by PETE KRUER Rockford Ace Hardware Well, we just had summer in March! Wow! Now we are having a reality check with April. Believe it or not, we are having average to slightly above average temps and below average on precipitation, but that is about to change. Precipitation is going to be slightly above average for the next eight days. Temps will be about average (50 to 61 degrees). We need to remember not to get to anxious with planting frost-sensitive plants, because lows are going to be around the frost mark. The average last day for frost in Kent County is about the 15th to 17th of May. It is easy to forget that the weather can change quickly in West Michigan. If you have some plants that you would like to protect and give three to four degrees advantage, you can use a product called N-SULATE to cover your plants. Also sprinkling water overnight on the plants can help, depending how bad of a frost. Regarding the use of crab grass preventer, we are getting to the end and broad leaf prevention will be starting soon. Always try to wait at least four weeks between fertilizer applications. So, have patience and enjoy the head start we got this year!
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL It was a postcard perfect day for the opening day of the Rockford Farm Market last Saturday. Most every stall in the market was filled by local Michigan vendors. Michigan-grown produce is considerably less abundant at this time because the growing season was delayed due to unseasonably cool and rainy weather this spring—one exception being asparagus. However, that did not deter many of the larger vendors from bringing freshly grown and harvested farm produce from their greenhouses. Potted flowers and vegetable seedlings, along with potted patio tomato plants, and asparagus, asparagus, asparagus ruled the day. Everyone knows that the Michigan variety of freshly hand-snapped asparagus is the very best in the world, and shoppers were taking advantage of the market’s abundance. Even a local merchant decided there is no sense in arguing with the success of the Rockford Farm Market. An astute Rockford businessman, Pete Kruer, brought his beautiful Kunst Gardens potted vegetables and floral arrangements to market for the first time ever. “I didn’t realize how much fun this would be. I’ll be back!” said Kruer. There are 17 Saturdays remaining in the Rockford Farm Market season so, if you haven’t already done so, please remember to cast your vote for Rockford’s Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farm Market contest. It’s as simple as going to www.farmland.org/vote and following the prompts. You can vote once for each e-mail address you and your family members have. Heck, don’t stop there. Support Rockford and this great market and network the contest to friends and co-workers. As of the writing of this article, Rockford’s market has only 18 votes. This is Rockford, we can do better than that! Remember, because of the Start of Summer festivities this coming weekend, Farm Market will be held on Main Street in the parking lot across from Chase Bank on the old Northland Pontiac GMC dealership property.
Rotarian Pete Kruer gives new Rotarian Don Kurylowicz a warm welcome. Rockford Rotary is a service organization that meets weekly at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street, Tuesdays at noon. Business people who are interested in finding out more about the club are always welcome to visit.