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Farm Blog Posts

A wooden stake is wrapped with white string to support the adjacent tomato plant. A man stands behind the stake and points to the string.

August 6, 2019

If you planted fall tomatoes, soon you’ll need to install a support system to keep the branches and fruit off the ground. There are three different systems for supporting tomatoes: staking, trellising, and caging.

A man holds pruning loppers as he stands next to a tall blueberry bush.

July 16, 2019

Pruning is a task I put off, and my blueberry bushes serve as a testament to this fact. Mainly, I am unsure how to do it correctly most of the time and don’t want to kill my plants.

A farmers market vendor holds a bag for a customer shopping for fresh salad greens.

May 13, 2019

Visiting the local farmers market is one of my favorite summertime activities. I love getting to visit with vendors, sample homemade goods, and buy locally grown produce. My favorite items to buy are peaches, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. My local farmers market has a flower stand, so I always leave with a bouquet!

Black and white Hostein cows and light brown Jersey cows graze on green grass.

October 19, 2018

On a rainy day in early autumn, hundreds of people packed into the Mississippi State University Joe Bearden Dairy Center to learn where their milk, butter, yogurt, and ice cream come from. (File Photo by Kat Lawrence)

Three young people drive ATVs on a marked course in a field during a safety training.

September 18, 2018

Abbye Buchanan, of Florence, is the 2018 winner of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV Safety PSA Contest. Buchanan is 11 years old and has been a member of 4-H for 3 years. (File photo/MSU Extension Service)

Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.

September 7, 2018

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A pepper plant is shown in the garden.

August 14, 2018

Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

A close-up of a fire ant mound.

August 10, 2018

Fire ants are everywhere. If you’ve thrown your hands up in exasperation trying to deal with them, don’t give up just yet. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

A logo that represents the Mississippi Crop Situation Podcast. The logo contains graphics that represent a tractor, the sun and a plant.

May 22, 2018

We’re excited to announce MSU Extension has recently launched the Mississippi Crop Situation Podcast!

Four separate cucurbit crops grown in a field.

April 3, 2018

MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!

Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.

March 30, 2018

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

More than 20 newly hatched chickens covered in yellow down bask under warming lamps in a large black tub.

March 27, 2018

Some people can’t resist the latest spring fashions. Others plant flowers in profusion.
Then there are those, like me, who are highly susceptible to the cheerful chirping of newly hatched chicks. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)

A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.

March 20, 2018

Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

A woman with a dog in front of chocolates, which can make dogs sick.

February 20, 2018

It’s National Love Your Pet Day, so give those four-legged family members extra special treatment. More noggin’ pats and extra-long walks are in order. But be careful with the treats. Some human foods can be harmful to pets. For dogs, that includes chocolate. (Photo/video credit: MSU Extension/ Brian Utley)

A group of ripening tomatoes are shown in a close-up.

January 27, 2018

Bone-chilling temps have you stuck inside dreaming of that first home-grown tomato sandwich? Well, this is a great time to prepare for a healthy crop. (Photo by Alan Henn)

:Black, white, and red logo showing a stylized wild hog with a red circle and a diagonal line across. Text reads Hold Our Ground Operation H.O.G.

January 26, 2018

Got wild hogs? You need a trap. Winter is the best time to use this management tool.

A mixture of rice, apples, raisins and almonds is displayed in a colorful bowl.

December 13, 2017

Looking for something a little different for your holiday menu this year?

Consider adding Orange Wild Rice with Raisins and Apples to your lineup. Apples, raisins and orange juice add some sweetness to the savory rice, and the almonds give it a bit of added texture. Leaving out the parsley will allow more of the fruity notes to come through.

The FARMtastic logo depicts a red barn with a brown wooden fence and features a tan horse, a white and brown cow, a pink pig with gray spots, a corn plant on the left of the fence and a wheat plant on the right.

December 8, 2017

Looking in from the outside, FARMtastic appears to function like a well-oiled machine. Delighted children move in a choreographed dance from station to station to learn where their food, fiber and fuel comes from.

 

A cotton baler drops a yellow-wrapped, round cotton bale in a cotton field.

October 20, 2017

On one of my first visits to Mississippi, I bought a postcard featuring the iconic “Ski Mississippi” image of someone decked out in winter wear in the middle of a field of white that was obviously not snow.

US Rice Infographic showing 10 reasons to eat rice grown in the USA

September 5, 2017

If you love buying locally grown foods, you have multiple options for supporting Mississippi rice growers!

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu