Dhaka, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) - It takes just a twist of the wrist to determine when pears are ready to come off the tree.
For plums and peaches, flesh firmness is a good way to verify maturity.
Blackberries? Check the color.
Nature offers a wide range of clues about when the time is ripe for harvesting fruit and minimizing losses.
“Tasting may be all that is needed and is the simplest method for determining ripeness,” said Leonard Perry, horticulture professor emeritus at the University of Vermont. “Birds eating your fruit, too, is a good sign they are ripe for the picking. Look under an apple tree. If a few have fallen to the ground already, most are likely ripe.”
Peaches can be picked when they separate easily from the branches. For best flavors, let peaches and apricots mature fully on the tree.
Raspberries and blackberries are prime when the fruit is no longer green and the berries separate easily from the plant.
Mature apples should be firm but yielding. “When you take a bite of an apple, it should be sweet and crisp without any trace of starchiness,” said Teryl Roper, a pomology professor at Utah State University. “Skin color helps to determine maturity but it is not always reliable. Seed color is not a reliable indicator of fruit maturity.”
Some other guidelines for harvesting fruit:
— Be gentle when picking and storing fruit to avoid bruising, which hastens deterioration and mold. “This is particularly important for very soft raspberries, which should only be stored in shallow containers,” Perry said.
— Ripe fruit should have a noticeable aroma.
— Pick early in the day, especially berries. They won’t spoil as readily as those picked in full sun and hotter temperatures.
— Fruit to be dried should first ripen fully. Fruit to be cooked or preserved can be picked when slightly green. Cooking or blending can salvage bruised, damaged or over-ripe fruit.
And then there’s storage, the other vital half of the fresh fruit equation.
“Once a crop is harvested, it is almost impossible to improve its quality,” Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service horticulturists say in a fact sheet. “Losses of horticultural crops due to improper storage and handling can range from 10 to 40 percent.”
The key to successful fruit storage is quick cooling, Roper said: “Pick them and get them cool as quickly as possible.”
In general, fruit should not be washed right after harvest, since that can allow disease-carrying organisms to spread from one fruit to another. But fruit should be washed just before it’s prepared and eaten, Roper said. “Washing is about removing human pathogens,” he said.
Different fruit crops have different storage tolerances. Soft fruits will last only a couple of weeks, while apples and pears can be stored for months.
But be cautious with pears, which will mature on the tree but not ripen, Roper said.
“If pears are left on the tree too long, they turn brown inside,” he said. “Pears need to be harvested, stored for two to four weeks at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then given two to three days of room temperature before they are ready for the best eating experience.”
Montpelier, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) — Almost three dozen cannabis plants have been found growing in the flower beds in front of the Vermont Statehouse, police said Friday.
A visitor to the Statehouse alerted police to what turned out to be 34 plants found by officers this week among the cultivated flowers that line the walkway in front of the building in Montpelier.
Workers for the branch of state government responsible for the gardens might have found more plants, said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei.
The chief said that he didn't know whether the immature plants were marijuana or hemp and that he doesn't intend to have the plants tested to see because he foresees no criminal case.
In Vermont, possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use is legal, but it remains illegal to grow it in public. Farmers can plant hemp as a cash crop.
"The only way we can make a criminal case is if someone comes down and claims it," Romei said Friday.
Officials have made similar discoveries in the Statehouse flower gardens in previous years, Romei said, but it was the first instance in the two years he has been chief.
"This was a humorous thing to come back to off from vacation," Romei said of Monday's discovery.
Tucson, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) — Arizona authorities say a driver escaped injury when his car's windshield was pierced by the trunk of a saguaro cactus during a wreck Wednesday on the outskirts of Tucson.
Pima County sheriff's Deputy Daniel Jelineo said the black sports car struck the cactus while crossing a median.
The broken-off cactus ended up partially inside the car, with the rest jutting over car's hood.
Jelineo said deputies detained the driver for further investigation after observing signs and symptoms of impairment.
The driver's identity wasn't released.
Lagrangeville, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) — A man who kept sharks in a pool in his upstate New York basement has been convicted of trafficking wildlife.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the attorney general's office say Friday that Joshua Seguine, of LaGrangeville, pleaded guilty to illegal commercialization of wildlife. He'll be sentenced in September.
The 38-year-old Seguine was stopped by authorities in Georgia in July 2017 when he was transporting five live sharks in the back of his truck. Investigators found Seguine had offered sharks for sale online under the name Aquatic Apex Life.
Investigators searched Seguine's home and found an 18-foot-diameter (5.7-meter-diameter) pool containing seven 2- to 4-foot-long (half-meter- to 1.2-meter-long) sandbar sharks, a protected species. They also found three dead sharks.
The rescued sharks are now at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island.
Dhaka, July 13 (UNB)- The 3rd solo miniature art exhibition titled ‘Life and the Narrative of Time-1’ by artist Prof Dr Hira Sobahan began at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka on Friday.
K M Khalid MP, State minister for Cultural Affairs attended the opening ceremony as the chief guest and Frank Grützmacher Técourt,, deputy head of mission to the Embassy of France to Bangladesh also attended the event as the special guest.
The artworks of Prof Dr Hira Sobahan depict the natural beauties of this country, the modern way of life, disasters, the various shortcomings of society, and social decadence, among others.
Out of his 500 miniature artworks, 101 will be in display for the exhibition.
Dr. Hira Sobahan was born in 24 May 1970 at the village Nandibari in Muktagacha of Mymensingh. He is a well-known prin maker, painter, designer, researcher and writer.
Currently he is a professor of printmaking at the Department of Painting Oriental Art and Printmaking, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi.
The exhibition will remain open to all till July 23( Visiting hours: Monday to Thursday from 3:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday (9:00am to 12:00pm and 5:00pm to 8:00pm).