Q. I have found several home canning recipes that call for pears as one of the ingredients. Can I substitute Asian pears for the pears in the recipe?
A. No. An Asian pear is not really a pear. It has a different texture and a significantly lower level of natural acidity. In fact, it requires lemon juice or citric acid before it can be safely canned in the boiling water bath canner.
Q. We just bought a house with some old grape vines in the backyard. Can I prune them now?
A. Technically, you can prune grapes at any time, but it is best to wait to heavily prune until they are dormant. They spend a lot of energy growing leaves and fruit. Some of that is reabsorbed into the plant before the leaves fall.
Q. I'm new to raising livestock and want to have a few sheep in our small irrigated pasture. In a publication I was reading about the proper health care of sheep. The author used the term "anthelmintic." What does this term mean?
A. An "anthelmintic" is a drug that expels parasites, such as worms, from the animal's body. A common name for these preparations is wormers. There are many products available, and your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate product.
Q. What are the requirements for starting a 4-H club in my neighborhood?
A. It's simple. You need at least one adult and one youth. 4-H is open to all youths ages 5 and enrolled in kindergarten, all the way through age 19. You need to contact the WSU Extension office for paperwork and leader applications. Oct. 1 is the start of a new 4-H year. A series of three leader training classes must be completed within your first year as leader, as well as a child safety training. For the Benton & Franklin counties 4-H program, contact Natalie Kinion at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-545-3511.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.