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


MARCH/APRIL 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Is it Spring yet??!! The way the weather has been this winter so far it is almost like winter and spring are fitting. December was the bad month so far, at least for my corner of the mitten. It is only February 9th so I know there is plenty of time for winter to show up! Spring is around the corner just by looking at what is coming in my mailbox lately. Seed catalogs and the 2017 Murry McMurry Hatchery catalog have been coming for the last week or more! If looking at these types of catalogs do not put you in the mood for Spring I don’t know what would!

This crazy winter weather is affecting my chickens just as much as it is affecting us humans. They don’t know if they should be hanging out under the heat lamps one day or move about the coop because it is warm outside in the mid 40s! The weather changes are causing them to go off from laying eggs too. I am happy if I get 3 eggs in one day from 10 hens! Soon enough we will be getting plenty of eggs as I know it is not just my small flock of birds having issues this winter. Anyone I talk to that has chickens is seeing the same thing.

Well that is enough for now on my chicken farming. This is the perfect time to be planning your gardens for the coming growing season. You need to have time to decide what you want to plant so you can be ready when the ground is ready for preparing and planting in the early summer. You want to look at the different varieties of each vegetable you intend to plant. Of course you have to be careful that you don’t plan too much for the size plot you have for planting. All your plants need their space and overcrowding is not a good thing in a vegetable garden. Many plants can spread out of the area that you think is enough and crowd into another area which causes problems for other plants not being allow to grow right.

Don’t forget to plan what you would to grow for the Agriculture Department Growing contests that are new in your Program Book. Best pumpkin under 50 pounds, any variety of winter squash and sunflower head with 2” stem. Be sure to check out the Program Book for all the class details and rules. I hope we will have a good turn out as this will give everyone in the Grange a chance to show what they can do! If you plant pumpkins and have enough, be sure to see what Family Activities has for a class using pumpkins as well!

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

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!