March 30th, 2019
28 Issue 05
Issue of The Wood
Long Winter Waning.
Amish Buggy and Winter Scene
in Aroostook County, Maine near Easton.
beautiful photo taken by talented local photographer Paul
Here in Northern Maine, Winter
is beginning to lose its grip. With the sun higher in the
sky, the days recover even after cold nights. Last week we
had three consecutive mornings where the temperatures hovered around
zero. This week has been warmer. With some days
getting above freezing the maple sap has begun to run, right on
On good days melting gets
underway. A month from now much of our fields should be mostly free of
snow. However, it’s a rare April that we don’t see additional
snowfall. Most years we can start farming in May ten days after the
last snow leaves a field.
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
$80 Million Monsanto Award.
Mr. Hardeman, his wife and
|Maine Tales. Monsanto
Enlightens The World. Bethesda,
Maryland. Circa 1996.
happens to be the 8th Anniversary of our Court filing of OSGATA et al
v. Monsanto lawsuit. So, when this
week’s news broadcast yet more trouble for bedeviled Monsanto, it was
hard not to think back to that USDA conference in 1996.
Since the 1980s we’d heard the many terrible tales, but face-to-face
contact with Monsanto first occurred at the USDA National
Forum on Insect Resistance to Bacillus thiringiensis (Bt)
in Bethesda. The experience was an eye-opener for Jim. He
offered his report on the event in an early
issue of the Wood Prairie Seed Piece.
What now is most memorable twenty-three years later was Monsanto’s over-the-top arrogance
and hubris. Of course, now as then, Monsanto
represents a sobering cataclysmic threat to agriculture and to organic
The largest group attending the USDA Forum were scientists, many score
in number, including the leading university entomologists (insect
experts) across the United States and Canada. Jim remembers
clearly one breakout session where fast-talking Monsanto marketing
personnel with MBAs were lecturing
everyone else – including a large contingent of
entomologists. They were asserting that it was “impossible”
for insects to develop resistance to Monsanto’s gene-spliced crops,
such as genetically engineered (GE) “New Leaf” potatoes (in which every cell of the potato,
including the edible tuber, contained the GE bacterial toxin),
because clever Monsanto had cranked up the level of killer-toxins so
high. Well, the entomologists and many of the
farmers in the room understood much better than the Monsanto salesmen
about how resistance really worked. The truth is, resistance is
inevitable. To argue otherwise departs from science and
crosses into fantasy, which would explain why so many eyes in the room
were quietly rolling.
It might be well to mention here that when Monsanto brought their GE
“New Leaf” potatoes to Maine in the mid-1990s, they were required to register
those GE potatoes as “Pesticides” with the Maine Board of
In fact, Monsanto was so confident of their “New Leaf” potatoes that
they felt singularly ordained to reclassify
the entire potato kingdom. In the new world
according to Monsanto, beginning with the first year of
commercialization of GE potatoes in 1995, there were now just two
groupings of potatoes: Monsanto’s “New Leaf” potatoes and
everything else which Monsanto handily renamed “unimproved
What a shock it must have been when six years later the market forced
Monsanto to withdraw their “New Leaf” potatoes from worldwide
production. With the disappearance of “New Leaf” potatoes, we
lowly humans were just left with “unimproved” potatoes. Final score: Monsanto
GE “New Leaf” potatoes, 6 years. “Unimproved” potatoes, 8000
At the time OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was filed in 2011, the reality is
not many people outside of agriculture had even heard of
OSGATA et al v. Monsanto pursued and achieved twin goals: 1) gain court protection for organic
farmers contaminated by Monsanto’s patented-seed and perversely at-risk
for claims of patent infringement, and 2) educate the
public about Monsanto’s malevolent nature. In due course, a
judicial estoppel protecting innocent farmers was ordered by the
Federal Court of Appeals. As well, growing public
understanding etched Monsanto in the American psyche as the bully of
family farmers, earning the notorious ranking as the world’s
Independence Day for America. Today we are seeking protection from the
Court and putting Monsanto on notice. Monsanto’s threats and abuse of
family farmers stops here. Monsanto’s genetic contamination of organic
seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in
the marketplace – to decide what kind of food they will feed their
families – and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect
that right to choose. Organic farmers have the right to raise our
organic crops for our families and our customers on our farms without
the threat of invasion by Monsanto’s genetic contamination and without
harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her
right to justice and pure food.
Jim Gerritsen, President
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA)
March 29, 2011
Fast forward to this week in 2019 and yet another monumental jury
verdict against Monsanto. Significant damages have been
awarded to Mr. Hardeman in California. Essentially, Monsanto
has now become fully radioactive. The fallout attributable to
Monsanto greed and ill-will is summarized very nicely in this MUST
WATCH video (3:59) from German Public Broadcasting
which posted yesterday.
Now two independent juries have found Monsanto guilty and culpable for
their deadly ‘Roundup’ herbicide. These two court awards in
the last eight months have found Monsanto liable each time for about
$80 Million in damages. Multiply that award amount by the jaw-dropping 11,200 lawsuits yet
to be tried, and Monsanto’s potential liability is in the
stratosphere hovering around $896 Billion, over 14x the purchase price
of $63 Billion paid by foolish due-diligence-impaired Bayer.
By any measure, Monsanto and new owner Bayer are mired in deep, deep trouble of their own
making. Thanks to them, the concept of karma has
gained new relevance. Caleb, Megan & Jim
Here for our Wood Prairie Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.
FREE Organic King Harry Certified Seed Potatoes!
is a traditionally bred potato (NOT
genetically engineered) from Cornell, the resulting of the crossing of
a round-white-potato with a “hairy-leaved” close relative of the
has tiny hairs
known as “glandular trichomes” which irritate and repel three major
potato pests – Colorado Potato Beetles, Potato Leafhoppers and Flea
Beetles. The happy result is good resistance (but not
immunity) to insect pests.
Couple Organic King Harry’s
bug repelling properties with its big healthy plants and strong yields
of good tasting and great keeping tubers and you have a real winner
potato you will want to plant in this year’s garden.
Earn yourself a FREE
1 Lb. Sack of Organic King Harry Seed Potatoes
$11.95) when your next Wood Prairie order totals $49 or more. FREE
Organic King Harry Certified Seed Potatoes Offer
11:59 PM on Monday April 1. Please use Promo Code WPFF446.
Your order and FREE Sack of Organic King
Harry Certified Seed Potatoes
must ship no later than May
5, 2019. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Please
Here for Our Wood Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Harry. Traditionally-bred bug resistant potato from
|Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.
Pallets of Organic Seed Potatoes. Here,
Caleb uses our White Forklift to load pallets of potatoes onto a truck
from local company Grass Trucking. Carter Grass, who was a
couple of years ahead of Caleb in high school, uses a pallet jack to
move the pallets to the front of the truck. Most
tractor-trailers nowadays can fit twenty-two pallets of potatoes for a
payload of 55,000 pounds.
Caleb’s Ford Ranger Climbed Up on Snow Bank. Caleb is
a Ford man and has always liked compact Ford Ranger pickups.
A Ford Ranger was his first vehicle and he owns several at any one
time. He has found good Ranger deals for his sisters Sarah
and Amy. So, their first vehicles have also been Ford
Rangers. Caleb teaches the girls how to work on their trucks
and helps them get their trucks up and running and inspected.
The Ranger is this photo is 4-wheel-drive and outfitted with monster
tires. Caleb and his friends take off for the Maine woods
with their trucks and travel along old logging roads and skidder trails
for fun. The goal is to not get stuck and big tires help a
lot…but not always. That’s part of the fun if you’re young.
Petunia with New Blue Halter.
Petunia is our yearling Lowline Angus x Irish Dexter, born here on the
farm last July. Lowline Angus are also compact but a lot
beefier than Dexters. Megan is heading her herd now more in a
grass-fed beef direction. With the animals spending some of
their time in the barn in the Winter, it’s a good opportunity to
“socialize” young stock and get them used to being led before they go
out on pasture in May.
Along Kinney Road. Sarah’s dog Hallie, a Great
Pyranees cross (left), and Peter’s dog Bella, a chocolate Lab, join us
for a walk on a mild evening this week, late in a day when Kinney Road
had thawed out. Snowbanks are starting to recede during the
day but it’s still March and everything freezes back up solidly at
and Grasshopper. Last Fall Megan
filled a potting tray with soil and placed it down in the
cellar. Then a few weeks ago she brought the tray upstairs
into her office and planted some garlic bulblets which she had
collected from the garden last Summer. Her plans were to snip
some of the garlic growth to use in cooking. Megan’s guessing
this lost little grasshopper hatched out from an egg hidden in the
soil. He’s not bothering anything so he’s got a home.
|Recipe: Maple Syrup
1/4 c Organic
6 T Milk
2 1/4 c Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 c Rolled
1 1/2 T Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
11 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
Preheat the oven to 400ºF degrees.
Whisk together the maple syrup and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt
and pulse to mix together. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles
sandy flour (about 20 quick pulses). Add the maple syrup milk. Pulse
just until the dough comes together. If the batter is too dry add more
milk a bit at a time.
Turn onto a floured surface, knead once or twice just to bring the
dough together. Arrange the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Slice
the dough into nine equal-sized squares. Arrange the scones next to one
another on a baking sheet, 1/4-inch distance between each of
them. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden along the
bottom and tops. Yummy.
Photo by Angela Wotton.
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox