KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR 60822 Creek Road Niles, MI 49120 269-684-3870 email@example.com
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 GRANGE NEWS
Worthy Master, First Lady, National Grange Representative, Delegates, Brothers and Sisters:
Welcome to the 145th Annual Convention of the Michigan State Grange!! It is hard to believe that it is time for yet another Michigan State Grange Session. Time sure goes by fast and for some reason this year has gone by way too fast!! I hope everyone has enjoyed my articles as at times I felt like I was just rambling on but at the time I was writing them it was what was on my mind. Agriculture in our Great State is a very important part of life and of the State Economy, and I feel honored to be the Director of the MSG Agriculture Department. It has been a very up and down year so far for Agriculture in our Country and it isn’t over yet. Please keep a close eye on future bills that could harm Agriculture as many of us know it. Some bills have become law and has harmed the small farmers yet again. We the Grange, need to stand strong more than ever to let everyone know that the Grange is still alive and here to help our friends in Agriculture.
I look forward to seeing how many entries the Ag Department receives this year at State Session! We added more things to enter so I hope we were able to cover everyone no matter if you have and outdoor garden or a place in your home to grow things! I hope to continue to bring you information on this Department that has meant so much to our Great Organization when it was first founded! I hope everyone enjoys the State Session and their stay in the Oshtemo area!!! Fraternally, Kevin Young, AG Director
Happy New Year everyone! Wow, did 2018 really just end?!! Well I am sure everyone is starting to think about Spring and winter is not even half over! I know it is important to have snow during the winter months as that helps to add moisture to our farm fields and also helps to protect the winter wheat during the cold months. So far, we haven’t had hardly any snow in my area of Michigan which seems weird as it is Dec 19th as I sit writing this article.
Yes, snow is a part of everyday life during winter in our community. And don’t we often wish we didn’t have to live with it, but we couldn’t live without it.
So while you sit and look at the snow float from the sky, think about what you might want to plant in your gardens or yards this coming spring. Now is a great time to be looking through the seed catalogs and plant books for those special favorites you might want to plant and then share the crops with friends and neighbors.
Here is a good reason to be planning early. Be sure to check out the Agriculture Department in the Program Book. I have added some new classes as well as keeping a few classes from 2018 for all ages (separate divisions for Adults and Juniors) to enter at the 2019 State Session pertaining to Agriculture. I hope all will really look at entering something. If our State Session was during the late Summer or early Fall months, we could do more classes to deal with fruits, vegetables and flowers. But, it is kind of hard to do tomatoes or raspberries in late October. Have fun with these classes as I kept a few of the classes that had entries in the 2018 State Session for possible classes and also some ideas from the 2018 Indiana State Grange Agriculture contest classes from clips provided to me by Brother Tom Smith of my Pomona Grange. The newest class is the Winter Flower Arrangement which I took from the Indiana State Grange Ag Contest. I am not sure what they had for entries in this class as I did try to reach out to the Ag Department Director but didn’t receive a reply as of yet. So I guess it is the designer’s opinion of what to make and enter into this class. You can use fresh or dried flowers and plant materials like straw, twigs, etc. Let your imagination wander and have fun!
Here is a part of a clipping from the October 2015 Tennessee Granger dealing with Honey Bees. Bees of all kinds have been declining in numbers over the past few years. The reasons are many, but one of the most important is the lack of suitable plants from which bees can collect nectar and pollen all season long. About 1/3 of the food eaten by Americans come from crops pollinated by honey bees, including fruits, vegetables and nuts.
You can help honey bees and native pollinators by planting bee-friendly plants in your garden. Here is a list of perennials to help get a bee garden started: Crocus, White Sweet Clover, Catnip, Russian Safe, Mountain Mint, Snowdrops, Thyme, Purple Cone Flower, Anise Hyssop , Goldenrod and Autumn Joy Sedum.
Well that is all for now. Here is hoping 2019 is a great Grange year for all and brings bounty to our Agriculture Neighbors and Friends!