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January 18, 2019

A man with a white goatee and dark-framed glasses leans on a table behind a small LED table lamp and a tray of seedlings. He wears a blue floral Hawaiian shirt and brown hat.

For people who love gardening, the long, dark, cold winter months can be torture. Gardening catalogs are fine, but their allure can only last so long before we want to get our hands back in the soil! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.

Safety Tips for Handling Poultry

March 30, 2018

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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More than 20 newly hatched chickens covered in yellow down bask under warming lamps in a large black tub.

Go Green: How to Get Started with Backyard Chickens

March 27, 2018

Some people can’t resist the latest spring fashions. Others plant flowers in profusion.
Then there are those, like me, who are highly susceptible to the cheerful chirping of newly hatched chicks. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)

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Browned ground beef, chopped onions, celery, and garlic in a non-stick skillet ready to spoon into individual freezer bags.

Go Green: Save Money with Magic Meat Mixes

March 23, 2018

I love to cook, but I’m always interested in learning about shortcuts.
That’s why I was really excited to watch this episode of “The Food Factor” – because MSU Extension Agent Natasha Haynes talks about saving time and money! (Photo by Brian Utley and Jonathan Parrish)

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A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.

Go Green: How to Start a Compost Pile

March 20, 2018

Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

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A medical doctor holds a vile of medication and talks to a young man in the Rural Medical and Science Scholars program.

Explore Healthcare and Science Careers with Extension Program

March 16, 2018

Do you know a high school student interested in working in the medical field or a related science career one day?
The Rural Medical and Science Scholars program could be for them.
(Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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A green smoothie fills a tall clear drinking glass and has a red and white striped straw in it.

Go Green: How to Make a Green Smoothie

March 13, 2018

Confession: I have made some disgusting smoothies.
Whenever I’ve attempted to simply throw together a few ingredients, I have ended up with something that looked and tasted awful. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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Side by side photos showing the right and wrong ways to mulch around a tree trunk. (Photos by Kevin Hudson and Gary Bachman)

Go Green: Mulch

March 8, 2018

What do doughnuts and volcanoes have in common?

Mulch.

Properly applied, mulch can:

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Photo of a gray and white Craftsman style house illustrates a list of seven tips for making homes healthier.

Go Green: Make Your Own Household Cleaners

March 5, 2018

Taking care of your home will make it a healthier environment for your loved ones. (Illustration designed by Beth Barron)

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In the Field with Jay McCurdy: Pre-emergent Herbicides for the Lawn

March 2, 2018

If you want to get rid of weeds in your home lawn, now is the time to apply herbicides to control them.

Late February and early March is the ideal window to apply pre-emergent herbicides that control various weeds in home lawns. But you want to make sure you buy the right ones and apply them correctly.

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Miniature green bok choi plants grow in small window box containers.

Go Green: How to Simplify Gardening

February 26, 2018

Intimidated by gardening? Yes?
Our advice: start small. You don’t have to commit to a half-acre garden. Try planting a few of your favorite vegetables in containers.
(Photo by Gary Bachman)

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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