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WSU extension Q&A: Nov. 6, 2011

Q. I just dug up some onions out of my garden. How long do they need to dry before I can store them?

A. Onions should be dried and cured well for proper storage. The tops should naturally collapse in the garden before you remove them. Once the tops have collapsed, cut the tops of the onions off 2 inches above the bulb. Then remove the onions from the garden and allow them to air dry before storing. The roots should shrivel up and the neck of the onion should be completely dry. For best storage, keep the onions in a cool, dry and dark location.

Q. I'm thinking of cooking a fresh turkey this year instead of a frozen one. Do you have any advice?

A. You need to purchase your fresh turkey one to two days before you will be cooking it. Because of the short time frame, it's a good idea to reserve your turkey well ahead of time, and just pick it up a day or two before you plan to cook it.

Q. I lead a 4-H youth group with little or no parent support. How can I get parents more involved?

A. There are a number of ways to increase the involvement of your parents. To accomplish this, it will take some additional organizing and the skill of delegating. To begin with, focus your efforts in four basic areas: assessment, communication, delegation and recognition. Develop a fact sheet that assesses your parents' interests, hobbies, occupation and associations. Strengthen communications with a parent orientation, a list of expectations, a club newsletter and occasional phone calls. Know what jobs you need help with, break tasks down into smaller parts, ask them for assistance and then delegate the job. Lastly, a little recognition will go a long way, for example, mentioning them in the newsletter or complimenting them on their children.

Q. Can I plant grape vines in the fall?

A. Yes, if you are willing to risk some winter damage should we have a severely cold winter. If you can cover or protect the vines during the winter, this would be a good time to plant grape vines.

* Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.

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