Q. This summer I made sun pickles using a recipe I found on the internet. Now the brine is cloudy. Should I be worried?
A. The cloudy brine suggests spoilage organisms are growing in the jar. There are a variety of recipes for sun pickles on the Internet and the one thing they have in common is that none of them meet the standards of safety or sanitation according to home food preservation guidelines. This means the sun pickles prepared according to Internet directions are a risky product.
We would not recommend using these recipes at this time, or consuming sun pickles if you have already prepared them.
Q. I'm concerned about my livestock during the hot weather we've been having. Last week, you told us some precautions to take in drought conditions. Is there anything else we can do?
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A. Yes, protection from the elements is also essential. Just as we need to protect the animals from the harsh conditions of winter with shelter, shade is extremely important for the animals in the heat of the summer. Shade from trees or man-made structures can provide an environment for the animals that is several degrees cooler than if exposed to direct sunlight.
Q. How can my 4-H club find someone to teach sewing?
A. We have a group of local volunteers who work with the textile arts, as well as other 4-H clubs who have 4-H sewing leaders.
We have lots of options for teaching members how to sew and on a club-by-club basis, we can find help to best suit your needs. Just call the WSU Franklin County Extension Office at 509-545-3511 or email franklinco@ wsu.edu.
Q. Can you tell me about rootstocks? Why are fruit trees grafted on a different rootstock?
A. Just as different varieties of apples have different characteristics, so do rootstocks. Rootstocks can control the size of a tree, make it more disease resistant, cold hardy and many other attributes.
Combining the proper rootstock with a scion (upper part of the tree) is a smart way to make a plant more adaptable. So when buying a tree, find out the rootstock and variety characteristics.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.