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November 15, 2019

Roasted Brussels sprouts on a serving dish.

Eating seasonal vegetables helps you get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Brussels sprouts are wildly popular right now and are easy to prepare. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/MSU Extension)


Ripe muscadines on a vine with green foliage.

Quick Tips for Starting to Grow Muscadines

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...

Multiple sweet potatoes in a box.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams: What’s the Difference?

November 8, 2019

Sweet potatoes and yams. They’re the same thing, right?

Not really. They look and taste different. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are sweeter with a smooth, thin skin. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Eric Stafne kneels beside a newly planted blueberry bush.

How to Plant Blueberry Bushes

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 group of yellow and red pansies bunched together.

What to Do in Your Garden in November

November 1, 2019

If you’re anything like me, the last few months of the year are always the busiest. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between, I feel like I’m running all over the place. With colder temps here, the to-do list for your garden and landscape is shrinking. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, be sure take some time to get things prepared for winter and spring! (Photo by MSU Extension)

Colorful flowers planted in a white pot.

Container Gardening for Cold Weather

October 29, 2019

Container gardening is a quick and easy way to spruce up your front porch during the fall and winter months! My favorite cold weather plant is the pansy. They’re easy to take care of and they bring the perfect amount of color to any landscape. They also act as the perfect spiller plant for a ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ styled container. (Photo by Michaela Parker)

A woman holds a smoothie while standing in a kitchen.

The Food Factor: Peanut Power Smoothie

October 25, 2019

When you need a boost of protein before you dash out the door, try this quick smoothie. You can experiment with different fruits, add ice if you prefer a frozen drink, and swap out peanut butter for an alternative like sunflower seed butter if you have allergies.

A display of healthy treats for Halloween.

Tips for a Happy, Healthy Halloween

October 21, 2019

Trying to eat healthy during the Halloween season can be frightening and a little challenging. Here are a few tips to get your broomstick flying in the right direction.

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How to Store Caladiums

October 17, 2019

If you have caladiums in your landscape and want to be sure they come back next year, you’ll need to dig them up just before the first frost. Mississippi’s winters are too cold for the plants to survive in the ground.

Ripe muscadines on the vine.

How to Pick the Right Muscadine Variety to Grow

October 15, 2019

If you want to grow muscadines at your home, choosing the right variety can be intimidating. With so many varieties to pick from, how do you know you’re picking the right one?

 Green lettuce and cooked chicken wrapped in a wheat tortilla.

The Food Factor: Sunshine Roll-ups

October 11, 2019

Fans of The Food Factor know I love rotisserie chicken. I’ve added this quick recipe to my repertoire for using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. You could also use canned chicken breast or even sliced chicken or turkey from the deli.

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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