Prairie Seed Piece
April 6th 2018
26 Issue 7
Issue of The Wood
No Spring in Sight.
Winter Scene, Main Street,
Presque Isle, Maine. Circa 1900.
to our friend, Steve Sutter, for sharing this wonderful image of
Aroostook County's 'Star City,' twenty-five miles from Wood Prairie
Family Farm. While undated, we're thinking the electric power lines
place it around 1900. Note the long sled loaded with barrels of
potatoes between the first and second power poles.
Circa 2018, last month's thoughts of the possibility of an
Spring seem to have been dashed by cold weather. In the last two weeks
we've had three mornings with lows between +4ºF and +8ºF. Other
mornings have been in the teens, including this morning's +11ºF. The
later the Spring, the shorter the mud season. By the time the snow does
melt, the sun is high enough in the sky to usually make short work of
We have a favor to ask. In these
days of modern internet marketing, Reviews have taken on a major
importance. Would you please consider spending a moment to leave a Review
on Trust Pilot?
Thanks so much!
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Prairie Family Farm
|New Video of Baby Icelandic
week we received our delivery of two dozen two-day-old chicks from our
friends at Ketch Organics in Woodland (up near Caribou),
Maine. The Ketch Family specializes in raising
Organic Icelandics and continues to hatch out incubator-batches
throughout the Spring and Summer. If you are in
are interested in maybe getting into Icelandics, give Andrew Ketch
(207.227-4425) a call. His prices include delivery almost
anywhere within the State of Maine.
Baby Chicks Video
was taken this morning as the chicks had just turned seven days
old. Their cage is housed in Megan’s office and
the incandescent bulb as you’ll see in the video. Yesterday,
Megan gave the chicks some baked potatoes and they went wild with
delight. Their love of potatoes indicates they are obviously
highly intelligent breed.
aka “Viking Chickens,” have quite a story. They are a thousand-year-old
"landrace" breed brought by Vikings to what is now Iceland in 900
A.D. As a landrace, due to their genetic diversity adults
a random appearance. They are very cold-hardy. This 'layer' breed
(ideal for egg production) almost went extinct and remains very rare to
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Organic Maine Certified Caribe Seed Potatoes.
was crossed in 1969 (F55066 x USDA
96-56) by our friend, potato breeder Dr. Hielke de Jong, (co-author of
our favorite, The
Complete Book of Potatoes
at the Ag Canada research station in nearby Fredericton, New
Brunswick. After years of testing, Caribe’ (Spanish
“Caribbean”) was officially released in 1984.
From the outset, Caribe’ was designed as a variety for Canadian seed
farmers to grow and export to Cuba where purple skin/white flesh
varieties are traditional and popular. Ironically, in
climates such as Cuba and the southern third of Florida, Caribe’ has
experienced productions problems due to its susceptibility to the
pathogenic fungus, Fusarium. However, in the climate found in
rest of Florida and in the other 47 States, Fusarium presents but a
problem for Caribe.’ It has achieved a far-ranging reputation
as a very
early, high-yielding, workhorse variety with high culinary quality.
Twenty years ago we met Hielke at an organic conference in the Canadian
Maritimes. When we told him Caribe’ had steadily worked its
up to becoming one of our top-selling varieties, a grin came over his
face and he was genuinely elated to hear the news! Caribe’ is
outstanding potato. Of the hundred potato varieties we have
over 40 years, Caribe’ remains the only variety we have ever
characterized as “Should
be planted in every garden.”
Now you can see the Caribe’ wonder for
yourself by earning a FREE
1 Lb. Sack of
Organic Maine Certified Caribe’ Seed Potatoes
$11.95) when your next order totals $59 or more. FREE 1 Lb. Sack of Organic Maine
Certified Caribe’ Seed Potato Offer
ends 11:59 PM on
Monday, April 9, so please don’t delay!
Please use Promo Code WPFF424
. Your order
1 Lb. Sack of
Organic Maine Certified Caribe’ Seed Potato Offer
ship by May 5, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other
offers. Please click today!
Here for for Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Caribe'. This potato should be planted in every
|Maine's Winter Won't Let Go.
Potato Storage Thermometers Tell the Story. The
cold weather has helped keep our Wood Prairie Family Farm potato cellar
cool. The three thermometers represent from top to bottom the
temperatures near the 14’ ceiling, halfway down at 7’ and right at
floor level. Temps are right where we like to see them this
Enjoying the Snow. Earlier
this week Northern Maine received a few inches of snow, then more cold
and wind. Wood Prairie’s Cooper the cat opted for outside
indoors and found a safe perch where he could watch all the comings and
Snowball Making the Rounds. Part
of the job of a Wood Prairie guard dog is to keep the peace and make
sure everyone and everything is in their right place. Among
charges are cows, pigs and chickens. She keeps troublemaker
coyotes, raccoons and squirrels honest and away from where they’ll
& Halle in Wood Prairie Barnyard. Halle
our young ‘guard’ dog lags behind Megan one snowy morning as Megan sets
out to do chores in our
livestock tarp barn.
|Notable Quotes: Martin Luther
King Jr. on Nonconformists.
|Recipe: Potato and
Black Bean Soup.
1 c onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded if desired and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T olive oil
4 c vegetable broth
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2 lbs small Dark
1 14 oz can black beans, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T cumin
and pepper to taste
Yogurt, cheddar cheese or shredded carrots
a large soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and
jalapeno pepper and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic
and stir until fragrant, around 1 minute. Add vegetable broth,
tomatoes, potatoes, black beans, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin
increasing heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and
cover, simmering for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
slightly and transfer 1/3 mixture to a blender and carefully blend
until smooth or use immersion blender in pot. If using blender, repeat
with the remaining soup.
If soup is too thick, add water a
little at a time. If too thin, return to medium heat and simmer,
stirring often until desired consistency.
Top each bowl of soup with yogurt and garnish.
- Megan & Angie
Black Bean Soup.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
Brash Whiners and Organic Research Needed.
the executive branch has almost complete discretion as to which laws it
Some years back during our 'OSGATA et al v. Monsanto'
I was invited to keynote at PIELC (Public Interest Environmental Law
Conf) in Eugene OR. Another speaker was a former VERY top level
official in Janet Reno's (Bill Clinton's Attorney General) US. DOJ. All
the keynoters were put up at the same Bed & Breakfast. During
rather tense breakfast, in an effort to put me back in my place, I was
schooled that DOJ investigates situations when an agency like USDA
invites it in. I objected that American taxpayers expect DOJ to
dispense justice, including investigating corrupted agencies like USDA
which, of course, would never voluntarily invite DOJ investigation. He
was not pleased to hear my impertinent opinion. I concluded he had been
in Washington DC long enough to have drunk the water, conform himself
to the system ('swamp'), and was pleased to imagine he had been doing
all the good anyone possibly could in his position. I also reckon he
judged me a brash whiner. Meanwhile, USDA continues in its downward spiral.
there any reason why we don't hear strong support for the passage of
the currently proposed Organic Agriculture and Research Act? Do farmers
believe that this bill will benefit them? Do you support it? Or not?:
If so, why?
needs and deserves much, much more DEDICATED research funding
(independent of interference from USDA bias against organic). This bill
should be supported. We attended the recent Organic Seed Growers
Conference in Corvallis OR and one of the workshops dealt with the huge
dilemmas from inadequate funding for organic seed breeding.
One of the examples offered was about an
funded USDA organic program in which 180 pre-proposals were submitted.
Upon advice that only a tiny fraction of these worthwhile research
projects could possibly receive funding, ninety full proposals were
eventually submitted. In the end SIX were able to be funded. So, this
serves as a good illustration that there are literally HUNDREDS of
critical organic research projects which go unfunded. Bottom line,
these are life and death research priorities for organic farmers. If
DEDICATED funding is made available - and in dollar amounts reflecting
the growth in organic production - the research will be undertaken and
organic farmers and society will benefit.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox