With spring here and summer’s splendour on the horizon, we are happy to work outside, getting our hands dirty around the farm, yard and gardens, watching the hay & grass grow and the crops sprout and enjoy all the blooms and blossoms smiling on the world.
LOTS GOING ON AT WRIGHT’S FEEDS ‘N NEEDS:
Hay-cutting & baling (when the rain holds off); Flower and vegetable garden planting, tending and weeding; Mulching gardens to prevent weeds & moisture control; Lots and lots of grass cutting…..
Building and mending field fences and putting up new electric fencing areas; Feeding the summer flocks of songbirds, hummingbirds & orioles; Day-old chick ordering and readying backyard coops for their arrival
THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTH: (excerpts from Mark’s Cullen’s Newsletter)
1. Plant all hot crops. Corn, zucchini, squash (all cucurbits), peppers, potatoes: virtually every crop that requires heat to thrive are ready to plant in the first week of June. Unless you live in Newfoundland — You fortunate souls should wait a week or two longer.
2. Mulch. June is mulch month because May is planting month. After you get most of your plants in the ground you can save yourself up to 70% in watering and 90% in weeding by laying down a 5 cm layer of finely ground up cedar or pine bark mulch.
3. Sow fast-growing flowers: Cosmos, tall zinnias, larkspur, nigella, coreopsis, lupins and over 20 varieties of sunflowers — I use lots of sunflowers as they grow quickly, germinate reliably, produce flowers that attract all kinds of native bees and when they go to seed, the song birds forage them like no-ones-business.
- Tear open each packet of seeds and pour them into a bucket. Just randomly. About one packet to every 25 sq ft or 2 sq meters.
- Add half a bucket of dry potting mix, sand or vermiculite. Pour the mixture into another bucket and back again into the original bucket. Do this several times until the seeds are thorough mixed with the seeding medium.
- Broadcast by hand over a weed-free bed of soil that has been raked clean of debris. Let the seed roll off of your index finger as you swing your arm back and forth. Spread them as evenly as you can.
- Rake using a hard rake — As you rake, you incorporate the seeds into the topsoil and even out the distribution of them.
- Walk on the area with flat soled shoes to firm the soil/seed mixture into place.
- Water thoroughly until germination occurs (about 7 to 10 days) and keep moderately well watered until roots are set down.
- Remove weeds when they are young. Thistles and twitch grass are among the most persistent perennial weeds. Don’t give them a chance to get a root down.
- Relax. Enjoy. Watch the action.
4. It is blossom time for roses, peonies, clematis and many other ‘early’ season flowering perennial plants. If you have room for more, now is the perfect time to plant them! Make sure that the plants you DO have are supported.
5. Container plants. Time to finish planting up containers using fresh container mix, plants that suit your exposure and be sure to add a slow release fertilizer into the soil. You apply it once for the whole season. Container plants need fertilizing more than garden plants as their roots are restricted by the size of the container.
6. Herbs. Plant them. Harvest them as needed. Don’t over water them. With the exception of basil, they love to get dry between watering.
7. Tomatoes. Stake with a spiral stake and never tie them up again or you can use a tomato cage — Get them off the ground and double your crop. Mid-June start applying Bordo Mixture to prevent early and late blight.
8. Through the Garden Gate. Check out the great public tours of private gardens that so often occur in the towns, villages and cities across Canada. More info.
ORDERING YOUR BACKYARD POULTRY CHICKS:
Day-Old Chicks & Turkeys 2017 Order Form — Download our new order form with all the ordering details, delivery dates and pricing for meat chicks, layer chicks and turkeys for the hatching season.
Please allow at least 4 weeks advance notice so that we can ensure your order is booked through the hatchery (Millpond Hatchery in Grafton) and we can have your order confirmed for your desired pick-up date.
Ducklings, Goslings, Guinea Keets & Pheasants 2017 Order Form — Download our new order form with all the ordering details, delivery dates and pricing for ducklings, goslings, guinea keets & pheasants for the hatching season.
Please allow at least 5 weeks advance notice so that we can ensure your order is booked through the hatchery (Millpond Hatchery in Grafton) and we can have your order confirmed for your desired pick-up date.
Ready-To-Lay Pullets 2017 Order Form — Download our new order form and get your name on our order/waiting list for our next delivery date (TBA) for laying hens delivered to our store for your pickup. We try to bring in a load of ready-to-lay hens once per month from April to October but frequency depends upon order volume numbers, hen availability and delivery truck scheduling.
We can’t set a 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.
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.
News and Events:
Celebrate Local Food Week at the Regional Farmers Market on June 7!: In celebration of Local Food Week, The Regional Municipality of Durham will be hosting a Regional Farmers Market on June 7 at The Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters in Whitby. The market aims to support local food producers and farmers while promoting healthy, sustainable agriculture and raise awareness about the availability and advantages of buying local. Learn more about the Regional Farmers Market.
Durham Farm Connections to honour 150 years of farming in Durham Region: To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Durham Farm Connections is recognizing farm families who have been farming continually in Canada since 1867, and are still farming in Durham today. If you are a member of, or know of a family who meets this criteria, please complete the Farm Family Information Form (PDF) to apply. The families will be honoured at the Durham Farm Connections Celebrate Agriculture Gala on October 26.
OFA BURSARIES FOR STUDENTS: The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is offering three bursaries in the amount of $2,000, per recipient, to students of OFA families who are entering, or currently pursuing, a post-secondary education in an agriculture-related program. Bursaries will be awarded regionally, including one recipient from each region. The deadline to submit an application form is June 30. Learn more about the 2017 Ontario Federation of Agriculture bursaries.
Durham150.ca: Durham Tourism, in partnership with Central Counties Tourism, will be launching Durham150.ca–a collaborative online resource that highlights local events and initiatives happening throughout the region this year, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation. Featuring the best of what the region has to offer, Durham150.ca will provide a platform for local tourism stakeholders to share their Canada 150 events and initiatives, and the stories behind them–from family fun and festivals, to arts and cultural experiences, and so much more. Set to launch on June 7, Durham150.ca, will be an online resource to learn about all of the celebrations and experiences taking place across Durham. To learn more about Regional initiatives, please visit www.investdurham.ca.
The new 2017 Durham Farm Fresh brochure is available!: This brochure features helpful resources and references for Durham residents, including a map of Durham that outlines where to find seasonal Farm Fresh products at farms and farm markets across Durham Region. The brochure is available to download online, and is also available at different locations across the region, including The Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters in Whitby. For more information, visit Durham Farm Fresh.
2016 Agriculture Census data available: The 2016 Census of Agriculture is now available and provides an overview of the nation’s agriculture industry and farm operators and families. Learn more about the 2016 Agriculture Census.
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.
June 10 to 11: A Country Path Open House
June 17: WindReach Farm – Celebrating Canada
June 30 to July 2: Canada’s 150 Celebrations — Port Perry
July 1: Uxbridge 150 Celebrations