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Consumer Q's: Tripartite pecans, Turk's turban squash and Christmas tree growers
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Tripartite pecans are unusual but not uncommon. - photo by ARTY SCHRONCE/special

    Question: I cracked a pecan that had three sections inside the shell instead of the normal two. Is this unusual?
    Answer: It is unusual but not uncommon to find a pecan whose interior is divided into thirds instead of halves. This is not a desirable trait for commercial pecan growers and shellers due the nutmeats being smaller and because these non-standard tripartite nuts are more likely to be broken during the mechanized shelling process.

    Q: Is Turk’s turban squash edible?
    A: Most people consider Turk’s turban (also known as Turk’s cap or French turban) squash as a fall and Thanksgiving decoration due to its dark orange, green and white color combination and unusual shape. However, it is edible and may be prepared and used the same way as pumpkins and butternut squash. Some suggestions are in custards, pies, cookies, muffins, spice bars, soups and risottos.

    Q: Where can I find a list of Georgia Christmas tree growers?
    A: Visit the website of the Georgia Christmas Tree Growers Association (www.gacta.com). The association may also be reached by calling (478) 919-TREE (478-919-8733). Subscribers to the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin will find a list of growers organized by county in the Nov. 25 issue. Also check out the Georgia Grown website (www.georgiagrown.com/index.php) for Christmas tree growers and retailers and for gifts grown or produced in Georgia.

    Q: I want to raise canaries to sell. Am I required to have a license?
    A: In order to help prevent the outbreak and spread of avian diseases, as well as to insure humane care, bird breeders and dealers are required to be licensed and inspected. Please contact our Animal Protection Section at (404) 656-4914.

    Q: Is it safe to cook a turkey overnight at a low temperature?
    A: It is not safe to cook any meat or poultry in an oven set lower than 325 degrees F. At lower temperatures, meat remains in what food scientists refer to as the "danger zone." The danger zone is the temperature range between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F in which bacteria can grow rapidly.

    If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, write Arty Schronce (arty.schronce@agr.georgia.gov) or visit the department’s website at www.agr.georgia.gov.

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