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Organic Research and Documents

OSGATA. Protecting Organic Seed Integrity: The Organic Farmer’s Handbook to GE Avoidance and Testing. 

Rapeseed rotation, compost and biocontrol amendments reduce soilborne diseases and increase tuber yield in organic
and conventional potato production systems

NDSU: Carrington Research Extension Center. Organic Potato Seed Source Trial 2008 and 2009. 

NDSU: Carrington Research Extension Center. Organic Potato Seed Source Trial 2010.

Breaking News.VT House Ag Committee Passes GMO Labeling Bill 9-1-1. Passed Early Afternoon Friday 04/20/12. (04/20/12)

Wood Prairie Farm. Northeast Potato Technology Forum Scientific Program 2012 Potato Cropping Systems Powerpoint 


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Press Release 01/16/2012

January 16, 2012
For Immediate Release
Jim Gerritsen
(207) 429-9765
Wood Prairie Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
A Citizen’s Assembly in Support for Family Farmers vs. Monsanto

– Citizens Urged to Sign Petition of Support for Family Farmers
– Supporters Urged to Attend & RSVP Citizens Assembly on January 31st

     New York, New York – January, 16 2012 – We wish to assemble free and peaceful citizens outside the Manhattan District court in an effort to present the important message to family farmers that millions of Americans stand behind them as they seek their day in court. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets. This has resulted in onerous costs to farmers through high technology patent fees for seeds as well as burdensome litigation costs in defending themselves against lawsuits asserted by Monsanto.
     In many cases organic and conventional farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops in order to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and April 2010, Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against American farmers in at least 27 different states, for alleged infringement of its transgenic seed patents and/or breach of its license to those patents, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. As a result of these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
     The lawsuit OSGATA (Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et al vs. Monsanto was filed on behalf of 300,000 organic and non-GMO farmers and citizens to seek judicial relief in “protect[ing] themselves from ever being accused of infringing patents on transgenic (GMO) seed”. The judge has requested and agreed to hear oral argument in orders to make a decision of whether or not to allow the farmers’ case to move forward in the courts after Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

     “We are family farmers and we are headed to court in New York City on January 31 to let the judge know that our survival as farmers depends on this lawsuit,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen.  Gerritsen is also President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, lead plaintiff in Monsanto et al v. Monsanto.  “We’re not asking Monsanto for one penny. We just want justice for our farmers and we want court protection from Monsanto.” 

     We are encouraging supporters of farmers’ rights to grow food without fear and intimidation to assemble outside the courtroom in a peaceful manner to support the farmers in their claims, recognizing that these injustices affect us all and that this case is deserving of the court’s time and attention.
     “I don’t think it’s fair that Monsanto should be able to sue my family for patent infringement because their transgenic seed trespasses onto our farm and contaminates and ruins our organic crop,” said organic farmer Bryce Stephens of Jennings, Kansas, and vice-President of OSGATA. “We have had to abandon raising corn because we are afraid Monsanto wouldn’t control their genetic pollution and then they would come after us for patent infringment.  It’s not right.”

      Due to limited space, only a small number of individuals will be able to enter the courtroom and listen to the proceedings. We respectfully ask that farmers and plaintiffs in the case be given priority to hear this case in person as each plaintiff has traveled many miles and put a great deal on the line to be a part of this case.

In the spirit of peaceful assembly and respect for the courts, we request that you adhere to the following principles:

Principles for Citizens’ Assembly
1.     Assemble outside the court in a show of support for family farmers and their right to grow food without the threat of intimidation, harassment or loss of income.
2.     Assemble peacefully to present a positive message that America’s citizens stand behind family farmers and support their rights of legal protection under the Constitution.
3.     Bring signs that portray messages of:
a.     Hope
b.     The positive impacts of sustainable and organic agriculture
c.     Solutions to our current crisis in food, agriculture and society
d.     Support for farmers who seek justice in the courts
4.     Be respectful of court security requests and follow them faithfully.
5.     Maintain a respectful distance from the court entry on Pearl Street, making sure not to block access for foot traffic or vehicles.
6.     Maintain a tone of respect for the court and the sanctity of our legal process as the judge hears the merits of this important case.
7.     Cell phones, cameras and tape recorders are prohibited inside the courthouse. Those who enter the courthouse must conform to court security protocols.
8.     No signs, t-shirts with slogans or other disruptions, visual or otherwise, are appropriate or allowed in the courtroom.
9.     No chanting or loud noises allowed outside the courthouse as all must maintain their conduct in ways that are respectful to the judicial process and in accordance with the seriousness of the case.
10.  Please follow the instructions of designated assembly captains who will continue to update you as the events of the day unfold.
As advocates for farmers and supporters of a citizen-based democracy we greatly appreciate your support for family farmers and your agreement to act in accordance with these principles in order to guarantee farmers’ rights to grow food without fear and intimidation.

Location to Hear Plaintiffs and Attorney Comment After Hearing
Once oral arguments are heard in the court, farmers, plaintiffs and lead attorney Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation will be available for comments to supporters and the media, at the Southwest Corner on 500 Pearl Street, at Pearl Street and Cardinal Hayes Place.
For those planning on assembling at 9 am, Pearl Street has been recommended to gather respectfully and overflow can gather at Foley Square.
If link does not work, Google: 45 Cardinal Hayes Place, New York, NY for location of assembly, which is the intersection of Pearl Street and Cardinal Hayes Place.

Action! Click here to RSVP to attend the Citizen’s Assembly.
Action! Click Here to Sign Our Petition Supporting Farmers

About Maine’s Wood Prairie Farm (; 800-829-9765)
Wood Prairie Farm is located in Aroostook County, the largest county east of the Mississippi River and Maine’s historic center of potato farming.  For over 35 years, Jim Gerritsen, his wife Megan and their family have used organic farming techniques on the fertile land of Wood Prairie Farm to grow the finest potatoes, seed, vegetables and grain nature will produce.  Wood Prairie Farm is MOFGA Certified Organic, and its seed potatoes, kitchen potatoes, seeds and other products are available direct to the customer by mail order from its website and catalog.  Wood Prairie Farm is on Facebook at 

Additional information about OSGATA et al v. Monsanto is available at 


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Oral Argument Scheduled in OSGATA v. Monsanto

Oral Argument Scheduled in OSGATA v. Monsanto

NEW YORK – December 29, 2011 –In a development heralded by the organic plaintiffs, Judge Naomi Buchwald announced yesterday that oral argument on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss in OSTATA et al v. Monsanto will be heard Tuesday January 31, 2012 at 10am in federal district court in Manhattan.

The eighty-three family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations which comprise the organic plaintiff group represent over 300,000 individuals. The landmark organic community lawsuit, filed in March 2011, challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic/GMO patents and seeks court protection for innocent family farmers who may become contaminated by Monsanto seed.

“We are grateful that Judge Buchwald has agreed to our request to hear oral argument on the motion,” said Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association based in Montrose, Colorado. “Last August we submitted our written rebuttal and it made clear that Monsanto’s motion was without merit. Our legal team, from the Public Patent Foundation, is looking forward to orally presenting our position. The family farmers deserve their day in court. We are anxious that this case go to trial as soon as possible so that our innocent farmers may receive Court protection.”

Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is the organic seed industry membership trade organization established to develop and protect the organic seed industry and its mission to provide excellent organic seed for the needs of local organic agriculture. Paypal donations to OSGATA’s “Farmer Travel Fund” ( are encouraged in an effort to raise funds to enable family farmers in the plaintiff group to attend the court proceedings and related events.

Background information on the OSGATA v. Monsanto lawsuit may be found at and


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Articles on Occupy Wall Street Food Justice

GMO Free Hawaii. Message from Makana. Hawaii’s Makana Occupy YouTube Anthem. (04/27/12)

TruthOut. Populism Isn’t Dead, It’s Marching: What 19th Century Farmers Can Teach Occupiers About How to Keep Going. Counting The Valuable Lessons of History. (12/30/11)

Daily Kos. (UPDATED) Frank Luntz: “I’m so scared to death of OWS” Semantics Lesson to Defuse Occupy Movement. (12/19/11)

FoodFreedom. Willie Nelson: Occupy the Food System; Farmers march on Wall Street (videos). Explanation of Corporate Concentration in Ag. (12/18/11)

Huffington Post. Farmers March With Occupy Wall Street, Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy. Complete Piece includes Farmers Speeches. (12/15/11)

The Bangor Daily News. Aroostook farmer the face of organic growers’ fight against Monsanto. Article on OSGATA v Monsanto & Occupy Farmers March. (12/08/11) The Farmers March on Wall Street. Coverage of Occupy Food Justice Farmers March. (12/07/11)

The 4th Street Food Co-op. Food and Justice make a great pairing at La Plaza Cultural. Excellent Six-Minute Video on Occupy Farmers March. (12/07/11)

Alternet. The Real History of ‘Corporate Personhood’: Meet the Man to Blame for Corporations Having More Rights Than YouBrief and Valuable. (12/06/11)

Martha Colburn on Youtube.  FARMER’S MARCH-OWS. Super 8 film by Martha Colburn soundtrack-Death Grips. Incredible Edgy 3 Minute FIlm on Occupy Farmers March. (12/06/11)

Grist. Sow seeds, not greed: Farmers gather on Wall Street. Well-Backgrounded Grist Article on Occupy Wall Street Farmers March. (12/06/11)

The Diners Journal. A Maine Farmer Speaks to Wall Street. NY Times article on Occupy Wall Street Farmers March. (12/05/11)


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Lemon Potatoes: 2 pounds small red potatoes, pictured are Rose Gold, scrubbed a…

Lemon Potatoes:

2 pounds small red potatoes, pictured are Rose Gold, scrubbed and halved (quartered if large)

1 1/2 tsp grated zest and 2 T juice from 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, plus 2 cloves, minced

1 c chicken broth or water

Sea salt and pepper

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 T finely chopped fresh parsley

Place potatoes in colander and rinse under running water, tossing with hands until water runs clear. Drain potatoes well.

Bring potatoes, lemon juice, smashed garlic, chicken broth or water, and 1/2 tsp salt to boil in large nonstick skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Discard garlic cloves and add oil to pan. Turn all potatoes cut side down and continue to cook until deep golden brown, about 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsely, lemon zest, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Source: Cook's Illustrated magazine, "Summer Entertaining 2011"


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Apple Whole-Wheat Muffins There seems to be a bounty of apples this Fall. Here&…

Apple Whole-Wheat Muffins

There seems to be a bounty of apples this Fall. Here's a good seasonal recipe.

This is a good dinner muffin, slightly spiced and not too sweet. Serve with roast pork, ham or poultry.

4 T butter

1/2 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 c Wood Prairie whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c milk

1 c chopped peeled apple

1/2 c raisins

1/2 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and eggs together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. In another bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon, and stir together with a fork or wire whisk. Add the combined dry ingredients, the milk, apple, raisins, and walnuts to the creamed mixture, and beat with a spoon until all ingredients are just mixed.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup about three-quarters full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins

Source: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book


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Articles on Farmers, Food, Agriculture & Science

eNews Park ForestUSDA Under Fire for Rules Permitting Agribusiness Interests like Monsanto to Intimidate Scientists PEER Petition Exposes Systemic Intimidation at USDA. (04/12/15)

Weather Underground. Winter Storm ‘Nemo’: A Historical Perspective. Among Top Five Storms on Record. (02/10/13)

EWG. The Top 10 Stories of the Year in Agriculture, Food and Water. Drought, Prop 37, GE Crops. (12/21/12)

ILSR. Bangladesh Fire Shows Why We can’t Trust Walmart to Green Its Supply Chain. The Real Walmart. (12/20/12)

New York Times. Lawyers From Suits Against Big Tobacco Target Food Makers. Forced into Truthful Marketing. (08/18/12)

James Hansen. Storms of My Grandchildren’s Opa. Practical Progress for Dealing with Climate. (12/13/12)

The Asian Age. Independent Science in Jeopardy. Independant Research Does Not upport GE. (12/05/12)

Farmer to Consumer. Jury Vindicates Farmer of Criminal Charges Related to Minnisota Food Buying Coop. Consumer  Right-To-Choice Upheld. (09/27/12)

The Sustainable Man. Take Back The Land. Excellent Short (1:40) Vandana Shiva Video. (06/30/12)

Common Dreams. Our Hunger Games. Vandana Shiva Article. (08/28/12)

IPS News. Rural Women in Peru Key to Adaptation of Seeds to Climate Change. Valuable Farmer Resources. (05/29/12)

Wake Up World. Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto: Appeal Filed!  Petition Supporting Farmers in OSGATA v. Monsanto. (05/28/12)

Food & Water Watch. Public Research, Private Gain. Collusion at Land-Grant Universities. (04/12)

Huffington Post. ‘Agent Orange Corn’ Debate Rages As Dow Seeks Approval Of New Genetically Modified Seed. Resistance to New GMO Corn. (04/26/12)

Grist. ‘Pink slime’ is the tip of the iceberg: Look what else is in industrial meat. Investigative expose. (03/19/12)

AAAS. Science: Common Crop Pesticide Harms Bumblebee and Honeybee Species. Colony Collapse Disorder. (03/29/12)

NPR. A Mom and A Baby Find Out What’s Really Rural In California. Lisa Hamilton & Real Rural. (02/08/12)

GroundTruth. HUGE Win! Arysta pulls methyl iodide nationwide. Consumer Resistence Effective. (03/20/12)

Raw Milk Freedom Riders. Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community. Farmer Vernon Hershberger of WI. (02/27/12)

Mother Jones. The Making of an Agribusiness Apologist.  Philpott Exposes Atrazine Shills. (02/24/12)

The Cagle Post. FBI Targets Food Activists as Terrorists. Open Up And Say “Ahh” (12/23/11)

Grist. Top 10 Food Stories of 2011. The good food news of 2011. (12/22/11)

John Bunting. Pithy reports on the dairy industry. (12/11/11)

Grist. Inside Eye-Opener. Confessions of a former Big Food executive. (11/02/11)

Grist. Drawing the Connections Between Economy & the Environment. From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Earth. (10/27/11)

Deutsche Welle. Interview with UN Special Rapporteur. Speculation on basic foodstuffs is catastrophic. (10/16/11)

Mother Jones. Tom Philpott on Big Ag Concentration & Power. Foodies, Get Thee to Occupy Wall Street. (10/14/11)

Stupid Grin Blog. Harvest in Aroostook County. Article on Aroostook County Potato Harvest. (09/26/11) Article on National Heirloom Exhibition. Down to Earth. (09/09/11)

Ann Arbor. D. Landeth Seed Company Needs Help. Home and Garden: America’s oldest seed company is in danger of closing. (09/02/11)

Daily Yonder. Speak Your Piece: The President and Seed. Obama’s Midwest tour Misses Mark. (08/23/11)

Western Farm Press.  New limits proposed for federal farm payments. Federal Farm Payments Article. (06/10/11)

North American Potato Market News. Aribitrator Rules – Now What? Maine Potato Farmers and McCains. (05/06/11)

The Washington Times. Feds sting Amish farmer selling raw milk locally. FDA Pursuit of Interstate transaction. (04/28/11)

New Yorker. The truth wears off. Monsanto Scientist Quits USDA. (12/13/10)

Michigan State University. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996-2008. Seed Industry Structure Chart.(2009)