[NAFEX] Ethylene and fruit storage
Sonja & Raymond Barker
orchard1 at telus.net
Wed Feb 28 13:53:17 EST 2007
Hi you can buy ethylene absorbers in packets or in bulk from various sorces
on the internet it's just pottasiun permanganate you only need a small
----- Original Message -----
From: "loneroc" <loneroc at mwt.net>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 7:01 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Ethylene and fruit storage
> Hi all,
> I find that my best keeping apples start to soften excessively by March.
> (They aren't very good for eating now.) Although I try to open the
> refrigerators that they're stored in daily, or more often, to prevent
> ethylene build-up this doesn't seem sufficient. Any ideas on removal of
> ethylene from the fridge? I was thinking maybe a couple pounds of
> carbon/charcoal baked every few weeks to drive off collected gas. Worth a
> try or no? Is there anything that works?
> Steve Herje Lone Rock, WI
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lucky Pittman" <lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 19, 2007 8:41 AM
> Subject: [NAFEX] barn cats(long)
>> There's been a discussion on barn cats on the small ruminant
>> practitioners e-list that dovetails to some degree with the one
>> that's been going on here on the NAFEX list. Received this response
>> over the weekend - thought it might be of interest to some of you
>> >Again, I will apologize that this is a long post, as behavior and
>> >domestication are special interests of mine.
>> >I would like to comment on the outdoor cats issue as well. I
>> >recognize that cats are predators and do at times take birds and at
>> >times those birds are from struggling populations. However, in my
>> >experience, few people have the knowledge or desire to make an
>> >indoor environment as enriched as a cat needs for optimum mental
>> >health. It is much like the zoos of yester-year, when wild cat
>> >species were kept on boring, sterile cages. Sure they lived longer
>> >than their wild counterparts, but what kind of lives did they lead?
>> >However now zoos undergo considerable design to provide more
>> >enriched environments (decades back, prior to vet school, I worked a
>> >summer with Hal Markowitz at the Portland zoo, who was an pioneer in
>> >cognitive enrichment in the zoo setting). But the average cat owner
>> >hasn't a clue how to evaluate and design an indoor environment for the
>> >behavioral needs of a cat.
>> >I think we also need to examine the issue of the prey that cats are
>> >hunting and why humans domesticated cats in the first place. In the
>> >late 1990s, I lived for two years in Japan and got an English
>> >language newspaper. There I was reading about the serious crop
>> >failure that was occurring in Vietnam, which was so severe that it
>> >was feared it would cause widespread famine. The situation all came
>> >back, it turns out, to cats. What happened was the
>> >economy improved over the border in China, causing a proliferation
>> >of specialty "Little Tiger Restaurants" in the border cities
>> >surrounding Vietnam and in Saigon. As the name implies, these
>> >restaurants served up cooked domestic cat, which was considered a
>> >delicacy. This caused an economic draw for getting cats to supply
>> >the restaurants, and a number of people started poaching the cats
>> >from farm villages in Vietnam. As the cats
>> >disappeared, the rat population exploded, moving out into the farms
>> >fields and consuming all the staple crops. I don't remember the
>> >exact numbers, but it was billions of tons of human food being
>> >lost. I remember reading one story about a man who used a car
>> >battery to electrify his rice paddy every night to kill thousands of
>> >rats--woe to anyone else who accidentally stumbled off the path. At
>> >the time I left Japan and was no longer getting newspapers that ran
>> >the story, the government had closed down all the Little Tiger
>> >restaurants and were actively campaigning to the farmers to protect
>> >their cats as a way of protecting their fields and food supply.
>> >The reason why humans, in this case the ancient Egyptians,
>> >domesticated cats to begin with was because of their hunting
>> >prowess and their ability to protect our food supply from rodents
>> >and pest species of small birds. The domestication of the dog occurred
>> >humans were still primarily hunter-gatherers. Domestication of cats
>> >followed the domestication of grains and plant agriculture and
>> >storage and cats proved their value as small, effective predators
>> >that could live on the edges of human civilization. Cats then
>> >followed humanity everywhere we went, were of value to us because of
>> >their hunting prowess. They accompanied humans on sailing ships,
>> >keeping our stores of food safe from rodents. Wherever there is
>> >human agriculture, there cats have proved their value. I think that
>> >the current anti-cat movement fails to recognize the historical
>> >perspective and fails to recognize that the value we humans derive
>> >from cats' hunting skills continues today. We in our comfortable
>> >domesticity haven't experienced the horseman of the Apocalypse that
>> >was Pestilence. But what if those millions of wildlife (mainly
>> >rodents) killed now by outdoor and feral cats were instead allowed
>> >to live and, as rodent populations are able to do, explosively
>> >reproduce? We are still creating and maintaining the habitats in
>> >which rodents will flourish. After all, if the feral cats didn't
>> >have those rodents to hunt, there would not be a feral cat
>> >population to begin with...the few people feeding these populations
>> >are not maintaining them--the rodent population living in the
>> >habitats we people have created is what is maintaining the feral cat
>> >Cats have gone, hand in paw, along with human agriculture for
>> >thousands of years, which is why many farmers tolerate, even
>> >encourage, semi-feral populations of barn cats.
>> >I choose to have several outdoor cats in my barn because I prefer
>> >that to trapping and poisoning rodents. A decade ago we had a woman
>> >killed by Hantavirus in my community, so I know that this is in my
>> >resident deer mouse population. Trapping rodents puts me at
>> >increased risk and poisoning them puts raptors at risk. Leaving
>> >them to reproduce and run amok in my barn and pastures is not a good
>> >sustainable agricultural practice. There are snakes in my pastures,
>> >but being cold blooded, they aren't much help in the winter and
>> >don't consume prey species as much as a warm blooded species with
>> >higher energy demands. I have, on occasions had skunks also living
>> >in the barn, also eating the rodent population. But I prefer the
>> >cats to the skunks because the skunks kill my laying hens and the
>> >cats do not. My cats do kill the occasional bird--but in keeping
>> >with the adage that common things happen commonly, the birds killed
>> >are generally species that are in overabundance like starlings. I
>> >*don't* put out a bird feeder, which I think may be a
>> >detriment to wild bird populations by creating static, abnormally
>> >concentrated wild bird feeding locations that brings birds into
>> >close proximity and puts them at a higher risk of social stress,
>> >disease transmission and predatory risk (from more than just
>> >cats). (I wonder how many of the people who damn the cats also
>> >create these abnormal feeding stations without questioning whether
>> >they are potentially creating risk for the bird populations)?
>> >Most of the prey that are killed by cats are not any more "wild"
>> >than the cats themselves. They are species of animals who have
>> >either invaded into new territories because of their ability to
>> >exploit the niches we create (like the Norway rat), were
>> >deliberately introduced (like the starling, which is no more native
>> >than the cats) or are native populations that are living at higher
>> >densities because of the habitat we have created (like the deer mouse).
>> >Rare populations are also impacted by the hunting skills of the
>> >cats, but not to the degree that these potentially damaging pest
>> >species are impacted. I think we need to find another way to protect
>> >the rare species from all the things that are challenging them (like
>> >habitat destruction, competition from pest species, loss of nesting
>> >habitat, pollution and pesticides) and leave the cats doing what the
>> >cats have been doing the last 5 centuries....using their spectacular
>> >hunting prowess to protect our food supply. And for those of us who
>> >also make our living from agriculture, we need to recognize that the
>> >health of the outdoor cat population is related to the health and
>> >sustainability of agriculture and extend our hand at keeping them
>> >healthy and able to do their jobs (an example would be on-farm
>> >vaccination and worming when we are there seeing to the
>> >ruminants). Part of our jobs when we go on a farm, could be to see
>> >what the farmer needs to keep his outdoor cat population stable and
>> >healthy. As the Toxo case pointed out, a rapidly turning over
>> >population with a lot of kittens and influx of new cats is not as
>> >beneficial as a stable population. We could teach farmers how to
>> >better care for their barn cats. That is a niche we could explore.
>> >I think that those of us in agriculture need to appreciate what cats
>> >do for agriculture and add our perspective to the outdoor cat debate.
>> >I also don't think you can always buy the argument that outdoor cats
>> >necessarily live short, miserable lives. They do certainly have
>> >more challenges to their safety, like coyotes and cars. But I have
>> >a 20 year old retired barn cat who started living in my house a
>> >while back, after having been born and raised and spending over a
>> >decade as my primary barn cat. She is mearowing to be fed, so I'd
>> >better stop writing now.......
>> >Again I apologize for the length of this post. It is a topic about
>> >which I have given a lot of thought and I don't see this perspective
>> >addressed much in the debates about this.
>> >Janice Willard, DVM, MS
>> >Moscow, ID
>> >>Well said; you make some good points, and I'm sure we all value
>> >>I have no doubt that in certain situations, especially where habitat
>> >>has already threatened certain populations, cats may have an impact. It
>> >>behooves us all to try to minimze our ecologic footprint and manage our
>> >>own habitat responsibly. We do see plenty of what our cats kill and
>> >>home (or barf up), and birds are a very small part. The cats do a lot
>> >>keep mice, squirrels and chipmunks out of the houses as well as the
>> >>I stand corrected on the issue of older cats potentially shedding toxo,
>> >>well, but still a resident adult population is likely to be healthier
>> >>a transient one.
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