Q. How cold can it get before my grape vines start dying?
A. That depends on the variety and preceding temperatures. American varieties like Concords are cold hardy, while European wine grape varieties are less so. In the middle of winter with preceding cold temperatures, vines can sustain temperatures well below zero. There is a gradient of when they sustain damage, like losing half your fruit from bud kill, versus ‘killing’ the entire plant (death of the vascular tissues) at even colder temperatures.
Q. What presentations will be at the Jan. 18-19 Northwest Hay Expo at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick?
A. Thirty-one presentations will be given during the two day conference. Knowledge you will gain from this conference will by far more than pay for the cost of registration. Presentations include: Whole Farm Revenue Protection; Forage Risk Management, New Options and Strategies; Struvite Fertilizer for Forages; Weed Control in Alfalfa; Where to Cut and Where Not to Cut Costs in a Down Year; and Current Market Landscape and Uses of Drones in Agriculture — Rules and Regulations Surrounding the Industry.
Q. I always let my large pots of soup cooled to room temperature before putting them in the refrigerator. Someone just told me that wasn’t safe and I should put them in the refrigerator right away. Is this correct?
A. Both are correct, and neither of you are correct. People avoid putting large pots of hot food in the refrigerator because it will raise the temperature inside the refrigerator and cause problems for the other foods, which is correct. But it is also not right to leave food sitting at room temperature for extended periods of time. The food safety rule is that all perishable foods need to be put in a refrigerator that is 40 degrees or below within two hours of preparation. However, large amounts of food will not cool fast enough even under refrigerator temperatures. In order to cool foods quickly, they should be divided into small portions and put in shallow containers before placing in the refrigerator. A second option is to place the large pot in an ice bath in your sink. Stir the pot frequently to help the contents cool. Once cooled, place the food in the refrigerator. If you leave food out to cool and forget about it after two hours, throw it away. Bacteria can grow rapidly on food left out at room temperature for more than two hours.
To submit a question, call 509-735-3551.