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Cool Month, Cool Soil, Delayed Planting in Maine.

    In the photo above, on a cool May day Caleb (green hoodie) releases Brook Trout into our Small Pond, as Megan (buffalo plaid wool coat) looks on. These Brookies were raised by members of the local Mi’kmaq tribe.  The Annual Trout Sale was coordinated by our friend, Angie Wotton, manager at the local Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District.

     Northern Maine has had a cool May with a string of cold nights.  The soil temperature has been stuck in the mid-40s now for almost three weeks.  Since we like to hold off planting until the soil temp has risen to 50oF (taken 6” depth at 7am) we’ve been waiting out the cold by letting our palletized Greensprouted Seed Potatoes safely mature in their trays inside our sheds.


      The forecast ahead looks good – clear and warmer.  Soon we’ll dry out from the 1.6” of rain we’ve had fall in the last five days and be able to start planting this year’s crop of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes.


      If you haven’t had the chance to order yet, don’t worry!  You still have time to order Organic Vegetable Seed and Organic Seed Potatoes and grow nice, big crops.  Our selections are still good!


  In this issue of the
Wood Prairie Seed Piece, we share some more recent Farm Stories & Photos with you.  Plus, we have a Special Memorial Day Weekend Offer for FREE Smart Bags!  Also, we share a valuable and classic 1924 USDA publication entitled, Costs and Farm Practices in Producing Potatoes.

   We’ve been farming organically for the better part of 50 years.  We are your go-to source for the best in everything Organic. Count on us for 
Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes, Organic Sweet Potato Slips, Organic Vegetable Seed, Organic Herb Seed, Organic Flower Seed, Organic Cover Crop Seed, Organic Fertilizer, and Tools and Supplies.

  Thanks for your support & Happy Memorial Day!

Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
Wood Prairie Family Farm

Bridgewater, Maine

Click here for the Wood Prairie Family Farm Home Page.

Special Offer! FREE Wood Prairie Smart Bag!

Place a New Order and Receive a FREE Wood Prairie 15-Gallon Smart Bag ($19.99 value) with a Minimum $70 Order.

FREE Smart Bag must ship with order and no later than 06/15/23.

Please use Coupon Code WPFF263.

How-To Gardening Resources.

Wood Prairie Family Farm Stories.

View From Top of Mars Hill Mountain.

‘Big Rock’ Ski Area, located on the west side of Mars Hill Mountain (elev. 1660 ft), features a one-thousand-foot drop – which is pretty substantial in these parts - and is located just  twenty minutes from Wood Prairie Family Farm’s front door.  For many years Megan, Caleb, and Caleb’s siblings would all ski together on Winter Sundays thanks to bargain-basement season-passes which successfully targeted local Aroostook  families.  Earlier this month after the snow had left us, Caleb’s sister, Amy (left), Megan (right) and Jim hiked to the top and had the mountain all to themselves. It’s a two-mile, two-hour roundtrip.  The view in this photo is looking westward. The three dark peaks on the near horizon are (left to right) Maple Mountain, Number Nine Mountain and Hedgehog Mountain.  Our farm is this side of Nine Mountain.  If you look carefully to the left of Maple Mountain, to the southwest you can see snow-covered Katahdin (elev. 5267 ft), Maine’s tallest mountain.

Bringing Home Yet Another Oliver Tractor.

We have always farmed with Oliver Tractors and we are always on the lookout for good deals on hardworking Olivers.  Here, Caleb is unchaining his most recent find, brought home from Central Maine: a 1966 Oliver 1650 Diesel which had been offered to him for a surprisingly low price.  The 66-horsepower 1650 Diesels were made from 1964-1969 in Charles City, Iowa.  Bradbury Bros here in Bridgewater was an Oliver dealer for many years and so there were always a lot of Olivers nearby.  In 1969 you could buy a 1650 Diesel new for $7100 (which is almost $59,000 in 2023 dollars).  We own several 1650 Diesels and use them daily on the farm.  If we were to detach and sell that nice heavy-duty loader bucket assembly from this tractor, its value would pretty much equal what Caleb paid for the entire machine.  The Injection Pump on the engine had been recently replaced.  That one repair alone is worth a thousand dollars.  We’ll break her in this Spring and see how she does before we make a final decision about how we’ll use her in the future.

Mixing Flower Seed for Beneficial Insect Flower Beds.

This is the third year of our ongoing Flower trialing program.  We continue to work at identifying different varieties of Flower and Cover Crops which offer not only beauty to the eye but attract and nourish Beneficial Insects which then in turn prey upon crop pests such as Colorado Potato Beetles, Potato Leaf Hoppers and Aphids.  This fairly new ecological insect control strategy is still being perfected by Potato farmers worldwide, especially by pioneers in Europe and Australia.  We plant the perimeters of our Organic Seed Potato fields and in alleyways inside those fields with the goal of allowing the Beneficals to never have to travel more than 150-feet to find Flower protection and sustenance.  This year we are testing seventeen Flowers.  Some of the top varieties which we have gained the most confidence in are Organic Buckwheat, Organic Tana Phacelia, Organic Seashells Cosmos, Organic California Orange Poppy, Organic Annual Blue Flax, Organic Hairy Vetch, Organic Crimson Clover, Organic Tapmaster Daikon Radish, Organic Bouquet Dill, Organic Snow White Ammi and Organic Prairie Glow Rudbeckia

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Caleb & Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(207) 429 - 9765 / 207 (429) - 9682

Wood Prairie Family Farm | 49 Kinney Rd. Bridgewater, ME 04735