WSU Extension Q&A: Mastering gardening, eating rib eyes and crazy-veined grapes

Q. What is a Master Gardener, and how did you become one?

A. The Master Gardener Program is offered by Washington State University Cooperative Extension and provides university training to volunteers to enable them to serve our community through horticulture, gardening and pest management. Master Gardener volunteers make it their mission to educate local community members in applying horticultural science to manage their landscapes and gardens in a science-based, sustainable manner. Anyone with an interest in gardening and a willingness to learn and serve is welcome to apply. Training is both online and in-person from January through April, and applications are due Nov. 10 to the Kennewick WSU Extension office. For more information, visit the Benton-Franklin County Extension website or call 509-735-3551.

Q. What is the 4-H citizenship project all about?

A. Through 4-H citizenship programs, youth learn about civic affairs, build decision-making skills and develop a sense of understanding and confidence in relating and connecting to other people. These life skills help grow 4-H youth into true leaders. Our citizenship programs engage youth in programs, organizations and communities where they share a voice, influence and decision-making authority. 4-H citizenship programs equip young people with confidence. Our citizenship curricula is designed to show youth that they are participants of a global society, inspiring a sense of understanding and confidence in relating and connecting to other people.

Q. When I go to the grocery store to buy meat, I see the term “rib eye” on the packaging. What does that mean?

A. The rib eye is the cross section of the loin muscle that has the scientific name longissimus dorsi. It can be identified as the large muscle in the rib steak of a beef animal or in the loin chops of a pig. In general, it is regarded as one of the tenderest muscles on the meat animal.

Q. One of my grape vines has leaves that are bright red with green veins, but the others do not. Is this normal?

A. Most likely your vine has a virus call Grape Leaf Roll Virus. In the fall, the virus is most easily detected by red leaves and bright green veins. This is more pronounced on red varieties than white. There is no cure for the virus, so prevention is the key. Buy certified disease and virus free vines and control your mealybug which vector the virus. The vine will slowly decline in yield and quality, so it might be better to remove it and start with a new vine.

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