KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR
60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120
269-684-3870
kevin60822@sbcglobal.net


JULY/AUGUST 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Wow where has this year gone!? We are almost half way through it as I sit here on June 20th which means the first day of Summer is tomorrow on the 21st! Crops are in full swing of growing and or producing here in Michigan. We are just about done with strawberries and rhubarb and asparagus is about done as well. The farmers hopefully by this time have gotten all their field crops in and already spraying for weeds etc. Hopefully they are getting the needed rain too!

It is just amazing on how time is flying right by! Before we know it we will be up in Owosso for our next State Session. I hope everyone has planted something to show in the new Agriculture Department classes during State Session. We planted pumpkins and sunflowers here. I hope they grow. I am not sure if something got to our pumpkin seeds or not. Time will tell.

Like many other areas across our Great State, the youth around here are getting ready for the local county fairs. My nephews and niece are working with their market and show goats and market pigs getting them ready for our county fair, Berrien County Youth Fair, which is in August. Right now they are just walking their market goats to get them used to being handled and bracing them for when the judge goes to check the muscle on their rumps and backs. They look really good right now and we still have just under two months before Fair. Good luck to all that have family and friends that exhibit at the county fairs!

I am not sure if anyone else has chickens, but we have added 6 new chicks to our flock. Right now they are around 8-10 weeks old so they are in a wooden crate in the garage until they are old enough to join the others in the coop. They are really growing! We hope to be having lots of eggs when they get to that age for laying.
I haven’t been able to keep up with all the current events going on in our Nation but we have to watch what is going on with the Farm Bill. Please let your State Senators know how important the right Farm Bill is to not just our State Agriculture but our Nation and World.
Well I have rambled on enough for this article. I hope the rest of your Summer is good and not too hot and dry! See you all soon!

AGRICULTURE
MAY/JUNE 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Spring is finally here and almost in to Summer by the time you read this article. The flowering trees have been very colorful this Spring! Things have really been greening up this Spring which of course means the grass is needing to be mowed. Fresh asparagus is starting to be picked in my area of the State. The fruit trees are budding as well so hopefully we do not get any frost at the wrong time as that could damage the fruit crop for later in the year.

How many of you have planted anything in your gardens yet? Things that could have been planted by know would be seed potatoes, onion sets, cold crops (cabbages, etc) and I even think carrots but not sure so please check before you plant them! When planning your garden spots, keep in mind the new Ag Classes that you can enter at this year’s Annual State Grange Session. Each class is open to Junior members on up to Subordinate members. The 3 classes for this year are Pumpkin, Late (winter) Squash, and Sunflower head. Please check the Program Booklet for more details. Family Activities also has a new class this year which is Decorated Pumpkin so you could actually enter 2 classes with your harvest from your pumpkin patch!!

Spring sprung fast this year that I am not ready in my yard and gardens! The weather has been really nice but the darn black flies are so bad they chase me back into the house after a short time in the yard just picking up the hundreds of sticks throughout my yard. I haven’t been able to mow for the first time yet because there are too many sticks. Maybe I will get to finally mow after going to pick up the fair pigs on April 23rd. The fair goats will be coming to live here any day as well. So my little farm is going to get busy very soon. We still have the chickens and hoping to add a few more hens to the flock very soon.

Please be mindful that this is the time that the country roads and some State Highways will have slow moving farm vehicles on them. If it wasn’t for those farmers and their employees we wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to farmers’ markets or the grocery stores to get the needed foods to feed our families. Please give those big vehicles and tractors as much room as you can without causing problems for yourself or others.

Well that is it for now. Good luck with your garden planning and happy growing until later!