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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)


A steamed salmon filet sprinkled with onions and dill sits atop roasted vegetables.

The Food Factor: Steamed Salmon & Veggies

June 28, 2019

Have you ever heard someone praise the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but wondered what to cook? This delicious fish recipe, cooked with an assortment of tasty vegetables, fits the bill! Fish, healthy oils, and plenty of vegetables are key parts of the Mediterranean diet. Served with a side of whole-grain couscous or pasta, you’ve got a feast ready in about 45 minutes. 

Angel food cake with strawberries, cool whip, and strawberries on a green plate.

The Food Factor: Tropical Angel Cake

June 25, 2019

Ever since I started hosting The Food Factor, I’ve been getting curious looks at the grocery store. Other shoppers will recognize me and look in my buggy to see what I’m buying. People assume that I must always eat healthy foods, or I never have dessert.

A combination container with pink impatiens and red and green coleus.

What to Do in Your Garden in July

June 21, 2019

It’s officially summer, meaning the heat is here in full force! I set my watering can by the door as a reminder to water my plants. A few years back, when I first started growing an interest in gardening, I learned the hard way that you have to water your plants regularly because of the Mississippi heat. Don’t be like young Michaela. Always water your plants! (Photo by Michaela Parker)

Two women hold a tray of microgreens.

From the Field: Ag Literacy Workshop

June 18, 2019

There’s always something new happening in the world of Extension. This time, the spotlight is on a new workshop: “From Micro to Macro: Growing Ag Literacy.”

Before we get into the specifics, you might be asking, “what is ag literacy and why is it important?” (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A grilled burrito topped with salsa and a green salad with tomato served on a multicolored plate.

The Food Factor: Vegetable Burritos

June 13, 2019

With all of the delicious, fresh vegetables available this time of year at great prices, vegetable burritos are a fast, farmers market-friendly meal you can whip up in no time. While Southwest-inspired recipes can hide a lot of calories, a few substitutions can keep you from breaking the calorie bank. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

graphic showing items that need to be refrigerated

Refrigerate This!

June 10, 2019

Ketchup and maple syrup often sit on the table at your favorite local restaurant. But at home, these items – and many others you might not think about – really belong in the refrigerator.

A young woman with dark hair extends her palm forward with the Healthy Homes Initiative logo on her palm.

A High Five for a Healthy Home

June 4, 2019

Maintaining a healthy home can be challenging, but it IS possible. Use the “right hand rule” to make your home a healthy one.

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. 

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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