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News Filed Under Local Flavor

August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Flavor

CHOCTAW, Miss. -- Agricultural professionals and educators can learn how to expand their marketing and sales skills at two workshops in September.

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will present “Expanding Marketing Opportunities: Marketing, Branding and Social Media” at the National Center for Appropriate Technology demonstration farm at the Piney Woods School Sept. 4 and at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation Sept. 5.

Light green lettuce, dark purple eggplant and cucumbers sit on black shelves.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Local Flavor

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.

Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Several people gather to buy produce on display at a farmers market.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Local Flavor

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched an Internet microsite that delivers information on each facet of the state’s local foods industry.

A watermelon with a dark green outer shell and light green stripes rests in a field.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Watermelons, Farmers Markets, Food

TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.

Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.

These early stage blueberries are green with a pink center.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Fruit, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

 Blueberry growers in Mississippi are having a successful season thanks to good harvesting conditions, crop quality and market prices.

Strawberries in various stages of ripening sit on top of black weed barrier matting.
April 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Fruit, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

MACON, Miss. -- Myron Unruh has no complaints about the quality of his farm’s strawberries. He just wishes more of them would grow.

“We picked some strawberries earlier this week, and they were gorgeous, but we’re getting less than half of what we should be getting,” said Unruh, who owns Lazy U Farms in Macon. “It’s pretty tough right now.”

Shoppers can be seen browsing in the background of a farmers market sign.
April 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Food System Economies, Farmers Markets, Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The value and healthfulness of farm-fresh foods will be on display May 22 for a group of 15 adults who attend a Mississippi State University Extension Service daylong tour.

January 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Flavor, City and County Government

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering a financial workshop to entrepreneurs and community leaders working with food or food-related initiatives.

A group of ripening tomatoes are shown in a close-up.
January 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Specialty Crop Production, Vegetable Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

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)

January 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Specialty Crop Production, Local Food System Economies, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

CARRIERE, Miss. -- The Small Farm Training Center will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Jan. 19 in Hancock County.

Farm operators Terry and Elicia Sheldon, along with student apprentices who live and work at the center, will show attendees their techniques for growing organic produce.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts, Specialty Crop Production

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A daylong Mississippi State University Extension Service workshop Jan. 18 will provide an in-depth look at horticulture and pest management with pecan orchards.

The Pecan Education Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. The $35 cost covers registration, lunch and handouts, and must be submitted by Jan. 11. Late registration is on a space-available basis.

December 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Farming, Agri-business, Specialty Crop Production

PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- The National Center for Appropriate Technology will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Dec. 15 in Piney Woods.

Representatives from the center's Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson will provide a hands-on bed preparation demonstration at its farm at The Piney Woods School. The demonstration will feature the use of small farm tools, including a rotary tiller, rotary plow, power harrow and flail mower. Attendees can also see bed preparation in a hoop house using a broadfork, lightweight tiller and seedbed rake.

August 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets, Greenhouse Tomatoes, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Produce growers, packers, industry suppliers and others can learn the requirements of the new federal Produce Safety Rule during one of three upcoming workshops around the state.

The extended family of Ruby D. Rankin, 1960-2017, gathered Monday to celebrate the dedication of the local farmers market in honor of her 33 years as a community leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
July 19, 2017 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Farmers Markets

DEKALB, Miss. -- For 33 years, Ruby D. Rankin was the face of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Kemper County, and her sudden death in early May surprised and saddened the local community.

More than 100 people gathered at a building dedication ceremony Monday in the Extension office in Kemper County to honor Rankin's life, service and impact on local individuals, various organizations and the entire community. The Kemper County Board of Supervisors honored Rankin's many accomplishments by naming the local farmers market in her honor.

Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Rankin County, advocates choosing one local ingredient to spotlight in a menu, such as this squash growing at the Southern Heritage Garden at the Vicksburg National Military Park on June 13, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
July 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets, Agri-tourism, Food, Nutrition

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Foods grown on Southern farms should end up on Southern tables, especially when those tables are in the state’s many historic bed-and-breakfasts.

That was the message Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel sent home with participants in a recent workshop.

“Nobody wants to go to a Southern B&B and not experience the food, so think about serving local foods,” said Brent Fountain, Extension nutrition specialist.

Yellow squash is among the fruits and vegetables available for purchase at the Starkville Farmers Market on May 2, 2017. Early spring temperatures allowed some truck crops producers to plant their fruit and vegetable crops a little early this year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.

Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.

"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."

April 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

WOODVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers market and cottage industry sales are a significant part of the Mississippi food scene, and Mississippi State University Extension Service training is helping entrepreneurs take advantage of these business opportunities.

The MSU Extension Service and Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion offers training on acidified canned foods and general food safety at locations across the state. An upcoming workshop will be held April 25 in Woodville, Mississippi, at the J.R. Hamilton Extension Building.

February 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Food Safety

BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.

Christa Lee, owner of LoveLee Rolls in Starkville, Mississippi, flours her work surface on Sept. 30, 2016, as she prepares to bake cinnamon rolls for her cottage food business. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Rural Development, Food, Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recipe for cinnamon rolls that she found in college turned into a profitable hobby business and now a cottage industry for Christa Lee and her husband, Tyson.

Their business, LoveLee Rolls, sells pans of baked cinnamon rolls at the Starkville farmers market all summer and by word of mouth the rest of the year.

“We started in July 2014. I was staying home with the baby, and we didn’t really need more money -- just thought it would be a fun hobby,” Christa Lee said. “On the way home from the beach one day, we said, let’s just do it.”

October 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.

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