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This Week

Tom Carey


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Tom Carey: All about eggplant

Learn all about this football-sized, purple ‘berry.’

Starting eggplant from seed requires a warm location, similar to what is required for starting other warm season crops.

Tom Carey: Controlling garden chaos

Living in Florida provides us with constant change and challenges that weed out those plants and animals unable or unwilling to adapt to our crazy weather.

A framed growing bed, several inches to a foot above existing grade, provides a location able to weather many of the problems faced when trying to grow a crop at our residential homesteads.

Tom Carey: Missed harvest - edible plant parts

Wait, how much of this plant's "waste product" is really inedible?

Wait, how much of this waste product is really inedible?

Tom Carey: Batch gardening

Instead of planting a little bit of everything, you can grow enough of those few things to really make a difference to a hungry belly.

Choose four to six basic crops your family wantonly consumes and write the plan to be the benefactor of these specific choices.

Tom Carey: An ode to okra

If you really consider Florida part of the Deep South, then okra most likely has a prominent position in your garden during the summer.

As the beautiful flowers start to unfurl, the real work begins. Within mere days, the pointy pods will start to form. Since the pods quickly become fibrous and tough, harvest frequently.

Tom Carey: Procuring our own independence

Growing a garden and procuring more of our needs are major steps toward independence and happiness.

A huge first step for anyone paying homage to our spending independence would be to improve our efficacy in preparing our own food.

Tom Carey: Summer herbs for Florida gardens

The ultimate taste of summer is the green goodness of basil.

Just about any plant exposed to the pounding rain of a thunderstorm will take a beating, but even more so for tender basil.

Tom Carey: Teamwork in the garden

Combining as many tasks with one stroke is the winning strategy of a successful craftsman.

As lead man, elbow-to-elbow, stepping and fetching, keeping the troops producing does not make me the boss, but instead, the best helper you will ever have.

Tom Carey: Harness the rain to help your garden grow

Supplying moisture to our plants is taken for granted with municipal or homestead water supplies available at the twist of a spigot.

To obtain any return on investment over the cheap cost of billable water, value up the barrel by manufacturing your own fertilizer.

Tom Carey: Perpetual food

A few simply grown crops can provide any family in our Central Florida climate with an amaranthine source of food.

Trading our control of physical needs for mere economic knowledge leaves us lacking in essential esteems that rounds out our humanity.

Tom Carey: Adaptive gardening

Learning to adapt and innovate can be frustrating, almost painful work. Embrace your failures; they make change and success all the more savory as you adapt what thrives.

Luckily, a major strength of our family scaled farming operations is our ability to make quick decisions and changes.

Tom Carey: Ice ages, climate change and 'glacial milk'

What we call ‘global warming’ is merely the precursor to ‘climate change,’ which will be the next glaciation.

Humanity can make a difference in the foregone conclusion of climate cycles by managing the amounts of greenhouse gases stockpiled in the air we breathe.

Tom Carey: Good old collard greens

Like for any Southern gardener, collard greens command a prominent place in my garden.

Growing collards requires nothing more than fundamental gardening techniques.

Tom Carey: New Year, new beginnings

Nobody ever said that growing food crops was a pretty form of landscaping, but as long as the harvest is coming in, who cares?

With available growing areas always in short supply, we must reclaim space for new crops and allow the fallow soil to lay dormant, rest and recuperate for as long as possible.

Tom Carey: Growing up in the garden

Like any good gardener, exacting a greater harvest from given resources is always spurring our creative dreams.

Garden math is actually quite easy; side-length times side-length equals the square area of the garden.