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May 13, 2022

A pile of heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes have three distinct characteristics. Learn what makes them different from other kinds of tomatoes.


barbecue chicken stuffed sweet potoato

The Food Factor: Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

February 28, 2022

Do you have leftover chicken and want a different meal? Try Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. It’s an easy meal that is both sweet and savory.

Soil in egg carton.

How to Start Seeds Indoors Using Egg Cartons

February 25, 2022

With spring right around the corner, many people have gardening on their minds again. To get your gardening fix, start seeds indoors for spring planting now! Have you tried egg cartons to get your plants started instead of purchasing seedling trays?  There are many benefits to trying this alternative container instead.

Red Generator

How to Safely Use a Generator

February 22, 2022

You never know when a weather emergency will happen and cause you to lose power. Whether it be from ice, tornadoes, or hurricanes, you could potentially find yourself without power for days. When severe weather hits, a generator is very beneficial to have handy. When using gas-powered generators, here are a few things to keep in mind:

A faucet drips water.

How to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

February 18, 2022

You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.

A jar of onion soup mix

The Food Factor: Onion Soup Mix

February 15, 2022

Some may call me a control freak, because I love having control over the ingredients I use. It’s especially important to watch my sugar, sodium, and fat intake. That’s why I love recipes for seasoning mixes, like this Onion Soup Mix!

Pink roses on a bush.

Four Things to Consider When Planting Roses

February 11, 2022

Roses are wildly popular flowers – both for planting in your yard and for gifting to a special someone. Native to the northern hemisphere, roses come in a variety of different colors and types. With over 50 different rose cultivars that grow well in Mississippi, there’s a rose that is sure to meet all your needs and preferences. 

A woman at a counter.

Portion Size vs. Serving Size: Do You Know the Difference?

February 8, 2022

A key part of leading a healthier lifestyle is to integrate a variety of foods in the right amounts into your daily diet. When it comes to deciding how much to eat, serving size and portion size are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

crape myrtle blooms

3 Things to Know About Crape Myrtles

February 4, 2022

Are you updating your existing landscape or planting a brand new one this season? You may want to consider crape myrtles.

A bowl of potato corn chowder.

The Food Factor: Potato Corn Chowder

February 1, 2022

It may be cold outside, but you can help take the chill out of winter with a warm bowl of Potato Corn Chowder.

Three birds on a bird feeder.

How to Create a Winter Habitat for Birds

January 28, 2022

If there’s one thing we southerners love, it’s our backyard birds. There’s something enjoyable about watching birds fly around and chirp with each other in the yard. However, as brutal as the winter months can be to us, it can be even more challenging to our feathered friends. Many trees and shrubs become bare during the cold weather, eliminating their primary sources of shelter and food. To help provide food, water, and shelter to your backyard buddies, consider creating a welcoming habitat that will prepare them for cold weather.

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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.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Qula Madkin, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. 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