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Mourning Dove on a branch.

“Coo-OO-oo-woo!” With their rather sorrowful call, the mourning dove sings one of the most recognizable songs.

closeup of colorful, decorated cupcakes

What You Should Know About Starting a Cottage Food Business

March 18, 2022

Are you thinking of selling food items from your home kitchen? This kind of business venture is popular because if you like cooking, it’s a fun way to earn some extra cash. Here's what to know about Mississippi's Cottage Food Law, which governs this type of business.

Close up of Microwave Breakfast Cake

The Food Factor: Microwave Breakfast Cake

March 15, 2022

Do you sometimes like your breakfast sweet instead of a savory? Then, you’ll love this naturally sweet, fiber-rich Microwave Breakfast Cake.

Purple martins flying around white gourds.

How to Attract Purple Martins to Your Landscape

March 11, 2022

Purple martins are a real treat to have grace your landscape. They offer hours of bird watching entertainment with their musical chatter, beautiful colors, and aerial acrobatics. Each year, purple martins migrate to North America from South America to nest. They arrive at varying times, but most tend to show up in March in Mississippi. To help welcome purple martins to your home, make sure you have the right kind of habitats for them. 

Vegetables and olive oil on a counter.

Daily Food Choices: Keep Moving Forward in 2022

March 7, 2022

Still looking for ways to improve your health in 2022? Well, adding more of the right kinds of food to your daily diet is one way to keep moving forward.

A man plants seeds in a garden row.

What Is My Plant Hardiness Zone?

March 4, 2022

Do you know what your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is? USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are based on the average annual minimum winter temperatures across the U.S. These minimum temperatures are broken down into 10-degree increments and provide a guide for which landscape plants are cold hardy for a given area.

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!


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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