April 8th, 2022
Volume 31 Issue 4
In This Issue of The
Wood Prairie Seed
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
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
Enjoy your Spring! Stay warm and stay safe!
Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Our Best Selling
Maine Tales: Sugar
Creek Ethic. Sydney, Maine. Circa 1990.
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
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.
|Wood Prairie Family
Great Potato Resources! How-to-Plant Potatoes in
Raised-Beds Video & How-to-Grow-Potatoes
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
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