August 3rd, 2018
27 Issue 15
Issue of The Wood
Peak of Summer.
Summer Sunset Over Wood
Prairie Family Farm's 'Big Pond'.
Maine’s cool May and June left us 25% behind the ten-year
average of ‘Potato-Growing-Degree-Days’ (45ºF
base). Then comes along our HOT
July - the hottest single month ever
in Northern Maine – and that really turned things
around. Suddenly, in the short span of just one HOT
month, we’ve seriously closed that early-season cool-deficit down to a
mere 5% below that ten-year-average. And July’s heat so far
is continuing now that it’s August.
Not only has it been hot here in Maine, but it’s also
– at least by New England standards. On
our farm, we seem to have benefited more than some others by having
received valuable precipitation from localized
thunderstorms. Here are the totals from our
rain-guages for the past three months: May 3.17”; June 4.21”;
Despite Maine’s heat and
dryness, our crops are looking good. This Summer is sure
Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Eliot Coleman's Pièce de Résistance.
| A Landmark Article on Organic
Farming You will Want to Read.
Some years ago, organic pioneer and Maine farmer
Eliot Coleman delivered an address at Yale University. In
time, that address was transformed into this powerful essay, Organic
Agriculture: Deeply Rooted in Science and Ecology.
The article appeared in Grist
a number of years ago and we can’t recommend it highly enough.
Eliot is our friend and one thing’s for
sure: Eliot knows what he’s talking about.
agriculturists were convinced that the thinking behind industrial
agriculture was based upon the mistaken premise that nature is
inadequate and needs to be replaced with human systems. They contended
that by virtue of that mistake, industrial agriculture has to
continually devise new crutches to solve the problems it creates
(increasing the quantities of chemicals, stronger pesticides,
fungicides, miticides, nematicides, soil sterilization, etc.) It
wouldn’t be the first time in the history of science that a theory
based on a false premise appeared to be momentarily valid. Temporary
functioning is not proof of concept. For example, if we had a book of
the long discredited geocentric astronomy of Ptolemy, which was based
on the sun revolving around the earth, we could still locate Jupiter in
the sky tonight thanks to the many crutches devised by the Ptolemaists
to prop up their misconceived system. As organic agriculture has become
more prominent, the orthodoxy of chemical agriculture has found itself
up against its own Galileo. It will be interesting to see who recants.
Please, don't miss reading Eliot's
Caleb, Jim & Megan
Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.
Organic Hull-Less Oat Cover Crop Seed.
One of the most versatile, soil-saving cover crops you can grow is
Organic Hull-Less Oats. Organic
are fast to sprout and grow, and
quickly develop a thick, protective ground cover which shades and
protects soil and the important micro-organisms residing
therein. As a cover crop, Organic Hull-Less Oats
may be sown anytime throughout the growing season. They are
hardy down to the high-teens -Fahrenheit and so may survive in areas
with mild Winters. In cold areas like Maine, Organic
Hull-Less Oats will die down in late Fall, creating a thick, protective
mat which is easily incorporated the following Spring.
We are strong advocates for
the proposition that every gardener and farmer should have on-hand a
ready-supply of fast-growing cover crop seed like Organic Hull-less
Oats. That way, as soon as a plot has been harvested and is
done with cropping for the year, a quick-growing cover crop may be
immediately sown in order to protect and improve the soil.
Let us help you get your start on
building a storehouse of Organic Cover Crop seed.
Earn a FREE 2.5 Lb. Sack (enough
for sowing 500 square feet) of Organic Hull-Less Oat Cover Crop Seed
(Value $9.95) when your next order totals just $39 or more. FREE
2.5 Lb. Sack of Organic Hull-Less Oat Cover Crop Seed Offer
ends 11:59 PM on Monday, August 6, so better order
now! Please use Promo
. Your order and FREE
2.5 Lb. Sack of Organic Hull-Less Oat Cover Crop Seed
ship by August 30, 2018. Offer may not be combined with other offers.
Please click today!
Here for Our Organic Wood Prairie Cover Crop Seed.
Hull-less Oats Cover Crop Seed. Lush, Versatile and
|Wood Prairie Family Farm Photos.
Dexter Calf Born on Wood Prairie Family Farm.
Standing with her purebred Irish Dexter mother 'Daisy',
little 'Petunia' was recently born unassisted (as is more common with
beef cattle than with dairy cattle) on lush pasture that will be
rotated into organic seed potatoes for 2019. As we
head more into organic pasture-raised beef, Petunia's father is a
hardy-grass-pasture breed Lowline Angus bull. Research shows Lowline
Angus astonishingly produce 50% more marketable meat per acre that most
other beef breeds, including Herefords, Shorthorns and Simmentals.
Organic Seed Potatoes in Bloom. A few weeks ago
the blossoms on our crop of organic seed potatoes were at their
peak. In another photograph taken by Sarah, from right to
left, are All-Blue,
Blue and Carola.
Passing Wood Prairie Crops. Three out of four
years, our soil-building crop rotation has our fields in sod, devoted
to building organic matter and breaking insect and disease
cycles. This year, that rotation brings crop
production to our field facing Bootfoot Road. Here, a logging
truck is hauling tree-length hardwood from the woodlands around Number
Nine Mountain in the North Maine Woods. Next to the road and
the truck is a field of short-season, open-pollinated heirloom Dorinny
Sweet Corn being grown for organic
seed. Organic seed potatoes are the crop on this side of the
Prairie Organic Maine Certified Seed Potato Crop.
‘Spotters’ Megan and Jim, working in Reddales,
place white flags at plants which visually exhibit potato
virus. Potato virus is primarily vectored (spread) by
aphids. Next generation seed tubers with virus can slow plant
growth and impact performance. Inspectors from the State of
Maine check out our crop three times each year to insure that it meets
the rigorous requirements of “Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.”
Follow Spotters During Rogueing. Tom and Zack
(on tractor) are part of our ‘Diggers’ team which digs up and removes
the flagged rogue potato plants which exhibit potato virus.
Rogued plants are placed on the high-clearance ‘Rogueing Cart’, hauled
out of the field and carefully destroyed.
The Fruits of
Potato Rogueing. Over
the Summer, we rogue our potatoes weekly while the potato crop grows
and matures. This work has its side
benefits: our reward is we get
to collect and eat the delicious tubers growing beneath the
plants. We steam the tender new potatoes and then just add
salt and pepper.
Rye Ripening Towards Harvest. Last
Fall, the day after we finished digging our crop of seed potatoes, we
planted a crop of cereal Organic
Winter Rye. It came through the Winter in good
shape. This Spring we under planted the Winter Rye with a mix
of clovers and grasses to create a sod which is now lush and growing
well. Very soon we’ll be harvesting the Winter Rye with our
grain combine. This harvested organic Winter Rye crop will be
sold as organic cover crop seed and cereal Rye which will make awesome
Ratcheting Up Tractor Powering the Irrigation Pump. This
Summer’s dry weather has caused us to set up irrigation for the
potatoes. Here our 6” Marlow Irrigation Pump is being powered
up by the PTO (power-take-off) on our 92 HP Diesel Oliver 1850
tractor. Patiently flushing the air out of trunk lines by
first idling the tractor engine, Caleb then slowly builds up tractor
RPMs and water pressure. This careful procedure is gentle on
equipment and pipe connections.
Irrigate Wood Prairie Organic Potatoes. Our
irrigation pump is able to simultaneously run three irrigation towers
each with Komet 163 irrigation guns. Each tower
wets a circle 170 feet in diameter. After one spot has
received enough water, we relocate the towers to a new area.
|Leonardo Da Vinci on Soil.
eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c sugar
3 c shredded
3 c whole
1 tsp sea
1 tsp baking
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
2/3 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c softened butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease Bundt pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Fold
Mix in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and stir
Gently fold in blueberries and move to Bundt pan.
For the crumb topping, mix the ingredients with your hands and sprinkle
over the top of the batter. Bake 55 minutes or until a knife inserted
in the center of the cake comes out clean.
by Angela Wotton
|Wood Prairie Farm Quick
Caleb & Jim
& Megan Gerritsen
Prairie Family Farm
429 - 9765
Certified Organic, From Farm to Mailbox