May 18, 2018

Pink coneflowers which are native to Mississippi.

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 group of ripening tomatoes are shown in a close-up.

Get Ahead of Vegetable Diseases

January 27, 2018

Bone-chilling temps have you stuck inside dreaming of that first home-grown tomato sandwich? Well, this is a great time to prepare for a healthy crop. (Photo by Alan Henn)

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:Black, white, and red logo showing a stylized wild hog with a red circle and a diagonal line across. Text reads Hold Our Ground Operation H.O.G.

Wild Hogs: Always Open Season

January 26, 2018

Got wild hogs? You need a trap. Winter is the best time to use this management tool.

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The green leaves of an oak tree create a canopy overhead while the thick, rough brown bark covering the leaves and branches dominates the right side of the photograph.

Free trees for Arbor Day!

January 23, 2018

This time of year, my love for trees joins my love for all things free, thanks to the generosity of several organizations, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil & Water Conservation District, and Mississippi Soil & Water Conservation Commission. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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Graphic with five tips for staying healthy during winter

5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

January 19, 2018

With more than 200 viruses that cause the common cold, it may seem impossible to avoid getting sick.
Flu cases in the southern states are unusually high this year, as well.
(Graphic by: Kim Trimm)

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Close-up of a young leafy green vegetable plant growing in a salad table with other herbs and marigolds.

Prepare for Spring: Build Your Salad Table Now

January 16, 2018

If you are planning for your vegetable garden this spring, a salad table or two might be in order. Salad tables are a great addition to a traditional vegetable garden or wonderful on their own.
​(Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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Five baked muffins loaded with fruit and nuts on a green floral plate. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)

Cook’s Choice Muffins

January 12, 2018

Sometimes you need a quick energy boost that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty.

And sometimes your food preferences or allergies don’t line up with the ready-made options available, box mixes, or the recipes you find on Pinterest.

One solution to this problem is a recipe I like to call “Cook’s Choice Muffins.”

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Two birds visit a platform feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds

How to choose backyard bird feeders

January 9, 2018

2018 arrived with a breath of fresh, frigid air. Colder temperatures can mean limited food for our feathered friends. Many people like to provide supplemental food for birds in the winter, which is a great way to draw birds to your backyard for observation.

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Four Crispy Rice Peanut Butter Bites made with oats, peanut butter, mini chocolate chips, crispy rice cereal, and honey sit on a small dark turquoise plate with a floral border.

From Scratch: Crispy Rice Peanut Butter Bites

January 5, 2018

Need some energy but want full control over the ingredients in your treats? Look no further!
These tasty, bite-sized snacks are quick and easy to make, and don’t require any baking. If you have little hands to keep busy, this is a fun recipe to make together – you can learn about fractions and get them to help make their own food. Learning can be so sweet!
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Two women smile as they enjoy colorful potted ornamental plants.

Volunteer in the New Year

January 3, 2018

If you’d like to volunteer more in the New Year, Extension has some wonderful opportunities. We have volunteer organizations designed for all ages and interests, including gardening, healthcare, natural resources and youth development.

Here’s a brief description of four of our...Read more

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

From the Field: Winter Wonderland

December 15, 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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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