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August 14, 2018

A pepper plant is shown in the garden.

Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

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Watch the State 4-H Congress Video!

June 1, 2018

Take a look at the official State 4-H Congress highlight video! Want to learn more about what goes on at this annual event for senior 4-H’ers? (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

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An African American woman with braided hair and wearing a white sweater shares a board book with her infant daughter who wears a coral shirt.

How to Build Your Baby’s Brain Power

May 29, 2018

Most parents are too busy for a college course in child development, but want to help their babies grow into children who are successful in learning and ultimately successful in life. (Photo by Canstock)

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Natasha Haynes, an African American female wearing a plaid dress shirt stands in a kitchen and uses tongs to mix food ingredients in a stainless steel bowl. A tall bottle of olive oil is on the table.

How to Make Zucchini Three Ways

May 25, 2018

If you want an inexpensive vegetable, this time of year you can find zucchini *everywhere.* If you have friends with big gardens, they might even give it away. Some of my Extension agent friends in other states joke about locking their car doors to keep people from putting bags of this versatile squash in there when no one is looking! 

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A logo that represents the Mississippi Crop Situation Podcast. The logo contains graphics that represent a tractor, the sun and a plant.

New Mississippi Crop Situation Podcast

May 22, 2018

We’re excited to announce MSU Extension has recently launched the Mississippi Crop Situation Podcast!

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Pink coneflowers which are native to Mississippi.

Choose Native Plants for a Fuss-Free Landscape

May 18, 2018

Native plants are excellent choices for any landscape. They are adapted to the climate, which makes them low-maintenance. Planting native varieties of flowers, plants and shrubs provides food and shelter for native wildlife. (Photo by Tim Allison)

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A white bowl contains red grape tomatoes, sliced strawberries, sliced red apples, green sugar snap peas, orange carrots, and a dark purple grape.

Food Tossed is Money Lost: Tips for Saving Food and Money

May 15, 2018

Every weekend before I go grocery shopping, I clean out the refrigerator and experience guilt.

Partially full yogurt containers past their expiration date. Shriveling squash. Browning celery. Leftovers I saved with good intentions but never ate. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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Magnolia leaves star in a small floral arrangement with white flowers.

How to Use Magnolia Leaves in a Flower Arrangement

May 10, 2018

Magnolias are synonymous with Mississippi, and the leaves and flowers are popular materials for all kinds of floral arrangements – wreaths, swags, table runners and other seasonal arrangements. (Photo by Zac Ashmore)

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The Food Factor Logo

How to Make a Microwave Southwest Scramble

May 4, 2018

I love cooking eggs for breakfast. However, my omelets end up being more scrambled than the fancy folded-over works of art served in restaurants. With that in mind, I’m usually looking for quick and creative scrambled eggs ideas. (Photo by Zac Ashmore and Jonathan Parrish)

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A red-throated hummingbird hovers over a red geranium.

How to Attract Hummingbirds

May 3, 2018

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.

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A pan of prepared Italian sausages with onions and green and red peppers.

How to Make a Sheet Pan Italian Sausage & Pepper Bake

May 1, 2018

Everybody loves to save time in the kitchen. Sheet pan suppers have become a very trendy topic lately – Pinterest is LOADED with recipes and ideas. For me, a sheet pan meal is a surefire way to clean up in a hurry, because I line the pan with foil.

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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