Day, 2009, Grub Street wrote about the opening of a new food market specializing in local, organic, and gourmet foods on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. The shop was called Green Aisle Grocery, a 260-square-foot boutique painted the colors of key lime pie…
"…From tiny shops like Green Aisle to big players like Dean & DeLuca and Fairway, it’s been death by a thousand cuts: the rise online shopping and grocery delivery, big-box incursions, and the proliferation of food halls have been 'whittling market share from fine-casual restaurants as well as upscale grocers,' according to Washington Post food business reporter Laura Reiley.
"But the mortal blow, in my experience, is the commodification of specialty foods…"
Autopsy of an Organic Grocery
An owner of this Philly shop reflects on the closing of a passion project
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN POTATO INDUSTRY RALLIES TO HELP BATTERED 'KANGAROO ISLAND' SEED POTATO FARMERS GET BACK ON THEIR FEET AFTER DEVASTATING BRUSHFIRES. Horrendous brushfires took a heavy toll on South Australia's 'Kangaroo Island' burning over a third of its land area. The 1700-square-mile island is located 8 miles off the SW coast and 70 miles from Adelaide.
Isolated Kangaroo Island is one of the top early-generation Seed Potato production areas for all of Australia. To protect its soils and potato industry, Kangaroo Island is a Quarantine Area and off-island potato imports are prohibited.
Kangaroo Island is comprised of coastline, farm land, brush land and mountains, and is home to Wombats, Wallabies, Koalas, Penguins and yes, Kangaroos.
'Flinders Chase National Park' on the west comprises a full third of the island.. The brushfires began from lightening strikes in the park and took a heavy toll on wildlife and the park itself. The fires also destroyed dozens of homes and took the lives of two people.
Now undergoing recovery, Kangaroo Island farmers are being helped by the mainland potato industry. In a community effort mainland supporters have donated 500 wooden harvest pallet boxes – valued around $50,000 – to help island seed potato farmers get their underground crop out.
Here is a link if you want to donate to help recovery efforts. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.kangarooisland.sa.gov.au/…/ki-mayoral-relief-an…
"In response to the horrific bushfires on Kangaroo Island, Potatoes South Australia has come up with some very practical assistance…
"Kangaroo Island producers are significant contributors to the Australian Potato Industry due to the Island's stringent biosecurity protocols…
"Last month, all seed-producing properties were damaged with some completely destroyed."
First delivery of wooden boxes for Kangaroo Island seed potato harvest
Potatoes South Australia provides 500 new bins to the producers Kangaroo Island.
A FORMER SCIENCE EDITOR CONNECTS THE DOTS FOR US ABOUT HOW INDUSTRY WORKS TO CORRUPT SCIENCE WITH DISINFORMATION. The vast majority of scientists are honest, but as in any field there may be some rotten apples.
Big Tobacco offers the most commonly known example of how a powerful industry has covertly bought off scientists in a concerted effort to cast doubt on the preponderance of scientific evidence which happens to be harmful to business's financial self-interest.
However, Big Tobacco's collusion playbook has been studied and deployed by dominant titans in the worlds of pesticides and climate science.
Paul Thacker explains in this valuable article. Jim
"One day at the conference, while six or seven of us were standing in a circle during a break, the conversation shifted to climate change. Because I didn’t know much about the subject, I kept asking the others questions, trying to understand whether the research was any good. A woman who covered the environment for a newspaper out west began laughing, saying that there were about a dozen scientists who said that climate science was nonsense. She kept contact information around for all 12 of them, she told us, because her editors required her to put one of these doubters in every story to provide journalistic 'balance.'
"Several reporters in the circle giggled. This was my first hint that what I was reading in the media on climate science might be overemphasizing contrarian opinions. Because what everyone in that circle already knew, and I was learning, was that by 2004 thousands of climate experts around the world had published research showing global warming was real, and mostly caused by carbon dioxide pollution from burning oil, coal, and gas."
Fake Science Is a Real Danger
Reporter Paul Thacker once thought some scientists were being paranoid. Then he learned about the tobacco, pesticide, and climate disinformation industry target
SPECIAL FLASH OFFER! FREE ORGANIC 'ORCHARD BABY' SWEET CORN SEED! Introducing our brand new heirloom, the rare Organic Orchard Baby Sweet Corn and if you like Sweet Corn you will want to give it a try! https://www.woodprairie.com/…/sweet-corn-seed-organic-orch…/
Organic Orchard Baby is a very early Sweet Corn bred in the 1940s by a Canadian farmer with the last name of Orchard. The "Baby" part is a reference to the short, stout and delicious 4-inch ears. We think you will agree that this is one of the best-tasting open-pollinated Sweet Corns ever. The plants reliably set two ears and you will be impressed how laser-focused they are on ripening ears early.
We just got back the lab tests and they confirmed that this Organic Orchard Baby seed lot we grew last season was free from detectable GE content. What this means is that in a sophisticated and costly PCR lab test, accurate to 0.01%, not a single kernel of the 10,000 representative seeds we supplied for testing came up positive for contamination by genetically engineered corn pollen. This purity is good news! However, what is really remarkable is the fact that thanks to our unique isolation on the edge of the North Maine Woods, despite having grown dozens of at-risk seed lots over many years, we have never ever tested hot for GE content in our Organic Seed! This unblemished record is a reflection of the exceptional quality you receive whenever you buy Certified Organic Wood Prairie seed.
With this Special FLASH Offer we'll make it easy for you to give Organic Orchard Baby a try! Earn a FREE Packet of Organic Orchard Baby Sweet Corn Seed (Value $3.50) when your next Wood Prairie order totals $39 or more. FREE Organic Orchard Baby Sweet Corn Seed Offer ends 11:59 PM TODAY Monday, February 24. Please use Promo Code WPFF470. Your order and FREE Organic Orchard Baby Sweet Corn Seed Offer – must ship no later than May 5, 2020. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Remember, this Special FLASH Offer expires TONIGHT at Midnight! Caleb, Megan & Jim
'WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM' LISTED AS ONE OF THE TOP-EIGHT-GARDENING-CATALOGS OF 2020! Award-winning HomeGardenandHomestead.com has included Wood Prairie on its 2020 list of the '8 Best Gardening Catalogs and Websites.'
While we provide a wide array of Certified Organic Seed farm-direct to gardeners and farmers (www.woodprairie.organic) we have always specialized in growing early-generation Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes on our 40-year-old Maine organic farm.
HomeGardenandHomestead.com is a leading informational website about gardening. In 2019 it won the 'Best Gardening Website Award' from GardenComm (the new name for the well-respected group formerly known as 'Garden Writers Association'). Caleb, Megan & Jim
"It’s time to check out the best 2020 garden catalogs and websites, as selected by the editors of HomeGardenandHomestead.com. The weather is cold outside, and cabin fever has hit bigtime. Much of the country is still frozen solid and covered with snow.
"…Many high-demand items, such as rare heirloom seeds or preplanned gardens, will sell out long before warm weather arrives."
Best 2020 Garden Catalogs and Websites | Home, Garden and Homestead
The best 2020 garden catalogs and websites, as selected by the editors of HomeGardenandHomestead.com. 2020 garden catalogs and websites for plants and seeds
NEW ‘WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE’ NOW POSTED ONLINE! Irrepressible Dr. West Joins a ‘Maine Tales’ About Canada, Tributes to Building the Common Good, Stunning Road Trip Photos, a Special Offer for FREE New Heirloom ‘Orchard Baby’ Sweet Corn, a Delicious Recipe for ‘Spelt Squash Rolls' and More!
This new 'Wood Prairie Seed Piece' may be found here:
Caleb, Megan & Jim Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
MAINE WEATHER REPORT. FEBRUARY: AS THE DAYS LENGTHEN THE COLD STRENGTHENS. Lee Cheek reports that this morning Cyr Plantation (south of Van Buren) was -35oF. Houlton and Oakfield both had -27oF.
Our village of Bridgewater – down by Whitney Brook – had -23oF. Proving again the fact that cold air…
MAINE WEATHER REPORT. FEBRUARY: AS THE DAYS LENGTHEN THE COLD STRENGTHENS. Lee Check reports this morning it was -35oF in Cyr Plantation (south of Van Buren). Houlton and Oakfield each had -27oF.
Our village of Bridgewater – down by Whitney Brook – had -23oF. Proving once again that cold settles,…