Latest WSU Extension guides: Launch a food hub, keep eggs safe, and grow pears feasibly

Food Hub- warehouse with boxes
From a new Extension guide on food hubs: warehouse workers repack multi-farm produce boxes for delivery to workers displaced by COVID-19 (Photo: S. Bramwell).

Each month, experts with WSU Extension share new and updated guides for practical farms and consumers.

The latest free publications share ways to establish a successful food hub, connecting farmers with consumers, as well as food-science tips for safe handling of eggs, plus revised looks at pear economics and mounded home gardens.

Food Hub Establishment: A Case Study of the Southwest Washington Food Hub (TB89E)

Food hubs connect small and mid-sized crop producers with retail and institutional markets, helping provide training, insurance, and value-added product development. Many hubs have environmental and social goals, seeking to increase community cohesion and access to healthy, local food. This guide offers information and a model for those interested in starting or adapting one of these dynamic food systems. Authors include Stephen Bramwell, Assistant Professor and County Director, and Marilyn Sitaker, Food Systems Researcher and Program Coordinator, both with Thurston County Extension.

Proper Egg Handling: From Farm or Grocery Store to Table (PNW720)

Eggs are part of a healthy diet and contain many nutrients. However, Salmonella enteritidis infections from eggs continue to be a significant cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis. This new publication provides an overview of egg handling practices in the United States, noting safe practices for handling, storage, and consumption of eggs from farm to grocery store to table. Authors are Stephanie Smith, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with the School of Food Science, and Rachel Beck, Youth and Families.

Pears stock image

Revised publications:

2022 Cost Estimates of Producing and Packing Fresh Market Anjou Pears in the Wenatchee River Valley, Washington State (FS031E)

Washington state is the number one producer of fresh-market pears in the United States. This updated guide, by Economic Sciences Professor and Extension Specialist R. Karina Gallardo, Extension Assistant Professor Suzette P. Galinato, and Tree Fruit Entomology Research Assistant Professor Louis Nottingham, helps growers evaluate the feasibility of producing fresh-market Anjou pears in the Wenatchee Valley, identifying inputs, costs, and yields considered typical of well-managed orchards.

2022 Cost Estimates of Producing, and Packing Fresh-Market Bartlett Pears in South Washington (FS034E)

Pear growers can estimate costs and returns and examine the ranges of price and yield at which a fresh-market Bartlett pear operation is profitable in this newly revised publication by Gallardo, Gallinato, and Nottingham.

Hugelkultur: What is it, and should it be used in home gardens? (FS283E)

Hügelkultur is an increasingly popular way of using organic material to create mounded home gardens and landscapes. Authored by Linda Chalker-Scott, Extension Urban Horticulturist and Professor, this updated publication describes how to create a Hügelkultur bed, how Hügelkultur originated, and the state of the science behind the practice. It concludes with some science-based alternatives for using woody debris in gardens and landscapes.

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