Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                      Tuesday July 22, 2014

 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Justice on Its Own Schedule.

     The Truth Comes Out. Along with the rest of the country we were shocked, but ultimately not surprised, at the breath-taking honesty displayed last week by U.S. Attorney Bharara.  The family farmers challenging Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto knew that our fight for farmer rights had been derailed by a bitter and joyless district federal judge.  Now we and the country understand more fully just how low a standard Judge Buchwald sets.  Learn more details in our first article.
     If you are sweating like we are here in Maine, cool yourself down with a good read about that Cool Summer of 1816 in our second article.
     Crops around here look good.  We’ll soon be irrigating unless Mother Nature comes through with some rain.

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

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

Judge From OSGATA et al v. Monsanto Under Fire.

     Using jaw-dropping candor and justifiable harshness, one of the most powerful attorneys in the United States, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), characterized Judge Naomi Buchwald as the “‘worst federal judge’ he’d ever come across.” U.S. Attorney Bharara – who oversees an office of over 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys - made his candid remarks last week. “Nearly 150 current and former members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District attended the event, held at a Manhattan restaurant Lugo Cafe. Several federal judges were also in attendance, according to people who were there. ‘I was in shock,’ said one attendee. ‘I know Preet’s office butted heads with the judge during the trial, but you usually don’t hear this kind of stuff from a U.S. Attorney against a sitting federal judge.’”
     The highly-respected U.S.Attorney Bharara’s stellar career follows his graduation magna cum laude from Harvard and then following that, Columbia Law School where he earned his J.D.
     In January 2012, over fifty family farmers – I was one of them - attended the oral argument in Judge Buchwald’s courtroom over Monsanto’s motion to dismiss our ‘OSGATA et al v. Monsanto’ lawsuit which sought to challenge Monsanto’s patented genetically engineered seed.  Judge Buchwald’s blatant bias in favor of Monsanto and her hostility towards the farmers was truly stunning.  Her eventual ruling was a miscarriage of justice. Find details on our lawsuit here. Now we see this judicial impropriety as part of a pattern and rank enough to solicit such rare open condemnation.
     Bad judges like Naomi Buchwald have no place in our judicial system and she should resign.  Judge Buchwald’s disgraceful pattern of poor judicial behavior is made apparent in her abysmal “Robing Room” rankings.  These ranking are provided by lawyers who have practiced before Judge Buchwald.


Federal Judge Buchwald. Elizabeth Williams.

Crop at 1816. Hardship in Maine.

Maine's Year Without a Summer. 

     While this Summer has been hot in Maine and appears to be turning dry, not so was that epic cold Summer of 1816.  The volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia has always received credit, but there were other factors involved.

     Do read this fascinating article by Charlie Lopresti, Snow on June 17.  It is sure to be enjoyed by everyone and will help cool you down.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.

Notable Quotes: E.B. Whit eon the World.

Rhubarb Ginger Oat Squares. Wonderful summertime treat.
Photo by Angela Wotton
Recipe: Rhubarb Ginger Oat Squares.

2 c chopped rhubarb
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 c sugar
1 c water

Combine the rhubarb, fresh ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb has softened and is falling apart, about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl pressing on the rhubarb and ginger to release the juices. Pour the strained rhubarb-ginger syrup into a bottle or jar and refrigerate. (Save the syrup and use as sauce over ice cream or mix with seltzer for a refreshing drink) Allow the rhubarb pulp to cool. Remove and discard the sliced ginger.

Preheat oven to 350 F

1 c rolled oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, brown sugar, walnuts, and butter in a bowl. Work with your fingers to a crumbly texture.

Butter a 9x9 square baking dish. Pour 3/4 of the oat mixture into the dish and press firmly to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread the rhubarb pulp over this and then top with the remaining 1/4 of the oat mixture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool and then slice into squares.

Delicious summer treat.

Special Offer: FREE Sack of Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed.

     In our catalog and on our website we offer a full collection of excellent Organic Cover Crop Seeds.   Cover crops are essential for improving and protecting you soil.  You should always keep several types of cover crop seed on hand so you can seed down immediately after a crop is harvested.

     One of our favorite cover crops is Organic Buckwheat.  Buckwheat is a warm season crop (it can NOT stand frosty conditions) that grows incredibly fast. We like to chop it down and incorporate into the soil at 1% bloom which is about eight weeks after planting here in northern Maine.  Buckwheat grows lush and will often smother out competing weeds.  Plus its deep roots will mellow the ground and bring Phosphorus up from down in the subsoil.  It grows well on even poor quality soil. 

     Here's your chance to earn yourself a FREE 2.5 lbs. Sack of Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed (Value $9.95) when the amount of goods in your next order is $40 or more.  FREE Organic Buckwheat Cover Crop Seed offer ends Midnight Friday, July 25, 2014, so better hurry!

      Please use Promo Code WPF1182. Your order must ship by 8/31/14. This offer may not be combined with other offers.  Please call or click today! 

Wood Prarie Farm (800) 829-9765.

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie Farm Organic Cover Crop Section.

Mowing Buckwheat.
Our Mailbox: Packed Reefer, Asheville Homesteader, Chemicals Jeopardize Food.

Packed Reefer.

Dear WPF.

We are well pleased with the potato crop this year and the refrig is packed with them that will last until winter. The fingerlings were particularly productive. Many thanks.


WPF Replies.

     Thanks for the report.


Asheville Homesteader.

Dear WPF.

     I am a homesteader in Southern Appalachia and was directed to your website by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I've read that some growers in the south plant a second round of potatoes in early July for a fall harvest. I'd like to experiment with this, because my potatoes are typically ready to harvest in July, and don't keep through the winter even when in ideal storage conditions (which aren't easy to create on my property/home). Do you have any seed potato on hand that I can purchase to experiment with a second planting? Would I need to cold shock or prepare them in any way to get them to break dormancy and sprout this time of year? Is there a variety of potato that would be better for this purpose? If not, is there a variety you would recommend I try next spring that has a longer maturation time for a later harvest and better success with storage? Thanks for your time.

Asheville NC

WPF Replies.

     We ship our seed potatoes ten months a year beginning with harvest in September/October and then from our underground potato storage throughout the Winter and Spring, ending the season on July 4. Newly harvested seed potatoes must go through a dormancy period of 4-8 weeks - depending on the year and the variety - before they will sprout and grow.
     I would hazard a guess that planting a short dormancy variety (like Onaway, Reddale, Caribe' or Rose Gold) in mid-Fall will not offer you the success you are after.
     However, there is another way to success. Some of our customers in the South who want to plant a Fall crop of potatoes will take a portion of their spring crop (harvested in May or June) - preferably golf-ball-sized tubers - and place them in their refrigerator (or a walk-in cooler) over the Summer. Then two weeks before their expected fall planting date (mid-August?) They remove the tubers from the reefer and allow them to warm up to room temperature and thereby break dormancy. This means that in planting their Fall crop they are never more than one generation away from clean Certified seed, so they should not experience much of a yield drop due to build up of potato virus.

I believe this will be the best solution for you.


Chemicals Jeopardize Food.

Dear WPF.

     Great Post! IMPORTANT NEW STUDY CONCLUDES CHEMICAL INSECTICIDE USE JEOPARDIZES WORLD FOOD SECURITY.  Maybe we can stop the flow of these dangerous chemicals sooner rather than later.


WPF Replies.

    There are powerful Industrial Ag corporations - which buy their way to favor through collusion with government - that profit tremendously from the untenable status quo. These corporations are sophisticated at externalizing the real costs of their toxins and they employ relentless public relation campaigns to create fear and justify their self-serving position. However, the people are capable of winning and bringing about reform. We must do our homework, remain faithful and disciplined in our resistance and help fund the allies working on our behalf. We can not hand off this current mess to our children and grandchildren.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (800)829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm