August 17th, 2019
28 Issue 09
Issue of The Wood
Taste of Fall.
Bumblebees Working Red Clover
on Wood Prairie Family Farm.
We have a beautiful, lush understory of clover growing in our
field of Turkey
Red Winter Wheat
.The wheat field is full of
blossoming Red Clover and Alsike Clover and abuzz with hundreds of both
Bumblebees and Honey Bees (since there are no hives kept near us these
Honey Bees must be from a swarm in a tree). Last Fall we seeded the
Turkey Red right after the potatoes with dug from this field. Soon the
wheat will be ready to harvest.
The last ten days have been quite cool
with a lingering taste of Fall. Temperatures have been in the forties
and low fifties at night, rising to the 60s or low 70s during the day.
Conditions had turned very dry until a week ago when we received a
welcome 1.7” of rain in two back-to-back rain events.
Crops are looking good and are now in
the home stretch. We’re getting equipment ready for potato harvest
which will begin around the middle of September. In this area, local
school kids went back to school this week. This early startup for
school is timed to allow for Potato Harvest Break. Aroostook County is
one of the last regions in the United States which continues with its
tradition of closing down schools every Fall so that students can help
local farmers dig their potato crop. This year, the first day of
Harvest Break is Friday, September 20, and with a full crew that will
be when our harvest will begin in earnest.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Beautiful Maine Sky. High marks for low light pollution.
|Take a Moment and Enjoy Maine's
Brilliant Night Sky.
In a world where all-too-common nighttime light pollution increasingly
hides the stars from view, parts of rural Maine are being heralded for
the opportunities they provide for phenomenal night sky viewing.
A recent article in the Bangor
Daily News offers a dazzling sampling of
exceptional photographs of Maine’s lauded night sky. Don’t miss the
Two members of the National Park System lead Maine’s night sky parade: Acadia National Park on
the coast and inland at the new and remote Katahdin Woods and Waters
National Monument in the North Maine Woods on the way
towards Wood Prairie Family Farm.
In fact, next week marks the 3rd Anniversary of the establishment of
KWWNM back in August 2016. Bert's Bees founder Roxanne Quimby and
her son, visionary Lucas
St. Clair generously gifted to the people of the United
States 87,563 acres of forestland in the North Maine Woods located just east of
wilderness Baxter State Park.The following day, President
Obama used that gift to establish KWWNM as one of our nation’s newest
members of the National Park System.
KWWNM is open for you to visit. Roxanne and Lucas have wisely
established a substantial endowment to fund needed improvements to make
this new National Monument more enjoyable and accessible for all of us
Caleb & Jim
FREE Organic Turkey Red Winter Wheat Seed!
A century ago millions of acres of Turkey
Red Winter Wheat
were grown in America. The
landrace had been brought from Russia to Kansas in 1874 by Mennonite
Colonies. After achieving phenomenal popularity it slid into decline
over the decades, being replaced by more modern varieties believed more
suitable for input intensive agriculture.
Around twenty years ago, our friends,
organic farmer Bryce Stephens and his daughter Demetria - 5th
generation wheat farmers - set out to save Turkey Red from oblivion.
With skill and determination they brought back this excellent
bread-making Hard Red wheat from the brink and made good organic seed
available to growers across the United States.
Why not have some fun and devote a
corner of this Fall’s garden or field to growing a patch of American
history? We’re here to help and will send you a FREE
lbs Sack of Organic
Turkey Red Winter Wheat Seed
(Value $9.95) when your next
Wood Prairie order totals $39 or more. FREE Organic Turkey Red Winter Wheat
ends 11:59 PM on Monday, August 19. Please use
Promo Code WPFF451. Your order and FREE -
must ship no later
than October 15, 2019. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Please click TODAY!
Click Here for All of Our Wood Prairie Organic Cover Crop Seed
Turkey Red Wheat. Spectacular for baking,
landrace Organic Turkey Red once grew on millions of American
|Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.
Hay on Wood Prairie Family Farm.
In July we finished haying. Here
Megan #2 is fluffing up heavy clover hay with our seven-foot wide Pequa
710 Hay Ted. To get leafy clover to dry we ted it every day
between mowing and baling. We head out around 9:30 each
morning as soon as the night’s
dew has evaporated from the hay and the ground.
The day’s tedding is usually done by dinnertime and the sun shines and
breeze blows and dries down the high protein hay.
Caleb Tightening Straps on Load of Hay Headed South. Caleb
has a used Ford truck (yet another great deal from Craig’s List!) to
haul home from Southern Maine. So, yesterday he loaded 5 tons of hay (257
bales @40#) to deliver to friends down south. We try to never
run empty trucks or trailers (truckers call that
“deadheading”). Note the stacks of wooden pallet boxes in the
background. We’re halfway through the task of cleaning and
disinfecting a couple of hundred pallet boxes which will be needed for
Wood Prairie Crew Roguing Potatoes in July.
We finished up our job of weekly rougeing of potatoes this
week. In this photo taken by Caleb’s sister, Amy,
the variety All-Blue
is to the right and Yukon
Gem to the left. “Rogueing” is the process of
walking through the field and removing “rogues” or
off-type potato plants that have picked up potato virus. Seed
loaded with virus will slow a plant down and hurt yields. Potato virus
is mostly transmitted by aphid vectors. Aphids can get blown
into Maine from the South. They may land in here after
already having picked up potato virus somewhere along their
journey. So when aphids insert their probe into a
plant to feed they are capable of instantly transmitting virus in their
saliva. State inspectors regularly check all the fields
entered for Seed Certification to verify the seed potatoes are healthy.
Prairie Field of Turkey Red Winter Wheat.
We sowed the seed in this field last Fall right after potato
harvest. The lush understory growth of soil-building Red
Clover and Alsike
Clover is very much appreciated by the large
population of Bumblebees and Honey Bees who are working the blossoms
working blossoms on every
organic farm are not
endangered by Neonicotinoids or other persistent synthetic
insecticides used extensively in conventional agriculture.
Closeup of Turkey Red Wheat and Clovers.
Some modern wheats are “awn-less” but heirloom landrace Turkey
Red Hard Winter Wheat sport delicate and
beautiful awns on the heads. This year the clover growth has
been so rank that it will offer a tad bit of a challenge when we go to
run the combine through the field to harvest the wheat.
Drilled Rows of Buckwheat Cover Crop.
Seed Potato crop will be grown in this field which we sowed to a cover
crop of Buckwheat. Last month we took a cutting of Organic
Timothy Grass hay. After
haying, we spread 80 tons of barnyard manure and then shallowly plowed
the sod and manure under. This Buckwheat cover crop was
planted 14 days ago, but just laid there for six days waiting for
rain. During the first four weeks of a Buckwheat plant the
growth comes slow and steady. However, the second and final
four weeks of growth is rocket-like as the plants grow fast and tall. Overall, Buckwheat is a tremendous and fast-growing
soil-building cover crop.
Closeup of Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Plants.
This is a
closeup of the same two-week-old Buckwheat as in the photo
above. At this stage - and until the Buckwheat is
several inches high - it may be picked and eaten as a tasty Spinach
substitute. Despite its name, Buckwheat is not a true
grain. It is actually closely related to Wild Rhubarb. The
name ‘Buckwheat’ comes from a Dutch word which means ‘Beech
Wheat.’ Buckwheat seed is pyramid-shaped just like the small
Beech nuts produced by Beech trees found in Maine’s hardwood forests.
|Winston Churchill on Resistance.
|Recipe: Zucchini-Oatmeal Muffins.
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c chopped pecans
1 medium zucchini,
3/4 c salad oil
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease (12) 3" x 1 1/2" muffin pan cups.
In large bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl,
beat eggs slightly; stir in grated zucchini and salad oil. Stir egg
mixture into flour just until flour is moistened.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and
toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
Muffins. Moist and Delicious.
Norland vs. Elba and Fall Potato Planting.
Norland Vs. Elba
Another season in the books for us on
this garden-still getting green beans, lettuce, tomatoes and waiting on
the cushaws to mature in the other garden. I was very pelased with the
Dark Red Norlands (first time growing them). We have been eating some
late summer as they would come to the surface. Very good in casseroles,
thin sliced and fried etc. For comparison, same four one hundred foot
rows enriched with the same organic from the same cows of two years
ago. This year, ten bushels, two years ago, 8 bushels of Elbas. Thank
you for providing a GMO free excellent seed potato.
a nice harvest! Your obvious attention to detail tells us you know
garden success very well.
Hello, I am looking for starter potatoes but
cannot seem to find any in stock. Would you happen to have any
available for shipping now?
America's Certified Seed Potato producers are
located in northern tier states like we are in Maine. So our seed
potatoes are still out in the field growing. We will begin harvesting
our Maine Certified Seed Potato crop beginning in mid-September. Once a
variety is dug up, we will begin shipping it. We will continue shipping
seed potatoes from our on-farm undergorund storage throughout Fall,
Winter and Spring. We ship until we sell out on the Fourth-of-July.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox