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Friday, April 8th, 2022
Volume 31 Issue 4

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In This Issue of The Wood Prairie Seed Piece:

   Spring Peeking In.

Farming Season Set to Begin NEXT Month in Northern Maine!

With days now climbing above the freezing mark, the Maple Sap has been running and our snow is beginning to melt. Yet nights have remained stubbornly cold, including back-to-back lows of +16ºF just a few mornings ago.

The unusual late-season Northeast-wide cold snap at the end of March tripped us up and required that we hold onto packages lest perishable potatoes freeze in transit. That backed us up. Thankfully, much of the region has been warming ever since and we’re making progress catching up on shipping orders. Orders are still lagging with a delay of around 5 days, however we’re definitely making headway. Thanks for your patience & understanding!

The really good news is that there’s still plenty of time left to order seed and plant your garden! We still have a good supply of most varieties Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes, Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Herb Seed, Organic Flower Seed and Organic Cover Crop Seed. Not to mention Farm Supplies such as Organic Fertilizer and Potato Sacks.

Enjoy your Spring! Stay warm and stay safe!


Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Bridgewater, Maine



Our Best Selling Products!


Maine Tales: Sugar Creek Ethic. Sydney, Maine. Circa 1990.
Child Oyster Shuckers. Those who came before us knew how to work hard, yet in some circumstances that work was grim. A group of young girls on a break from their job as oyster shuckers at a seafood cannery in Port Royal, South Carolina in 1911. From left to right, Josie six years old, Bertha six years old and Sophie ten years old.

About three decades ago some Amish farmers in Sugar Creek, Ohio, traveled to Maine with the intention of expanding their herds with new bloodlines. From Maine farmers they purchased and paid-for-on-the-spot some dairy cattle and even a few Percheron draft horses.

Within a month or so, livestock haulers had been engaged to transport the livestock from Maine to Sugar Creek. Soon after, the same Maine dairy farmers who sold the Amish some of their cattle began to receive letters in their mailboxes. These letters were sent by the Amish farmers and they contained additional unexpected payments for the Maine farmers.

It seems that in the intervening month the market price for cattle had risen. The Amish farmers in the Sugar Creek community believe in making their living off of their own efforts, from their own sweat. In their practice of this unselfish belief, the Amish judged that the rise in market value justly belonged to the Maine farmers who had bred, birthed and raised the cattle.

We can tell you we were very much impressed back then when we first heard about this story. In the years since, we have often reflected that those Amish farmers had a simple but highly developed model of the right way to do business. Imagine if the rest of us followed suit. There absolutely would be a lot less strife and a lot less war.

As well, there would be far, far less exploitation by the rich and powerful over the weak and disadvantaged.

In the last 25 years, several Amish communities have been established here in Aroostook County. We have found the Amish to be hardworking and honest. We go out of our way to do as much business with the Amish as we can.

Caleb, Megan & Jim

Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.

Great Potato Resources! How-to-Plant Potatoes in Raised-Beds Video & How-to-Grow-Potatoes Interviews!
Jill McSheehy is a Wood Prairie customer and she gardens with her family in northwest Arkansas. She is also the engaging host of the excellent online treasure trove 'The Beginner's Garden' which features hundreds of helpful garden Podcasts plus videos and articles dedicated to helping you do better in your garden. Recently, Jim was interviewed by Jill - about Potatoes of course! - and that Potato dialogue is presented in two-parts in Jill's newest weekly Podcasts section. Jill also recently released her Planting Potatoes in Raised-Beds video (16:14) about the step-by-step planting process. It’s well worth watching!

Shy Spring Beginning to Settle Into Maine.   With a string of sunny days this week, Spring has come knocking, our Winter’s snow pack is beginning to melt and the bare snow-plowed yard is turning slurrpy. In this shot Caleb loads the second of four pallets of our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes headed out to farmers further south. We reassure our customers that we can ship from Seed Potatoes anywhere in the USA from 1-pound to 10,000-pounds and everything in-between. We’ve been doing business with ‘Common-Carrier’ Ross Express for many LTL (Less Than a Truckload) shipments for over 15 years. With supply lines full, we’ve had to wait our turn to secure pallet space on Ross. Until a couple of years ago Ross Express operated as an independent New-England-wide family-owned company. Wisely, they had developed reciprocal strategic partnerships with similar family-owned Common Carriers across the USA. A couple of years ago Ross was bought out by up-and-coming Northeast carrier 'Pitt Ohio.’ Transactions like this one have become commonplace in this era of never-unending corporate consolidation, resulting in decreased competition. Over the years we’ve done business with Cole's Express, St. Johnsbury, Tracy's Express and APA. These modest LTL carriers once made their mark hauling goods for the country but now sadly are long gone.

The Cool Job of Packing Potatoes.   You wouldn’t be far off the mark to say our life revolves around potatoes. And a lot of that means catering to every need of a potato. All winter long we keep our packing shed – pictured here - at 45ºF so we can maintain the highest quality and greatest vigor in the short-term storage of our Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes as they are on their way to being shipped to our customers in all 50 States. Here, braving the cold (left to right ) are packing shed co-workers Caleb, Zach & Cassidy. Recent late-season cold across the entire Northeast forced us to hold back packages to prevent freeze-damage en route. The weather has moderated and we’re now catching up and watching thousands of packages of Seed Potatoes exit the farm on their way to a new life in warmer climes.

Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(207) 429 - 9765 Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox