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BURNING HOLES IN LANDSCAPE FABRIC FOR PLANTING POTATO MINITUBERS IN ‘LONG TUNNEL’ ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. We aim


BURNING HOLES IN LANDSCAPE FABRIC FOR PLANTING POTATO MINITUBERS IN ‘LONG TUNNEL’ ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. We aim to get five-year’s-use out of the black landscape fabric we lay on top of the soil surface and underneath our portable 600-foot ‘Long Tunnel.’ So, five-years has gone by and this was the year to replace it. That meant once again burning 9500 new holes in a double-bed formation.

Here, Travis (left) and Peter, using a homemade plywood template and propane torches, burn holes in the fabric. This technique seals the hole circumference which prevents unraveling.

As Travis & Peter systematically progressed with their work, a three-man-crew followed up behind them, poking holes into the soil and then filling those holes with Potato Minitubers grown from Potato Plantlets in last year’s ‘Short Tunnel.’

After multiplying up our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes for two years in these two tunnels covered with Aphid-Excluding Netting, we then shift over to field production – for another year or two – before the seed is available to sell as seed to our thousands of other Home and Market Gardeners. It’s a Row-Row-Row-Your-Boat ongoing-multi-year process.

With most all of our crops now planted we’re shifting over to taking care of our Organic crops.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! Watch – “Now We’re Ready to Plant Our Organic Potatoes” Watch by locating Video LINK in the C


NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! Watch – “Now We’re Ready to Plant Our Organic Potatoes” Watch by locating Video LINK in the Comments. Our NEW video is now posted online.

It’s a common theme in farming: there’s a surprising amount of get-ready-work required before you can actually approach the point where a job really begins. So, along these lines we decided to divide up the Video of our Organic Potato–planting process into two parts. This new Part One Video centers itself around the all-important prep stage of planting Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes. We hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for Watching, Liking, and Subscribing (FREE)! Video LINK is in the Comments.

Caleb, Jim & Megan




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FLAME-WEEDING EMERGED ORGANIC SEED POTATO PLANTS ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. With crops mostly planted, now comes the


FLAME-WEEDING EMERGED ORGANIC SEED POTATO PLANTS ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. With crops mostly planted, now comes the job of taking good care of them.

Here, Jim works late one recent evening flame-weeding our crop of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes. Timing is important for this job. The ideal is to flame when 2-5% of Potato plants of a given seed lot have popped up through the ground.

With rain in the forecast, Caleb worked to get the Propane Flamer mounted onto our Oliver 1750 Diesel so we would not be delayed flaming the earliest emerging Potatoes. Caleb & Justin had already pulled the engine out of the Oliver 1650 Diesel we normally dedicate for this flaming-job. However, the clutch on that tractor needed replacing and delivery of the needed parts had been delayed. By dark we had flamed enough to be caught up.

This time of year we use the Flamer for weed work not only in Potatoes, but also to rid weeds from prepped stale-beds planted to Flowers. The Flower Beds are planted near the Potatoes and are designed to attract and nourish Beneficial Insects that are predators of economic pests commonly found in Potatoes.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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PLANTING TISSUE-CULTURED ‘POTATO PLANTLETS’ INSIDE SHORT-TUNNEL ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. This year, Megan had a big


PLANTING TISSUE-CULTURED ‘POTATO PLANTLETS’ INSIDE SHORT-TUNNEL ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. This year, Megan had a big crew to help her plant Potato Plantlets and we got done in record time.

The Potato Plantlets – which look like spindly Alfalfa sprouts – arrive in Petri dishes which are shipped to us Fedex Overnight. Gray ‘Mushroom Totes’ are filled with Fort Vee Organic Compost which has been spiked with a blend of Organic seed inoculants.

Twenty Potato Plantlets are planted into each Tote. Disease-free “Minitubers” will be harvested from these plants this Fall. Next year, those Minitubers will be planted into our portable ‘Long Tunnel’ as we go about multiplying up our seed stocks.

Each Tunnel is covered with heavy-duty ‘Aphid-Excluding Netting’ we get from France. Aphids are the primary vector of vigor-stealing Potato Virus and the special netting allows us to grow clean crops.

Here, planting Potato Plantlets (from R to L) are Megan, oldest son Peter, longtime employee Chelsea, daughter Amy, and son-in-law Travis (married to Caleb’s sister, Sarah). Chelsea, and her husband Justin, are like family. Both have worked with us for a long time and in fact, they met on the farm. In the past until she passed, Chelsea’s mother, Mary, was Megan’s right-hand-woman. Additionally, Chelsea’s sister Michelle, and brother Josh have also worked with us extensively over the years.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! Watch – “Easy Way To Plant Organic Potatoes in Containers.” Watch by locating Video LINK in t


NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! Watch – “Easy Way To Plant Organic Potatoes in Containers.” Watch by locating Video LINK in the Comments.

In this Video, Jim shows you the EASY WAY to be successful growing four varieties of Early Season Organic Potatoes – Yukon Gold, Purple Viking, Dark Red Norland and Prairie Blush – in grow-anywhere-containers.

Containers have brought a revolution to gardening and have opened up new options for would-be-gardeners everywhere. No longer must you have a backyard to grow a garden. Now ANYONE with a balcony or sunny spot can enjoy gardening.

Thanks for Watching, Liking, and Subscribing (FREE)! Video LINK is in the Comments.

Caleb, Jim & Megan




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THREE DOGS, TWO BABIES & ONE TODDLER HELP WOOD PRAIRIE CREW COLLATE ORGANIC SWEET POTATO ORDERS. All the Wood Prairie o


THREE DOGS, TWO BABIES & ONE TODDLER HELP WOOD PRAIRIE CREW COLLATE ORGANIC SWEET POTATO ORDERS. All the Wood Prairie orders for Organic Sweet Potato Slips will be shipping out this week directly from our friends at the Organic Sweet Potato Farm in North Carolina.

We print out all the shipping labels on our farm and then paper clip each correct label to the right matched invoice. Then we Fedex all that paperwork down to Sweet Potato central. We tackled this project on a day last week that was too wet to plant.

Here, Caleb’s sister Sarah is sitting, and so is her husband, Travis (orange shirt). Both their dogs are Rescues. At left, “Tucker” is a four-month-old with Catahoula markings, and nearby, three-year-old “Jax” is a gentle Belgian Malinois-Pit Bull cross. Separated, but watching the activity from a safe distance, is our eight-year-old Great Pyrenees farm dog, “Halle.” For awhile, we had Caleb & Lizzi’s two big 140-pound dogs, Ralph & Rudy, in the mix, but it turned out that was a little too much help.

At work standing, are Amy (near left), Megan (far center) and Chelsea (right) with three-month-old “Gideon” baby-on-board. Center stage, Sarah & Travis’ newly-walking ten-month-old Sawyer is offering his friend and playmate Jack (Chelsea & Justin’s three-year-old) a red IH tractor. Chelesa, Justin and their two boys are all redheads.

All flat surfaces – including a nearby kitchen table and additional help – were drafted for this project. We got the paperwork Fedexed out on time.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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LAST DAY PLANTING OUR ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED SEED POTATO CROP. We still have Potato Plantlets and Potato Minitubers ye


LAST DAY PLANTING OUR ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED SEED POTATO CROP. We still have Potato Plantlets and Potato Minitubers yet to plant, but this week we finished up planting our field crop of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

In this photo, we are approaching the edge of the field and running out of ground to plant to Potatoes. The green beyond the planter is a rotated field now growing Organic Timothy Grass. We’ll cut this field for hay a month from now, then immediately plow down and replant to an Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop and a ‘Biofumigant’ Rapeseed Cover Crop. Next year, this now-green-field will be where we will grow our 2025 field crop of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.

The five-person crew you see working here all happen to be Gerritsens. While the tractor crawls down the row at a half-mile an hour, Jim is on the tractor making notes on his four clipboards in an effort to keep track of the locations of a dizzying number of multiple seed lots representing our 24 Certified Seed Potato varieties.

Sitting on the back of our ‘Tuber Unit Potato Planter,’ these four workers are the Wood Prairie next generation. Caleb works on the left. Next to him are siblings (left to right): Amy, Sarah and Peter. With an experienced and hardworking crew we got this year’s field planting done in record time, finishing in May for the first time in a very long time.

Caleb, Megan & Jim Gerritsen




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NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! WATCH – “Prepping the Field for Organic Potatoes.” Our latest Wood Prairie VIDEO is out! Fi


NEW! WOOD PRAIRIE VIDEO! WATCH – “Prepping the Field for Organic Potatoes.” Our latest Wood Prairie VIDEO is out! Find Video LINK in the Comments.

In our NEW video, “Discing the Field,” Caleb runs into some false starts as he gears up to Disc Harrow our Potato field. As you will see, a lot of farming really is problem-solving and avoiding future headaches by careful prevention.

In this video, Caleb put the drone to work. So, sit back and enjoy the show and the elevated Bird’s-Eye-View panoramic shots.

Please Like, Subscribe (FREE), Comment and Share. Thanks for your help! Video LINK is in the Comments.

Caleb, Jim & Megan




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WORKING IN ANTICIPATION OF A DAY OF RAIN ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Rain makes the soil too wet to work. There are


WORKING IN ANTICIPATION OF A DAY OF RAIN ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Rain makes the soil too wet to work. There are ways to minimize rain’s impact.

We had been monitoring this approaching rain for days. It’s the much lessened remnants of the same weather system which had recently caused 18 tornado deaths in Texas and Arkansas.

Ahead of the rain, yesterday afternoon Caleb ran the IH (International Harvester) Vibrashank over unplanted ground. The ‘corrugated’ soil surface left behind contains more surface area than flat ground and therefore will more quickly dry out once the rain stops.

We also planted Potatoes late into the evening last night. This will be a relatively warm rain so all those varieties we have already planted will benefit from getting a shot of water which will promote root and shoot growth. The seed pieces we’ve planted have been warmed up and sprouted and are all ready to grow.

Too much of a good thing can be a problem. In 2011, during the week after we got done planting Potatoes, we received 10″ of rain. In extreme conditions like that deluge – at that early stage – we had some seed rot resulting in misses in the row.

The next year, 2012, at the end of June we had 11″ of rain over the last three days of June (Houlton got 14″). By then, the Potato plants were 6-12″ tall and enjoyed all that water, none the worse for wear. The rest of the story is we got very little precipitation during that July or August. The pendulum swung and we got a Summer’s worth of rain in just three days. That’s farming.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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CALEB REPAIRING CHAIN ON POTATO PLANTER ‘GANDY BOX.’ We use a ground-drive “Gandy Systemic Applicator” to apply a dry mi


CALEB REPAIRING CHAIN ON POTATO PLANTER ‘GANDY BOX.’
We use a ground-drive “Gandy Systemic Applicator” to apply a dry mix of organic seed inoculants in-furrow and in-sync with when the planter deposits the Potato seed piece.

Gandys are more typically utilized by conventional farmers to apply in-furrow minute amounts of toxic systemic-insecticides. Instead, we use our Gandy to apply a mixture of dry powder seed inoculants at a tiny trickle rate calibrating to 25-pounds per acre.

We plant our Potatoes two rows at a time and the Gandy box meters out our mixture through the two separate tubes, delivering them via gravity. Here, Caleb is crouching inside the Potato Planter Seed Box is making a repair to a roller chain on the Gandy.

The Organic Certified Seed inside the seed box happens to be our remarkable and rare gold variety from Hungary, Organic Sarpo Mira.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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