News From 2010
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi’s horticulture hard, but the current economic conditions could be even more devastating to this important green industry.
Mengmeng Gu, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said nurseries and greenhouse businesses are experiencing different challenges.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Program received a $5,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund to support the 4-H cooperative business tour in 2011.
The annual 4-H Cooperative Business Leadership Conference is the reward given to senior level 4-H members who placed first in their state competitions at 4-H Congress. They are joined on this tour by the state awareness team members and the state 4-H Council officers.
OXFORD – Representatives from small communities will get the chance to learn how to attract tourists by promoting their towns’ unique history, culture and charm at the annual Alabama-Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 25-27.
The conference is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Tennessee Tombigbee Tourism Association and other community and economic development entities.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Local gardeners know fall has arrived when Mississippi State University’s horticulture club announces its annual fall plant sale.
This year’s sale will take place Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the campus greenhouses behind Dorman Hall. The event is free and open to the public. A wide variety of flowering plants will be available such as chrysanthemums and pansies, as well as ornamental display options including pumpkins and corn stalks.
A garden itself is a form of personal expression, so what better way to say something about yourself than with garden art?
When we think of a garden, we often think of flowering annuals and perennials, foundation shrubs like hollies and Indian hawthorns, and small ornamental trees. But add a sculpture or homemade piece of art, and you start to bridge the gap between the gardener and the garden.
By Katelyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi 4-H youth are teaming up with other groups to protect the state’s water resources through the Adopt-A-Stream Mississippi program.
Laura Giaccaglia, Bolivar County Extension director and 4-H agent, said local 4-H’ers and volunteers have been inspired to protect the water supply in their own counties.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
BILOXI – Vera Ramsey’s yard in the St. Martin community was full of amaryllis, daylilies and azaleas, but she was most known for her chaste tree full of beautiful lilac blooms.
“For years, she had the only known chaste tree on that side of the Bay,” said Ramsey’s granddaughter, Lori Ramsey Massey of Latimer. “So many people would stop and admire what they called the ‘lilac tree.’ They’d always ask for a cutting.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – 2010 is shaping up to be a sweet year for Mississippi sweet potato growers, a total change from the rains that destroyed 75 percent of last year’s crop at harvest.
Benny Graves, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry, summed the year up by saying the Vardaman sweet potatoes are back.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – In many rural counties, gaining access to statistical data about local demographics, education and economics is difficult.
Communities need this data to make decisions, recruit employers, and prepare for the future, said Bo Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University. In response to this need for centralized information, the center has updated its Community Data Center, a resource that collects, manages, and presents statistical data organized by county.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Visitors to the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville on Oct. 7 will have the chance to spend the day focusing on ornamental horticulture.
The 37th Annual Ornamental Horticulture Field Day will offer tours of the trial gardens at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station branch. There will also be research updates from Mississippi State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service researchers.
After reading about ornamental vegetables several years ago, I became interested in expanding the selection of ornamental bedding plants in my landscape. Then I saw a planting of ornamental peppers.
I am a true “chili head” with a passion for hot peppers, and I have even made an apple and habanero wine. I have grown jalapeño, habanero and the like as bedding plants, as many of the extremely hot peppers produce very colorful fruit.
By Justin Ammon
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
MISSISSIPPI STATE — Sharon Hodge is not a social scientist, but as a Gulfport resident who stayed for two of the nation’s deadliest hurricanes -- Camille (1969) and Katrina (2005) -- she understands the type of person who chooses to tackle these mega storms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The number of non-Mississippians applying to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has more than doubled in three years as the total number of applications continues to grow, defying a national trend.
Dr. Rich Meiring is a professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine and director of admissions for the college.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
STONEVILLE – Early planting and higher-than-average temperatures have led to Mississippi’s earliest rice crop harvest to date.
Optimal planting for rice is before May 1, and favorable conditions allowed most of the state’s crop to make it in by that date. Then, hot summer temperatures accelerated the crop’s maturation process, allowing more than half of Mississippi’s rice to be harvested by early September.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Gardeners across the region should clear their calendars for Oct. 15-16 so they can participate in the Fall Flower and Garden Fest, the largest home gardening show in the Southeast.
Mississippi State University, through the Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is sponsoring the annual event at the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and admission and parking are free.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Launching a business can be challenging and overwhelming, but a recently updated Cooperative Extension Service publication can help provide entrepreneurs with keys to success.
Cashing in on Business Opportunities is a comprehensive educational curriculum designed to help aspiring and existing home-based business and microbusiness owners address challenges.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Anyone who wants to learn about historic gardens of the South should plan to attend Mississippi State University’s 55th annual Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium on Oct. 20.
The MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc., sponsor the event each fall to teach participants about landscape architecture and gardening. This year’s theme is the gardens and historic plants of the Antebellum South.
It may be early September, but now is a good time to start thinking about growing fresh herbs to harvest during the winter months.
Fresh herbs are relatively easy to grow in containers. In addition to offering a feast for the palate, herbs can offer a feast for the eyes. Many of the basic herb species are available in variegated or multicolored foliage. The multicolored ones work well in recipes, but they also make flavorful garnishes.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University research project to convert trail camera photographs into management tools has led to new software that could improve the deer population “picture.”
Wildlife biologists take age and antler measurements from harvested deer because the physical collection of data is relatively easy. Until recently, harvested deer were the only source of such data, so it provided no information on the remaining deer.
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