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September 25, 2018

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

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)

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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)

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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)

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

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

September 12, 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.)

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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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Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.

Is this Corn Dead?

September 7, 2018

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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A shallow dish filled with soil and planted with several small succulents of different shapes, colors, and textures.

How to Make a Succulent Dish Garden

September 4, 2018

Sedums, also called succulents, are incredibly popular plants with an amazing range of colors, shapes, and textures. (Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A plate with zuchinni, freshly baked chips, and a bowl of hummus in the center

The Food Factor | How To Make Hummus

August 31, 2018

Hummus is a popular dip, but why pay top dollar for the pre-made varieties sold in the store when you can make your own?
(Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A close-up of gloved hands pouring a liquid drench pesticide into a measuring cup.

How to Get Rid of a Fire Ant Mound Immediately

August 28, 2018

Fire ant mounds always pop up right where you don’t need them – in the flower bed you planned to weed tomorrow, next to the mailbox that needs to be reset, and near the patio where you are throwing a party tonight. (Photo by Brian Utley/Cindy Callahan)

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The ingredients and equipment to make honey lemon vinaigrette are displayed on a kitchen table, including honey, olive oil, half of a lemon, salt, pepper, minced garlic, a small glass bowl, a stainless steel whisk, and a citrus juicer.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

August 24, 2018

Summertime means eating more salads. So have you ever eaten a salad and thought about changing the dressing to fit your taste? It’s easy and fun to do. And the good news is, you don’t have to make a lot to try new flavor combinations. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Close-up shot of yellow, orange, and two-toned marigold blooms of red and orange. (Photo by Gary Bachman

Mari-mums Shine in Early Fall

August 21, 2018

Outdoor temperatures may shout summer is still here, but autumn colors are creeping into garden centers in the form of fall-flowering marigolds, sometimes called mari-mums. These hardy, warm-hued blooms are the perfect addition to your late summer landscape. (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