Here at New Country Organics, we are a group of nature-lovin’ animal owners who love spreading the word about organics. We believe in the feeds we make and the products we select to distribute. Now we will share our favorite healthy products and practices to help you start a new year on your farm off right.
Achieve Your Gardening Goals with Perfect Timing
For many of us avid gardeners, waiting for that last frost of the season to pass before we can safely plant our garden is simply excruciating. Why not get a head start on the gardening season by starting seeds early?
While last frost dates will vary by area, the general rule of thumb is to aim to plant after May 15th. This means that seeds should be started indoors between March 3rd and 17th in order to have healthy transplants ready for spring planting. Be sure to read seed packets for specifications: some large seeds, such as beans or tree seeds, must be soaked in warm water overnight prior to planting.
While many different types of containers exist for starting seeds, the easiest and most tried and true method out there are seed-starting trays, particularly ones that are biodegradable and can be planted directly into the soil when transplanting. For improved aeration, drainage, and water retention during germination, we recommend using McEnroe Lite Potting Mix. For large seeds, only sow one seed per tray cell. For smaller seeds, spread a few seeds over the area of the tray cell and gently press them into the soil. Once you have sown all of your seeds, lightly moisten the soil and place the trays in a well-lit area or underneath a grow light.
To encourage faster germination, you can place the trays on a heating mat or utilize another heat source to maintain a soil temperature between 70 to 85 degrees. If growing in a greenhouse, the temperature should remain around 70 degrees throughout the day and no lower than 50 degrees at night. When natural sunlight is less than 16 hours per day, place your seed trays 6 inches under fluorescent lights.
After the seedlings sprout, there are usually two sets of young, identical leaves that appear first. Shortly after, a different leaf appears that looks different from the first sprouts. This is the first "true leaf." Your seedlings are ready for larger containers and a half-strength application of all-purpose, soluble fertilizer or plant food once they have at least two true leaves developed. If you choose to transplant to an outdoor garden, begin transitioning your plants outside two weeks prior to the last frost for a few hours at a time, gradually increasing the time spent outside per day. This process is called "hardening off."
Stay Ahead of Seasonal Deficiencies
Early vegetation can sometimes cause micronutrient deficiencies in livestock—leading to poor thyroid and immune function and conditions such as grass tetany. You can fill that nutritional gap in your livestock by feeding Thorvin Kelp. Packed with more than 60 minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and beneficial phytonutrients, this product provides exceptional nutrient density and is a great addition to any nutrition plan. It’s safe for all of your livestock and poultry to consume!
Thorvin Kelp for foliar application is also beneficial for gardens, as the complex trace mineral and phytonutrient profile helps to remineralize soil and support healthy plant growth. We also have a wide variety of other OMRI-listed fertilizers available at New Country Organics to meet your needs. If you need help finding the best fit, just drop us a line!
Streamline Your Feed Room
One thing that does not vary across horse owners is the desire to provide the best care and nutrition for the horse. Unfortunately, that can mean quickly filling-up the feed room with several different feed types, dozens of supplements, and so-on. Rarely can a feed or supplement seem to work across a broad spectrum of horses and offer multiple benefits.
With a solid foundation, it is possible to simplify your feed room. Offering your horse a soy-free, organic feed that is made with real ingredients you can identify in your hand and microorganisms that support gut health is an excellent start (and that goes for any animal)! Our Care page offers more info about the benefits of going soy-free and organic. When your feed is working with your horse rather than against it, simplifying your supplement list becomes much easier. Balancing fiber requirements when pasture is limited is easy with products like Coolstance Copra Meal and non-GMO beet pulp pellets or forages like Chaffhaye and Alfahay.
A healthy oil that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be a powerhouse in your feed room (and actually help you streamline your supplements!). Farmers Own Flax Oil for Horses is our favorite choice. This oil is human food grade, 100% pure, and cold-pressed for a long and safe shelf life. Flax oil is incredibly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and it is the perfect way to supply slow-release energy from fats without adding unnecessary bulk to a horse’s ration. It encourages healthy inflammatory and immune responses in horses of all ages and promotes a shiny coat and better muscle health—making it a no-brainer for a senior to a youngster and everyone in between. It is even an appropriate choice for a horse battling insulin resistance. If you are looking for one easy product to boost the overall health of your herd and simplify your feed room this year, look no further than Farmers Own Flax Oil for Horses!
Keep Your Coop or Barn Fresh
If you haven’t heard the chatter about hemp bedding for animals yet, we are here to tell you: it is fantastic! It’s a sustainable, naturally-sourced product that is a less dusty and more absorbent alternative to other animal beddings. It is also an excellent choice for controlling odor and ammonia in your animal living areas. If you compost your animal manure/bedding, you’ll also notice that hemp bedding decomposes more quickly than other mediums and is not acidic (bye-bye field burn!).
We also proudly offer flax shive and pelleted flax bedding! These products are tough on ammonia, ultra-absorbent, super low in dust, and also made from a renewable resource. It decomposes in a jiff and is incredibly efficient to clean, which makes it very easy on the environment and easy on your wallet! We call flax bedding "kitty litter for the farm."
If you find that you need a little extra help with odor control in your coop or barn, give Bedding Buddy a try! This product absorbs moisture and neutralizes harmful odors using only 100% natural earth ingredients. It’s compost and field safe and can help prolong the life of your bedding. Simply clean your stall or coop, shake a little Bedding Buddy onto any wet spots you see, and cover the area with clean bedding! If you have the time, you can let the area air-out for a while before covering to increase the efficiency of your efforts!