Wood Prairie Farm
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Name:         Wood Prairie Farm

Contact:      Jim and Megan Gerritsen

                    Wood Prairie Farm

                    49 Kinney Road

                    Bridgewater, Maine 04735

Phone:         1-800-829-9675

Email:          orders@woodprairie.com

Website:       www.woodprairie.com



Products and Services:

-organic certified seed potatoes

-organic vegetable seeds and vegetables

-organic cover group seed

-garden tools and supplies

-organic gardening gifts

-organic herb seeds

-potato postcards

-organic fertilizer

-composts and soil mixes


-smart bags

-organic specialty potatoes

-organic fingerling potatoes

-organic gourmet gifts

-organic baking mixes

-organic grains and flours

-cooking supplies

-organic dry potatoes

-organic maple syrup

What Makes Wood Prairie Farm Unique?

If an individual has the opportunity to view the Wood Prairie Farm catalog, it becomes immediately apparent that this farm offers some very specialized organic seed potatoes,

many one-of-a-kind organic supplies, and some highly creative organic gifts.  There is no question that, over the past thirty-seven years, Jim and Megan Gerritsen and their four children, Peter, Caleb, Sarah, and Amy, have managed to build an unbelievably innovative organic farm in a very remote part of northern Aroostook County.

While Wood Prairie Farm’s unique organic offerings are certainly well-deserving of recognition, many people throughout our country and throughout the world are admirers of the Gerritsens because of their strong value system and their refusal to remain in the shadows about agricultural issues which they regard as critical.

The Gerritsens settled in Bridgewater in Aroostook County in 1976, in an area where conventional potato farming was firmly established.  The decision of Jim and Megan

to pursue organic practices and to grow

rare heirloom varieties of potatoes was certainly considered, during that time, to be rather “radical” by many. Their interest in avoiding the use of conventional farming chemicals and their choice of heritage crops were not always fully understood.  In retrospect, it is now apparent that the Gerritsen’s  resolve in the early days of their farming to grow organically and to experiment with many relatively obscure varieties took a great deal of courage and foresight.

Coupled with the Gerritsens’ pioneering spirit were an outstanding work ethic and a sense of tenacity. They demonstrated a tireless commitment to the promotion of the concept of family farming and the avoidance of chemicals and corporate farming practices.  Building a highly-diversified operation on their 115-acre farm was a labor of love and a heck of a lot of work.

The Gerritsen’s land was heavily forested and trees had to be cut and harvested. Forty acres of fields needed to be cleared for crops.  Two ponds were dug for irrigation.  A house had to be built and several farm buildings had to be constructed.  Not having access to electricity proved to make many of the jobs even more challenging.

As time evolved, the benefits of organic farming became much more understood and accepted by the American population.  Jim and Megan’s selection of specialized potatoes was embraced and the Gerritsen family began expanding their offerings.  If one accesses their website it becomes apparent that an impressive selection of all types of specialty potatoes can now be ordered including dry mealy, waxy moist, boiling and soup, soft moist, creamy mid-dry, several fingerling varieties and over twenty types of heirloom potatoes.

Jim and Megan always seem to find a way to be ahead of the times with the products that they offer.  They have built up a highly successful retail mail order business and customers can even order fresh organic vegetables from them online.  They also sell their products on a wholesale basis to seed houses throughout the country.

When time allows be sure to check out the

Wood Prairie Farm website.  The diversity of organic products is quite amazing.  The Gerritsens have developed a very large selection of unique bread, cereal, dough, and pancake mixes.  There is a lengthy listing of many different organic grains, grain berries, and flours. They carry organic dry beans, organic maple syrup, and some one-of-a-kind items not easily found such as groats and spelt flour.

The Gerritsens have garnered a great deal of

respect for their success with their diversified organic farming practices.  Jim was invited to deliver an address at the Slow Food Terra Madre meeting in Turin, Italy, in 2006. On September 26, 2010, Jim was asked by the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association to deliver the Keynote Address at the Common Ground Fair.  His speech Observations from Thirty-Five Years of Watching the Maine Organic Community Grow can be found online.  In the introduction to this speech, many of Jim’s volunteer efforts were recognized.

For over twenty years, Jim has donated his time to  MOFGA’s Certification Committee. He volunteered with a chapter of the Organic Crop Improvement Association.  He has served on the Board of the Mailorder Gardening Association and the New England Farmers Union, as well as the Steering Committee of the USDA St. John-Aroostook RC &D.  He is a co-leader of Slow Food Aroostook and chairs the Bridgewater Democratic Committee.

The Gerritsens have conducted organic farming research on their farm with scientists from the University of Maine and the United States Department of Agriculture. Jim participated on the Organic Seed Alliance Board of Directors and helped to found the Organic Seed Growers and Trade

Association (OSGATA).

In March of 2011, OSGATA was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Monsanto on behalf of thousands of farmers, gardeners, and consumers, who wish to keep food crops free of genetic modification.  In this lawsuit

protection was sought from patent-infringement lawsuits originated by Monsanto against farms who unwillingly have crops contaminated by genetically modified Monsanto seed.

In his August 5, 2013, letter to Friends Attending the Justice Begins With Seeds Conference, Jim stated, “In June, the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC, issued a complicated ruling on our Appeal of Dismissal. The three-judge Appeals Court upheld dismissal of OSGATA v Monsanto. However, the ruling provided a significant partial victory for us, when the Court ordered Monsanto, through estoppal, to NOT sue farmers for patent infringement should they encounter trace GE contamination. The estoppel protects EVERY farmer in the United States – not just those in our Plaintiff group.”

Jim’s work with the genetically modified seed issue has not gone unnoticed.  In November of 2011, he was named one of the  twenty-five Utne Reader’s  “Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”  On December 4, 2011,  Jim spoke at a gathering of farmers, community gardeners, and food activists at the Farmers March of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  He is willing to travel and conduct talks on the threat of genetically modified seeds to the future of farming.  The Gerritsens also played an important role in the support of Right to Know GMO labeling legislation in Maine which has passed in the Maine House and Senate.

Jim and Megan keep everyone up-to-date

about the Monsanto lawsuit developments

on their website and blog.  They also publish a newsletter several times a month called “Seed Piece.”  It can be found online and there is an archive of back issues. 

The Gerritsens are well-read and great communicators.  They are very knowledgeable of the history of agriculture in Maine and the United States.  They keep up-to-date with agricultural developments throughout the world. They should be commended for their willingness to foster the global farming community.  They highlight international farming information, as well as news taking place throughout our country.  Small-scale farmers and gardeners benefit from their expertise as they receive helpful gardening tips in the newsletter and blog. The Gerritsens have posted an Organic Potato Growing Guide, a Potato Texture Cooking Guide, and several recipes on their website.

In addition to raising a large assortment of

certified organic vegetables, the Gerritsens also raise a variety of animals.  They purchased their Irish Dexter cattle from Vermont.  According to Jim, they are a breed that is recognized for producing a lot of milk on forage.  They require very little grain and usually have no birthing problems. The Gerritsens also raise Guinea Hogs which are a heritage Appalachian breed that are great foragers.  An assortment of ducks and hens live at Wood Prairie Farm.  In the earlier years the Gerritsens also raised beef and sheep.

Visitors have the pleasure of passing the well-maintained potato fields before reaching the entrance road to Wood Prairie Farm.  This past August the fields were quite an impressive sight to behold with all the stunning shades of colors of the potato blossoms.  Anyone knowledgeable of growing potatoes is aware that they can require quite a bit of care and specialized equipment.

In 2012, the Gerritsens were in dire need

of a building that could be utilized as an organic seed equipment repair shop.  With rain and snow and the severe cold that affects Aroostook County, their sons, Peter and Caleb, who do most of the equipment repairs, were in need of  a warm, dry place to work.  The Gerritsens launched a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo in the summer of 2012, and raised $28,955 towards their $32,000 goal for the radiant-floor/wood heated building.

The Gerritsens are still accepting donations

towards the successful completion of additional phases of their Indiegogo Farm Equipment Repair Shop.  Contributions can be mailed to:  Wood Prairie Farm, 49 Kinney Road, Bridgewater, Maine, 04735.

Hats off to Jim and Megan, and Peter, Caleb,

Sarah, and Amy, for combining their efforts

to contribute to the creation of a highly-diversified and highly-principled organic family farm.  They are a great example of how different generations can successfully pool their efforts, values, and talents in a remote area of Maine.  Their interest in farming justice, activism, safe local food production, and fair business practices have resulted in positively affecting many individuals on a state, national, and global level.


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The Gerritsen Family. Standing from left:  Jim, Megan.  Seated from left:  Amy, Peter, Sarah, Caleb.  (Photo courtesy of Wood Prairie Farm website).

Jim Gerritsen

Megan Gerritsen (photo courtesy of Wood Prairie Farm Indiegogo webpage)

Sarah, Jim, and Caleb

Jim Gerritsen was part of the Public Policy Teach-in: Maine’s GMO Labeling Campaign - Where We Go From Here at the 2013 Common Ground Fair.