April on the Farm — Optimism is in the air with the most of winter behind us — Thoughts drift to plans for spring crop inputs instead of dealing with snow drifts. Mud is the season ahead before spring colour bursts back into the world. The birds wintering in the south slowly work they’re way back to visit your feeders. Still working on the equipment to make sure they’re in tip-top shape for planting. Ordering your backyard flock for chickens, turkeys, game birds and laying hens. Starting your indoor garden and flower seeds for planting out after all frost. Delivering grain to be sold, continuing education to learn new and better things and how to apply them. Keeping abreast of changes and how they affect the farm. There’s always repairs and maintenance on feeders, waterers, bins, out-buildings, fences, machinery, etc. Seminars, meetings and trade shows also bring new ideas and products — It’s also the time of year for a little ‘time off’ to recharge both physically and mentally and prepare for the busy spring season ahead 🙂
THESE ARE REMARKABLE TIMES IN THE WORLD VITAMIN MARKET. Due to environmental issues in China and a destructive fire in Germany, the availability of vitamin A & E has become extremely limited. This is a good article from that discusses the current world vitamin shortage and the concerns with reducing or taking vitamin’s out of the diet. progressivedairy.com-Feeding strategies to address vitamin A and E shortage
DAY-OLD MEAT & LAYER CHICKS & TURKEYS POULTS:
FOR YOUR 2018 BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCK — Download our 2018 Order Form & Price List to place your orders for this year’s chicks and turkeys.
DUCKLINGS, GOSLINGS, GUINEA HEN KEETS & PHEASANTS:
FOR YOUR 2018 BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCK — Download our 2018 Order Form & Price List to place your orders for this year’s ducklings, goslings, guinea hen keets and pheasants.
FOR YOUR 2018 BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCK — Download our 2018 Order Form & Price List to place your orders for ready-to-lay pullets.
We try to bring in a load of ~19-week old ready-to-lay hens roughly once per month from April to October but frequency depends upon order volume numbers, hen availability and delivery truck scheduling — We can’t set an pre-determined date as it’s not an exact science for when our order will arrive. Simply place your order with us and we will contact you when we know when delivery date to our store will be — You can decide then if this date works for you. Unfortunately, we don’t carry birds over to after delivery date — Hens must be picked up delivery day. ***Please note: Our policy for any orders of six birds or less must be paid when ordering.
As of December 1, 2018, all Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs) for veterinary use will be sold by prescription only.
Antimicrobial drugs like antibiotics are important to fight bacterial infections in humans and animals. All medically important antimicrobials will be on the Prescription Drug List – Products for Veterinary Use.
You will need to get a prescription from a veterinarian for your animals for:
— Prescription drugs (including, for example, injectables, in-water and in-feed formulations). You will be able to buy these drugs from a veterinarian or pharmacist. Importation rules will continue as per existing Food and Drug Regulations.
— Prescription medicated feed – This is livestock feed that contains a prescription drug, including supplements, macro & micro premixes and complete feed. You will be able to buy these medicated feeds from a commercial feed mill, veterinarian or pharmacist with a veterinary prescription.
The Prescription Drug List (PDL) is a list of medicinal ingredients. Any drug containing an ingredient on this list must be sold by prescription. Since 2004, new MIAs approved by Health Canada have been included on the PDL and must be sold by prescription.
We are now moving all remaining MIAs approved for veterinary use before 2004 to the PDL. With this change, we establish the same level of oversight for those MIAs approved before 2004 as for those approved after.
The following MIA ingredients will be included on the PDL for Veterinary Use: Apramycin; Bacitracin; Erythromycin; Lincomycin; Neomycin; Penicillin G; Spectinomycin; Streptomycin/Dihydrostreptomycin; Sulphonamides; Tilmicosin; Tiamulin; Tylosin/Tylvalosin; Virginiamycin; Tetracycline/Chlortetracycline/Oxytetracycline; Or their salts or derivatives. This includes all dosage forms whether in feed, water, otic, oral, topical, implant, injectable, intrauterine, intramammary or dusting powder.
There will be changes to the labels of MIAs: a “Pr” will be on the principal display panel; growth promotion claims and related directions for use will be removed; responsible use statements will be put on labels of all in-feed and in-water MIAs.
For feeding your feathered friends, we have all the bird feeders, feed, peanuts, suet and other backyard wildlife supplies to keep them visiting your back yard.
Follow this link: ‘YOUR BIRDS & WILDLIFE’ to visit our page where you’ll find valuable information on both hosting and deterring backyard wildlife.
For those who enjoy seeing deer graze on their property, Wright’s Feeds ‘N Needs manufactures their own custom Deer Mix that will attract deer to visit plus we stock whole corn, grains, deer & salt blocks.
***Sorry, our custom deer mix is available only in fall & winter seasons when there is less access to food for deer in the wild.
THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH: (excerpts from gardening gurus Mark & Ben Cullen’s Newsletter)
Starting more seeds and hardening off seedlings is an ongoing project that starts in March right into May. With veggies, we start early and plant seeds in succession, so we can transplant seedlings at various stages of maturity – this ensures that the crops don’t all come at once.
By mid-April we harden off some of our seedlings in a cold frame against the potting shed at Mark’s, and a mini-greenhouse that Ben has on his porch so that they are ready to be planted early.
By mid- April, weather permitting, we’ll be direct sowing some of our more cold-tolerant crops such as beets, broccoli, salad mixes (including choy and kale), peas, potatoes, leeks and carrots. Direct sowing is our favourite way to grow many veggies as it is so straight forward, and eliminates all the costs associated with seed starting indoors or buying seedlings. You can save up to 90% off the price of store-bought transplants by direct-sowing seeds in your garden.
Plant trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials. Mid-late April is an ideal time to buy trees, shrubs, evergreens and dormant roses for the garden. The selection at retailers is the best. Be careful to avoid ‘soft’ perennials that have been greenhouse forced to blossom early. Plant hardy annuals such as pansies, violas, ranunculus, and anemones.
Top dress your beds with compost wherever you plant. Don’t bother “digging it in”, the worms are happy to do that work for you- pulling compost down into the soil, producing nutrient-rich worm castings.
Setup your rain barrels and garden furniture. You never know – if we have a warm snap this month, you’re going to need somewhere to sit while you enjoy that sun!
Rake your lawn with a soft rake once it’s dry enough to walk on. You want to get those grass blades standing up and remove any debris. Then apply a quality, slow release fertilizer. Wright’s Feeds has landscaper blend lawn fertilizer 28 – 4 – 8 with 60% slow-release nitrogen, both with added iron (for that dark green lawn) or without.
Sharpen the blade on your lawn mower and change the oil. You’ll likely be too busy to do that when it’s time to start mowing in May. Hopefully by now you’ve ditched the gas mower for electric, but if not, that’s up to you.
It’s time to prune apple trees, thinning out old, thick branches and dead wood to open up the tree for spring. Watch the video.
If there’s still snow where you are, take the opportunity to knock snow and ice off your shrubs, evergreens and trees to prevent broken limbs.
Buy garden seeds or look in your area to find out about Seedy Saturdays and Seed Exchanges, which are a great way to find heritage varieties and meet local growers. If you’re going to buy your seed from a seed company or retailer, it’s still early enough to get a broad selection. Before the end of the month, you can begin starting your cooler season crops such as onion, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower and kale which are okay to transplant up to a month before last frost. It helps to protect them with a row cover, but starting seeds in March is a good opportunity to lengthen your growing season.
Start your dahlia bulbs inside using 1-gallon pots and a quality potting mix, which will give you a jump on their blooming season. Get out to your local Garden Days or Festivals. Gardeners are emerging from their hibernation, and horticulture clubs everywhere are getting active. If you aren’t already a member, look up your local club and see what they are offering…many have already started running workshops for the season.
Plans, what plans? We mention plans intentionally. Really, is there a better time of year to plan the garden of your dreams? They say that you have to ‘dream it’ before it can become reality. Whatever ‘it’ is, perhaps this year you try some new veggie varieties, expand the garden, add some pollinating plants (i.e. native) or build a deck, patio or walkway. Now is the time to dream it.
Call a professional. It is SO predictable. The warm weather of spring and early summer turns our attention to the garden and we get all fired up about making changes. You call a garden contractor or designer and you get put on hold. Literally, you wait for weeks or maybe a month just for a visit from a professional who is run off their feet that time of year. The same people this time of year? No. They would love to hear from you. And we will speculate that you will get better quality work as a result. How so? When a contractor, who is in the highly seasonal business of gardening, can sit with you, ask you questions and digest the information into an action plan that suits you both, you always end up better in the end. Likely, they can start the work earlier and sometimes they can offer better, early season pricing. We are here to plant the seed in your head. The rest is up to you.
Read, listen and digest. What a great time of year to pick up some gardening magazines, read on-line blogs, listen to podcasts and you name it. This is your best chance of the year to gather ideas, inspiration and facts. Like squirrels gathering nuts in autumn, this is our time. You won’t regret the mind-expanding exercise of all of this. Could we be so bold as to suggest that you browse www.markcullen.com? Visit our library where there are over 4,000 newspaper articles archived.
Buy some flowers. Bring some spring-time colour and fragrance inside your home with a pot full of flowering bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths. You name it. They are not expensive, and they pay dividends as they lift your spirits, brighten any room and stimulate your olfactory system -that part of your brain that responds to natural, sweet scents — You get the idea.
Feed the birds. Birds wintering in the south will be on their way back over the next month or so — Clean your feeders again and fill with Wright’s Premium Wild Bird Seed — Birds love it and it is great value! Also available are sunflower seed, safflower seed, peanuts (both in and out of the shell), nyjer seed, suet, corn cobs and lots of feeders for all types of backyard birds.
GARDEN HOW-TO VIDEOS: Canada’s gardening gurus, Mark Cullen & son, Ben, had a great time shooting new videos in the garden.
Here are 3 gardening videos that will inform and entertain you — Check them out:
News and Events:
Lunar Rhythm Gardens’ new pick-up location
in Brooklin is now open!
Lunar Rhythm Gardens is a Community Supported and Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) Farm that has recently added a new Durham CSA pick up location to their list. Lunar Rhythm Gardens proudly serves Durham Region with their sites in Bowmanville, Port Perry and now Brooklin – open Wednesday nights from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 20 Baldwin Street. Pick up your fresh vegetables and naturally raised meats at one of their three pickup locations today! For more information on locations and hours of operation in Durham Region, please visit csafarmdurhamkawartha.com.
Canadian Agricultural Partnership now accepting funding applications for federal activities and programs: Did you know there are various Canadian Agricultural Partnership federal activities and programs available to you? The federally funded activities and programs focus on three key areas: growing trade and expanding markets; innovative and sustainable growth in the sector; and supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector. These include the AgriMarketing Program, AgriCompetitiveness Program, AgriScience Program, AgriInnovate Program, AgriDiversity Program, and the AgriAssurance Program. To learn more about the Canadian Agriculture Partnership Federal activities and programs, please visit agr.gc.ca.
Local Food Investment Fund now accepting grant applications: The Greenbelt Fund has launched its Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) – an agri-food grant program funded by the Government of Ontario. LFIF offers three streams of financial support to local food leaders across Ontario that share the common goal of increasing the amount of local food consumed in the province. These include the Broader Public Sector Grant Stream, Market Access Grant Stream and the Local Food Literacy Grant Stream. Applications are now being accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Successful applicants will be notified by June 30. To review the application guidelines and apply for a grant stream, visit greenbeltfund.ca.
Apply now for the 2018 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence:
Are you an agri-food organization, processor or primary producer or farmer? If you answered yes, then you may be eligible to win the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence! This program supports and recognizes the ongoing efforts and innovation of local agri-food businesses and individuals who are adding value to existing products, helping to create jobs and contributing to economic growth. The awards include the Premier’s Award, the Minister’s Award, the Leaders in Innovation Award and the Provincial Award. Applications are now open and will be accepted until May 25 at 5 p.m. Visit omafra.gov.on.ca to review the application checklist and apply for an award today!
Local 4H leader wins Syngenta 4H Arbour Award — ‘Livestock Lane’ is an idea that Mary Ann Found put in place almost six years ago, with a primary focus on agriculture education. This is the primary reason why she received the Syngenta 4H Ontario Arbour Award-the highest honour a 4H volunteer can receive in Ontario.
The award recognizes the dedication and hard work that volunteers contribute as 4H leaders. Mary Ann is a retired school teacher, and never stops teaching children about agriculture. From talking cows, to a wide variety of workshops, Mary Ann is creative in her teaching methods. Congratulations Mary Ann! To learn more about Mary Ann and about the Syngenta 4H Arbour Award read the 4H Ontario press release.
The History of the Mustard family
The Mustard family, which owns a dairy farm in Uxbridge, was featured in the winter 2018 Ontario Holstein Link magazine. The article talks about how the farm has been in the family since 1853 and is now on its sixth generation. It also explains how the family hasn’t always owned cows, and how they got where they are today.
The Durham Region 5 Million Trees Program is part of the Durham Community Climate Change Local Action Plan, with the goal of increasing forest cover in the region by approximately 2,800 hectares. To be eligible, landowners must have 2.5 acres of non-agricultural land to plant. Forests Ontario plants the trees at a highly subsidized rate and checks their survival at various intervals in the following few years. Learn more about Durham Region’s 5 Million Trees Program.
The On-Farm Childcare Program, offered by Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources (DFRFR), is designed to provide quality child care for farm families who reside in Durham where at least one of the parents’ primary source of income is through a farm operation. The program operates from May to September and allows parents to concentrate on farm work during peak times, without having their children in the workplace. Learn more about the On Farm Childcare Program.
Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources (DFRFR) presents their annual Safety Day for Kids on May 26 at the Port Perry Fairgrounds. The family friendly event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will feature a variety of safety demonstrations, discussions and a goody bags for each participant.
Thanks for attending Durham Farm Connections Grade 3 Program and Open House
This year, Durham Farm Connections hosted over 1,200 students for their annual Grade 3 program. The event took place from April 3 to 5 at Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, taking students through agriculture-themed stations that included live animal displays and hands-on demonstrations by local farmers. In addition to the student program, residents from across the region were invited to attend the Durham Farm Connections Open House on April 4. This family friendly event featured various educational stations and gave residents a chance to meet with local farmers and see livestock. Admission was free, but donations of non-perishable food items were kindly accepted on behalf of the local food bank. To learn more about the Durham Farm Connections Grade 3 program and Open House, please visit DurhamFarmConnections.ca.