Backyard Orchard News
USDA plant biologist Andrew McElrone is using high resolution computed tomography – a type of cat scan similar to the medical imaging diagnostic system – to cruise through plant veins and vessels to better understand grapevines’ water transport system.
The research is conducted on live and dry grapevines at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Like in medicine, each cat scan produces numerous digital slices of grapevine, which are stacked on top of each other using special engineering software to reconstruct the system.
“We can then spin the images around into various orientations, moving through individual vessels,” McElrone said.
Grape Day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 9240 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier, Calif. Field tours are conducted from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and classroom presentations will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Registration is $10 per person. Advance registration is offered online.
Field tour topics are:
- New wine grape varieties for the San Joaquin Valley by UC Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist James Wolpert, UC Davis
- The development of new grape rootstocks for the San Joaquin Valley by geneticist Peter Cousins, USDA-ARS, Geneva, N.Y.
- Using the ‘Paso Panel’ to aid in irrigation scheduling by viticulture farm advisor Mark Battany, UC Cooperative Extension, San Luis Obispo County
- Understanding water use of grapevines by plant biologist Andrew McElrone, USDA-ARS, Davis, Calif.
- Trapping and baiting for gopher control in vineyards by vertebrate IPM advisor Roger Baldwin, Kearney, Parlier, Calif.
- Critical weed free periods in vineyard development by vegetation management farm advisor Kurt Hembree, UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County
- Fruitfulness of DOV raisin cultivars by UC Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist Matthew Fidelibus, UC Davis and Kearney.
For more information, contact event coordinator Matt Fidelibus, firstname.lastname@example.org, (559) 646-6500.
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We had a great question on our Facebook page this morning about getting a pressure gauge tested. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says: take it to your local Cooperative Extension! Awesome! Here at the Los Angeles County UC Cooperative Extension we would love to test your pressure gauges! Many county offices all over the country have provided this service to the public for years. After all, improper pressure canning can result in severe illness or death - yikes. And it's recommended you get your gauges tested every year prior to diving into your canning season. If the gauge reads high or low by more than two pounds at 5, 10 or 15 pounds pressure, replace it. If it is less than two pounds off in accuracy, you can make adjustments needed to be sure you have the required pressure in your canner.
Like I said earlier, we would LOVE to do this. But we're not equipped to do so yet. As we dive head first into our super bountiful summer season, we realize this is an important service that LA County residents need. We're looking into the policies and procedures that will be necessary for us to provide this service to the public. In the meantime, you have a few other in-state options to explore:
California Counties Providing Pressure Canner Inspection OR Pressure Gauge Testing:
El Dorado County Master Food Preserver Program
Either send or bring in lids with the gauge attached and return postage OR drop the lid off
and pick it up at the county office. The entire pot can also be brought in for evaluation. In 2009 there was no charge for this service.
Solano and Yolo County
Drop off the whole pressure canner. They inspect the entire pot and test it at all three basic temperatures that home canners might use. $20.00 fee.
Non-UC Testing Services:
Embarcadero Home Cannery
2026 Livingston Street
Oakland, CA 94606
Dial gauges are tested for approximately $5 plus return postage. Individuals would remove the gauge and mail it to EHC. They will test it using their master gauge and return it with a report as to its accuracy and invoice. They sell new gauges for $21. Once mailed, EHC will return within a week.
NATIONAL PRESTO INDUSTRIES, INC.
Consumer Services Department
3925 N. Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54703-2209
Phone: 1-800-877-0441 1 – 800-368-2194.
Presto will test Presto canners for no charge. Simply send gauge to them (prefer shipment by UPS; allow turn around time of more than two weeks, so plan ahead!)
We're working on adding LA County to this list. Hopefully we'll be able to make an announcement about this soon. Thanks for your patience while we get this ship moving.