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August 7, 2020

Graphic with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

It’s hot! And the heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Learn to recognize the signs that tell you your body is overheating.


Three plates with tortillas, fish, and a completed grilled fish taco with peach salsa on a picnic table.

The Food Factor: Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa

August 4, 2020

Fans of The Food Factor know I like spicy food, and these tacos bring the heat! What I love about this recipe is how the peach salsa has both sweet and spicy elements that enhance the flavor of the fish.

While the original recipe recommends tilapia, you can substitute Mississippi farm-raised catfish and support your local farmers!

A cluster of bright pink roses.

Gardening Tasks for August

July 31, 2020

Whew. It’s hot outside! Just a trip to the mailbox makes me break into a sweat. As you’re outside working in your lawn and garden, remember to stay hydrated and come inside if you start feeling overheated Here are four tasks to complete in your yard for the month of August: 

Graphic showing kids wearing masks with tips for parents.

How to Help Children Stay Healthy at School Amid COVID-19

July 28, 2020

If your children are headed back to the classroom, they may be required to wear a mask. We have some tips to help you and your children get ready for this new rule.

An orange butterfly on a yellow flower.

Seven Native Plants for Pollinators

July 24, 2020

What are pollinators and why are they important? Bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, and other mammals play a vital role in our environment. These creatures help move pollen from one flower to another, which helps fertilize plants so they can reproduce.

Cubed watermelon with spices and fresh mint.

The Food Factor: Fire & Ice Watermelon Salad

July 21, 2020

Every once in a while, I get the urge to try a recipe that is totally different from anything I’ve ever tasted. Fire & Ice Watermelon Salad uses sweet, cubed watermelon, but adds savory flavors and fresh mint for a unique and refreshing salad.

An emerald ash borer sits on a green leaf.

How to Protect Your Trees from Emerald Ash Borers

July 17, 2020

Do you have ash trees or white fringe trees in your home landscape? If you do and you love them, you should be on the lookout for the emerald ash borer.

A wooden spoon is used to stir mint leaves in a pitcher of lemonad.

The Food Factor: Mint Lemonade

July 14, 2020

Hot summer weather is here, and this mint lemonade is just the thing for cooling off! If you’re not already growing your own mint, I recommend trying it. Be sure to plant mint in a pot, because it thrives in Mississippi and will spread like wildfire if you put it in the ground!

A bright green moss pathway with large pavers.

How to Create a Moss Pathway

July 10, 2020

A moss pathway is an easy way to add a special touch of elegance, enchantment, and royalty to your landscape. A pathway covered with bright green moss seems like something a king or queen would have in their landscape, right? 

A woman sits in a chair outside.

How to Build Your Body’s Natural Defenses with Food

July 7, 2020

Video by Jonathan Parrish

There’s no better time than now to use food to build your body’s natural defenses to boost and help protect your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body fight illness.

Merriam-Webster defines nutrition as the act or process of nourishing or being nourished. Nourishment focuses on using many nutrients from a variety of foods to give you what you need to be healthy.

So, make sure your kitchen is stocked with an assortment of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, dairy, eggs, and plant-based proteins, such...

A family eats at a picnic table in the park.

How to Keep Food Safe in a Cooler

July 3, 2020

During your outdoor outings, you'll want to take some steps to ensure your food doesn't spoil in the cooler.

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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.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Keri Lewis, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. 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