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News From 2011

The unusual colors and textures of low-maintenance ornamental kale take landscapes from safe to sensational during the winter months. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
November 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Pansies and viola bring vivid hues to many gardens during the winter months, but adding the engaging colors and textures of ornamental kale takes a landscape from safe to sensational.

November 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Holiday shopping used to be so simple, but today’s technology-related gift options are very tempting, complicated and in some cases, expensive.

Electronic book readers are extremely popular this year. Whether you are shopping for someone else or dropping hints about your personal desires, look into all the options before settling on one.

E-book readers come in many different forms, but the four most common are Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad and the Sony Reader.

November 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Long known for its cheeses, Mississippi State University now has a fully cooked, boneless ham available in time to reduce cooking stress and adorn holiday tables.

Made in Mississippi and packaged at a processing facility in Magee, the 5-pound V Ham is sold in the MAFES Sales Store, which is a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. The store is housed in the Herzer Food Science Building on the MSU campus and is best known for MSU-produced cheeses and ice cream.

November 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Stepfamilies face unique challenges during the holidays, but with a little effort and a lot of patience, families can create memories instead of mayhem.

Joe Wilmoth, an assistant professor in Mississippi State University’s School of Human Sciences, said people come into the holiday season with high hopes. These are compounded by the unrealistic expectations stepfamilies often have for their relationships.

Mississippi State University president Mark Keenum and his family have a pine and magnolia wreath and garland adorning their door this holiday season. The wreath was made by Wm. Puckett, Inc. and the garland is from the Fresh Garland Company. Both items are available for purchase at The University Florist. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Family

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Decorating for the holidays can provide an opportunity for Mississippians to get outdoors and be inspired by their own backyards.

Richard Harkess, plant and soil sciences professor with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said fresh greenery throughout the state can be used for decorating. Taking advantage of it saves money and can add a unique look to any home’s holiday décor.

November 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Community, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Local products have great appeal as holiday gifts because of their uniqueness, and finding new ideas and new sources has never been easier than with the online tool Mississippi MarketMaker.

MarketMaker is a free online service that exists to connect “willing markets and quality sources of food from farm and fisheries to fork in Mississippi.”

November 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A biomass and bioenergy short course for local government officials, businesses, landowners, foresters and loggers will be held on Dec. 8.

Experts from Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Technology Alliance will share information about creating biofuels, bioenergy ventures and the economics of biomass plantations.

November 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Taste panels seeking consumer opinions about pork products will be held Nov. 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Mississippi State University.

Graduate students in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will conduct the taste test on Italian pork sausage on Wednesday and pork burger on Thursday at the James E. Garrison Sensory Evaluation Laboratory in the Herzer Building.

Gnomes are the creatures of woodland legend representing the earth, and they make a fun addition to Mississippi gardens. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
November 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

We’ve all seen garden gnomes in other people’s yards -- the creatures of woodland legend that represent the spirit of the earth. Maybe it’s time you put one in your own garden.

Gnome is a derivation of the Greek word for “earth dweller.” Garden gnomes were first used in German gardens in the mid-1800s. Made out of terra cotta, they were painted and clothed like miners of the day, with outfits that included the cute little pointed hats.

November 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE – The art, history and music of the past will be celebrated at the ninth annual Piney Woods Festival at Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.

The Nov. 18-19 festival is an opportunity for attendees to have fun while learning about the early days of the Piney Woods region.

“The arboretum provides the perfect setting for learning about arts and heritage crafts,” said Patricia Drackett, the arboretum’s director. “We want to preserve those arts by providing an engaging and interactive event.”

November 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Beef, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Quality horses and beef cattle will be available for bidding at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s 29th annual production sale on Nov 17.

MAFES will market 34 lots of horses and 36 lots of cattle at the Mississippi Horse Park, located on Poorhouse Road south of Starkville. Interactive video bidding during the cattle sale will take place at the Mississippi State University Extension office in Hattiesburg and the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

November 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

As the holidays approach, many Mississippians find that using online coupons can help save money on gifts and food, even in local stores.

If children and grandchildren top your list, most major toy companies offer $5 to $10 coupons on select toys. Some companies, such as Hasbro and Fisher-Price, offer coupons that can be printed and taken to your local store. Others, such as Mattel, offer coupons that can be used only at their online store. When combined with in-store coupons or discounts, the savings can add up quickly.

November 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Before heading to the woods this fall, hunters should investigate the legal seasons, education and license requirements governing hunting in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks offers convenient, year-round opportunities to help sportsmen of all ages meet the hunter education requirement. The options are a full-day class, an on-line class with a face-to-face component, or a weeklong youth summer camp at Mississippi State University.

Be creative with landscape edges . These empty wine bottles have been pushed in the ground upside-down, where the green and clear glass colors add variety.
October 31, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

From railroad ties and landscape timbers to rolls of plastic and metal edging, nothing adds interest to the landscape quite like nice, crisp bed lines.

We have all seen and used many types of landscape edging materials. But why not be a little creative? To get you started, here are some ideas for landscape bed lines between walkways and flowerbeds.

Vintage dinner plates placed in the ground on their edge create a bright garden bed edge. Get some from your local thrift store or stop at yard sales and buy chipped and mismatched plates.

It takes four years to grow Mississippi Christmas trees to the popular 6 to 8 feet tall size. About 900 trees can be grown per acre, such as these growing in Chunky on the Lazy Acres Plantation. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Freshness is the key to quality Christmas trees, and with choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms scattered across the state, all Mississippians can get a great tree every year.

John Kushla, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said locally grown trees can look great for weeks when they are put in water immediately.

October 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

When your digital photos have been downloaded to the computer and edited, it is time to decide what to do with them. You can keep them on your computer where no one else will see them, or you can display them.

The easiest way to display digital images is on a digital photo frame. Digital photo frames are easy to use and will rotate through hundreds of photos in an automated slideshow. When you purchase a digital photo frame, there are several factors to consider, such as price and resolution.

October 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With the heat of the summer a memory and the chilly days of winter arriving soon, autumn is a perfect time to prepare homes with cost- and energy-saving strategies.

“Do your fall cleaning and home improvements while the weather is good,” said Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Clean the gutters, blow leaves off the roof and weatherize your home.”

October 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Rice, Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Bolivar County rice-farming family spent a week with television producers showing viewers what it takes to get a rice dish from the farm to the table.

October 25, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Best-selling garden book author Bobby J. Ward will be speaking at Mississippi State University on Nov. 4.

Ward will speak at Tully Auditorium in Thompson Hall on MSU’s campus in Starkville from 10 until 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Ward will present information about contemporary plant collectors around the world and the unique finds they have contributed to the horticulture trade.