December 15, 2017

Snow covers a split-rail fence and trees near Mount Locust on the Natchez Trace in Jefferson County, Mississippi on Dec. 8, 2017.

The wintery weather last week caught us off guard! Several of our Ag Communications team members were on the road . . . including our photographer Kevin Hudson. On his way home he captured this beautiful scene.

We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Our offices will be closed from Dec. 21 to January 2, 2018.

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A mixture of rice, apples, raisins and almonds is displayed in a colorful bowl.

Add local rice to your holiday menu

December 13, 2017

Looking for something a little different for your holiday menu this year?

Consider adding Orange Wild Rice with Raisins and Apples to your lineup. Apples, raisins and orange juice add some sweetness to the savory rice, and the almonds give it a bit of added texture. Leaving out the parsley will allow more of the fruity notes to come through.

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The FARMtastic logo depicts a red barn with a brown wooden fence and features a tan horse, a white and brown cow, a pink pig with gray spots, a corn plant on the left of the fence and a wheat plant on the right.

From the Field: Behind the Scenes of FARMtastic

December 8, 2017

Looking in from the outside, FARMtastic appears to function like a well-oiled machine. Delighted children move in a choreographed dance from station to station to learn where their food, fiber and fuel comes from.

 

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flowers

Adjusting binoculars for birdwatching

December 6, 2017

Teaching your children or grandchildren about nature can start in your own backyard. Birdwatching is a simple, inexpensive way to start a conversation about our natural resources and their importance in the ecosystem.

But first, you’ll need a set of binoculars that you can actually see through clearly. If you have only one set, you’ll want to adjust them properly for each user. However, this task can be frustrating.

Extension Wildlife Biologist Adam Rohnke explains the correct steps for getting a clear view through your binoculars.

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Dunes with grass appear in the foreground with the sun shining on the blue waters of the Mississippi Sound at Graveline Bayou in Jackson County.

From the Field: Managing Stress

December 1, 2017

Take a deep breath. It’s December 1.

The year is almost over, which feels impossible.

Your “To Do” list may cover several pages. Your calendar may be full.

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Bud vases filled with greenery, holly berries and roses

How to Make a Christmas Bud Vase

November 28, 2017

With Thanksgiving celebrations behind us, we’re beginning to decorate our homes for Christmas, and calendars are filling up with Christmas parties. That has everyone thinking about hostess gifts, parting gifts and thoughtful gifts for friends.

Our floral design specialist Jim DelPrince has an easy, inexpensive bud vase that can meet all those needs. He’ll show you how it’s done.

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Colorful turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017

Extension offices will reopen on Monday, November 27, 2017.

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Several varieties of lettuces grow in a raised bed.

From the Field: Growing Your Own Food

November 15, 2017

I have a confession to make: I have garden envy.

This week I took a walk and stumbled upon this delicious looking plant.

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Several rows of fruit including apple slices, tangerine segments, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and a pear are arranged on a white platter in the shape of a turkey.

How to Make a Fun Fruit Appetizer for Thanksgiving

November 13, 2017

Need a healthy snack to keep everyone out of the kitchen while you cook on Thanksgiving? Or are you interested in skipping the cheesy contribution to the office party? Then check out this fun and easy fruit platter you can build in just minutes. If you have kids, you might get them to build it for you, and even snack on the fruit while they work!

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Close-up photos showing a side-by-side comparison of a red ladybug with black spots on a green leaf and an orange Asian lady beetle on a green leaf. (Photos by Canstock and MSU Extension Service)

From the Field: Beetles Invasion!

November 9, 2017

If you live in a wooded area, it’s likely you’ve already noticed: THEY’RE BAAA-AACK!

Every autumn Asian lady beetles start seeking shelter, and, given the lack of convenient caves around, wind up trying to overwinter in Mississippi homes.

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Invasive fire ants crawl over a mound of soil. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
 
 
 

Fire Ants: The War Continues

November 8, 2017

Just when we think we’ve conquered our tiny foes, it rains, and fresh fire ant mounds pop up in our yard.

Like many tasks around the house, fighting fire ants feels like a constant battle. My husband and I finally started seeing some progress when we followed recommendations from MSU Extension’s expert, Dr. Blake Layton. (Yeah, that’s a side benefit of my job, learning all kinds of practical information!)

You can find information specifically targeted for the areas in which you want to control fire ants at this dedicated fire ant ...Read more

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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