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Farm Blog Posts

Two black chickens in a garden.

July 19, 2024

Scratch, peck, dirt bath. Repeat.

If you know what this phrase refers to, you probably own backyard chickens. 

Honey in a jar.

June 14, 2024

There is nothing like the taste of a sweet spoon of honey. The versatility of honey makes it a very useful item to have around the kitchen, and for that reason, raising honeybees and selling the honey has become increasingly popular.

A cucumber leaf with disease lesions rests on a hand.

April 25, 2024

Did you know the Mississippi State University Extension Service has a laboratory that is designated to diagnose plant diseases and nematodes? Yes, it does! Learn how the Mississippi State University Extension Service Plant Diagnostic Laboratory and its scientists protect the crops that provide our food and fiber along with other home and garden crops.

A group of seven rabbits from different breeds.

March 27, 2024

Rabbits are a quintessential symbol of spring, representing fertility, rebirth, and resurrection since ancient times. But did you know that these small animals have recently been added to the Mississippi 4-H livestock show list?

Combine driving on the road.

September 15, 2023

It’s harvest season, and you’re likely to see large farm equipment on the roads, whether that be bright green combines, red tractors, or anything in between.

Tomatoes on a vine.

May 24, 2023

There’s nothing as divine as a homegrown tomato. I’m a sucker for a tomato sandwich or a BLT during summer.

Two lambs stand along side a sheep in a pasture as the sun rises in the distance.

April 6, 2023

Some people use lamb and sheep interchangeably to identify the animal, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. So, what’s the difference between them? Yes, lambs are baby sheep -- that’s the main distinction. But here are some other differences between the two:

Canned goods at a farmers market.

March 24, 2023

Have you considered becoming a vendor at your local farmers market? It’s important to do some research, check regulations, and make a plan before you begin a business or begin selling your products at one.

These tips can help you create a plan for selling at farmers markets and other similar venues.

Closeup of an armyworm

August 10, 2022

If you’re a homeowner who loves your bermudagrass lawn, be on the lookout for fall armyworms. These caterpillars can eat voraciously, devouring yards within just a day or two. These pests show up every year from late summer to early fall, and you never know exactly when or how many there will be.

Woman in blue lab coat holding up paper.

August 5, 2022

Having healthy soil in your garden results in healthy plants. Whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers, grass, trees, shrubs, or anything in between, a soil sample is the first thing to check off the list. Gathering a soil sample from your landscape and having it tested by MSU Extension’s Soil Testing Lab should be the initial step in any gardening adventure. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do!

Stinkbug.

July 16, 2021

If you have a home garden, you know the headache of dealing with garden pests. Insects can damage the produce, both directly and indirectly. There are a multitude of different insects that can wreak havoc on your vegetables. We asked MSU Extension Entomology Specialist Blake Layton what are the five most common insects he sees in gardens. Here’s his list: 

Tomatoes growing on a vine.

June 10, 2021

There’s nothing more satisfying than homegrown tomatoes. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to grow delicious tomatoes in your backyard. Here are a few tips that will help you grow the best looking (and tasting) tomatoes out there:

A group of blueberries.

February 7, 2020

The invasive species of fruit fly, Spotted Wing Drosophila, can wreak havoc on the state’s largest commercial fruit crop – blueberries. But homeowners likely won’t find it to be a significant problem.

Ripe muscadines on a vine with green foliage.

November 12, 2019

Video by Michaela Parker

Muscadines are a great fruit to grow at your home, especially here in Mississippi. They thrive in warm, humid weather, making them the perfect fruit to grow in your backyard! If you have been thinking about setting up a muscadine vineyard, here are a few tips to get you started.

The first thing you are going to have to do is build a trellis system for the muscadine vines to grow on. A trellis is a single horizontal wire attached five and a half feet above the ground that is attached to posts about 20 feet apart. It’s very...

Eric Stafne kneels beside a newly planted blueberry bush.

November 5, 2019

Blueberries aren’t just delicious. They’re high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, which is part of the reason they have gained popularity in our kitchens. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/MSU Extension)

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)

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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

Recent Posts

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A woman at a farmers market
You can find fresh, in-season produce at the local farmers market. These venues are a great place to meet local growers, interact with others in your community, and support the local economy.
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