Q. Does an espaliered fruit tree grow the same fruit as a regular fruit tree?
A. Espalier is the ancient practice of pruning and tying branches to a frame so that they will grow in a flat plane. This resembles many of our apple trees. These horticultural practices combined with dwarfing rootstocks will allow a tree to be smaller and more controlled. It will also make spraying, pruning and harvest much easier.
Q. If you could give just one food safety tip for the holidays, what would it be?
A. Keep perishable foods refrigerated. Perishable foods include any food that contains meat, fish, poultry dairy or cooked vegetables as ingredients. These foods support the growth of food poisoning bacteria when left at room temperature. They should be cooled to 40 degrees within two hours of cooking.
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Q. In years two and three after the establishment of an alfalfa crop, what are the largest production costs per acre and what are some ideas for reducing costs?
A. The largest cost is land rental. The second largest cost is fertilization. One idea on reducing fertilization costs is to see if manure is locally available and push the pencil to see if that might be a good way to build up phosphorus and potassium levels. The third largest cost is baling. Our figures showed that large square bales were $62 per acre ($7.75/ton) cheaper to bale than two tie bales. Before switching, consider how much extra you are getting paid for small square bales and do you have enough acres to pay for buying a new large square baler.
Q. My son is in a 4-H horse club, but he wants to do some activities that the club doesn't offer. How can he add more projects?
A. If you are willing to take on the role of activity leader, your son can add the projects and you can teach them yourself. If you don't have the knowledge, contact the Franklin County Extension Office at 545-3511 and ask for other clubs that offer the activities. Your son can be in more than one 4-H club at a time.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.