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February 23, 2021

A worker bee sips honey from a piece of honeycomb in a frame.

While it seemed like winter would never end last week, many parts of Mississippi are already experiencing spring-like temperatures. I can’t think about the return of spring without thinking about bees!

For several years, my husband and I kept several bee colonies after he took an MSU Extension beekeeping course. When people ask us how to get started beekeeping, it’s no surprise our first recommendation is always, “Talk to your local Extension agent!”


Several browned bone-in chicken thighs on top of halved baby potatoes and green beans on a foil-covered sheet pan.

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken

October 12, 2018

If you like one-pot meals but want a little more variety in your dinnertime favorites, sheet pan suppers are the way to go! If you line your pan with foil, you’ll spend less time at the stove top AND the kitchen sink. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Extension for Life header.

How to Choose and Care for Houseplants

October 9, 2018

If you struggle to keep houseplants healthy, you probably don’t have the right plant for your home or office.  (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A group of teenagers posing on a stage.

Join the 4-H Family

October 5, 2018

Ah yes, 4-H. We talk about it quite a lot in Extension. You’ve probably seen the green clover on our website and around your community. You might even know some 4-H’ers who talk about how much they love being a member. But what exactly is it? (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

MSU Extension agent Sandy Havard wears a maroon shirt and holds an Extension soil sample box.

How to Take a Soil Sample

October 2, 2018

If your lawn, landscape, or garden look a little sickly, it might be time for a soil health checkup. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A close-up of a large brown Russet potato on a green plate with a white rim inside a microwave oven.

How to Make Microwave Baked Potatoes

September 28, 2018

When the weather begins to cool down, I start thinking of wintery foods. But let’s face it: in Mississippi, it’s not going to be cold for a while! Instead of heating up the oven, you can save time by making a “baked” potato in the microwave! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

A single hummingbird stands out against a blurred background as it feeds on homemade nectar at a feeder.

Help Hummingbirds Prepare for Fall Migration

September 25, 2018

It’s September, and that means hummingbirds are preparing to migrate to warmer climates for the winter.

These tiny creatures need lots of energy to make this trip. You can help by providing feeders for them to visit as they pass your way. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

A brown bamboo bowl filled with fried rice made with brown rice, scrambled egg, and mixed vegetables including green beans, peas, carrots and corn.

The Food Factor | Fried Rice Makeover

September 21, 2018

Leftover rice – whether you’ve brought it home from a local restaurant or cooked it yourself – is the perfect foundation for a fun and easy weeknight supper: fried rice. But if you’re not careful, fried rice can be chock full of calories and sodium.

Here are some tips for making your fried rice healthier! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

Three young people drive ATVs on a marked course in a field during a safety training.

4-H Contest Raises ATV Safety Awareness

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)

A grouping of various kinds of cast-iron cookware sit on a kitchen counter.

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

September 14, 2018

Here in the South, a good cast iron skillet will never go out of style. Before using a new skillet, follow these steps to season it.
(Photo by Jonathan Parrish.)

A person holds a canister of dry powder pesticide and a measuring spoon of powder over a fire ant mound.

How to Treat Individual Fire Ant Mounds

September 11, 2018

Even if you preventatively treat your yard periodically through the year for fire ants, you’ll still see mounds pop up.

There are two ways to treat these mounds: liquid drenches and dry powders. (File photo by 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.

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