From the Field Blog Posts

Several varieties of lettuces grow in a raised bed.
November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Food, Vegetable Gardens

I have a confession to make: I have garden envy.

This week I took a walk and stumbled upon this delicious looking plant.

Close-up photos showing a side-by-side comparison of a red ladybug with black spots on a green leaf and an orange Asian lady beetle on a green leaf. (Photos by Canstock and MSU Extension Service)
November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects

If you live in a wooded area, it’s likely you’ve already noticed: THEY’RE BAAA-AACK!

Every autumn Asian lady beetles start seeking shelter, and, given the lack of convenient caves around, wind up trying to overwinter in Mississippi homes.

A group of people stand beside a magnolia tree outside preparing to plant it as a way to honor Mississippi's bicentennial.
November 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Master Gardener

Did you know 2017 is the year Mississippi celebrates its bicentennial? That’s right—The state is 200 years old! You only turn 200 once, so MSU Extension wanted to do something to celebrate!
 
Since the state tree is a magnolia, we thought it would be great to encourage our Master Gardener clubs to plant one in their communities as a way to honor the bicentennial.

Two women stand while holding award plaques at the Mississippi Forestry Association annual meeting.
October 26, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Forestry, Natural Resources, Forestry

We are excited to shine a spotlight on the Mississippi Forestry Association! They just concluded their annual meeting in Biloxi. Hurricane Nate almost interrupted, but the event was pulled off without a hitch!

A cotton baler drops a yellow-wrapped, round cotton bale in a cotton field.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Cotton

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.

A young girl stands beside a cow at the Mississippi State Fair.
October 12, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

You see the Ferris wheel lit up, you smell the funnel cakes and you hear barn animal sounds….That’s right! It’s the Mississippi State Fair! Many 4-H’ers from across the state travel to Jackson for a chance to compete in the show ring. We wanted to share some of our favorite pictures from this past weekend!

Two women who attended the Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon pictured with speaker Molly May.
October 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health

When October comes around, you not only see the usual fall decorations but also the color pink! From athletes to electrical power linemen, people don the color pink to raise awareness of breast cancer—a disease that is diagnosed in one out of eight women.

Two men hold a hammerhead shark while conducting research aboard a boat.
September 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries

Our Extension photographer Kevin Hudson went out to sea to snag some great photos of the Master Naturalist training last weekend. We wanted to share a couple with you! On hand was our new Extension marine fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon. 

Seven women smile as they hold beaded windchimes.
September 22, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Community

We like to think of local Extension offices as community hubs! These are places where you know you can learn from respected experts in a comfortable atmosphere. County Extension offices are also places where you can flex your creative muscle and get crafty! Extension agents across the state offer chances for you to make something fun with your own two hands. Most likely, you will leave with a new handmade project and new friends!
 

Host Natasha Haynes stands in front of a green screen filming a scene for The Food Factor.
September 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Food

Every month “The Food Factor” crew assembles to film the next month’s episodes. This week we were in Clinton to talk about rice, a Mediterranean twist on macaroni and cheese, and our plans to add new, fun flavors to our family favorites.

Our host, Extension agent Natasha Haynes, makes it look easy, but she memorizes all of her lines – no teleprompter here! She’s also a good sport, because you never know what kind of crazy ideas the videographers will generate.

A bin of sweet potatoes sitting in a field harvested from Edmonson Farm in Vardaman, MS
September 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Food and Health, Food, Health

Sweet potatoes have been gaining in popularity over the last several decades. No longer are they reserved just for the holiday table, but you can enjoy them year-round as side dishes, desserts, soups and more. Even fast food restaurants have started including sweet potatoes in their menus!

And for good reason. Not only are sweet potatoes tasty, but they are good for you!

Rows of corn in a field.
September 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn

All sorts of crops are being harvested this time of year! This past week on social media, we saw a lot of pictures and video of the corn harvest in particular. Why is corn so important to Mississippi? One word: Ka-ching! In 2016, the state’s corn had a $436 million value of production. 

In fact, corn is one of the most versatile crops. It can be used in food products, animal feed, industrial products and more! 

Six Master Gardeners pose in a rose garden after weeding it
August 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

We've all been there. All of a sudden one of the plants in your landscape starts to die for no apparent reason. Or maybe a worm appears out of nowhere on a quest to eat all foliage in sight. Maybe you want to try your hand growing a garden but don't know where to start. Wouldn't it be great if there was a superhero gardening team that could swoop in and answer all of your questions? Well, there is! Extension's Master Gardener program is full of volunteers who are equipped with horticultural information based on university research and recommendations. 

goat playfully stands on little boys back as other members of the herd surround them
August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Goats and Sheep

Many people dream of having a hobby farm or homestead with a few animals, and goats, lambs and sheep are some of the most popular to start with because they are smaller and easier to handle than cattle. Plus, you need less space! But all animals need proper care, no matter their size.

man standing in a motorboat using a large fishing net to catch catfish against an orange sunrise
August 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Catfish

We hear all the time that people don’t know where their food comes from. In our work, we often get a front-row seat for the entire scope of food production, from planting to harvest.

Our photographer, Kevin Hudson, travels the state capturing images of people involved in agriculture, natural resources, and more. He shared a few recent photos from a shoot in Noxubee County where he documented the catfish harvesting process.

 

 

 

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