Q. I just picked some local cherries and want to dry them, do I need to cut them in half or can I dry them whole?
A. You can dry your cherries either whole or in halves. The important thing is to remove the pit before drying them.
Wash and remove the stems. If you have a cherry pitter, simply pit the cherries and place them on your drying screen.
If you don’t have a pitter, cut the cherries in half to remove the pits.
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It’s recommended they dry at 140 degrees Farenheit for 24-36 hours. They should be leathery and slightly sticky.
To keep them from over drying them, remove the cherries from the heated dehydrator for a few minutes before testing for doneness.
Q. When I was digging in my pasture, I found termites in the soil. Does that mean I have an infestation?
A. No need to worry. Termites are a naturally occurring insect and can be found in pastures and forests.
In Eastern Washington, the subterranean termite is common and gets its moisture from soil and possibly rotting materials in the dirt. If the termites are not near structures they should not be feared.
Q. When is YA4-H! offered?
A. Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) is offered as part of after-school, summer programs and camps.
If your organization would like more information about bringing YA4-H! to your program, contact WSU Extension in Pasco at 509-545-3511, ext. 6003.
Q. What long-term issues with hay growing?
A. Macronutrients especially phosphorus and potassium will play a big factor in hay growing in the future.
Both are used by the plant in significant amounts. Potassium is stored in the plant at 2 percent to 2.5 percent of the plant, and phosphorus is stored at 0.2 percent to 0.25 percent of the plant.
It does not sound like much but a 10-ton yield would represent 481 to 602 pounds of potash (K2O) and 90 to 114 pounds of phosphorus (P2O5) per acre is being removed from the field each year in the hay.
Fields are not fertilized at this level annually so we are mining the soil for these nutrients and it will become a major issue in the future.
To submit a question, call 509-735-3551.