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September 17, 2019

Three female teenagers wearing green blazers and khaki pants standing in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

“4-H has something for everyone.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard that phrase a time or two. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. There’s a wide variety of activities and clubs that ensure that everyone has a place in 4-H.


Yellow squash in a paper bowl sitting on a red and white checkered tablecloth.

Making the Most of In-Season Produce

June 4, 2019

When you visit your community farmers market, you know you're purchasing local produce in its peak season. Fruits and vegetables have more flavor and are typically less expensive when they’re in season. So, when you go to the farmers market, how do you make the most out of in-season produce? (Photo by Michaela Parker)

Tiny brown insects scattered across the underside of a green eggplant leaf.

Gardening: It’s a Risky Business

May 31, 2019

No matter how you slice it, gardening is a risky business.

We have no control over the weather, waves of pestilence, the threat of plant diseases. It’s a wonder we don’t all just chuck our gardening tools and say, “See you at the farmers market.”

Multiple clusters of blueberries in varying stages of ripeness adorn a branch covered with green leaves.

Mississippi Medallion Plants: Fruit & Vegetable Edition

May 28, 2019

If edibles are on your list for the landscape or garden this year, check out the list of Mississippi Medallion winners. They are proven performers when it comes to our Mississippi climate.

Our horticulture experts help select several plants, including fruits and vegetables, each year that make the cut. 

An African-American child wearing a blue helmet and neon yellow shirt extends his left hand to demonstrate a hand signal while riding a bicycle.

Bike Safety Tips

May 24, 2019

Warmer weather and summer vacation means many kids are pulling out their bikes and hitting the roads.  It’s a fun pastime and a great way to exercise!

Here are three tips to keep in mind to help avoid injuries and accidents while cycling:

Two red and orange marigolds in focus with several yellow, red and orange marigolds out of focus in the background.

What To Do in Your Garden in June

May 21, 2019

I love riding around town looking at everyone’s front yard landscapes. I know how much work goes into making it look top-notch! A lot has been done, but there’s plenty more to do in your yard and garden.

A 10-month-old baby eats homemade baby food.

Homemade Baby Food

May 17, 2019

Making your own baby food can be a great way to save money and capture fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor. This means top nutrition and exciting new food experiences for your baby. (Besides, you know some of those baby food flavor combinations gross you out. When you make your own, you have full control!)

A farmers market vendor holds a bag for a customer shopping for fresh salad greens.

Farmers Market Tips

May 13, 2019

Visiting the local farmers market is one of my favorite summertime activities. I love getting to visit with vendors, sample homemade goods, and buy locally grown produce. My favorite items to buy are peaches, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. My local farmers market has a flower stand, so I always leave with a bouquet!

Caramelized onions in a black cast iron skillet.

How to Caramelize Onions

May 10, 2019

Loads of recipes call for caramelized onions, but have you ever made them?

The good news is they add a lot of flavor to soups and meat dishes. (Liver and onions always go together for a reason!)

Several small and compact violet flowers on long stems with green foliage.

Mississippi Medallion Plants: Proven Performers

May 7, 2019

Do you want surefire performance in your landscape and vegetable garden, but don’t know what to look for when you go to the garden center?

 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.

The Food Factor: Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

May 3, 2019

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

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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