November on the Farm — Corn harvest is in full swing with long hours in the field until complete. The grain is in the bin waiting to be fed to livestock or sold to an elevator, processing plant or ethanol plant — So when the work is done in the fall, usually November, what do farmers do in the off-season?
It all depends . . . . . There’s always repairs and maintenance on feeders, waterers, bins, out-buildings, fences, machinery, etc. This time of year is also many farmer’s ‘year end’, where financial statements need to be completed, income tax forms prepared. Visits with lenders or farm management personnel are a necessity plus reviewing and analyzing the past year and making plans for the new year. 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. Seminars 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 for the year ahead 🙂THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTH: (excerpts from Mark’s Cullen’s Newsletter)
Compost. Clear out that composter and apply directly to the surface of your vegetable garden. Don’t worry about digging it in, as the existing vermiculture (worms) in the soil are eager to bring those nutrients from the soil surface and down to the roots in the form of nitrogen rich worm castings. If you don’t have a composter, now is the time to start one so that you can have fresh compost in time for spring planting.
Feed the birds. If you stopped feeding your wild birds in the summer, now is a good time to fill your feeders. Clean them before you set them up and start with Wright’s Premium Wild Bird Seed — Birds love it and it is great value!
Apply lawn fertilizer Feeding your lawn now with a fall fertilizer blend (like 6-24-24) builds up natural sugars at the root zone which will help keep your lawn healthy and green next spring. You will minimize snow mould, white powdery mildew and brown spot during the thaw by fertilizing this time of year. Truth is, this is the most useful application you will make all year.
Rake leaves onto your garden. Off your lawn, on to your garden. Or into your compost pile. Either way, they will rot down over the winter and provide needed nourishment to all plants that grow. Do not put them to the curb.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs! It is getting late, in most parts of Canada, to plant daffodils and narcissus as they need about 6 weeks free of ground frost to put down roots before winter. Tulips, crocus and hyacinths, on the other hand, are very happy planted in the ground at this time of year.
Christmas wrap. The first gifts that you should wrap for the Christmas season are your evergreens. Wrap two layers of burlap around upright evergreens, especially junipers and cedars (which are very susceptible to salt burn). One layer prevents wind damage, the other snow and ice. The yew hedge gets wrapped with a double layered piece of burlap, supported by 2″ x 2″ stakes hammered into the ground. This is a gift to yourself.
Hungry vermin. Rabbits, mice, rats and other vermin love to chow down on the bark of young fruit trees. Well, they don’t LOVE it, they do this out of desperation and hunger. The solution is simple and inexpensive — Wrap a spiral shaped plastic protector around each fruit tree in your yard this weekend. Do this for the first 5 or 6 years of its life. After that, the bark is so tough, even a sharp-toothed rabbit will have lost interest in it.
Lawn mower. Put your power mower to bed by cleaning the cutting deck and spraying it with lubricating oil. Empty the gas from the tank as it can go gummy in the carburetor next spring when you start the machine: After removing gas from the tank, let the motor run until it runs out of gas. Remove the connection from the spark plug and wipe the exterior down with an oiled cloth.
Water. It will soon be time to shut off the outdoor faucets to prevent freezing, but before you do, be sure that established plants in your yard are well watered. We have had reasonable amounts of rain this fall, but the evergreens and shrubs under the eve and soffit of your home are protected from most rain. Be sure to soak all permanent plants deeply before the freeze up. Truth is, being frozen in ice is better insulation than dry soil. Who knew?
NEW GARDEN “How-To” VIDEOS
Last month, Mark Cullen & son, Ben, had a great time shooting new videos in the garden. Introducing 3 new gardening videos that will inform and entertain you.
Check them out:
ORDERING YOUR BACKYARD POULTRY CHICKS:
Our 2017 Backyard Flock day-old bird orders are finished for this year — Watch for new order form, delivery dates and price list in February 2018.
Ready-To-Lay Pullets 2017 Order Form — Note: There may be one more order this fall if customer numbers warrant — Place your order soon. Download our 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:
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.
HOLD THE DATE! Friday November 3rd is a special day on the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute calendar: we celebrate our 2nd anniversary with none other than Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell. We will hear what she has to say about our campaign to plant 2 million trees along the Highway of Heroes, 117,000 for our war dead and more than 1.8 million for each Canadian who volunteered during times of war. There will be a ceremonial tree planting and several hundred trees to plant after the ceremony. Come on out, wear your boots and get ready to get dirty.
Starts at 10 am — Meadowvale and Hwy 401, Scarborough — Details can be found here.
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.