Like many other home gardeners in Mississippi, I'm in the full swing of planting cool-season annual color. And like everyone else, I've been planting my favorites, which are Matrix pansies and Sorbet violas. You really can't go wrong with these easy-to-grow landscape plants.
But the last couple of years, I've been kicking the pansy planting up a notch, to borrow the catch phrase of a famous New Orleans chef. I've been using Cool Wave pansies more and more in some nontraditional settings.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As the days turn colder, many people can't wait to spend time on the water, and safety should be a top priority.
Loan officers and other agricultural business professionals from across the state came together for the fourth annual Agricultural Financial Professionals Workshop. Mississippi State University Extension Service hosted the workshop Nov. 10-11 at the MSU Bost Extension Center. Among the attendees were Chelsi Smith, left, Mississippi Land Bank capital markets representative, Senatobia office; Bryon Parmon, assistant Extension professor and workshop organizer; Jay Slater, Mississippi Land Bank loan officer, Starkville office; and Josh Fair, First South Farm Credit.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before they prepare for 2017, Mississippi producers will have a chance next month to catch up on recent row crop research being conducted across the Southeast.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to its annual Row Crop Short Course Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville. Registration is free until Nov. 28 and $40 on site.
SAUCIER, Miss. -- Larry Haley has no problem selling his Christmas trees each November.
In fact, he has to set a limit on how many he can spare and stop once he reaches that number to maintain a steady inventory. His target this year is about 300 choose-and-cut trees before Thanksgiving.
"A couple of years ago, I got in trouble because I sold too many in one season and almost depleted the next year's stock," he said. "Last year, we started holding fields back for a season so that doesn’t happen again."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The holiday season is a time to celebrate blessings and good health -- something many Americans do by eating more food than normal.
People who have or are at risk for diabetes must be more careful and health-conscious to maintain their health, and family chefs should keep their loved ones’ needs in mind when thinking about what dishes will be on the dinner table.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Decorated homes and busy kitchens mark the holiday season for many families, but this time of year also brings an increased number of safety hazards.
Decor and cooking fires increase during the holidays, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as millions of dollars in property damage. Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,070 home fires a year started by holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.
Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.
Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.
"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In recognition of outstanding public relations work, Mississippi State University staff members recently garnered high honors in a regional competition.
Even though outside temperatures are still quite balmy, we are moving into winter. Maybe this year we will actually have a winter. That makes now the perfect time to start planting dianthus.
In fact, the perfect time to plant dianthus is when you plant your pansies. Dianthus and pansies are wonderful fall and winter companion plants.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seventeen animals are available for purchase through the annual Mississippi State University horse auction Nov. 14-19.
The online auction is available for preview through Nov. 13. Prospective buyers can view photos, registration papers and descriptions of each horse at https://auction.msucares.com.
JACKSON, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its November field day in conjunction with the 2016 Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival.
The revival is set for Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Participants may also attend Jackson-area farm and garden tours on Nov. 19.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler weather brings a great time to get outside, set up a hammock and "just hang" between two trees.
When I am outdoors, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the wildlife and wild places in our state -- other than when I am hunting or fishing -- is to spend time in my hammock. Whether I relax in it while hiking or sleep in it while backpacking, lying in a hammock allows me to be comfortable while enjoying in the great outdoors.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite timely rains throughout the summer, late-season drought is pushing back pecan harvest for most Mississippi producers.
"We thought we were going to be early with our harvest this year when our nuts set early this spring," said Max Draughn, owner of Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond and president of the Mississippi Pecan Growers Association. "We had rains every week up until Labor Day. Then we had no rain. We went into slow motion when it got dry."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Second- through fourth-graders who attend an agricultural event at Mississippi State University Nov. 14-18 will be able to tell their parents about the sources of food, clothing and other common products.
The MSU Extension Service will conduct the fifth annual FARMtastic at the Mississippi Horse Park. Weekday activities begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.
BILOXI, Miss. -- When Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Kim Gowdy began teaching parenting skills classes to Hispanic immigrants, she had just one challenge: Gowdy does not speak Spanish.
"My audience for these classes is all Spanish-speaking women," said Gowdy, who is based in the Harrison County Extension office. "I have an interpreter who translates for me, and when I have presentations, she will make the slides in Spanish, and then translate what I say."
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A resource developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service shows shifts in county populations based on exemptions reported in 2014-2015 federal tax returns.
Developed by MSU Extension specialist Roberto Gallardo, the online map of Mississippi shows counties in green and red. Red represents counties where more people moved out than moved in, or a negative net migration. Counties in green had a positive net migration. Only 25 Mississippi counties had a positive net migration.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The choice to breastfeed babies does not remove fathers from nurturing duties that create strong bonds with their children.
Hannah Lambey, a dietetic intern with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a father can significantly impact the mother and baby just by doing a few simple things.
"Breastfeeding centers around the relationship between the mom and baby, sometimes leaving dad feeling left out," Lambey said. "Dads have many other bonding opportunities that are just as important for both the mother and child."